A Plethora of Cleaning Supplies

clothespinsIn my continuing quest to purge the hovel, I discovered that I own an awful lot of cleaning supplies, which might not be so strange if I was some kind of a clean freak, but I’m not. Let’s just say that I’m not exactly known far and wide for my commitment to cleaning.

I’m thinking that Comet must have been on sale at one time or another AND I must have decided that I needed it. What else could explain the fact that I have six cans of it? The only plausible explanation is that they were 3/$1 — and, ya know, who can resist that kind of a bargain? Apparently, not me. One of them is open, so I must have used it somewhere. I don’t remember using it, but I must have. I know this much, no one else in this house used Comet for anything. I can guarantee you that. I’ll tell you something else — if my life hinged upon the ability of either Fang or Fangette to define even a single use for Comet, I’d be a dead duck.

I have enough Windex to clean every single window in The Seagram’s building — twice. Not that I’m the least bit interested in such an endeavor, but if I’m called into action, at least I know I have the supplies. If the next Mayor of New York City isn’t as vigilant as Mr. Bloomberg regarding those pesky “squeegie guys” — the ones who used to, prior to Mr. Bloomberg’s tenure, station themselves outside of the Lincoln Tunnel — and other Hudson River crossings — and annoy people into giving them $1 in exchange for semi-clean windows — I could help to support their crack habits by donating my excess Windex. My surplus window cleaner would, I fear, buy a great deal of crack.

Given the many bottles of toilet bowl cleanser that I had stashed away, one would think that I spent all of my free time keeping that area Roto virus free. I do not. Don’t get me wrong, I halfheartedly give it a scrub a couple of times a week, but I’m sure it wouldn’t pass muster with the health inspector. For the record, I don’t even use a commercial product when I do the bowl. I pour in some bleach, let it soak, swish the toilet brush around, flush, and I’m done. So, why I have seven bottles of toilet bowl cleanser is anybody’s guess.

I have a thing for pine-scented cleaning products. The funny thing is that I have plenty of lemon-, orange-, and lavender-scented stuff laying around, but only a half-full bottle of some off-brand pine-y product. There really is no explanation for why I would ever purchase products that are not pine-scented. I don’t use them. To me, if I invest my time cleaning, it had better smell like Christmas when I’m finished.

I also stumbled upon a stockpile of starch — both in spray and liquid form. I must have been sleep shopping when I purchased these items. I cannot remember the last time I had occasion to starch anything. And, if there was a time when or a garment that needed starching, the odds that I would have used liquid starch are about the same as the odds of me winning the Mega ball lottery jackpot — because I don’t even know how to use liquid starch (nor do I play the Mega ball lottery). Other than steam, the only thing I use when I absolutely HAVE to iron something is a product called Magic Sizing. The last time I recall seeing a can of spray starch it was in my grandmother’s hand — she used to use it on her nursing caps. As my grandmother passed away in 1981 (and most nurses stopped wearing caps before then), I would estimate that this memory dates back to the late 1970’s. Perhaps I purchased the spray starch because it reminded me of her?

Possibly the most puzzling thing I uncovered was a basket of clothespins. Clothespins! I don’t have a clothesline — and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t use it. I know one person who still uses a clothesline. She lives on a pretty busy street. Once in a while I’ll pass by, take note of what’s hanging on the line, and text her something like this: “I see you stripped the beds today!” She and I have had an ongoing dialogue about her “airing her clean laundry” for many years. She claims that she likes the scent imparted by sheets that have been dried in the sun. I contend that she’s too cheap to use the dryer. In her neighborhood the only scent those sheets are absorbing are the ones produced by bus fumes and Burger King.

She can say whatever she wants. She may be kidding herself, but she’s not fooling me. Just the other day I drove by and saw towels hanging on the line. Towels! Have you ever used a line-dried towel? You may as well just cut up some cardboard and put it in the linen closet — that’s how abrasive and absorbent a line-dried towel is. Sun-dried scent, my ass.

It isn’t lost on me that I have hoarding tendencies. What I don’t understand is why I don’t hoard the things I need. Like, for example, Q-tips and hand sanitizer — we’re currently out of both and, for the life of me, I just cannot seem to remember to replenish these supplies. Maybe I could fashion a cotton swab out of a clothespin and some cotton balls (the current cotton ball inventory is hovering around 2,000). As for the hand sanitizer? Well, why not just use the Windex? Hey, it worked for the guy in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, didn’t it?

photo credit: clothespins

28 thoughts on “A Plethora of Cleaning Supplies

  1. I had 17 witty things to say about cleaning supplies, and I forgot them all when I got to the line about sheets that smell like Burger King.

