I Clean My House

You better clean this house, everybody’s talking
Clean this house, they really think it’s shocking
Clean this house, get that shit off the table
Clean this house, before you are unable


Now that I’m an award-winning blogger, it hardly seems fair that I should have to clean my own house. In my last post, I hinted that I would be inviting all my readers to a house cleaning party. Um, that was not exactly a hint. It was kind of a demand. But since none of you have taken me up on it, I’ve decided to bite the bullet and clean my house myself. SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO.

Now, you and I may have different ideas about what exactly “bite the bullet” means in the context of house cleaning. To you, it might mean setting aside an entire day to clean the hell out of your house: scraping dried pancake batter from the ceiling, vacuuming up cat toys, and shoveling out the dust from behind the sofa. To me, “bite the bullet” means finally just bending down and picking up that piece of green pepper on the floor instead of kicking it out of my way 100 times a day.

I like to clean my house in bite-sized chunks. (Oh, my God. I just re-read this sentence. If you don’t go all the way to the end, it says “I like to clean my house.” This could be very misleading, so I’ve recast the sentence as follows:)

I hate to clean my house, but when I must do it, I force myself to complete one small task each day. This method takes about a year, but what do you want from me? You were all supposed to help. Anyway, today’s task: the stove.


Cleaning the stove may be broken down into three parts:

  • Think about cleaning the stove.
  • Look at the stove and reconsider. It’s not that dirty.
  • Clean the damn stove.

OK, the process is actually broken down into more than three parts. Once I’ve reached the point where I’m ready to clean the stove, I remove the burner ringy-things (what are those things called?) and soak them in hot soapy water. Then I cover the top of the stove with a thick blanket of Soft Scrub, followed by a thorough spraying of 409. Just to be safe, I throw some Clorox on top of all that. Then I go off to do something much more enjoyable, like removing splinters from my eyeballs.

After waiting a good hour, I return to the stove and start cleaning off the three-inch-thick coating of cleansers. Underneath, the stove is still dirty only now it smells sort of poisonous. So I start scrubbing. Foolishly, I begin with a wiry-scrubbie pad (what are those things called?) before realizing I haven’t even penetrated the topmost layer of grime. So I switch to the brush we use for cleaning the grill. Results! Sort of. I am starting to see some white beneath the black crust.

It takes me about three hours to clean the stove, tho most of that time is spent waiting for the repeated application of cleansers to soak in so I don’t have to scrub as hard. Twenty rolls of paper towels, 5 pairs of rubber gloves, 3 scoury thingies, one grill brush later, I am done.

Before and After


Ta-da! What, did you think I was actually going to show you how dirty my stove was? I may have no qualms about posting a video of my freaking throat being jabbed, but ain’t no way you’re gonna see the sorry-ass condition of my stove pre-clean. But look at the “After”! So sparkly! So white! Just don’t look inside.

Make Cleaning a Game

The fun part of cleaning the house in such small increments is making Dave guess what I’ve cleaned when he comes home after a hard day of work. (Ssshhh! He doesn’t know he’s playing this game yet, which makes the penalties for guessing wrong—or not guessing at all—much more interesting.) Today it should be obvious—amid the crumb-covered kitchen counters, the cat food strewn across the floor, and the unspeakable mess at the bottom of our wastebasket stands a gleaming stove. If the stove doesn’t blind him, I will. Where’d I put that Clorox?

Tomorrow’s bite-sized chore might be a bit more difficult for him to guess. I shall be dusting off that one book on my shelf whose title I can’t read. Who says cleaning isn’t important? I may want to read that book!

If you want to clean your stove:
  • Just don’t cook in the first place. Why do you think they invented microwaves?
  • Instead of a white stove, consider buying a dirt-colored one.
  • Buy a new house, one that already has a clean stove.

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27 Responses to “I Clean My House”

  1. 1 Jackie

    I have found that when you let a ferret wrapped in fly paper loose in your house the black hole that is under the couch becomes quite free of cat hair.

    Maybe you should look into that. You don’t have to lift a finger!

  2. 2 Kathy

    After many years of “coil-top” stoves, I was delighted that our new house had a smooth-top one. Infinitely easier to clean! Still need a chemical cleaner, but it doesn’t smell and make you pass out. As for cleaning the inside, it’s a self-cleaning one. All that means is you jack up the temperature and burn off the crud. To do this, you have to open all the windows in your house or it’ll set off the smoke alarms. And, yes, I know from experience.

    “If the stove doesn’t blind him, I will.” Hilarious!

  3. 3 JD

    Jackie: Ah HA! The ol’ “ferret wrapped in fly paper” method. I hadn’t thought of that!

    Maybe someone I know could write a guest blog on that topic?

    Kathy: I need a smooth-top stove. Or at least those covers you can put over the burners to hide all the burned milk. And, based on your description, I think we’ve been self-cleaning our oven for years: the smoke alarm goes off whenever I bake anything!

  4. 4 cardiogirl

    I might just have to use your line with my husband.

    I can see it now. (Clears throat) Umm, I *am* an award-winning blogger, you know. In the immortal words of IDTSYDHT (pronounced i-dit-see-dot), “it hardly seems fair that I should have to clean my own house.”

