Just a thought... Housework is something you do that nobody notices until you don’t do it. [Author Unknown ]
Hope your weekend was warm and wonderful. Ours was spent up ladders, on our knees and toiling away in rubber gloves. (Here's a tip: if you have longer nails and don't want to destroy the fingertips of rubber gloves, use a cotton ball or half of a makeup remover pad shoved into the tips. Saves your nails from bumping hard surfaces; saves the glove tips. Thanks to big sister Cindy for that one!) But there's a much bigger cleaning tip coming up - one that could literally be a life saver.
After a ferry ride and four-hour drive, Rob and I were in West Kelowna helping younger sister Leslie move into the upstairs, while readying an apartment for rent in the downstairs of her new home. The first part of the job (the total of which has taken the better part of three days) included hanging pictures, mounting a TV, changing out light fixtures and so on; the usual efforts that turn a house into a home.
The downstairs was a different story. Bright and spacious, it was left empty but dirty. Oh, so dirty. I know no one ever looks at the top of their cupboards, but I can't even describe it and if you're having a nice coffee right now, you don't want me to. Let's just say grease is the word.
So, seeing the dirt and mess left, among other places, on top of the stove, when I opened the oven and saw the caked-on burnt stuff inside, we sounded the alarm. No amount of steaming would work, so we decided, Leslie and I, that Easy-Off would have to do its trick. Two hours of baking and then scrubbing and rinsing later, it was shiny clean. I don't think I've cleaned an oven by hand since I was in my twenties. The more modern self-cleaning feature has come to our rescue ever since.
So why the heck didn't this oven have...oh, wait - it did. As I closed it up, tired but proud of the job I did (with all ten nails still intact) I saw the button that said CLEAN. So why didn't I check first? Because - and follow me here - I figured that if it had a self-clean feature, it would be clean! ARGH!
Oh, well. That would've taken hours and possibly smelled up the place. And we didn't want that, with showings happening as soon as yesterday.
But the pièce de résistance was what Cindy discovered during our first day of cleaning Friday. She opened the dryer, and this is what emerged from the lint screen.
Then, after Rob unscrewed it, Cindy lifted out the housing for the screen. You won't believe what was there; we sure didn't.
She started pulling out the fluffy mess like scarves emerging seemingly endlessly from a clown's cuff, and she yelled, "You guys have got to come and see this!" We were gobsmacked. How did their clothes ever get dry? Did they have to run it for hours?
I guess inspectors don't check dryers (he sure didn't test the smoke detector which had been deliberately disconnected) because this didn't pass any kind of safety test. Lint screens have to be cleared after every load of drying and take a look under the bigger piece of plastic that holds it in while you're at. You might not want to know what's there, but cleaning it could save your family's life.
When I'm giving cleaning tips, it's time to go home. That's what we're doing: heading back to the island after a stop in one of my favourite towns on earth, Osoyoos, on the BC/Washington border. I'll be back here with you tomorrow.
(@erindavis on Twitter)