Tag Archives: cleanliness

Demeter Clarc Tidy Tip: Cascade

CASCADE WITH DAWNI once believed dishwasher detergent was one of those products that I could buy generic without consequences.  I was wrong.  My glass was cloudy.  I blamed age and wear & tear.  Turns out it may have been that cheap detergent.  After a few washings using Cascade with Dawn dissolving detergent pillows my cloudy glass came out crystal clear.  The difference was notable and worth paying for.  No more bottom shelf generic for me.  Cascade really does clean better.   CLOUDY AND CLEAR

Tidy Up Tuesday: the laundry room

LAUNDRY ROOM DRYERHey Ya’ll.  I promised you pictures of my remodel.  Then I kind of panicked because I am super private.  I think it is best we start slow with the seemingly impersonal laundry room.  The true test of an organized home lies in the arrangement of the difficult spots like corners, cabinets, and closets.  That’s why I think it is worth showing you a room as ordinary and traditionally unattractive as the laundry room/broom closet.  This is not some Martha Stewart staged photo-op shit, a person actually lives here and uses this laundry room, so please align your expectations accordingly. LAUNDRY ROOM UPPERTo properly grasp the proportion, understand we are talking about an 800 square foot, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom space.  When I got my hands on it, it hadn’t been updated since the late 70′s.  It was a total gut remodel.  The layout was extremely funky.  Prior to my reconfiguration, one accessed the miniscule, dark laundry closet through a folding door from the kitchen.  You can see it here behind Steve.  (Also note the very sexual vinyl floors.  Try to withhold your jealousy.)BEFORE KITCHEN LAUNDRYSince I’m not a fan of lint dust in my kitchen, I walled up the kitchen/laundry access and opened up the hallway coat closet and laundry area into a larger laundry room/broom closet.  CAM00358CAM00361I purchased a unitized Kenmore washer and dryer combo unit from the Sears Outlet.  (I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going that route on appliances.)  The floating shelves are from IKEATIDE IS SO INTERESTINGTOOL BOXCAM00353

 

sink stank

SINK STANKWhen your sink stanks don’t bother with gimmicky solutions. PLINK

All you need is lemons.  Send small pieces of lemon with the peel down the disposal to eliminate the odor.  The cast off lemon wedge from your ice tea is enough to do the trick.  LEMONS

Archive or Give?

CLEAN THE CLOSETNot to be a one-note Nancy this week, but I’m cleaning out my closet for the fourth time this year and I’ve vowed to brutally cut the collection down to a reasonable amount this time.  In addition to the obvious (Have I worn it in the last year?  Do I even like it anymore?)  I have come up with criteria for sorting which helps make quick decisions about what stays and what goes. STAY OR GODoes it fit right now?  It makes no difference how ravishing a garment is if it doesn’t fit.  Pitch anything that sits in your closet and mocks you because you can’t squeeze into it.  When sorting, you must be prepared to try things on.  It is tedious, but it is the only way you know for sure and you might be pleasantly surprised.  TOO SMALLDoes it require repair and is the repair worth the investment?  Unless you love, love, love, the item, it’s a collectible, or super expensive, chances are you aren’t going to have that hem stitched, zipper replaced, or strap resown.  If the wounded clothing has been sitting there for 6 months or more sad, unworn, and broken, let it go. NOT THE SOLUTIONHave I only kept the item because I have an emotional attachment?  On a rare occasion, I will hang on to clothing just because of the way I feel when I look at it even if I know I will never wear it again.  I emphasize rare occasion, meaning 10 items or less of pure sentimentality.  Emotional resonance notwithstanding, it is a disservice when I don’t use something to its highest purpose.  I’d rather pass it on to someone who will.GUNNE SAXCan I envision how cute it would be on my friend?  If the answer is yes, I share.  It makes them happy and me happy too. NONE OF THIS SHIT IS CUTE BITCH

 

Grout Haze

GROUT HAZEI’ve been working hard to clean up my remodel so I can show you, but one problem I was repeatedly plagued with was grout haze.  As we discussed, I put in porcelain plank tile.  The grout left a residue which dimmed the shine and color of the tile.  I cleaned it once on my hands and knees with Mrs. Meyers and a scrubby sponge = still hazy. ON YOUR KNEES BIATCH I went back over the floors with Mrs. Meyers and Swiffer a second time = better, but still hazy.  Finally, I broke out the distilled white vinegar.  Is there anything distilled white vinegar can’t do?HEINZ DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR A bucket of hot water + vinegar + hands & knees = finally clean floor.  Sometimes, I make things too complicated.  White vinegar does what other cleaners can’t.  Relax. The smell dissipates quickly.  Vinegar is natural, non-toxic, widely-available, and cheap.  Don’t bother with expensive cleaners aimed at clearing grout haze, white vinegar and a little commitment is all you need hunny.GROUT HAZE BW

