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Thursday, January 19, 2012

232

Ask a Clean Person: Stanky Slippers, Ganky Humidifiers, and Manky Uggs

My husband loves these leather slippers with faux-fur lining, but after about a year, they started to carry an odor. Soon it was so bad that his clean feet would pick up a nasty, lingering foot-stank after just minutes in the slippers. We had no idea how to clean faux fur, let alone faux fur deep down inside a shoe, so we put them in the washing machine, let them get kind of wrecked, called them his "outdoor slippers" (for mail retrieval and trash disposal), and bought a new pair for indoor use. He's been more careful with these new ones — for example, he no longer puts dripping wet feet in them immediately after showering. But now this pair is starting to stink, and he is so sad! Can you help us fix the smelly slippers?

Lady, he needs sneaker balls. And if you and your husband are anything like me and, um, every boyfriend I've ever had, you two will crack a testicle joke every time those things come out and then laugh and laugh and laugh like you're twelve years old. Shoe nuts. That's what I'd call them if I had a stinkyfooted dude around who required sneaker balls. "ROY! Time to put the shoe nuts in them thar slippies. I can smell 'em from out here."

There are a whole bunch of options and styles when it comes to sneaker nuts, and most of them are in the $5 range, which is just swell! Here are a few I found on Amazon, though most sporting goods and men's casual shoe stores will also carry them.

Sof Sole Matrix Sneaker Balls
Sneaker Ball Happy Face
Sof Sole Shoe Freshener Sneaker Balls (I like these ones the best because of the skull-and-crossbones motif.)

A few other things to try: if the faux fur is getting dingy looking, give it a few passes with a baby wipe, which is low-moisture and won't soak the fibers, but contains detergent that will help lift any grime. You can also take a page out of the Lady Boot Playbook and clean the faux fur with cornmeal. Stuffing the slippers with newspaper will also help to draw out moisture, if he accidentally reverts to his feral state and puts his soaking wet feet inside them.

Lastly, see if you can talk him into taking up a foot powder or spray habit. My sources tell me that Gold Bond and Naturally Fresh are good brands to use.

The humidifier has cooties. What do Clean Persons do? XXX, Mom

Normally I don't include sign-offs in the column, but come on, how cute is my mom? I also thought you all might enjoy the fact that Mother of Clean Person sends me questions. Often, actually! (So does Father of Clean Person, but usually the questions are along the lines of, "What do I have to do to get your mother to clean up her act?" You can see where I get my sterling sense of humor.) Which is fun, if a little stressful. I keep worrying that if I don't get the answer right I'll be taken into the formal living room for a talking to about how she's not mad, she's just disappointed.

Okay but humidifiers! Seems that a number of you are faced with cootie-infested humidifiers and no no, we can't have that. The answer, as always, is vinegar. And maybe bleach if things are really bad.

The first thing to do is to take apart any sections that can be detached from the unit and soak them in a vinegar and water or bleach and water solution. The kitchen sink is probably the best spot for this operation, but the bathtub will also work well. If you're going to use the tub, fold your bathmat up so you can kneel on it without hurting your kneesies. Let the pieces soak for 15-20 minutes before giving 'em a good scrub with a sponge or rag while submerged. You can use an old toothbrush to get into the corners and odd crevices; Q-Tips are also good to have on hand for tight corners. Dip the cotton into your cleaning solution, hold the plastic parts up outside the soaking liquid, and swab away (you don't want to do this operation underwater because the cotton will disintegrate).

Once all your parts are cleaned up, put the machine back together and, if you're worried that there are cooties (ahhh!) in the non-detachable pieces of the unit, fill the tank with a vinegar and water mixture and let it cycle through. The thing is about doing this is ... your house is going to stink like vinegar. Which might not be a bad thing in that if there are any weird lingering odors in the home, the process of decootie-ing your humidifier will also eliminate them. But if you're a person who hates the smell of vinegar, this isn't going to be ideal. Which leads me to a product that I discovered while compiling the Clean Person Gift Guide and, truth time, have spent the past two months violently rolling my eyes at, until oh right, here's an actual great use for such an indulgent thing: scented vinegar.

I know, I'll give you a minute. It's completely absurd.

Would it make you feel less ridiculous to make your own scented vinegar? I know it would make me feel less ridiculous to make my own scented vinegar. Here are some instructions on how to do so (hint: mix vinegar with a scented oil you like, et voila! Scented vinegar. Eyeroll sold separately).

Uggs! I shove my feet into them all winter long and try to avoid rain puddles and city sludge, but sometimes I become careless. How do I keep the suede pretty and the fleece interior from being not nearly as disgusting as I think it probably is?

First I have to tell you that I’m not an ugg boot wearer, so all of this is based on research and trusting my Clean Person Sense (it tingles!), and also I’m just betting that a bunch of you out there have some good tips to share. And then I want to say this — based on my inbox, there are lots of you wearing uggs, and by now you’ve heard it all, right? Mm-hm. So can those of you who are so offended by them practice your silently judging skills while we talk amongst ourselves? Thank you, we’ll make this quick.

Right then, huddle up ugg gals: there are two distinct problems when we talk about cleaning uggs — stains and smells, and we’ll tackle them separately. First up, stains.

