Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Two Stages of Dirty

Sad to say, I've never been much of a housekeeper. I'm not a wonder woman like Beth Wilson who insists on vaccuuming her hardwood floors at midnight when she's 8 1/2 months prego. No, no, that's not me.

But there is a certain level of dirtiness that even I know absolutely requires intervention. That intervention is exactly what happened in my kitchen this past weekend. I spent four hours scrubbing every nook and cranny of that place, from the tile walls, countertops, doorframes, and cabinets. I killed a a few trees with all the papertowels I went through and used an entire bottle of cleaning solution. In fact, there were moments when my head was buried deep inside of a cabinet with just the fumes for company. Now that the skin on my right hand is peeling off, I wonder "Is this the price for cleanliness?"

Even with a few missing brain cells from the chemicals, I was able to make some observations about the life cycle of dirty:

First of all, there is abundadirt. Abundadirt is the kind of dirt that inspires thoughts like, "Has this ever been cleaned in its entire existence?" For example, I discover that the top of my door (yes, there is a door into my kitchen. Not a common decorating feature in America but hey...this is not an American kitchen!) is an unfortunate brown-ish gray color. Maybe the makers just wanted to save some varnish and didn't apply up here, I think (and I hope). But no. Abundadirt strikes again. The positive side of abundadirt is that there is hope for clean. All it takes is some elbow grease and some dangerously overpotent (and most likely unregulated) cleaning solutions.

My second discovery is permadirt. Permadirt is the archnemesis to the housewife. It lurks in corners seen and unseen with such soiled stubborness, such dirty doggedness. Scrub and scrub as you may, there is no victory against permadirt. Permadirt is frustrating. Permadirt is cruel. Permadirt does not relinquish its hold.

I'm pleased to report that abundadirt was much more copious during this cleaning sessions than permadirt. After the galactic battle of Becky vs Dirt, the good guy has prospered and cleanliness reigns. My kitchen makes me smile now everytime I go in there for oatmeal or pb&j.

(Just don't look underneath my cabinets...this is where Permadirt's evil lair is located...)


thehes said...

Hey Beck...I just had a similar battle down south. You can win the battle with a bottle of "cao-suan" that you pick up at your local hardware store. It's a kind of acid, yellow, low-fumes, and is sold in glass or plastic bottles. It works wonders on floors. Pour directly on affected area and scrub with cheap scrub brush (you'll throw out after use) while wearing rubber gloves. (If you guys have it up north, you will come to LOVE it.) GOOD LUCK!!

Ashley said...

Now Sink, Microwave, and all your other personifiable appliances will be SOO happy!!

Chris & Sarah Peek said...

Oh my, isn't it fun when your "new" residence comes pre-stocked with Abunda and Permadirt? Glad you got the better of them. I have some of my own dirt to wrangle with the next day off I get, grr, watch out dirt!

Shannon said...

Yup, I think this is a universal battle. My solution to "permadirt" is to paint over or just rip it out (ie: kitchen). Our kitchen is "new house" clean - I hope to keep it that way for the next 40 years- so the next homeowner doesn't wonder if a woman ever lived in this home or not.
Did a friend suggest acid of some sort? Hmmm. That could be interesting :)

Jamie Butts said...

Good morning, Peeks! I often wonder what time it is where you are, and then I remembered your handy dandy blog clock.

jscorbin said...

Hi Beck, after leaving my Sniglet brain turned on for a few minutes, it finally delivered a word worthy of your post ... duradirt. Now duradirt lies somewhere between permadirt and abundadirt. Of course everyone is familiar with abundadirt ... that stuff that just seems to be everywhere, but can nonetheless be removed with just a modicum of effort. And most folks have lots of experience with permadirt; that's the stuff that winds up under your refrigerator or washing machine ... after about 20 years, and simply cannot be totally removed, ever, period. Permadirt clearly is not asexual, as it tends to breed under washing machines. Then there is duradirt. That's the stuff that breeds in contemptuous places. It can be removed, however, but not without significant effort. It's taunting dirt. The most prevalent example of duradirt is under the door of our laundry room, where Molly (our wiener dog) likes to roll around and lick the floor during her periodic terms of incarceration. This particular duradirt is a muck of indescribable proportions, composed of various forms of goo and hair and deceased mini-creatures that defy classification. It can be removed, but only with heavy use of liquid carcinogens. So please pray for your Mom's health and Molly's immune system. Dad