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Thursday, December 22, 2011

98

Ask a Clean Person: Holiday Disasters

I have menorah issues every single year. What is the best way to clean candle wax off everything? I put a sheet of wax paper under the menorah but even then I still have to clean wax out of the menorah itself and it takes forever, especially since it's an eight-day long holiday.

If you promise to invite me over for latkes (never met a latke I didn’t love) I’ll tell you this secret, but shhhh... don’t tell anyone else (unless they’re also going to invite me over for latkes): spray the menorah with a light coating of cooking spray (you know, like PAM?) right before you begin festivaling the lights; when the eight days are done and you’ve eaten more gelt than you thought humanly possible the wax will sort of slide right off. You’ll want to wash the menorah afterwards with warm soapy water to remove any residual wax and/or PAM.

If your menorah is made of something you don’t want to cover in cooking spray, you can also put it in the freezer. Once the wax is frozen you’ll be able to pop it off pretty easily.

One last idea, which isn’t really recommended so much as something cool I wanted to share because I am a huge nerd: I went on the candlelight tour of The Wyckoff House the other day, and because the group was small the guide told us we could go off topic and ask loads of questions if we wanted; you can imagine what I asked about. Anyway! Back in the day, the method for getting wax off of candleholders was to boil them. The wax would float to the top of the boiling pot, and could be skimmed off and reused. So if you’re feeling old time-y, you could try that!

I had a holiday party to go to and I wanted to impress people, so I was making this really wicked delicious but super-easy chocolate cake. The first step involved blending butter with boiling hot water, in a bowl. (Maybe you can see where this is going.) I lost track of what I was doing for ONE SECOND, seriously, I swear that's all it was, and then the mixer slipped and the bowl slipped and suddenly EVERY SINGLE SURFACE in the kitchen was coated in butter water. Including the floor. Including MYSELF. I wanted to cry because I literally had no idea how to clean huge amounts of butter off, like, FIVE SQUARE FEET OF KITCHEN FLOOR, or, say, the entire top of the stove including all four burners, or MY HAIR, and on and on and on.

So: since it’s the holidays and we are all cooking delicious but highly unhealthy foods involving large amounts of butter and oil and chocolate and grease and OTHER THINGS THAT STAIN COPIOUSLY, what is the best way to get those things out of your clothes, off the kitchen floor, and out of the carpet?

Oh my goodness, are you sure you didn’t want to start crying because you’d splashed boiling butter water on yourself??? Ouch! Are you okay? Ladies, I want you to be careful out there this holiday season! Allow me to put on my baking columnist hat for a second, and suggest that if you are going to be doing a lot of cooking for the holidays you might want to invest in a tube of burn cream like Weleda’s Burn-Care. I have a similar product, that’s unfortunately been discontinued, and it really is a lifesaver.

But back to cleaning. There are two main things we like to talk about when we talk about grease issues in the house:

(1) ammonia;
(2) dish soap.

Ammonia is what you’ll want to use when you have the butter disasters all over your kitchen; it will cut that grease so fast your head will spin. Dilute it with water and wipe all your surfaces down with rags or sponges, dumping and refilling the wash water as necessary. If you don’t have ammonia on hand, or hate it on principle, do the same thing but with a dishsoap and water solution. Dawn is particularly great for this.

Dishsoap is also a really great option for splatters and stains on fabric, especially when you’re cooking because it’s right on hand and you can get after that stain straightaway. Use a very, very, very little amount on an ever-so-slightly damp cloth or sponge (so: put a wee blurt of soap on the cloth/sponge; wet it; wring it out; keep on wringing; there, now you’re ready) and lightly chh-chh-chh at the fabric, making sure not to rub the stain in. You just want to sort of swat it away. Am I making sense at all? Video, I swear one day there will be video.

Also you said that cake was “wicked delicious,” which suggest to me that you might be from New England, in which case might I recommend that you use a product called Bona for ongoing maintenance of your floors? *rolls around howling with laughter*

Jolie, how do I get frosting off my fabric couch? Don't ask.

Oh no  no, actually, I would like to ask! The truth can’t possibly be as bad as what I’m imagining, which involves frosting, sexy lingerie with a candy cane-striped motif, a man dressed up in a Grinch costume and a healthy appreciation for the importance of role-playing during sexytimes. (I absolutely cannot be the only one here to have had impure thoughts about the Grinch. Show of hands. No one? Okay then, OH HEY LOOK IN THE SKY! IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A PLANE, NO IT’S A JIZZCLINER!)