UGG makes a cleaner specifically for the care of sheepskin ($10), and honestly? At first I was all, “Pfft, they’re pushing a single-use, branded product to make money, and that’s annoying to me, I’m sure I can find a better product to recommend,” but then I read the reviews — and granted, there are only four of them — and they were all super positive. So okay, something worth mentioning to you!

Then I found this sort of insane post on DIY Uggs Cleaning that involves a nail file and milk? I don’t know. I’m just going to leave that link there and let you do with it what you will.

Our old friend baby wipes will go a long way in getting the dingies out of your uggs. This won't be a great solution for major stains, but if your boots have just gotten a little grimy from streetwear, baby wipes are a solid choice.

And lastly, many, many, many dry cleaners now offer ugg boot services, so if you're feeling like throwing money at the problem, ask your local cleaner if that's something they do.

Moving along to smells. Here we can take a page from our friend upcolumn with the stinky slippies and use sneaker balls. The newspaper trick is also a good one, since part of what's making your uggs smell is that there's moisture trapped in them. You can also treat the innards with any number of shoe deodorizers (look for ones specially designed for sneakers for maximum destinkifying), active charcoal inserts, or baking soda.

Previously: Tackling a Major Clean-up, Parts One and Two.

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?

Photo via cosma, via Shutterstock



232 Comments / Post A Comment

Porn Peddler

Does nobody else just throw a pile of baking soda in their shoes overnight when they get a little funky/damp (constant result of jizzcade cleaning) and then toss it out the next day?

wharrgarbl

@Third Wave Housewife Those little silica bags would probably also work for damp and could be removed more easily.

Good to know about the uggs. They're hideous (so hideous!) but my mother loves hers to death for how warm they keep her feet which, seriously, is the important thing when it's winter and freezing out.

LeafySeaDragon

@wharrgarbl i hated them as everywhere shoes when i lived in socal (cmon, it's SOCAL) but i cannot live without mine here in the PNW. i live in them. i wear them with hardcore cold weather bootsocks and my feet ARE STILL COLD. ah, life.

Dancercise

@wharrgarbl
Seconding the use of silica gel packets. I save them from every purse or coat or whatever that I buy and put them in my dance shoes at the end of a long practice. I started doing this after (grossness alert!) my shoes got mildew-y after being left damp in a warm car. Vinegar saved the day, and the silica has (possibly?) helped make sure it hasn't happened again.

LilyMarlene

@Third Wave Housewife I thrown buckets of this stuff into my shoes overnight - http://www.gransremedy.co.nz/. Dunno if you can get it outside of New Zealand, but if you can, DO! It's miraculous and makes even the stankiest shoes smell like...a distinguished businessman's old leather briefcase? I don't know how else to describe it, but...Gran's Remedy ftw.

theepiccek

@LilyMarlene NEW ZEALAND !!!1!!. (sorry). but yes Grans Remedy is the BEST. there are also like 3 different scents.

LilyMarlene

@theepiccek Yeaaaaaaah buddy...are you of the Land of the Long White Cloud?

zoe
zoe

@LilyMarlene KIWIS! Aotearoans! fancy meeting you here! I am making a trip next week, I mean, to see the fam and do waitangi day hangi, but I'm not gonna lie to you, my kaitaia fire supplies are running low, and I do like to check out the latest in amazing natural skincare ranges that just won't come to oz for a few years yet... grans remedy, eh? adding to shopping list!

LilyMarlene

@zoe Bloody Ozzies! (just kidding, and *hugs*) I'm not a native Aotearoan, just a pretender...but I love me some native En-Zed products. If you like Kaitaia Fire, can I also recommend that you also pick up a crate or two hundred of Glasseye Creek Wild Meat Sauce while you're in town? You can probably order it online (http://glasseyecreek.co.nz/), but I've seen it at most New World supermarkets (here in Canterbury, at least). It's DELICIOUS.

Enjoy the peka, the hangi, the whanau, and...kia ora. <3

gobblegirl

This scented vinegar business reminds me of a question that I always forget to ask: Does apple cider vinegar have the same cleaning and anti-stench properties as white vinegar? I use white all the time, but I also own a LOT of apple cider vinegar and there are times when I’d appreciate its milder scent. Like say, when cleaning my humidifier!

iceberg

@gobblegirl I also want to know the answer to this, because we use shit-tons of cider vinegar.

likethestore

@gobblegirl I don't know about cleaning but it makes a fantastic hair rinse.

karion

@likethestore: Seriously like the best hair rinse ever. If your usual shampoo and conditioner are starting to give you meh hair, do a rinse with apple cider vinegar.

You will wash that meh right out of your hair.

(I also want to know the overall cleaning properties of apple cider vinegar in non-meh hair circumstances)

Megasus

@gobblegirl I'm not an expert, but I feel like it would be fine? Just don't try the balsamic.

one cow.

@Megan Patterson@facebook My old BF once handed me some balsamic vinegar after returning from the grocery store. "What's this for?" I asked. "You asked me to get vinegar." DUMPED THAT A-HOLE, AMIRIGHT!?!

