I read an article that gave explicit instructions on how to “deep clean” one’s house. It didn’t go into the exact reasons why this is even necessary, but it laid out in great detail what a person must do in order to consider their dwelling actually clean.

It involved Q-tips, an old toothbrush, white vinegar, bleach, baking soda, liquid soap, rags, someone to move your refrigerator, stove, and all of your heavy furniture so you can get under or behind them. You would also need buckets, mops, a clean broom (you have to soak THAT in a dilution of bleach and water before you can even consider using it), a vacuum, ammonia water (for the windows), newspaper (for the windows), and a hearty breakfast.

I was exhausted at the list of necessary equipment. But wait. The Q-tips are for cleaning out the gaps where your  storm window fits into the frame. I have never noticed those gaps, but at close inspection, there is some dirt in there, But it has been there for at least a quarter of a century, so I see no reason to disturb it.

They recommend also that you remove your heating vent covers, vacuum inside there, and then put the vent covers in the dishwasher to clean them. This is absolutely insane.

The toothbrush is for your grouting. I laughed out loud at that one.

They suggest you wash down your walls. Why?

Windows, inside and out, with ammonia solution (you won’t be able to breathe), using the wadded newspaper to wipe without any streaks. I admit I have done this in younger days, but now I just Google Window Washing Services.

Mop all the floors. I do this. I do it in the kitchen regularly, because ketchup spills show up like bloodstains on my white linoleum. I am getting rid of the white linoleum. I have not, however, mopped my hardwood floors since my grandson was at the crawling stage and coming to visit. My granddaughter is now a toddler. No need for that any longer.

They suggest you take your window blinds down every six months and use a solution of mild soap and water to clean each louver. I have had mini blinds for twenty five years. I have yet to do this. I might run a Swiffer cloth over them this year. I might.

Wash your baseboards regularly. I would never, ever think of this. However, I have two cats who like to back up against them and spray. So this is one thing I actually do.

Degrease your kitchen cupboard doors and cupboard tops. Or, you can hire a good painter.

Clean behind the refrigerator and stove. This will send you right to bed with a migraine after you find the raisins, the three inch layer of dust and pet hair, the fifty five plastic rings from milk containers, that suspicious looking gray lump, and the dingy pink sock.

My advice is to do what I call a surface clean. Wipe down the countertops and use a little Windex on them. Lift up the toaster and de-crumb. Swiff everywhere that shows. Vacuum. Write your name in the dust on the coffee table.

Put the vacuum away in the front hall closet and go to the movies.


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