Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Housekeeping Woes

So. We aren't the best housekeepers here at Casa de Childbearinghips. The house is clean(ish) but we have cleaning ladies. Having a crawling child has forced me (yet again) to do more floor cleaning than I have in the past, but we are pretty lax about things around here. We don't sort laundry by colors/whites, after washing them we will keep then in the baskets for a long while before putting them away, I don't iron clothes or cloth napkins (or sheets! I didn't even know people DID that until my Aunt mentioned that she did. I was shocked.). I will often leave the dishes for the following morning, I use Dream Dinners for about 75% of our meals, and we often eat dinner on the couch instead of in the dining room. I have random stacks of mail around the house. I often depend on the dogs for cleaning up after baby dinner time. I do admit to learning a lot about stain removal since the children have arrived, though.

It's not awful - I'm certainly not embarrassed to have people drop in without calling first.... but I do make a big effort to clean when people like my mother or Aaron's grandmother visits. It's not a showcase house by any stretch of the imagination.

This system has worked fine for us - I tidy up/put away things every other week before the cleaning ladies come, and we do laundry when we feel like it.

We have had 3 cleaning crisis in the last week and they are somewhat related.

Crisis 1: When Abby went to the vet a long while back, they suggested that we put the dogs on fish oil. A few squirts in their food. Seemed like a good idea, but it made both dogs throw up everywhere so we stopped (boxers have weird stomach issues). Someone left the bottle on the downstairs changing area. It got knocked over onto the changing table counter (unfinished wood). The whole bathroom smelled like fish oil. I threw away the oil, and the smell lessened. A week passes, the smell is still there. I pick up the changing pad, and there is fish oil soaked into the changing pad. I throw it out and put the cover upstairs to wash. I used all the cleaners I have int he house (clorox green surface cleaner and some other lame green cleaner). It's been another week, and the awful fish oil smell is still in the bathroom. Jen? Any ideas?

You may ask 'Unfinished Wood? For a changing table?' and to that I answer - it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Crisis 2. I went away this weekend with a girlfriend, and Aaron, thinking he was being very helpful, did a bunch of laundry. Before I left, I had done a load of hand wash only hand knit sweaters. I didn't take them out of the washer. They were little baby sweaters, he didn't even notice them, threw in jeans and towels and now they are felted into little tiny sweaters. Little tiny sweaters that took me many many MANY hours to knit. I still get sad thinking of it. I cried when I saw them.

Crisis 3. The final bit of laundry that Aaron did involved the fish oil changing pad cover. I assume he started this load on Sunday. I opened up the washer this morning (minimum of three days marinating in the washer) and was assaulted by fish oil smell. It was disgusting. I threw the stuff in the dryer (bad move - but I did add extra dyer sheets? Hoping that would help!?) and then was greeted at the end of the cycle with HOT fish oil smell. I did a load of laundry after that, so the good news is that the smell isn't in the washer/dryer - any clothes NOT in that load smell ok - but it seems that I have a whole load of laundry that now smells like fish oil. I just did another load with presoak/heavy duty/extra rinse.... but still smell fish oil. Again, Jen? Ideas?

So - I'm wishing a little bit that I was a Susie Homemaker and maybe wouldn't have had these things occur to begin with (you know, since I wouldn't have had open containers of fish oil hanging around and all laundry would be sorted and not left in the washing machine). But I'm not. Wah.


HereWeGoAJen said...

Okay, yes. I have ideas. Cloth diapers have made me good at laundry. My first thought is Dawn. The blue bottle that they use on the wildlife. Rub it (lots of it) on to the oil on the changing pad. Let it soak. And then put some in with the load of wash that it transferred to. But be careful, dishwashing soap like Dawn isn't meant to go in washers because it gets all sudsy and that can make your washer overflow. So watch that. If you have a sensitive washer, you might want to do some hand rinsing before you wash. And if that doesn't work, buy some Rockin Green diaper detergent in Hard Rock (they sell sample sizes specifically for this purpose) and soak overnight (or even longer) in the bathtub in this. Then wash like normal.

For the wood, that is trickier. You can try the Dawn on that too. But it sounds like the oil may have soaked into the wood and that is not going to rinse out. For that, I'd probably focus on getting the smell out instead of getting the oil out. I'd use a non-smelly oil to oil the whole changing table. And then maybe put the whole thing in the garage for a while. Newspaper is good at soaking up smells. When I set the rice on fire in the microwave, putting it in the garage stuffed full of newspaper for a week is the only thing that worked. Baking powder and vinegar are good at taking out smells too. (Used separately- together they neutralize each other.)

Danielle said...

I am also going based on cloth diapering experience and say that maybe BacOut might work. And it definitely smells better than fish oil.

Jen said...

Oh so sad about the sweaters. Husbands and hand knits never mix well in my experience. I want to cry for you.

BigP's Heather said...

I say vinegar. Cups sat around the house will soak up smells. So maybe rubbing it into the wood might help? Worth a shot. Inexpensive to try and if it doesn't work then maybe staining and sealing the wood so the smell is sealed in??

For the cloth I would try the Dawn and if that doesn't work I would try some vinegar in the wash too.

sukeyknits said...

#2 got me - so sorry to hear about that and coming from good intentions to boot. You never know though M. might love them for dress-up of her stuffed animals and dolls. Hopefully they have a second life. I'm curious to see what they look like.

Christy said...

For the smelly laundry you can always try throwing it back in the washer and adding vinegar to the rinse. Good luck!

Deborah said...

I am so relieved to hear you aren't a perfect housekeeper. After your last post about raking and washing the car, I was feeling very inadequate. I am sorry to hear about the sweaters, though. My mom likes to knit sweaters for my son, and I've told her not to make anything that isn't machine washable (this after I shrunk one -also sad).

Jill said...

here here to the lack of a "perfectly clean house" - I can tell you one thing, I bet our houses look similar (though, perhaps yours is cleaner since I no longer have a house cleaner...or I do, but she is so tired at the end of the day she can't seem to do any cleaning).

The sweaters. The sweaters. NOOOOOOO!!!!! I would have cried too.

vinegar and baking soda for smells. Yes to dawn. You can put vinegar right into your wash load.

maresi said...

Before I read the comments I knew Jen was going to say original blue Dawn. I use it on clothing whenever I get a spot of oil or butter on a shirt and it always comes out in the wash. I also used it when my husband used PAINT THINNER on a pair of pants to try to get some wood stain out, then without rinsing the paint thinner he put the pants into a load of MY CLOTHES. Everything reeked of paint thinner until I used Dawn in the wash. So, Jen is correct. I would do lots of extra rinses to make sure all the dawn is out.

JenM said...

Okay, I don't have any helpful hints like the other posters here, but I wanted to tell you that I can relate! Well, not to the fish oil part, and frankly that part makes me feel sick. But, we are also bad housekeepers, and laundry is such a tricky thing to remember to change over.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today! I realize I am like 5 minutes late, I hope you will forgive me, I was reading some of your older posts :-)

Cate said...

oh, the sweaters. that hurts.

I have no advice on the other parts, I'm a terrible housekeeper.