Porn Peddler

@one cow. Once, at the grocery store, I was grabbing a quart or something of white vinegar, and Mister third Wave, looking despondent, said, "Why can't we get...better vinegar?" BECAUSE I DON'T CLEAN THE FUCKING BATHROOM FLOOR WITH RED WINE VINEGAR. BLASPHEMY.

Megasus

@one cow. MY old BF wouldn't even go to the grocery store! Not even when we lived across the street from one. Then we moved to a place you can get them delivered, even though he worked near like 5 grocery stores and could have gone to one on the way home.

gobblegirl

@Megan Patterson@facebook I definitely keep the balsamic out of the cleaning cupboard.
I think that it's probably fine, because I'm not buying the fancy ACV, that there isn't too much extra junk in it that would get in the way of the cleaning. And as far as I can tell the pH is about the same...so I guess I'll try it unless we hear from Jolie telling us otherwise?

cheeseandcrackers

@karion How does that work? I mean, how do you do it without pouring vinegar all over yourself? I've heard this and want to try it but am baffled as to how to get it on my hair and not in my eyes. Also, does it burn the scalp? Do you dilute it?

likethestore

@cheeseandcrackers I mix equal parts vinegar and water in a big measuring cup and just pour it over my scalp with my head tilted back so it doesn't get in my eyes. It doesn't burn, it actually feels really good, cool and refreshing.

AniaGosia

@cheeseandcrackers But make sure that you dilute it and don't use too much or your hair will look greasy and gross. Maybe try it for the first time on a day when you can rewash if necessary. It does work really super well though.

Faintly Macabre

@cheeseandcrackers I tried it when I lived somewhere with really hard water and it was wreaking havoc on my skin and hair. Like likethestore, I'd step away from the water, tilt my head back, and pour it down my hair. YMMV with short hair, though.

tortietabbie

@likethestore And then do you rinse with water? Or move on to shampoo/conditioner? Or nothing, just the water-vinegar solution? I need this broken down into baby steps to wrap my head around it.

likethestore

@tortietabbie OK, this is how I do it but I don't know if it's the Proper method. Shampoo, then rinse, then ACV, and rinse really well, then conditioner and rinse. And you're done! I have really long thick hair and I use about a cup of vinegar to a cup of water.

LilyMarlene

@gobblegirl Um...I can't exactly vouch for this working on human hair, but...I made a hypo-allergenic, apple cider-based shampoo for my dog, who is allergic to everything under the sun, including his own DNA.

Basically, this recipe: http://www.greenparenthood.com/blog/2011/01/01/make-your-own-natural-pet-shampoo/ (also - lookit the doggeeeeeee in the pic! eeeeeeee!). I used an earthy-crunchy, perfume-free dish soap for the base, because even a hint of artificial perfume in anything causes him to break out in crustulating hives (he is a delicate flower). It worked like a charm after he went on a garbage-rolling spree through the neighborhood, so I can imagine it would do well for the average head of dirty human hair.

Hmmm...maybe I'll give it a try when I next shower, and report back. Will advise.

Pocket Witch

@tortietabbie Here's what I do:
0. Pour about a tablespoon or two of vinegar in a water bottle that's missing its lid. (Sometimes I add a squirt of conditioner if my hair is getting dull or tangle-prone.)
1. Shampoo until your hair feels clean and rinse all the suds out.
2. After you've done everything else you do in the shower, fill the water bottle the rest of the way.
3. Tilt your head back or sideways so your hair isn't under the stream of the shower, or just turn off the shower.
4. Pour the vinegar-water over your hair, making sure it gets soaked through.
5. Squeeze out excess vinegar water.
6. Done. Dry your hair as usual.

likethestore

@tortietabbie Sorry, just realized I got my proportions wrong - I use a cup of the mixture in total so a half-cup each of vinegar and water.

lue
lue

@tortietabbie
I do a cider vinegar rinse, too, and no conditioner after for me. I also use baking soda and water to wash my hair. 1 tsp of soda and 1/2 cup water mixed in a plastic cup, dump on head, scrub, rinse, then same with 1 tbsp vinegar in about 1 cup water. It's all I ever do with my hair and it's great. I do have a pixie cut, but this is the same routine that I used when my hair was down to my butt, and it was awesome then, too.

Hellcat

@Megan Patterson@facebook This is me. I can think of few things on earth that set off the rage (both justified and irrational) in me than the grocery store. And that's without counting the lugging and trekking afterward (our parking lots where I live are not near the apartments' doors; I have actually seen first-floor people here handing the bags to someone else through the kitchen windows that face the parking lots). I'd rather clean a bathroom every day than go to a grocery store twice a month.

Megasus

@Hellcat That's fair. He was just incredibly lazy though.

Hellcat

@Megan Patterson@facebook Yeah, my BF thinks I am crazy for this. At lease he's already decided that food shopping will be his chore, should we ever move in together.

DrFeelGood

@Third Wave Housewife Once I got a call; "They're out of non-fat milk but they have 'skim', what's that?"...

SuperMargie

In a fit of absolute desperation, when my house was so dry and full of static that the cat running across the carpet would make the lamps shine brighter, I de-stanked my old humidifier with fish tank cleaner. It worked like a charm, but I keep gallons vinegar on hand at all times now.

