Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cleaning Tips #1 - Magic Rags

Today feels different.  I'm not raring to sew as usual.  Think I will clean.  You don't know about my cleaning addiction yet.  Actually, it is more relaxed these days.  I'm not constantly jumping up to dust something -- just occasionally jumping up to dust something.
If that was me instead of an elephant, you would have an accurate picture of me.  Even the apron, the vacuum and the "magic rag" in her hand.  Not so much the feather duster.  Mine are long and have fluffy stuff on the end.  Phylly made me two aprons for my birthday last year, and I love them both.  Here is one.  

Everyone who has known me over an hour knows about "magic rags".  I usually have one in my hand.  I wish I could say it was all my idea, but it wasn't.  I -- being a person who not only can TAKE advice but relish it -- learned this from my sister who cleans houses -- although she gets mad if you say that -- she says she "details" them.  Whatever. 

Here's what you do with the Magic Rags which are actually microfiber cloths that I buy at Dollar General.  They are the best size and weight for housekeeping.

You throw them all in the washer and set it to RINSE and SPIN.  Don't ever wash them with soap unless they are really dirty.  I do run them through an entire cycle at least once a week.

Then you take them all out and stack them in a pile on top of the dryer.  DO NOT put them in the dryer unless you want them dry to fold and put away.  They wear out faster if you dry them.  If you dry them with other things, they tend to stick to them. 

I just leave them there on the dryer all day long, and I grab one every time I need to clean or dust something:  the storm door glass -- a mirror -- a sink or countertop -- woodwork everywhere, glass table top -- tv screen -- pictures.  I can't even think of anything I don't clean with them.  (I never clean toilets with them.  I use disposable paper towels for that.)  When I get a cloth all used up, I throw it right back in the washer and rinse/spin the next morning.

My other sister is a cleaning dynamo too.  You could eat off her toilet seats.  It is our Mother's fault.  She decided when we were in diapers that she would teach us to clean and cook and then she could sit and sew or sit and read or sit and supervise or whatever.  It is true.  She didn't just tell us to pull the canister vac around or rub a few places with a dust cloth.  One cleaning day -- which was always all day Saturday -- when we were older -- she said we were going to have a cleaning contest.  She said she was going to go get a prize to give the child that cleaned the best.  Three girls: Joy, Janice and Judy.  One boy, James, but he didn't have to do anything because he was too little.  Besides, he was later trained to fix lawnmowers that Daddy found at the dump and then sell them.  But, I digresss....

Mom went to buy the prize which turned out to be a clock radio.  We all cleaned our designated areas of the house and waited for inspection.  I -- being extremely competitive and not one to be beaten by two younger siblings -- did a very thorough cleaning including the windowsills.  It was a good thing too because when Mom arrived to inspect, she was wearing white gloves.  She stuck out the pointy finger of her right gloved hand and ran it over the windowsill I had cleaned.  Not a speck of dust.  I won the radio. 

CORRECTION ADDED LATER:  My sister has emailed me and informed me that it was SHE who won the radio -- it did not have a clock and it was black.  Highly possible.  Hopefully, I got the rest of the story


So may restaurants and public places have dirty air vents and baseboards.  I have the worst habit of looking at baseboards -- ceilings -- air vents -- behind toilets and doors, and I look for dust bunnies and cobwebs.  Well, I don't really LOOK for them.  I'm just a nut who notices them.  My Mother trained me VERY well.  I will actually get up and start cleaning a place sometimes.  I've been in people's bathrooms and unrolled toilet paper -- bent down -- and swiped dust and cobwebs off the floor and baseboards -- mostly behind the door.  I know.  Sick! 

Yep, it has actually happened.  Nobody knew I had been cleaning behind the door though.

My daughter used to hate that I would vacuum and dust when I came to her house.  I never got that.  I would LOVE someone to do that for me -- if it ever wasn't already done, that is.

This may explain why my best friend in the whole world, Phylly, won't let me ever come to her house.

One more nifty trick that will save you a little money -- and you probably all knew it before I did -- is this:
I used to cut my sheets of fabric softener in HALF.  Now, I cut them in THIRDS.  They work every bit as well as whole sheets, and I figure I am getting three boxes for the price of one. 

Okay.  I better not get Mary Ellen mad at me here.  That's all the cleaning tips I have for today.  Hope you all are enjoying 2012 and getting lots done.  Tomorrow, I will post Blouse #5 out of yellow knit.  I got it nearly done today except for hems and sleeves.

Hugs, Joy


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Camelia Brown: Nice blog. Really funny and helpful. Thanks for posting.

  3. Since I found you, I have been reading your older blogs. I had foot surgery three weeks ago, and have to stay off my foot for another three weeks. I can't sew right now, so I've been crocheting and reading. I very much enjoy your writing. Thanks for the dryer sheet tip!


TO COMMENT: Scroll down a bit and find the word "comments". It may have a number in front of it. Click on it, and you will be able to leave a somment. I realize you have to choose Google, Facebook or Anonymous or ? to post a comment. If you choose "Anonymous", you will be able to post a comment, but please leave your first name in your comment so I know you aren't a machine.

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Hugs, Joy