Uhh sorry. Where were we? Right, frosting on your fabric couch.

Wipe away excess frosting with a damp sponge or rag (don't rub it in, just sort of pat/whisk at the stain to get most of the sugar up), then treat with a low-water Oxi paste. I want you to use Oxi here, instead of dishsoap, because I’m worried that the frosting has food coloring in it — in which case you’ll need the stain fighting power of OxiClean. (Did I sound like a commercial there? Because I’ve been practicing!)

Yesterday we brought home a Christmas tree, and while trying to navigate it through our cozy living room, the tree brushed up against our pale tan sofa and left a big ol' splooge of pine sap behind. I immediately googled and got conflicting remedies — (plus several called for peanut butter, and rubbing that on light colored fabric didn't seem like such a great idea). How would you get pine sap off a sofa?

Rubbing alcohol is the thing for sap on fabric (hand sanitizer and nail polish remover also work since they’re alcohol-based), but before you go slapping it on your sofa, I want you to promise me you’ll do a spot check on a hidden part of the fabric to make sure it doesn’t cause discoloration. It’s best to get to it while the sap is still sticky, but if it’s dried, try to scrape off as much as possible before applying the rubbing alcohol. A butter knife would be a good tool for that.

And because I got every variation of the “HELP THERE IS SAP ON MY [BLANK]!!” question possible here are a few other things to know:

Remember our friend WD-40? Super on sappy hands, sappy floors, sappy leather gloves. It’s also the thing if you get sap on the exterior of your car while hauling the tree home.

Oh and! The peanut butter is for when you get sap in your hair. Just ... in case that’s something you might need to know.

For the sharp-dressed holiday father who has a kid in one hand and a Manhattan in the other: how do you get wine/gravy/kid barf out of silk, cashmere, or wool ties?

Oh you’re going to love this, because it’s something you’ll already have on hand: baby wipes! Because baby wipes are low-moisture and use a gentle cleanser, they’re a really good option for delicate fabrics like silk and cashmere. The usual rules apply here: please get to the stain as soon as possible! If you can’t, here are some instructions on how to clean silkcashmere, and wool, as well as general stain-removal tips.

Also: might you have a single brother?

This is a love letter and a testimonial to what I've learned from 'Ask a Clean Person' along with a question at the end.

Had a little bit too much fun (whiskey) this weekend, but my boyfriend had even more (red wine), and, well, things got messy (puke-y). After a lively night of bar-crawling dressed like Santa, my (sweet, lovely) boyfriend laid his head on my knee in the cab home and puked. So much. All over my brand-new Christmas-elf-appropriate green corduroy shorts.

My first thought was that if I had been more full of holiday spirit/less full of booze and the cab driver hadn't been yelling at me so angrily, I would have busted out your advice on cleaning, um, bodily secretions off upholstery instead of just frantically paper-toweling the back seat when we finally got dropped off. This, however, was neither the time nor the place to explain the wonders of OxiClean to an irate cabbie.

Which brings me to my shorts. I rinsed off what I could when we got home, only to discover the 'Dry Clean Only' tag (even though the shorts are 100% cotton?). Oops. Then I remembered your advice on A) cleaning corduroy and B) hand washing delicates. Sweet, lovely, hungover boyfriend repeatedly offered to take my shorts to the dry cleaner or, alternately, purchase a whole new pair, but I, being stubborn, insisted on hand-washing them with a toothbrush and my fancy bra detergent. (It is also possible I wanted to make him feel a little bad, watching me wash his puke out of my new, super-cute shorts. Just maybe.)

So I suds-ed, rinsed, worked into the wale with the brush, and rolled the whole thing up in a towel and laid flat to dry. They look fine, but the smell has... lingered just a tiny bit. And the corduroy isn't as fluffy as it maybe could be.

So here's my question: Would it have been easier to just take the shorts to the dry cleaner? Should I take them in now? Sweet, lovely, immensely apologetic boyfriend's feeling was that I should have taken them in because "That's just what dry cleaners do."

What are your thoughts? Would I have been shamed by the dry cleaner for my naivete/grossness, or do they see things like this all the time? I really enjoy the satisfaction of cleaning difficult things myself, but are there some things that should just be left to the professionals?