MmeLibrarian

@SuperMargie Just want to say that I lol'd at "...when my house was so dry and full of static that the cat running across the carpet would make the lamps shine brighter." That's all.

ejcsanfran

@SuperMargie: My cat was extra staticky the other night when we were in bed. I dragged him closer to cuddle and sparks appeared to shoot out of his butt. It was great!

wharrgarbl

@ejcsanfran Sometimes when it is awful and dry and I go to pet my fluffy cat, sparks shoot from the tips of my fingers to her ears. She, of course, Does Not Appreciate this phenomenon, even though I console her with the promise that, if she ever dies, I've got a decent shot at reviving her on account of it.

can't get there from here

@ejcsanfran this image just made me Laugh Alone With Salad.

....at a cat story. eghhh.

blackjellybean

@ejcsanfran thanks for the internet induced fit of giggle-tears and the subsequent explanation required to DH. Cat butt sparks indeed!

Alixana

PSA: If you have not yet gotten rid of your disgusting cat, s/he may think that the sneaker balls are the Best Toy Ever, and may go to great lengths (including opening a closet door!) in order to pull them out of the shoes/slippers and play with them. Or maybe that's just my cat.

Pocket Witch

@Alixana My cat just brought me a Beanie Baby she caught and killed. I'm flattered, but I don't know where they cats get these ideas.

CrescentMelissa

I feel like I might get yelled at but! I really really hate the smell of vinegar. It reminds me of feet. Any other alternatives? Bleach also makes me dry heave.

Porn Peddler

@CrescentMelissa oh my god what are you doing here

(sorry. for what purpose?)

CrescentMelissa

@Third Wave Housewife Sorry, I know. Vinegar seems to be the cure all but I just can't stand the smell. I'm wierd I'm sorry.

Killerpants

@CrescentMelissa I am with you. Bleach smell is fine for me, but vinegar smell is awful. I've been trying to get over it though - all my gym clothes are getting some permanent sweat stank, and my dad swears by misting the stinky parts with a vinegar and water (heavy on vinegar) solution before going into the dirty clothes, so I'm trying to deal with it. It's not fun though.

ghechr

@CrescentMelissa
Maybe, if it's not too cold, do the vinegar run-though with the humidifier outside? Or, if your humidifier has one of those spouts on top, set it up so it spouts out of an open window?

spoondisaster

@CrescentMelissa You are not alone! It is one of my Least Favorite Smells of All Time also. It's the worst.

Hellcat

@CrescentMelissa Awww, I often wish Yankee Candle offered a bleach-scented one. That would be so awesome...

Party Falcon

@CrescentMelissa Seriously, I hate vinegar so very very much that I can't even eat salad dressings. Or stuff like Buffalo sauce. It's Seriously A Thing for me.

Does my hatred of vinegar make me a PermaDirty Person? Do scented vinegars smell like not-vinegar or just like a raspberry vinaigrette? Can I use something other than vinegar? And as much as I too <3 Bleachie, I am also a klutz and cannot handle another bleach-speckled black t-shirt.

I Have Clean Problems.

simone eastbro

@CrescentMelissa VODKA.

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/the-12-best-household-uses-for-1-43876

Party Falcon

@simone eastbro Seriously? Because Party Falcon has MUCHO vodka in her mews!

I honestly hate vinegar so much I would totally buy $10 bottles of Kamchatka to clean with if really does the same job.

CrescentMelissa

@simone eastbro Wow, this makes so much sense! And I love vodka! Win win. Thank you!

fabel

@CrescentMelissa But how do you dye Easter eggs?
(sorry, that is my single concern)

CrescentMelissa

@fabel I am Jewish so no Easter eggs here.

parallel-lines

@Party Falcon Party Falcon, I have taught you well. Vinegar is grody!

teaandcakeordeath

@CrescentMelissa
Ive heard that in strip clubs they clean the poles with gin.
But you might not want to pick up hygiene tips from strip clubs?

Party Falcon

@parallel-lines Yes, my dear P-L I've learned much.

Though how something soaked in vinegar can ever be considered "clean" will forever remain a mystery.

Hellcat

@Party Falcon It took me a while to get my head around this too -- like, it's a food product that I am using to keep things clean? But then... lemons. Once I saw the beautiful clean, though, I was convinced. And so cheap! But I also don't mind the smell of it during the process and was very surprised and delighted to learn that it goes away fast; I have a super-power nose that can smell everything, so I was pretty scared.

PistolPackinMama

@Party Falcon <3 Party Falcon!

iceberg

This column is relevant to my (stanky-ugged) interests.

likethestore

Get rid of your Uggs they are disgusting.

miwome

@likethestore Seriously, they are revolting.

noodge

@likethestore no. seriously. they're revolting.

wee_ramekin

@likethestore Heeeeeeee! I am so glad you wrote this, even though we are going against the wishes of the Bleachie Queen by posting it. That is why I am speaking quietly!

likethestore

@wee_ramekin Haha oh gosh I totally skimmed over that part. Sorry Jolie!

bookbike

@likethestore UGGHHHHH seriously.

punkahontas

I have a secret pair of Uggs that I only wear in my home.