    I’ll let you know what his response is.

  5. 5 JD

    Cardiogirl: Yeah. Let me know how that goes will ya? Seriously, these blog husbands have to get with the program and realize we just don’t have time for these mundane tasks anymore.


    Good luck!

  6. 6 Jeff

    This is very funny, so you can always claim the benefit of gaining hysterical new blog fodder with every ounce of bubbled-over spaghetti sauce.

  7. 7 susi

    is it inappropriate for me to confess my love for you, JD? i mean honestly. anyone who makes me pee my pants with every blogpost is pretty much the awesomest. thanks for, once again, doing things so i don’t have to. i had no intention of cleaning my stove anytime soon (ugh!) but now i don’t even feel like i have to. it seems dangerous anyway. love it as usual!!!

    – sooz

  8. 8 Elle

    Beware those smooth glass top stoves — they are EVEN worse than the burner ones. I’ve burned stuff onto mine that is now PART of the stovetop. And that black glass is impossible to clean without streaks everywhere. Oh hell, I vote for no more cooking, let’s get take out., reduce the stress on the blogging universe. Thank you JD for the inspirational (as usual) post, and I truly loved the before and after photos, especially the strategically placed gleamy shine marks.

  9. 9 pawhealer

    Well….at least you clear yours.HA!

    Sorry, I have tagged you with a NEW meme…

  10. 10 JD

    Pawhealer: You wouldn’t belEEVE how dirty it is. It has needed cleaning for about 6 months. Gross.

    …skips off to check out this new meme!

  11. 11 JD

    Jeff: Yeah, I was thinking this might actually motivate me to cook more–and to burn more and make more messes. We can find blog ideas in the most mundane (and despised) events!

    Susi: Awww. I return your love a thousandfold! Now go clean yourself up! (Cleaning is extremely dangerous. You’re much better off having someone else do it for you, tho I’m not exactly volunteering.

    Elle: Thanks for the warning on the smooth-top stoves. Sounds like you could have quite an interesting food-mosaic pattern on your stove if you cook enough messes. (Thanks for noticing the “sparkle marks” on my shiny, clean stove!)

  12. 12 Cleaning Guy

    I love the ferret wrapped in fly paper idea, but surely a hamster in a velcro catsuit would be able to get into smaller spaces.

  13. 13 Clover

    Hi there

    I have a black Kitchen Aid stove and have tried everything to get it clean and streak free – but cant seem to get it done and the grease just wont go away – please help

  14. 14 House Cleaning Fairy

    Wow, that after picture of your stove really does sparkle! You should take care though to avoid those ‘poisonous’ fumes – they can be detrimental to your health. House cleaning products are loaded with toxic chemicals which one should not be inhaling!

    Love your sense of humor! You must crack Dave up all the time!

  15. 15 Natural

    LOL. i was rubbing my hands together when i read the title. this is almost like _____ to me. rhymes with, never mind. no, not never mind, but never mind as in forget it.

    dusting off one book. hahahah.

    cleaning really is fun. if you don’t enjoy it, i tell people they are not doing it right.

  16. 16 cleaning services honolulu

    ohh.. it’s a very funny story. Thanks fot posting it.

  17. 17 London Cleaner

    LOL this is funny.. Your stove picture was so silly! haha

  18. 18 Eureka Enviro Fan

    Ok…I totally loved that crazy before and after of your stove…especially the sparkles on the finished pic!

    I agree…as soon as you take the time to setup a blog and start posting to it…you should be able to stop all house cleaning!

    .-= Eureka Enviro Fan´s last blog ..Eureka Enviro – Everything About The Eureka Enviro Steam Mop =-.

  19. 19 Oven Cleaning

    It has to be the worst cleaning job in the house and you won’t get any help from anyone out there!

    Nice job in the end. Did you really just buy a new one, which in fact is much better than cleaning!

  20. 20 Josh Carter

    I certainly enjoy your sense of humor Award Winning Blogger. Why make a chore out of something that is just part of what we all have to do on a daily basis.
    .-= Josh Carter´s last blog ..House Cleaning Service 30006 =-.

  21. 21 Pete

    Cleaning stoves is a lot of work. I’m grateful for tin foil – keeps things a lot tidier.

  22. 22 K2 Incense

    Tin foil doesn’t have much of a visual appeal thugh however. Has anyone tried the new oven cleaner sponge thats been all over tv?

  23. 23 Katey Bloom

    I have personally found the easiest way to keep a clean stove is to eat out more often or to get take out food… works for me! :)

  24. 24 Cleaning Work

    Yes, I can very much relate to your blog post. Thanks for the humorous spin on things. For me the stove isn’t the problem, its that my husband can’t seem to his cooking inside the pots and pans when they are on the stove!

  25. 25 RFID Reader

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  26. 26 Nursery Decoration

    ;,. that seems to be a great topic, i really love it ,’~

  27. 27 Eureka Enviro Steamer

    I agree, now that I’m spending more time on my internet site, who has time for house cleaning?
    Eureka Enviro Steamer´s last blog post ..The Eureka Enviro Floor Steamer Leaves the Competition in the Dust


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