I think you did exactly the right thing! Particularly in your choice to shame the menfolk. You know how I love a good shaming.

The only addition I have to your approach, and what I'd suggest you do now, is to add a little bit of white vinegar to the mix. The vinegar will help to take out the lingering vomit smell, and also serves as a fabric softener. So give the shorts a second hand-washing, using a mixture of white vinegar, water and detergent. You may also find it beneficial to the shorts to tumble dry them on a low- or no-heat setting, which will also help to fluff things up.

Lordy. I can't wait to see where you people are going to barf in 2012.

Jolie Kerr is not paid to endorse any of the products mentioned in this column, but she sure would be very happy to accept any free samples the manufacturers care to send her way! Are you curious to know if she's answered a question you have? Do check out the archives, listed by topic. More importantly: is anything you own dirty?



98 Comments / Post A Comment

Maria

"OH HEY LOOK IN THE SKY! IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A PLANE, NO IT’S A JIZZCLINER!)"
I had to stop reading because I literally just fell out of my chair laughing.

Jizzcliner

@Maria Same here.

wharrgarbl

"I can't wait to see where you people are going to barf in 2012."

Is that a challenge? Because we are up to a challenge. Especially when we've been drinking.

EpWs

@wharrgarbl 2012 nothing, we've still got a good few weeks of holidays left.

QuiteAmiable

@wharrgarbl I accept this challenge.

Coal Tar Epoxy

@wharrgarbl Challenge accepted!

allinmycar

@wharrgarbl My thoughts exactly - I have a family full of cheerful drunkards, so I might just take home a variety of novelty items just to see what can get puked on, and in turn, use it to freak out A Clean Person.

rayray

@wharrgarbl For the first time my competitive self is really annoyed that I'm just not a puker.

allinmycar

@rayray That's why you hang out with pukers! And creatively arranged novelty items! "Hey, Susan, you're looking a bit barfy - here, take the kettledrum."

fondue with cheddar

@allinmycar Kettledrum...I'm not a drinker, but I feel there should be some kind of mixed drink containing Ketel One and rum called KeteldRum (Keteled-Rum? KeteledRum?). But that would be gross, right?

AmyB

@wharrgarbl I once puked on my new-in-laws front porch. No alcohol involved. True story.

redheadedtwit

@wharrgarbl You all make me feel so much better for having barfed in tons of odd places. Thank you!! Also- Challenge accepted and potentially met for 2011 at least. See drinking with Parents and parent's friends, Mother dares me to pick up bouncer, I pick up said bouncer, make him buy me drinks and drive me home, then barf in his car all over my new-to-me wool coat. I'm still afraid to take it to the cleaners. Do dry-cleaners judge people who puke on their own coats?

Tragically Ludicrous

Menorah cleaning! My mom got very excited when I showed this to her.

slutberry

I always imagined the Grinch's bits might be kind of... tufty.

no way

@Teffodee And, you know, agile... like when he gets his cleverly awful idea to be Santa and his forelock separates and curls?

slutberry

@no way dolphins have prehensile penises! but at least they're not fuzzy.

wharrgarbl

@Teffodee That just seems like it would present a whole new world of problems vis-a-vis contraception.

Lizanne07

@no way YESYESYES! In fact, my friends and I use the term "grinchsmile" frequently. Like’a this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oehGtcW6BU

hedgehog

@no way I feel like we could be friends.

kickupdust

well, NOW I'm going to have impure thoughts about the grinch...

one cow.

@kickupdust "His heart wasn't the only thing to grow three sizes that day."

RachelTheC

growing up, my mom was on the church altar comitee. boiling all the church candle sticks, snuffer-barrier-things, the eternal flame thing, the baptismal candle brass thing, buhh...you think your getting a nice supper, and then you find out your mom is just boiling was off of stainless and brass.

noodge

@RachelTheC yes! my mother LOVED candles, and we used to boil our brass candlesticks at least twice a year to clean them. (hm, that sounds like a good way to tell someone off - "hey! go boil a brass candlestick!" or an exclamation of surprise? "WELL! boil my brass candlesticks!")

acid burn

@RachelTheC Oh good, so I can ask you follow up questions! Such as: does the wax get ON the pot that you are boiling it in? Can I use just any old pot that I plan to cook with later, or do I have to have a sacrificial pot JUST for cleaning my menorah once a year? I would have done the cooking spray trick had I known, but it's two days too late for that, sadly. EDIT: I STILL VERY MUCH APPRECIATE THE SUGGESTION, AND YOU, JOLIE!!!