If it looks like a slipper, and feels like a slipper, it's a SLIPPER. (Not a shoe.)

Porn Peddler

@punkahontas I don't understand, as a person who lives in a region generally frozen like the center of Dante's Inferno, why anyone wears those outdoors. I know you can hit them with waterproofing spray but oh my god, how could they possibly keep out water ever at all, how do they not KILL your arches?!

miwome

@Third Wave Housewife The water/winter thing is the big mystery for me. People coming from the West Coast to Boston/Chicago (the two cities I have lived in) tend to mistake them for boots, just as they mistake a light spring jacket for a winter coat, and I've found the only thing to do is wait for them to find out the truth the hard way and then yell SORELS SORELS SORELS. Those who persist in wearing Uggs through the winter are braver souls than I.

punkahontas

@miwome It's like they're wearing sponges on their feet.

Faintly Macabre

@Third Wave Housewife They were super-popular at my high school, where girls would wear them with summer skirts, or jeans all crumpled above the boots, etc. I would regularly see girls basically walking on the inner side of the boots, which, of course, would then become caked in grime.

Porn Peddler

@Faintly Macabre Mine too! I know they are super cozy and all but they just. seem...so horribly impractical. My friend gave me a pair of leather-fuzzy loose ugg-ish (maybe?) slipper things she came into while she was in Chile because I was running a bake sale on my porch with a possibly broken toe and shoes were KILLING MEEEE and they are fantastic- I wear them in the house all the time! EEEE! But WHY WOULD ANYONE WEAR SOMETHING LIKE THIS OUTSIDE.

The Lady of Shalott

@Third Wave Housewife I do not understand them at all. But I live in a legit wintry place in Atlantic Canada, and I work on a university campus, and you will all be pleased to hear that I ALMOST NEVER see Uggs! Truly! 99% of girls wear real boots. Like, cute Sorels or Timberlands, but REAL BOOTS. It's a wonderful thing.

If only I could manage to get them to put on and zip up their coats on days like today when it's -15!

AniaGosia

@punkahontas me too! secret at home uggs ftw. my ankles get cold otherwise!

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@miwome Great, now I know Sorels exist and I will have to master alchemy in order to Buy All The Things. THANKS A LOT MIWOME.

Xanthophyllippa

@punkahontas But what if it looks like a pump and feels like a sneaker?

miwome

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me I KNOW. Their website taunts me.

@Xanthophyllippa One word: loakers.

Craftastrophies

@punkahontas They ARE slippers. They come from Australia, as do I. There was some controversy about the copyrighting of the name 'ugh', since it was just a generic term before. A generic term for sheepskin slippers. I have a pair, they are my at-home slippers. I have been known to wear them for emergency hangover trips to the store, but... they are just not designed to be out door shoes.

Porn Peddler

@The Lady of Shalott I have this idea about Canada...that it is slightly colder than Rochester, and that in 90% of the country, people are ever-so-similar to Americans but more reasonable, more intelligent, and classier. I don't know where I got this idea, but your mention of freezing weather and a conspicuous absence of Uggs only confirms it for me. I know it's colder up there, but in the goddamn Finger Lakes/Genesee Valley, BITCHES BE WEARING UGGS ALL THE TIME.

Xanthophyllippa

@miwome That made me throw up in my mouth a little. Horror!

@Third Wave Housewife I moved from Rochester to the Upper Midwest (though the south part of the Upper Midwest, I admit) and BITCHES BE WEARING UGGS ALL THE TIME here too. But that's because I teach at a huge university, and bitches be wearing Uggs year-round, not just in the winter (when it would make sense on days like today -- it's -1º at 8 a.m.). But to your point about Canada being slightly colder, my relatives live in Windsor, and everyone in Roch used to think I was dumb by saying "We're going down to Canada for Easter." "Duh, Canada's NORTH, moron!" Well, except for Windsor, which is south of Rochester and was almost always warmer at Easter and October Thanksgiving. But otherwise you're spot-on.

I used to have a rule: never buy winter boots that aren't 1. leather and 2. made in Canada. They know from winter footwear. (Also never buy ice skates that weren't made in Canada. Preferably buy ice skates made in Canada with blades made in England.)

The Lady of Shalott

@Third Wave Housewife It's funny that you say that because literally this morning I saw a girl wearing Uggs and slipping everywhere. KARMA. But then I also regularly see dumb boys wearing sneakers everywhere, which are probably the WORLD'S WORST SHOES to be wearing when it's snowing and there's a two-inch sheet of ice over everything, LIKE TODAY.

@Xanthophyllippa OMG OMG http://www.lacanadienneshoes.com I DREAM OF OWNING A PAIR OF THESE ONE DAY. Dream.

Xanthophyllippa

@The Lady of Shalott I had a pair of La Canadienne boots about 15 years ago and they were the BEST EVER. Then they stopped making the style I had and every pair of boots I've had since then has been increasingly disappointing.

The Lady of Shalott

I love your mom, Jolie! She is so super cute!

