29 December 2009

The Domestic War and a Secret Weapon Unveiled

Do you know what I hate? Nooo, not that. No, not that either. Well, maybe that but…listen, it was a bloody rhetorical question so just pipe down and let me continue, will you? Sheesh.

I hate cleanser commercials. I do. I have an extra special hatred for any cleanser commercial that adds fake shiny sparkles to a bathroom or kitchen surface that has been swiped once by a brand new sponge held in a perfectly manicured hand…and OMG if there a “TING!” added somewhere in there, it’s enough to make me want to commit TV-a-cide. But generally speaking, I hate all cleanser commercials on a relatively equal basis.

The reason is quite simple really. They all LIE. Never once have I been able to manicure my hands and then take a fresh, new Scotch Brite, give a surface a quick spritz and swipe once and be done. Let’s also never mind the fact that no freshly cleaned surface of mine has ever sparkled and glinted or gone, “TING!” afterwards. Well, I say, “They All”, but what I really mean is, “All but one” and that (finally) brings me to the point of this post. Almost.

I wish to introduce you to my successful campaign against, and near-victory, over dirty grout (aka , the War on Grout or WOG). I would like to start this introduction by saying that this war was conducted in a clandestine fashion, usually after our daughter was asleep, and over a period of one year and two homes. It was never publicized because the last thing I wanted were protestors outside my door deriding me for being cruel to microbes and mold and burning me in effigy. It was a Special Force, solo mission and involved many strategic strikes, using the latest in cleaning weapons technologies offered to me by the likes of such WOG Defense Contractors as Lysol and Arm & Hammer.

As an aside, if you find that you would like to engage in a little WOG of your own, don’t use these technologies. They all, to a product, are made of EPIC FAIL.

In fact, it is perhaps because of the EPIC FAIL of these technologies that I have come to hate cleanser commercials so much. They are the WOG equivalent of Lockheed Martin successfully selling the Air Force a one winged, no armament fighter under purely false pretenses regarding it’s air supremacy and efficacy in air-to-air combat. Not that Lockheed Martin has done so, of course. And if they tried, I would hope that our powers that be would have more sense than I and see through all of the sparkles and TINGs and realize that they were being sold a big, fat, non-flying load of rubbish.

But I digress. The WOG, you see, started innocently enough at our last place. I was answering a call of nature and inspecting my surroundings when I realized that, in fact, the grout in the bathroom wasn’t black at all. After we moved in, I began a regular cleaning regimen which the last several tenants apparently failed to conduct and so eventually, months of routine cleaning had started to discolor the grout. Once I figured this out, WOG was on.

I’ll spare you the more gruesome details on the casualty count (several blistered hands and two arms that felt like I had done 100 push-ups in two minutes which I will never be able to do, no matter how fit I am, for days after each strike) and simply say that, no matter what technique or technology I applied, the black grout only turned a sort of spotty tea color which just served to enrage me even more. Mocked by grout!

This war continued in our new home which fortunately, had not been neglected in the same fashion, but neither had the grout been sealed properly and so, discoloration began in earnest after only a few months.

I employed the same technologies and strategies as I had at the old place thinking (erroneously), that because the grout infiltration had not yet reached Taliban levels here, the weapons might have some effect. Um, no.

Last week though, I was saved. A humble, bald, be-jeweled warrior, known to me only as Mr. Clean, brought me a new weapon: His Magic Eraser. And it WORKED! Now, I’ll grant, the simple little white sponge that is apparently filled with pixie dust does require some muscle work and a going over. Still no magic, manicured, swipe and TING! But it worked better than the baking soda/water mix, the bleach mix, the straight bleach, and the various products and brushes designed (rather, marketed) for just this very task that left me sore, exhausted, and in tears of impotent rage.

The only downside is that our unassuming little magic, pixie dust filled sponge crumbles quickly on the gritty grout surface. But dammit, it works. It WORKS! VICTORY IS MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and in keeping with the new laws of blogging, let me present you with the following disclaimer:

This blogger has received NO free products from Mr. Clean or the Magic Eraser fairies. She has never been contracted, contacted or solicited to extol the virtues of the aforementioned product and is doing so without pay and only because she finally found a $#(&^@% cleaning product whose commercial she can believe in. If, however, you are reading this and happen to work for Mr. Clean and/or his Magic Eraser Fairies, please don’t hesitate to comment and provide me with free goodies because, while the war is essentially over, the subsequent occupation and peace keeping mission will go on forever.

Now pardon me while I go and collapse in the heap of maniacal, slightly deranged laughter that occurs only in those who, after a lifetime of toiling at their one obsession have finally achieved success and know that their world domination is now imminent.


stephanie said...

okay, we have to talk about how much i have LOVED the mr. clean magic eraser ever since the day my mother brought it home a couple years ago (maybe more?) and said OMG YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS.

there, we just talked about it.

but seriously, it's awesome. all that white ikea stuff with the mysterious 'foil' finish i thought was an awesome modern idea? this is the only thing that cleans all the marks off. the toes of my chucks which in college got covered in printmaking materials - we are talking straight up ACID and other chemicals here, good as new!

oh magic eraser, how i love you, even if it means i must be kind of a grownup now if i'm lusting after a cleaning product.

Uhura said...

You should share this secret in the Resources Room @ OMS...

I have the feeling that you are not the only one who has fought this battle - but you may be the only one who actually won!


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