RachelTheC

@acid burn it was always the pot we used for spaghetti noodles? i mean, we kinda skimmed it off the top of the water and put it in the dishwasher. oh, and we'd put glass candle stuff in the dishwasher. got the gunk out but good.

Inconceivable!

"shorts" is one of those words that, the more I see it, the funnier it becomes to me. So by the time I got to "You may also find it beneficial to the shorts to tumble dry them" I was giggling madly.

...I am also just coming out of a hangover fog so it's possible I'm a little punchy. Anyway, fab advice as always, Jolie.

rayray

@Inconceivable! Is it cos of this comment from Mollycule Theory a while ago, about which I am STILL laughing whenever I hear any of the words involved?

Inconceivable!

@rayray Ha, it's not, but now the word is even funnier!

PistolPackinMama

Oh, Jolie. I just love you. This made my afternoon. It really did.

christonacracker

Does it mean you've met your soulmate when he pukes on your lap, and in a letter describing your methods of cleaning said puke out of a cab and your new shorts, you describe him as "lovely and sweet" not once, but twice? If I ever describe my mister so lovingly while discussing the time he barfed on me, I will know that marriage is imminent.

pterodactgirl

@christonacracker An old manfriend and I may have exchanged "Honey, I'm sorry I puked on you" presents. HISIPOY presents if you will. We held no grudges.

Lily Rowan

@christonacracker RED WINE puked on your lap, even! Yikes.

EpWs

@pterodactgirl What exactly does one present one's significant other as a HISPOY present?

pterodactgirl

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I got him the soccer cleats he'd been wanting, and I think he got me a book? One happened some time before the other one, so it's a little hazy. We didn't puke on each other at the same time or anything. That would have been GROSS.

lalaura

@christonacracker My husband and I first got together when we were seventeen, at a New Year's party (only it wasn't really New Year's, it was like December 29, but this was the only time we could all get illegally shitfaced). Anyway, being seventeen, I got massively durnk and pukey. This guy followed me to the bathroom, tenderly held back my hair, and then picked me up and kissed me. KISSED me. Right after the SoCo vomit. And then didn't try any funny business for the rest of the night.

Reader, I married him.

So, in answer to your question - yes.

lil_bean

@christonacracker awww- he really is that lovely and sweet!

laserbeams

Jolie, you write a baking column as well? You're magic or something.

florabora

Sometimes (lots of times) (most times) the tags on garments are total lies. Unless you didn't notice you were buying corduroy shorts from Chanel or someplace, I doubt they need dry cleaning! Although hand washing never hurt anything.
Somewhat related, my mother's washing machine has an v gentle hand washing cycle and every time I'm home I wish I had that washing machine. Or, you know, any washing machine in my apartment. Silk blouses in the washing machine with no worries!

Lily Rowan

@florabora Seriously -- I wash almost everything in the washing machine with cold water, hang dry. They do OK!

datalass

@florabora I wondered about why the corduroy needed such special tending. I read the letter twice to make sure I didn't miss a line about them having Limoges rivets or something.

Samantha Raddatz@facebook

Another good sap-remover (though maybe too oily for fabric) is Avon Skin So Soft bath oil. It's the only Avon product my mom always had in our house to get the nasty pine sap off of us after playing in the forest.

bonnbee

Jolie, how do you KNOW all this stuff? And remember it? I've read every single AACP since its inception, so you think i'd kind of remember your advice. My man and I just moved in together, and every time there's a mess, he's like, "You always talk about that Clean Person thing, YOU tell me how to get this wine/wax/grease/dirt stain off!" And I'm like, "Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Vinegar? I DON'T REMEMBER!"

Jolie, PLEASE write an AACP book! I would buy the shit out of it.

wharrgarbl

@bonnbee Oooooh. Ebooks! They have little-to-no start-up cost, can be distributed immediately, and typically have a really nice royalty percentage to the author.