Katie Scarlett

Jolie, I love that your mom signed off with XXX! When I lived in England for a year in college, I got in the habit of signing every text with an "x" and never stopped even after I left. It just feels mean and heartless not to include the kisses now.

missupright

@Katie Scarlett I sign off everything with kisses, and I am only just learning that this is something that Americans do not like to do?! KISSES FOR EVERYONE.

HeyThatsMyBike

@missupright This is one of my favorite things that people do in the UK! I don't think it's that Americans don't like to do it, I think that it is just that few people realize how awesome it is.
xx

timesnewroman

@HeyThatsMyBike Americans don't do this?!?

Alibi Jones

@Katie Scarlett It took me a long time to stop reading it as "Triple X" instead of "Kisskisskiss". Please! Everyone! Stop sending me such racy emails!

fabel

@Alibi Jones Me too! At first I was like, wait, why would her mom sign off with XXX? 3 minutes later: OH. Kisses. Like, xoxo

HeyThatsMyBike

@timesnewroman No. We are a sad, kissless people.

melis

@timesnewroman OF COURSE WE DON'T DO IT, it's a nauseating and bizarre affectation that lavishes an inordinate amount of false and mawkish intimacy on everyone from family members to casual work acquaintances. It's the textual equivalent of a double-cheek kiss and I have been forced to train all of my UK pals to never do it to me unless they wish engender a great and terrible stone wrath.

teaandcakeordeath

@timesnewroman
My thoughts exactly. What?! Xx

Katie Scarlett

@HeyThatsMyBike I love it too! When I first started texting over there, I was constantly berated by friends if I failed to leave them a kiss. As this was around the time that I started texting more rather than calling (2005-ish?), it grew to be a habit that I now find endearing, if I do say so myself! I'm surprised at how many Americans don't understand it and think I'm doing that old timey "I don't know how to read or write so I'll just sign my name with an X" thing.

@melis It takes all kinds. x (xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)

melis

@Katie Scarlett i will stab you once for every x you send me

timesnewroman

As someone who spends too much time on the internet, I am so pleased there are still things about American culture that I do not know! And it's funny cos most Brits would say that it's Americans who are typically more partial to "inordinate amounts of false and mawkish intimacy"!! xx

timesnewroman

@melis Oh dear I just saw your other comment

Katie Scarlett

[yelps, gurgles, sputters, and other death-related sounds]

SuperGogo

@melis (speaking of false and mawkish intimacy) Have a nice day!

melis

The cleansing is finished. The healing can begin.

HeyThatsMyBike

@Katie Scarlett I had a work colleague who thought that somebody in our London office had an issue with spell-checking, and was somehow inadvertently hitting extra letters before hitting "send" on emails that included exclusively social content (we were visiting London soon, wanted to set up drinks and dinner that were 100% social in nature, etc.). She commented on what a coincidence it was that the "x" that was always being hit. She was flabbergasted when I told her that pretty much everyone over there does that all the time in all casual/familiar communication. It was sort of adorable.

HeyThatsMyBike

@timesnewroman However, we do occasionally drop the "xoxo" thing - but it is always with "o" and mostly done by young women (to one another) or grandmothers (to young children in birthday cards).
"Xx" or "xx" means nothing to most Americans outside of the 2x2 where you learn about dominant and recessive genes.

Xanthophyllippa

@HeyThatsMyBike "I knew he loved me when he texted a Punnett square!"

zoe
zoe

@HeyThatsMyBike saddened at lack of kisses across the pond. I'm so of the kisses for everyone mindset, signing almost all correspondence with xxz or xz or just x (the z is for zoe), including messages btw me and my boss in my government job (except emails that will be filed as official correspondences, eg, docs, thing that go to the mayor, workflow). also do kisses in person, sorry. we just like to kiss over here! don't you guys like to kiss? xz (and hugs are fine too, but I don't need to email/text/skype/facey them somehow)

PistolPackinMama

@missupright I actually had to make an LJ poll to enquire about this habit in British people. The results were... revealing.

And no, Americans do not x at the end of messages by and large, or kiss each other on the cheek.

I confused a lot of people by kissing them on the cheek when I moved back to the US from the UK. I was so habituated, it took me a while to get out of the habit.

FinalGirl

@PistolPackinMama This has nothing to do with cleaning, but every time I see your username, I hum that song for hours. Win!

timesnewroman

Caveat: British males do not on the whole tend to do an x when they text each other, but they do to females (sometimes). My ex sent me a text signed with an x (but it's something you'd do to any girl, not just a gf) and then immediately after texted one of his male friends, added an x out of habit, and was then mercilessly mocked.

One of the joys of x-ing is analysing the texts from a boy you like and trying to figure what xx REALLY MEANS. Especially when your text to him had xxx??? This fills a lot of time when you're 16.

In my experience, kissing in real life is not quite so ubiquitous. Kissing someone upon meeting them is quite a public school thing (by "public" I mean "very posh private"). If you were to meet a more ordinary person, say lower-middle-class or lower, I think they'd be unlikely to kiss you. Whereas the French really do kiss everyone twice the second they meet them (this is all in my experience, though).

When Brits do xoxo they tend to be referencing gossip girl.

OxfordComma

*waves*

Hi, A Clean Person's Mom!

parallel-lines

"Your house is going to stink like vinegar. Which might not be a bad thing."

