The Last Cleaning Post (for now)

Indulge me one more cleaning post, if you would.  Thanks.

After reaching work on Saturday, I took a look between the back captain chairs for a book.  What I found was fossilized cheese (perhaps cheddar?) and a rock-hard English muffin.  Both were neatly wrapped in a cloth napkin under a stack of books and used tissues.  With patients waiting to see me, I ditched the ancient food and continued in to work, knowing the time had come to address the car.

So yesterday, I tackled the car.  With the vacuum, with a cleaning solution, with sweat.  I’m not sure I won, but (like the shower) it’s better. And like the shower, when I was married, the car was not my purview.  (Some of you may think, “She doesn’t clean showers or cars.  She laments small home repairs and cleaning the aquarium.  What was this woman doing when she was married?!”  Well, I didn’t clean the shower or the car, but I did cook, teach the kids, shared in the cleaning and yard work, and plenty more.  Humph.) 

I know there are places one can go and have the vacuuming and scrubbing done by Someone Else, and this crossed my mind before starting this task, but I can do it better myself and without that smell that comes from those industrial cleaners.  (Have I mentioned I have a particularly low tolerance for scented cleaning supplies?)  I’m glad to run the beast through the automatic car wash for the exterior dirt.  No offending smell comes home, and they can reach the top of my gas-guzzling minivan far better than I.

Besides, the back seat of a car that regularly carries two children and has suffered a winter of neglect is rather embarrassing.  I knew it was bad back there, but my brief yet revealing spelunking adventure in the work parking lot scared and disgusted me.  Who knew what horrors would lie below the overflowing, half-eaten snack bag containing, book basket that rests between the boys’ seats?  And under the booster seats themselves?  The thought brought chills.

So I emptied the car, vacuumed with every attachment I own, scrubbed with a tea tree oil/water/castile soap mixture that just smells clean to my sensitive nose, and made that small corner of my world a better place.  I vacuumed up pretzels, Cheerios, dried blueberries (I hope that’s what they were), nuts of all kind, and a host of unidentifiable crumbs.  I chiseled orange lollypop remainders out of a cup holder, swabbed hot chocolate off of seat sides, and vacuumed (clean) cat litter out of the trunk.  And I vowed that, along with avoiding all showering so as not to dirty the now-cleaner shower, my children will no longer ride in the car.  I realize that’s an inconvenience, but I see it as a definitive answer. 

Your turn.  Share your scary dirty car stories(I’ve ridden with some of you, so no use hiding).  Unidentifiable smells?  Milk turned yogurt?  Grubbiness loves company, you know, so share away.  It’s a cleansing experience.

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One thought on “The Last Cleaning Post (for now)

  1. My car and upstairs bathroom probably tie for the spot of grossest places. My car is frequently littered with food bits, garbage, shoes, crayons, papers… you get the picture. I have kids. Kids are messy. I have little free time, and when I do I certainly don’t want to spend it cleaning my car. So I accept the mess. It drives my husband up the wall though.

    My upstairs bathroom is the room I least like to clean. So. much. tile. Rust and water stains everywhere that I can’t get rid of no matter how much I scrub or what chemical I use. And we won’t even talk about the shower curtain…

    I try to keep in mind that a dirty house is a lived in house. If I spent all my time cleaning, I wouldn’t be living. It works for me.

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