Liina

@wharrgarbl I work at a book printing company that offers print/ebook packages for self-published authors, and we would be happy to work with Jolie on this project!

bonnbee

@Liina DO ITTTT, Jolie! Next time I spill red wine all over my new carpet, it would be so much better to look it up in an ebook/book than to run to my computer, log onto the Hairpin, and frantically search all past columns for the one about red wine while the dastardly stain sets in. Or mopping! I can never remember your instructions for mopping. All I remember is "handsies-kneesies" and that Swiffer is B-A-D.

wharrgarbl

@bonnbee Jolie kindly put together that index column while she was on vacation, which is better than having to do what you're doing now, but an actual book-type thing would rock pretty hard.

Does Axl have a jack?

@bonnbee Ooh, and can the book be called Puke, Jizzcliners, and Fingerbanging Your Radiator or something to that effect, please?

EpWs

@armyofskanks THIS NEEDS TO HAPPEN IMMEDIATELY

bonnbee

@armyofskanks I hate to be self-referential... but did you get your username from a comment I made? One time in the thread about middle-school bullies I referenced my elementary school bully and her "army of skanks" and someone- maybe it was you!- said that she loved that term. If not, please disregard this comment. Let's make our own army of skanks together!, anyway!

Does Axl have a jack?

@bonnbee My particular army of skanks is a reference to Mean Girls (the list of Regina George's weapons of mass destruction, specifically), but it sounds like your army of skanks covers pretty much the same concept! It is a rather excellent term.

Jolie Kerr

@Liina Do you want to email me so we can discuss? cleaning@thehairpin.com

Thanks to all for the kind words, you are seriously the best. Oh and! W/R/T the archive, I owe it an updating, which I have on the agenda for this weekend (sloshed on 'nog, updating the archives... I can't think of anything better).

Diana

@bonnbee

PLEASE! If you can get a kickstarter going on this or something, my new years resolution to Become A Clean(er) Person may have a snowball's chance in hell of coming true. Make a boooook!

Hellcat

@bonnbee I too would love an AaCP book! But in case anyone is looking for anything sort of similar in the meantime for cheap, I found this in the B&N bargain section for $7.00:

http://www.amazon.com/Salt-Lemons-Vinegar-Baking-Soda/dp/B002NLNFJ2

It's organized sort of questionably so I don't know how much of a lifesaver it would be in a serious cleaning emergency in which time is of the essence, but it's a cute little thing that I probably never would have noticed, let alone bought, if not for this very column! I even got one for my mom (whose washer and dryer I just commandeered all afternoon due to an extremely scarring apartment-laundry-room occurrence last weekend that literally drove me to drink. I'm sorry to seem like a thread-derailer but I I had to get that off my chest, and I know fans of AaCP would understand the horror and revulsion).

wharrgarbl

@Hellcat Somebody barfed in one of the driers, didn't they?

Hellcat

@wharrgarbl No, no barf. It was... a used lady product. Seriously, the culprit seemingly took the corresponding clothes out of the dryer, so why not clean up after yourself! Aaaaagahhh, ugh. Also, some people took my clothes out of the dryer (a different one, obviously) and unceremoniously left them, still damp, on a dirty table. A more mature woman may not have opted to stake out that freezing laundry room until the perps returned for an earful. I am apparently not that woman.

karion

I just spent a solid five minutes, contemplating why a recipe for chocolate cake would involve blending boiling hot water with butter. I am still at a loss. Maybe hot buttered rum chocolate cake?

Also, I strongly believe our Jolie will settle down, not with a man who drinks Manhattans whilst tossing his cashmere scarf, but rather with a man who drinks his bourbon neat, has eau d'man scent of sweat and soap, and who keeps his fingernails clean and shaped as a matter of simple human decency.

the angry little raincloud

@karion
The recipe on the back of the Hershey's cocoa box calls for boiling water and butter at various points. Don't laugh, it's a damn good recipe, especially when laced with Cointreau.

The Lady of Shalott

@karion I will gladly admit that I am the hapless chocolate cake blender! It's a really good really easy recipe that I can knock together in 15 minutes. I believe it's technically a "snack cake" because I don't usually frost it, but the very first step is to blend a half a stick (or however much it is) of butter with boiling-hot water and then you start adding in the other stuff.

It's not the Hershey's cake, I don't think I've ever tried that one! But it is very tasty and I make it for everyone!