    That’s seriously dreamy to me. Like, more dreamy than a pretty 70s nurse in a nurse cap.


    • javaj240 says:

      Only 17?

      I never thought that there might be someone out there for whom sheets that smell like Burger King would be a good thing, LMAO!

      For the record, my grandmother, while still nursing and wearing a cap into the 1970s, probably would not have fit your description of “dreamy”… although she was certainly a beautiful woman in her heyday, which would have fallen somewhere in the late 30s – early 40s!

      You are funny, though, and I loved your comment. So, I’m going to check out your blog, too! Thanks so much for visiting mine!


  2. […] Continue reading this post on Jackie DeMuro’s blog,  Ambling and Rambling […]


  3. […] to consolidate these potions and poisons with some of their more accessible compatriots — the ones that were hanging out under the kitchen sink. Consolidation is the key to organization! At least I think it is. I have very little experience in […]


  4. peachyteachy says:

    Ship the clothespins and Comet (also, incidentally, the name of a hip Indie band. No it’s not.) up to peachyland for my classroom! Starch? LIQUID starch? Were you under the influence of bleach fumes?


  5. Paula cavalier says:

    your abundance of cleaning supplies is equal to my abundance of mascara . You fell for the ad and believed it work work miracles no ?
    The clothes pins I’m guessing was a child’s school project or school fundraiser. but the starch is the true mystery I can’t help u there I haven’t ironed anything in 25 years


    • javaj240 says:

      Have you found one that’s actually waterproof? I’d be interested in THAT product! I ALWAYS have “raccoon eyes” by the end of every day. So annoying!

      Yeah, the starch is a head scratcher, that’s for sure!


  6. shalilah2002 says:

    I seem to have cleaning stuff that never out of. It’s cleaning stuff that I hardly or never use. I just realize this. I’m almost out of the stuff I use all the time but I still have an overabundance of cleaning stuff. Well maybe I’ll try that when I am running out of the other. Simple yes. No I can’t replace my glass cleaner. It took me a long time just to figure all this out.


  7. The toilet bowl cleaner can be used to create some pretty satisfactory home-made fireworks


  8. I can so relate to this. My over supply takes the form of oven cleaner and insect repellent. Insects we still have, but I’ve had a self-cleaning oven for 10 years. The problem with insect repellent is it’s rarely with me when I need it. It sits on a shelf chuckling, “She forgot us again!” The oven cleaner? Well, I read once that it can be used to clean aluminum window frames. Someday I’m going to try that–if the pressure remains in the cans for another 10 years.

    Thanks for the day brightener!


    • javaj240 says:

      You’re welcome. Thank you for reading and for sharing your deep, dark secrets with me, LOL! Your response actually reminded me that I could use some oven cleaner!


  9. I am constantly on the hunt for the magic cleaning product that will make cleaning seem like, well, like not cleaning. I lack your volume of supplies, but I make up for it in variety.


  10. I’m not alone! Hallelujah! If all the supermarkets in the world shut down suddenly, I’d have enough cleaning supplies to last us all until infinity. Why the compulsion? I guess I figure buying it is the same as cleaning – do one and the other happens automatically.
    I believe I come by it honestly – my dad once bought a flat of giant tins of dog food and brought it home proudly. My mother took one look at the tins, and said gently, “Gordon, we don’t have a dog”.
    Thanks for my first morning chuckle,


    • javaj240 says:

      OMG… THAT is one of the funniest things I’ve heard in a long time — “we don’t have a dog!” HA!

      You may be on to something with the cleaning supply buying thing — I had never thought that somewhere in the dark and cobwebby part of my brain, I equate buying them with using them. I am SOOO using this excuse from now on. Thank you!


  11. Yes, the Windex bottles seem to multiply in my house. Must be a Windex gremlin here.


  12. If you need to, Jacqueline, you can come clean my house any time! Your posts are always endlessly entertaining, and a great way to start my day!


    • javaj240 says:

      Thanks! And, no, I won’t be hiring myself out any time soon — I find cleaning and reorganizing to be such a slog. The only reason I discovered these cleaning supplies was because I had to clean out the closet so that I could paint the hallway, LOL!

      Oh, Happy New Year!, by the way!


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