Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring Cleaning

I am not the spring cleaning type. I am not the cleaning type, in fact--I hate it. (I hate untidiness and clutter, and I like my home to look nice--so I'm not saying I don't clean, just that I don't enjoy it.) Why else would my heart's desire for a birthday gift been a robotic vacuum? (I am still loving that, by the way!)

However, recently I purchased, on a whim, some Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. I've used them before--however, the last time I used one was in our rented house that we heated with a wood stove. Where the walls had once been white but were coated in at least fifteen years' worth of life--dirt, fingerprints, and soot from the fire. Even a Magic Eraser couldn't do much magic on that kind of wall! Anyway, I bought them because I was in the cleaning aisle at Target, I remembered my friend Jenn's praises of them, and decided that they just might do the job on some things that have been annoying me of late.

Because we only moved into our home a year and a half ago, and painted the entire interior of the house within ten days of moving in, you might think the walls are in good shape. Lately, however, I have been fantasizing about the future color of each room, because I notice a smudge here, a fingerprint there, even a stray pencil or crayon mark here or there. My kids do not draw on the walls--but they have been known to carelessly walk around with a writing implement in hand. I have tried cleaning the offending marks--with damp rags, with Windex, with Mrs. Meyers Clean Day geranium cleaner (which I will say cleaned some things--but was left panting in the dust by these magic thingies!)

I decided that $3 was worth it, and if they didn't clean the walls I could use them to scrub out the refrigerator (something that is never regarded as a top cleaning priority around my home, and shows it dreadfully. I try to keep the shelves full to camouflage how disgusting the shelves actually are...) or the bathtub. However--it did work, and beautifully. I got a distressing amount of what I assume is nicotine off the dining room wallpaper, and I went all around the first floor, scrubbing at marks, wiping with a dish towel afterward, and toting around a bowl of water so I could clean off and redampen the magic eraser every so often. That water was about the foulest thing I've ever seen, by the way.

I removed dust in grooves of woodwork, fingerprints, smudges, pencil and crayon marks, some unmentionable stuff that one of my cats sneezes out all the time, even some coffee splattered on a baseboard. I scrubbed the bathtub with the end of one (on one floor I completely dissolved two and used about half of a third!) and the bits of flour and batter that get onto the mixer with the second. The stairway and the second floor still need to be done, but luckily I picked up another box!

Our only question is--what happens to them? As you clean, they magic? They don't appear to be in tiny bits all over the wall, and I tried desperately to see if tiny specks were flying into the air as I cleaned (I wondered if we were breathing the particles of it....that would spoil my fun, for sure!) but couldn't see a thing. It's a mystery. If anyone knows what happens to them, please enlighten me.


1 comment:

Chloe [-headbang-] said...

I'm not sure, but I'm guessing that the bars are like a kind of soap...after much use, it just disappears...You said you wiped it down afterwards, right? Well, the soap particles that were left on the wall were picked up and then once you cleaned the rags, dissolved in the water...

That's my guess, at least.