EpWs

@The Lady of Shalott Uh, recipe please? (Also, I cannot imagine how much boiling butter water has to hurt when it clings to you. Are you okay now?)

The Lady of Shalott

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I am visiting my parents right now, but when I am home in a couple weeks I will surely send it to you! Give me your email and I will write myself a note!

Also yes, I am fine! The butter disaster was actually last year, and I was lucky enough to be wearing long sleeves and long pants when I was cooking, so I wasn't really hurt too badly. My ego got the worst of it.

EpWs

@The Lady of Shalott It's wordsnatcher DOT everpresent AT gmail you know the rest. Hooray for cakes! Also hooray for baking while dressed like you're sabering champagne, right?

Jolie Kerr

@karion Aww thanks lady. I'd like that too, and hoooo boy I am REALLY ready to settle down. (Anyone who knows me just died of shock.)

Hellcat

@ladysporksalot I just read that as "Hershey's cocoa cox balls." I am very tired.

CupcakeTattoos

@Jolie Kerr this may seem rude/presumptuous, but I had it in my head that you were actually a lesbian?
Or maybe I'm just so in love with you that I pretended you were, so I can imagine us running away together and living in a sparkling clean house. Hmmm.

PistolPackinMama

@CupcakeTattoos In a post a while ago, our Jolie commented she dates ladies and gents, although the underhose of gentlemen on the floor is upsetting to her.

(I can remember this because I, too, have a crushlet on Jolie. And since I'd say I am about a 2.1 on the Kinsey scale, that tells you a lot about how much Jolie can inspire a crushlet.)

PS: I do not leave my underwear on the floor, and I do handwash lingerie and other... items.

the angry little raincloud

@Hellcat I would totally bake/eat those. Cox balls! Hee hee.

Liina

Re: grease stains - DAMN IT, I used oxy clean and baking soda paste, and a toothbrush on the hoodie I spilled g-d cod liver oil on last night, haha. Hope it works. Was wishing I had the internet at home so I could look that up on this column the whole time! Dish soap! I'll remember that!

frigwiggin

@Liina Cod liver oil? Grandma, is that you? (Just kidding, my grandma is dead.)

HoliandIvy

@Liina
Lemon dish-soap works best, and brand really, but for ~really~ pernicious oil/grease stains in clothes or other fabric, sprinkle talcum powder on top, pat it in lightly if there's a nap (fuzz, texture), let sit for an hour or so and then brush off. Repeat if necessary, and then launder the 'color' part of the stain with soap and cold water (if applicable).
This is LITERALLY the best trick I know, and the reason why I always have talcum powder both at home and at the office.

the angry little raincloud

Dearest A Clean Person: using this moment to thank you for the cleanliness you have brought into my life. I've had the occasion to proselytize on behalf of hands-and-knees floor cleaning, amaze someone with the suggestion of drooling on the bloodstain, and de-barfed a coat. I also terrified a roommate with various cleaning fumes coming from the kitchen (I was perhaps a bit overzealous in my use of vinegar).
Thank you! Thank you! My mother might finally be proud of me.

Hellcat

@ladysporksalot I used to be so scared of the vinegar method! My sense of smell is crazy (and drives me crazy) so I thought that surely I'd never be able to stop smelling the vinegar even if it helped with other problems. But this is not the case! At all! It's the best thing ever!

bonnbee

Thanks to Jolie, my neat-freak fiance is shocked and awed by my newfound cleanliness! I raise my hangover seltzer to you, Jolie!

Chesty LaRue

@bonnbee I know right? I make my bed in the mornings now. Also, I sweep every day. I have also been in my new place for ten days now and have already cleaned the bathroom (in real life I am disgusting, I wish Jolie would marry me already)

Megasus

As someone who used to work at a dry cleaner's in high school, and was the person who had to tag everything, if you're gonna bring pukey/pee/poo stained stuff in, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE AT LEAST WIPE IT OFF WITH A PAPER TOWEL OR SOMETHING. You have no idea how many times people would bring in a comforter or something, and it would be all balled up, and in the middle would be a big ol' puddle of pee, and I would almost get it all over myself trying to tag it (plus I had to like write down what kind of stain was on it as well). Plus it all goes into one big bin, so yeah, WIPE IT OFF.

frigwiggin

@Megan Patterson@facebook I once took a blanket I spilled milk on to the dry cleaner's. But the spill happened three years before, so at least it wasn't moist. (I'm actually quite surprised that it never molded or anything. It just dried and got stiff.)

