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.