Stuff I Don’t Know How to Clean or How It’s Getting Dirty

I’ve made quite a few jokes on here at my lack of cleaning interest and skills and the struggle is real yo! I don’t like it, it’s not something I care about being good and I’m not stupid but some of this is really mysterious. I’m not a total lost cause you guys after all one of my summer jobs in university was cleaning hotel rooms everyday! Surprisingly, even to me, with no complaints. My lack of regard for extreme cleanliness is not how I was raised in case you were wondering, that was in fact drilled into me from an early age. It just didn’t stick. My partner and I would rather relax, do something fun or work more than have a perfectly clean house. We’re okay with that and I at least think it’s the right life choice. In the end no one wishes they spent more time working on their death bed and I’ll bet that includes housework! This leads me to doing my best and trying to explain that it is actually clean dirt, which is less than ideal I admit. I also figured it’s a good idea to let you know about the stuff I did figure out in case you’re standing there staring and wondering. Also I probably won’t be sharing images of my dirty stuff because this is already embarrassing enough!

The inside of the washing machine

How is the very top lip area under the door of my top loading washing machine getting this dirty? Should I be cleaning it? How does one do that? Yes I know I put dirty clothes in there to wash but I have never once opened the top during the agitation or spin cycle and seen water smashing up there! Before you say that the spin cycle shuts off when you open the lid, hold on a second. That was no longer true of our old one we replaced last year and no, not even during the spin cycle is water sloshing around up there, I checked. I probably could figure out how to clean this but trust me I have bigger fish to fry.

The top of the baseboards

How are they getting so much dirtier than the fronts even behind couch? I get that it’s a  flatter surface for dust to settle on but come on! I get to hang out in lots of people’s homes with lots of different trim designs and I’m here to tell you even if there is another ledge in the design that sticks out further than the top it’s never as dirty. Explain that! Even behind bookcases and certain chairs that haven’t been moved in years (yes that happens here) the top of the baseboard is always so filthy. Way worse than the corner that meets the floor right next to it. Why is that? Does gravity stop existing where the baseboard ends? I know how to clean this but I sill don’t like it!

Oily pillowcases

Help needed here folks. Honey has sensitive skin and he swears showing all the time makes him itchy. That and I sometimes (often) run and then sleep without showing in between. And same goes for wearing sunscreen and deep woods off. Over time the pillowcases darken with what I assume is a buildup of body oils. Ewww gross I know. How does one get this out and start fresh? I’ve tried soaking them in soapy water I’m not even sure that helps! Shouldn’t the soap emulsify the oils? One set of medium blue sheets is the worst. Am I doomed to have a set of ‘company’ pillowcases.

The grate on the fridge water/ice dispenser 

We have one of those older style fridges with the ice and water dispensers on the door. There is this funny little grate thing under this area that isn’t removable. It’s shiny plastic so I don’t want to scratch it with a scrubby. We don’t really use this area anymore but we have in the distant past. How do you clean this weird graty thing? I’ve dried the douse with cleaner and absorb method and it is woefully insufficient.

The oven window

This one is a two pronged issue, how is it getting so dirty and how do you clean it effectively when it does? It seems to get dirtier even when the only thing I’m putting in the oven is cookies and toast, why is that? Self cleaning just seems to darken up the splatters in this area and oven cleaner fails to clear up the problem, ditto for glass cleaner, bleach and all purpose cleaner. Related note same issues with the little fabric string like thing around the door!

The bottoms of chair feet

Some how the bottom of chair legs seem to attract dust bunnies that we could claim as defendants in record time. The thing is even in chairs that never move they get caked with dust, hair and other things right away. How are these getting that gross that fast?

The cracks of vinyl windows

Even now I have to clean things for work when we finish a big project. One of those things is dirty, mossy cracks and creases in vinyl windows. I get how these are getting dirty but how do you clean them? Even digging in a toothpick these corner bits they don’t really come out clean. Plus a toothpick seems like more dedication to the cause than I am comfortable with.

Stuff I’ve actually figured out

There are a few things that I have totally figured out how to clean though. Since I’ve already done a pretty great job embarrassing myself with my various cleaning ineptitudes I wanted to let you know there is some stuff I’ve figured out. 

The dishwasher and drains (no chemicals)

sRemove any plug like devices, break up drain gunk like hair with a pointy BBQ skewer or knife and suck it out with a shop vac, repeat. I’m not really against chemicals but they are bad for our septic system. Same goes for a clogged dishwasher, but also remove the drain hose and use your hand to create a good seal and shop vac that out too.

Pressure treated decks (lots of chemicals)

It’s a decent amount of work but it brought our old deck back to new from black and slippery year after year. Spray with a cleaner called 30 seconds then work a mixture of bleach and dish soap into the wood with a bristle brush. Wait about 15 minutes and scrub a bit again to loosen the dirt before hosing off. It might look a bit yellow from the bleach after and stink but that goes away in a few days, less if it rains.

Car upholstery (deep clean)

My car seats get dirty, like really dirty but I don’t worry about it because I’m wicked good at cleaning them. Living about an hour out of the city means we spend a lot of time in out cars. We eat in them, drinks lots of coffee in them and even do work in them. Plus when we get in the car at the end of the day we’re dirty, pair that with very light flat upholstery in this car and it’s a mess. So here’s how you clean it no matter what shape it’s in. Fill a spray bottle, a big pump one if you want to get serious with warm really soapy water and saturate your seat. Then grab a foam carpet cleaner and soft to medium bristle brush to really work it in. I’ve really loved the Bissell one in the past with the brush attached in the past but last time I couldn’t find it. You can add another soaking for really tough dirt and then suck as much moisture out as possible with a shop vac. 

A note though some upholsteries will show water lines if the whole thing doesn’t get wet. Avoid this by just getting the whole things wet. Also a really hard brush might cause some wear and a bit of pilling so best to test it on a small spot first and let it dry. It’s not that big a deal though because since you are doing every bit of it it will all match.

Tile grout (easily)

Make a paste or wettish mixture of baking soda, oxi clean and water and work it into your grout with an old tooth brush. No need to dig too deep this step is more of a delivery system. Let it sit for a bit but not until completely dry. After about 10 minutes poor on and spread out some vinegar. It will act to lift out the dirt and mop up.

The insides of shoes

Remove lots of little bits of sand (or around here saw dust) by working them out of the shoe with a hard bristled dish brush. Kill a smell by adding a cup of baking soda to a sock or pantyhose and tie a knot. Flatten it out over the entirety of the sole overnight. If the problem reoccurs add some oder-eaters insoles.

A garden hose

A couple of years ago a customer gave is 100 ft of super expensive commercial grade hose. It was really dirty but perfectly fine. Coil your hose in the bottom of a large bucket and add beach and dish soap and let it soak for a few hours. Then as you’re pulling it out drag it through an old beach towel to really remove the gunk.

Light fixture covers/ fan covers/ RC bodies …

This one is actually inspired by honey, just put that stuff in the dishwasher by it’s self for a cycle. I never cease to be inspired by the things he gets sparkling clean with literally no effort.

Not me but I get why she’s upset!

So can you help a sister out and give me you’re best cleaning tips for this stuff. Do you have another genius level hack? Or what in your house is getting inexplicably dirty?

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