Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Power of H2O

Water has always fascinated me.  My favorite natural phenomenon are waterfalls.  I could stare at waterfalls all day.  As I watch the rushing water crash over the edge I can’t help but wonder how many billions of water droplets it takes to create that kind of roaring beauty.  In my dream world my backyard has a waterfall in it just where the forest of trees opens up.  The pool where the waterfall collects is warmed by natural hot springs and I have a perma tan because I’m always outside basking in the sun, staring at my waterfall and talking with the dryads who live in the trees.  Oh, and there’s no such things as skin cancer or leathery skin from overexposure or sunburns.  My dream world is spectacular!

But I digress from my original point – fascinating water.  Did you know that if you add heat to water it has sanitary qualities?  When I first heard that I thought it was too good to be true.  Heath bought a hand held steam cleaner years ago and periodically pulled it out to clean stuff.  I always appreciated his efforts to clean things I couldn’t reach or simply pretended never needed cleaning, like the sliding glass door with Daxton P. Dawg and little kid nose prints as well as many dirty fingerprints that stopped two feet up from the bottom. 

Recently I have tried to use the steam cleaner myself.  I tend to get involved in addictive behavior, cleaning OCD being one of them.  Heath showed me how to use the steam cleaner to clean our shower and he couldn’t get the thing out of my hands!  He’d come in and say, “It looks great in here.  You’re about done don’t you think?”  And I would reply, “I need another refill.  I’m not done yet.  One more refill and I’ll be done, I promise!”  Four or five refills later and I finally called it quits.  Of course that was after Heath had to wrestle the steam cleaner out of my hands and quickly shove a Diet Coke in my gnarled and cramped fingers.  He keeps saying that it’s a good thing he’s a nice guy because he could really be a manipulative husband and make me clean all day while he yelled, “Come on woman!  Clean!”  But he’s nice and eventually gets me out of my cleaning abyss before objects disintegrate. 

The forbidden love affair with cleaning equipment didn’t stop there.  Soon after the hand held steam cleaning episode Heath showed me how to use the carpet steam cleaner.  Well, he tried to show me anyway.  He has a secret crush on the large purple appliance.  I would start to follow his instructions only to have him take over because of some exception.  Before I knew it he had steam cleaned the whole upstairs including a nasty mattress.  Heath finally pooped out and told me to do the stairs.  Oh I did the stairs alright!  Those stairs look as fluffy and clean as the day we moved in!  If I weren’t so sore and doggone tired I would come to your house and steam clean your stairs and carpets too, only if Heath would let me do the carpets though.  I’ve only done three stripes on my own.  Well and half of the landing between the two sets of stairs.  It’s an awkward place to use such a huge appliance so I went as far as the walls would let me reach and then I did the rest by hand and it looks spectacular! 

Now for the truly disturbing pictures.  You ready for this? 

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Going going gone.  This spot has sentimental value.  It was probably the first stain on the carpet and trust me, I tried and tried to clean it up.  Many times.  But it has been a dirt magnet ever since.  You may remember this story.  I found two year old Parker napping in his own fruit snack red vomit.  It was one of those “what was I thinking” moments being pregnant with my third!  The good news is we have all survived and three kids isn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  Or time has been kind on my fading memories! 

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Check out how clean the boys room is!  No surprise that there was a lot of sand in the cruddy water.  I guess that’s one of the downsides to living so close to a park with a really nice beach volleyball court that kids love to play in.  Sand in the laundry, vacuum cleaner, and dirty steamed up water. 

I know what you’re thinking.  Those pictures weren’t gross.  But wait, it gets better!  I had cleaned the bathrooms the day before this project.  I thought of Terri Ferran many times as I cleaned up subtle ring around the Jacuzzi tub and dust from the top half of the tub.  Then the next day I did this:

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Grody Jody right?  It’s nothing a little water and Scrubbing Bubbles can’t fix.

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This was the nastiest yet most rewarding part of the steam cleaning process.  A certain child of mine used to have issues with bed wetting.  This child slept too deeply to wake up during nap time or at night and I was washing sheets every day.  We did the pull up thing too and sometimes he would pee so much the pull up couldn’t contain it all.  Needless to say his mattress was truly disturbing.  On a whim we decided to pull out the attachments on the steam cleaner and go for it.  As you can see the difference it made is nothing short of amazing. 

Every time I changed bed sheets I would look at the mattress and feel bad.  I had spun the mattress around so the worst of it was at the bottom but even then the whole thing looked as bad as it smelled.  The way the mattress was made I couldn’t flip it over.  What’s a parent supposed to do?  Especially when replacing yucky mattresses isn’t really in the budget?  Steam clean it. 

When in doubt pull the steam cleaner out.  The power of water heated to the point of steam is wonderful.  If you’ve never tried it, take my word for it.  It works.  The magical way it cleans will blow your mind.  I think the carpet steam cleaner was $200 some odd from Costco.  We have already broken even on the price if not saved money by doing the job ourselves instead of hiring out.  And I can pull out Large Marge (the steam cleaner) any time I want.  How sweet is that?  Spring cleaning, clear my head cleaning, self imposed time out cleaning . . . the possibilities are endless and the results are always sanitary cleanliness. 

4 thoughts:

Karen G said...

OH MY GOODNESS I NEED TO BUY A STEAM CLEANER NOW!!!!! Seriously going over to Amazon right now to look.

The Piquant Storyteller said...

Do it Karen! You won't regret it!

Happy Mom said...

Now I want to go find me one!!!

The Piquant Storyteller said...

Now I feel really bad because I meant to have a link to a steam cleaner on Amazon but I don't remember Heath's login info for Amazon and he was going to help me but we both forgot! Maybe when he comes home we can put the link up. Sorry about that.