This is the worst thing! BLEGH! I can barely use vinegar to spot clean without gagging - it smells so bad! Bed Bath and Beyond sells some sort of humidifier cleaner for those of us who can't stand the smell of the stuff.

Porn Peddler

@parallel-lines I guess with a humidifier it would probably stank your house up pretty good but otherwise the smell dissipates quickly!

miwome

@parallel-lines I am a vinegar addict and I love the smell of vinegar. It makes my mouth water. So this would be a net bonus for me, with the caveat of its possibly inducing an uncontrollable snack binge.

parallel-lines

@Third Wave Housewife There have been times I've done the vinegar/baking soda thing on my stove and come back hours later and I can still smell the vinegar and have to open all the windows and turn on the fan. I like vinegar and salt chips and I love pickles but the smell of straight up vinegar makes my eyes hurt.

Mad as a Hatter!

@miwome I work in a pathology lab and have to use acetic acid periodically and I LOVE it for the vinegar smell. The days I use it I'm like hip hip acetic acid!

Craftastrophies

@parallel-lines I don't hate it, but I can see why you would. And I am super thingy about chemically esther smells - I spend the first weekend in my last house at someone else's place because the real estate agents had left an air freshener in there and, even after I got rid of it, every time I went inside I gagged. So I feel your pain.

Anji

@miwome Oh thank god I'm not the only one! The mere scent of vinegar - any vinegar - is enough to immediately get my mouth watering in a terribly indecent manner. Malt vinegar on french fries and onion rings is just the best. Vinegar > ketchup. FOREVER.

miwome

Silently judging ability +10: activate

Also, why would you put your sopping feet directly into slippers? Doesn't that just seem horrible, like your socks getting wet on a super rainy day? This is not about silent judging, I am legitimately mystified.

Lily Rowan

@miwome I don't know about sopping feet, but I do want to put my slippers back on ASAP after a shower, because it's cold in the bathroom! And my slippers are sofa kind cozy!

But I am excited to try some of this business, because while they are not smelly (as far as I've noticed), they are getting worn-out looking on the inside, and I wonder if they can be revived rather than replaced.

miwome

@Lily Rowan I feel the same way, it's just, I dry my feet with the rest of me after I shower? I didn't know that was optional.

Lily Rowan

@miwome My feet are so far away? I'm already standing on the bathmat, so my soles dry off? I often slack on drying my ankles+feet. I don't know.

miwome

@Lily Rowan That's kind of what I'm saying, though? Like, your feet should get pretty dry anyway, I would think (though I do dry mine, I really hate the feeling of wet feet, possibly owing to a Chicago winter where my sturdiest footwear was Converse with holes in them). I dunno, just the idea of wet feet in slippers gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Lily Rowan

@miwome Oh sure, stepping directly from the shower into the slippers is weird. I mean, obviously.

Craftastrophies

@miwome I know people who like to wrap their wet selves straight into a bathroom/dressing gown without drying? Which grosses me out, but they find it luxurious. So maybe it's like that, but for feet?

miwome

@Craftastrophies But it's DIFFERENT because there are air currents involved there! Ahhh I need to let this one go.

Craftastrophies

@miwome never let go, Jack.

Dancercise

Jolie! Speaking of vinegar, I bought 4 gallons of it at Costco this weekend for $3! And now that I can make it scented to de-stinkify it? I'm pretty sure my entire wardrobe and all my possession are going to have a solid coating of vinegar.

jennie

I have an urgent stinky footwear situation that I hope some 'pinners can advise me on!!
First, does anyone else wear Hunter boots? I got myself a cute pair of wellies for the rain/snow/sludge situation Chicago experiences 9 months out of the year. I am in love with them - so versatile, they even look good with skinny jeans at a bar! And then my boyfriend's brother got me these adorable socks http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/hunter-basketweave-tall-socks/3167320?origin=keywordsearch&resultback=1311 for Christmas and I died of shoe love.
My question is: am I supposed to wash those socks every time I wear them? What if I want to wear them with my boots like, umm, everyday of the week? What if my feet sweat because I have a space heater under my desk because OMG ITS COLD in Chicago and the socks are weird and stinky and damp at the end of the day? WHAT DO YOU GUYS DO!?

Equestrienne

@jennie I live in Hunter boots, and have the welly sock you mentioned in the cable style. If you're wearing the liners without socks, they should probably be washed like socks. Because the top part is wool (on the cable ones, anyway) use Woolite or baby shampoo. Because the liners are too warm to really wear with socks, I like to pair them with those thin little foot thingies...like a nicer version of the "peds" you use when you try on shoes in stores. You can buy these cheap at most drugstores.

noodge

@jennie sounds like you need more than one pair of hunter wellie socks. OR you can just get the much less expensive over the knee socks at Target (like I do) and wear them like you wear the wellie socks. Less expensive, variety of colors, warm, and looks fab with the hunters.

theharpoon

@jennie I think the real question here is, how did you get your boyfriend's brother to start buying you presents??

taxine

@jennie I have these, and just wear socks with them, I'm sure you could get thin ankle socks(I got these at Target before, they're not the nylon ones like for trying on shoes, but rather just thin polycotton blend designed for sneakers) that wouldn't really add to the warmth(I only got my welly-socks for xmas, and I'm in Boston, so being too warm hasn't been an issue with regular socks yet).

bangs
bangs

While we're talking about shoes... How do you clean leather soles and insoles? If they are disugusting and black?

hulia

@Xaxa I want to know, too! But I am hoping the answer is not "Get rid of your old shoes, seriously, they are revolting."

