SO MANY PEOPLE have done serious major unfucking lately, and IT’S AWESOME. I couldn’t be prouder. But once that initial high wears off, you need to focus on maintenance, or you’re going to end up right back where you started. I have a short list of things that, if you can make them habits, will prevent about 75% of the unfuckery that got you to the bad place to begin with. Bonus: most of these take one minute or less, and none are more than five minutes.
So I drink A LOT of tea—I’m honestly really sad I didn’t take before and after pictures here because I have this plastic Elizabeth Warren travel mug that I use for at least two cups of tea a day at work (and let’s be honest, that’s a conservative estimate), and it was really, really stained. I showed my brother and he was suitably impressed, like, that is years of grime there. And I’m like, no, Niko, see it’s an Elizabeth Warren mug that Ben gave me when he was working on her campaign. In November.
I guess what I am saying is that this mug was really, really stained, and I am mildly ashamed of myself.
Anyway! I’d seen on Unfuck Your Habitat that denture cleaner worked on this, and I was curious! So I bought a bunch of denture cleaners (apparently you cannot just buy one or two, you must buy at least 70) and Niko and I did an experiment.
I was actually really disappointed, because I wanted to pour out the cleaner after the three minutes and there was GLORIOUS SPARKLING WHITENESS like on commercials, but instead there was no change, and we were like, I guess that doesn’t work!
But then I scrubbed it with my finger, and the grime came away! And when I went at it with a sponge, it was all over.
So, thanks, denture cleaner! And I have enough of you it will probably last until I actually need dentures, as a bonus.
You can use the zillion extra tablets for a lot of stuff: water bottles, the toilet bowl, the coffee pot, any container that has an opening too small to fit a sponge into; the possibilities are endless!
Feeling lazy, but your bathtub and shower are gross? Fill the tub up with hot water and some cleaner, let it sit, then use your mop to scrub the walls and tub. So much easier than a sponge or a scrub brush.
Top ten cleaning products:
Top ten uses for vinegar:
Top ten general tips:
It’s mineral deposits, and you can get it off with vinegar or CLR. If your shower head detaches, just soak it for a few hours. If not, saturate a paper towel with whatever cleaner you’re using, put it in a plastic sandwich or storage bag, arrange the bag so the paper towel covers the affected part of the showerhead, and use a rubber band to keep it in place.
When folding fitted sheets, you want to end up with all four elastic corners tucked into each other. SO:
So this weekend we didn’t have anything planned, besides a standard “recharge by hanging around at home”, and I took this opportunity to finally get som Unfucking done in our house. Now, before I found Unfuck Your Habitat I would have started a marathon cleaning session on Saturday, cleaned until it hurt too bad to continue and then collapsed with less than half of the place done.
Together me and Husband managed to get the floors vacuumed, windows in living room cleaned (these are the ones we see most often so therefor most important), bathroom wiped down, kitchen tidied and laundry done. All of this over two days with plenty of rest (read: knitting and gaming) in between to keep aggravating our shoulders and backs.
This is not all of the apartment, not even near, there are still some spaces that are utterly cluttered, but it’s something and it makes me feel better.
Ending this by sharing my window cleaning tips, best way to get them clean without having to use window cleaner (makes me sneeze) and still get no stripyness:
- Fill a bucket with warm water, add a touch of ordinary dish washing soap (and when I say a touch I mean a squirt or so in 5 liters of water)
- Soak a large sponge or rag and lightly squeeze the water out of it. You want it to be wet but not to drip all over the floor.
- Wipe down the windows, you want them to get really wet to dissolve all the gunk on there, rub on any stubborn spots like bird shit or masses of fingerprints.
- Take a dry fabric, micro fibre rag, dish towel or old t-shirt and wipe the windows dry. I like to drape it over my hand and then start at the upper left corner, wipe to the upper right, down a hand width and then to the left again repeating the same pattern until I reach the bottom. This gets rid of the water and with that the possibility of stripes.
- Do the same for the outside of the window.
- Extra bonus round of you have double or triple glass windows, separate the different layers and do the same. Usually not very necessary (depending on the air quality where you live).
Easy, fast and environmentally friendly. I thank my very brief stint as a cleaner at a hotel for this technique.
I’d post a gif to celebrate my unfucking but I’ve already “borrowed” enough time from work so I’ll end here.
Laundry and dishes have three steps:
They can be used to clean:
Every time I get an ask involving a stain where my answer is “rubbing alcohol” (ballpoint pen, hair dye, etc.), someone always pipes in that you should use hairspray instead. Here’s the thing: hairspray works on stains because of the alcohol content in it. However, it also has a lot of added ingredients, like the polymers or gums that make it sticky, and fragrance, and sometimes silicone for shine and water-resistance. Those added ingredients can leave behind their own residues, and can interfere with stain lifting.
So, pick up a bottle of rubbing alcohol. It’s a buck or two. Comes in handy.
that’s amazing, the denture tablets. I’d have never thought.
Also helpful for water bottles and coffee- and tea-stained cups.
Denture tablets. And next time, spray the Tupperware with non-stick cooking spray before loading up the leftovers.
OxiClean is pretty great for this, or you can try pre-soaking the pillowcase in a sinkful of warm water and dish soap (the kind designed to cut through grease!), then a good rinse and launder as usual.
Bleach should almost always be in a 10:1 water:bleach ratio. I tend not to water the vinegar down; I just use it straight for most things.