Hellcat

@Megan Patterson@facebook I worked in a dry cleaner during high school too! Oh my goodness, who'd have guessed at the stories that could come from such a job! And, man, our customers were jerks too, for the most part.

Megasus

@Megan Patterson@facebook I got like half of city council coming in, because it was right next to City Hall, but I don't remember if I ever found anything exciting in their pockets...

ellbeejay

Jolie! I just had a holiday party at my fiance's house, and do you know what? His carpets (okay, let's face it, the entire contents of the house) were gross when I got here. But because you came into my life, I used like, half a container of OxiClean and held my breath and wished a little wish. And lo! Now they are...if not actually clean, at least less visibly disgusting. And everything was dry before the guests arrived. And I used other AACP tips and tricks to snap the rest of the place into shape. My future mother-in-law could scarcely believe her eyes. So basically, Jolie, you are the best. Thanks!

girlandtonic

Ooh, I bet the gal with the shorts got them at Anthropologie, because I too just picked up a pair of festive green corduroy shorts from there for a steal (thanks for the heads up, Jane!). I never would have thought they'd be dry clean only...but now if I puke all the peppermint schnapps I'm about to drink tonight on them I'll know what to do!

lil_bean

@girlandtonic I certainly did! They're THE CUTEST, right?!

girlandtonic

@lil_bean AND SO COMFY.

chevyvan

Wax removal: blow dryer and some paper towels. It works! And it's kind of fun! Just heat up with the blow dryer and mop up with the paper towels.

Axilla

@chevyvan will this work on carpet you think?

halfheartedyoga

Dear Jolie, I just wanted to let you know that I handwashed ALL my shawls this weekend per your instructions on washing delicates a few weeks ago and it was so awesome that I washed all my cashmere sweaters the same way. Thanks for showing me how to be broke AND fresh instead of broke AND constantly sniffing my shawls/sweaters to see if I have to drag them to the drycleaners. My yoga may be halfhearted, but thanks to you, the cleanliness of my fine fabrics no longer is. Sincerely, HY.

sarahe

You guys check this out! I just let a Sharpie bleed through a piece of paper at my new desk at work (a beautiful new office space which we are working hard to keep pristine...oops)! But, per Jolie's instructions, I applied some hand sanitizer and BOOM. GONE.

AMAZING. YES. YESS!!!!! Thank you Jolie!

Dora Wong@facebook

Life is lonely and sometimes even boring. You may need a fresh thing to excite your mind. My best friend ,she met a sexy man and they love each other! they date via online dating -casualloving dot c'0M-it's the most effective place in the world to connect with, to find intimate encounters.There you may easily have free scamming with charming and sexy girls or handsome men....Hope you like it!Good luck!

Axilla

microwaving sponges? that is SO becoming part of the routine! Thanks for helping to make me a cleaner person Jolie, I used to say things like "what, no one else has a junk room?" and now i'm thinking about vinegar and low water oxipaste. You are making the world a better place, one less protein stain at a time.

hallu

menorah- heat your oven on low, put the menorah in a disposable pie plate, stick it in the oven until the wax melts off. Finish by soaking up any melty wax that's left with a paper towel.

FoleySparrow

For that Ocean of greasy butter water - after drying up all the obvious pools of water, go to the bathroom and get the spray can of Scrubbing Bubbles. It is my secret weapon. It lifts grease-based messes off A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Crazy, oily, dusty, wolf-man weirdness all over your ceiling fan that Will. Not. Come. Off? Especially ceiling fans in kitchens or near kitchens. Scrubbing Bubbles melts it away with one wipe. Scummy grease inside your plastic containers that won't disperse no matter how much dishsoap you use? Scrubbing Bubbles nukes it right off. Thick, greasy, creosoty, soot stains left on the face of your fireplace in the spring after a long winter. Srubbing Bubbles! Seriously. I don't know what they put in that magic can, but it annhilates the most difficult, thick, creepy, greasy messes on contact, even thick greasy soot, and wipes away clean. Amazing. And the buck fifty store brand is just as good as the name brand. I can't give a house a proper deep cleaning without it.

real

Ask a Clean Person: Holiday Disasters.
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