Demeter Clarc Tidy Tip: Smooth-Sided Toilets

AMERICAN STANDARD SMOOTH SIDED TOILETSome of the filthiest and most difficult areas to clean are the bends, folds, and bolts of the toilet.  I confess, I hate cleaning this area so much.  It feels like no matter how many times I go over it, I uncover more dust, dirt, hair, and grime.  Why is it a harbor for mystery pubes?  So gross.  Truly, it is one of my most despised cleaning tasks. GROSS DIRTY TOILETTOP FLUSH SMOOTH SIDED TOILETWhen I remodeled recently, I opted for a smooth-sided toilet.  The shape eliminates all those little areas where disgusting funk collects.  With this style commode, a good once or twice over and the gunk is gone.  SQUARE SMOOTH SIDED TOILETSmooth-sided toilets are a skosh more expensive than the cheapest entry-level traditional style thrones, but how many toilets are you going to buy in your life?  When considering the number of times you will perch here as well as the frequent cleanings, it makes sense to spring for the modern smooth-sided one piece.  AMERICAN STANDARD SMOOTH SIDED TOILET

dirty door

Unless you have a fleet of housekeepers like Joan Crawford, even the most well-kept homes have areas where filth inevitably accumulates.  Doors are often overlooked.  While germaphobes have made wiping the door knob de rigueur, the door itself retains its unsightly grime.  The best part of cleaning your door is that it is super easy.  For most doors, a good wipe down with a surface-appropriate cleaner produces gleaming like-new results.  You’ll be surprised how much funk you dislodge during this oddly gratifying tidy moment.

Enough with the Vessel Sinks

Is there anything more annoying than a vessel sink?  I think not.  Vessel sinks may look good in the store, but in actuality they are the most impractical and messy of all the sink options.  Sinks are like a proper fuck, you want them big and deep not perched, precious, and puny. Water splashes everywhere from this style of basin.  Many of the wide and shallow versions aren’t banked properly, so gross water collects on one end always failing to properly drain.  I’m repulsed. Like most home decorating trends that come on hard, fast, and ubiquitous, the vessel sink will soon be considered a dated vestige of a quainter time like wallpaper borders or shag carpet. 

Heads in Beds

This book Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality by Jacob Tomsky has been getting a lot of shine, so I Kindled it to see if it indeed included any salacious insider gossip.  Let me save you the trouble – this tell-all doesn’t tell much about the hotel industry or human nature that you don’t already know.Tomsky started in hospitality at the bottom of the valet pile in New Orleans, and eventually made his way up to third-in-command at a mid-to-high-end Manhattan hotel he calls “Bellevue” to protect its identity.  Tomsky works primarily as a front desk clerk.  The self-serving thesis of this book?  Heavily tip the front desk clerk with “bricks” ($100s) or “baby bricks” ($20s) to score under-the-table upgrades.  Throw some money around at the desk and you too can enjoy a $4 comped bottle of shitty pinot.  How Fancy.The inverse is also true.  Mistreat your wife, make a racist comment to the cabbie, or fart downwind from the all powerful desk clerk and find yourself key bombed.   Tomsky will stick you with a bunk key card, book you in the shittiest room, or one that gets all-night phone calls because the room number matches 1+ the local area code and every ninny in the hotel forgets to dial 9 for an outside line.  Remember to be on your very best behavior or the desk despot will punish you!Tomsky promises park views, late check outs, and express check-in if you slide him some cash.  But I don’t really want or need any of that.  Fuck the view.  I’m sleeping here.  Can you get me a clean  room with that $20?  Probably not.  Even the finest hotels suffer from inconsistent housekeeping.  I don’t care about stealing from the mini-bar.   If you do, Tomsky says go wild; the hotel will comp the oft-disputed charges. 

Bribing people to get good service isn’t exactly a profound revelation.  This book is too light on the hookers and diva celebrity behavior (Brian Wilson is the best you got, really?), and too heavy on the unions and the obvious.  As for crazy stories from the hospitality industry, I’ve heard more riveting cum-splattered tales from my Aunt Debbie who runs a Motel 6 in Salina