Equestrienne

When I recently complained about the awful stench of my riding helmet, someone at my barn told me to leave it out in the cold over night. The drop in temperature would kill the bacteria and eliminate (most of) the smell. I left the offending helmet in the garage for a day or two in below freezing temps, and it worked like a charm. I'm thinking this could also work for slippers, shoes, etc. Just make sure they are completely dry first!

parallel-lines

@Equestrienne My friend tried doing this with a really stinky pair of snowboarding boots - he left them on the balcony overnight. Which might have worked if a cat didn't come and pee on them.

Is this the part where I tell you that he kept wearing them anyway?

noodge

@Equestrienne yes, if you add baking soda to whatever stinks, wrap it in a plastic baggie, and stick it in the freezer for at least a day, this works too.

Ellie

@Equestrienne I've done this with sweaters to try to go longer between washing. In my experience it doesn't really work, but again, that was sweaters.

Equestrienne

@parallel-lines Get rid of your men, seriously, they are revolting.

Diana

@Equestrienne

This works with jeans! My boyfriend has those raw-denim jeans that look really nice but are washed like once a year, but you stick them in the freezer overnight and the smells are all gone.

AniaGosia

@Diana Raw denim jeans that are washed only once a year? What? I have been living in a cave, apparently.

hulia

@Diana My boyfriend does this, too, and I find it fascinating. Although sometimes he washes them in the shower while wearing them (to hold the shape, I guess?). This results in absolutely horrifying amounts of dirt running down the shower drain, though, which leads me to conclude that the freezer might get rid of the stench but does not get rid of the grime.

I can't bear to try to put my flats in the freezer, though, to get rid of their stench. I just can't get past the idea of stinky shoes near food I'm planning on eating, no matter how frozen or sealed it is.

Diana

@hulia

Maybe it will still work if you put your shoes in a ziploc freezer bag first!

Megasus

Uggs = not winter boots. So don't wear them out in winter. That would be my reply.

Xanthophyllippa

@Megan Patterson@facebook Especially since they have no treads worth mentioning and you'll land on your ass sooner rather than later.

Megasus

@Xanthophyllippa Yup! They were invented by Australians! They have no clue!

Craftastrophies

@Megan Patterson@facebook We have clues! Clues about slippers! Slippers for the inside of houses!

It's the Yanks who decided to wear them outside. Don't blame us.

Non-anonymous

I dry my feet as I am getting out of the shower. Stand in shower; lift one foot, dry it, set it outside of shower; repeat with other foot. So shoving wet feet into slippers is never even an issue. I assumed most people did this, but maybe I'm just weird?

atipofthehat

@Non-anonymous

I'll bet you squeeze out your sponges instead of leaving them sopping wet at the bottom of the sink, too!

O, THIS WORLD WAS NOT MEANT FOR THE RATIONAL

Hellcat

@Non-anonymous YES! Maybe I am lame and loony, but I LOVE that someone else does this! I do not understand the soggy-footprint-on-the-bathmat system! You walk in later in sock-feet, and blammo!

wharrgarbl

@Non-anonymous I do if I am putting on slippers/shoes immediately afterwards. I don't bother if I'm going barefoot, but then I also cannot brook sock-feet, so there may be some other issues of which I am unaware.

Lily Rowan

@Hellcat But you hang your bathmat to dry after. That's what it's for!

Hellcat

@Lily Rowan But then... what will I stand on when I brush my teeth in my bare feet?

Lily Rowan

@Hellcat Your slippers!

No, really, I would say all of the ablutions around the shower are one event, and the bathmat can be on the floor then, but it hangs the rest of the day. Basically. In my house.

Scandyhoovian

@Non-anonymous oh man the wet footprint on the bathmat. I've always been a "dry off in the shower and then do the feet before stepping out" person, mostly due to the OH GOD I'M SO CLUMSY I WILL SLIP AND DIE feelings I get with wet feet on tile floors, but then I met the boything and he is a step-out-then-dry-off type of a person and OH GOD MY BATHMAT, MY BEAUTIFUL WOVEN MOSTLY-DECORATIVE BATHMAT. So many footprints. So many wet socks after coming in post-boything's-shower.

And then he just looked at me like "get a useful bathmat and not this decorative nonsense" (GASP) and the next thing you know he's got this... looks like a hotel bathmat thing? Like it's a towel but with more decorative patterning on it 'cause it's not meant to be absorbent so much as it is to just catch excess water that slides off your legs -- ANYWAY this is getting long but the point is boything hangs his bathmat over the shower rod to dry after a shower and has no qualms about soaking the damn thing through with his wet feet on his way out of the shower and it has taken some getting used to and now what happens is all my decorative bathmats have been deemed useless because with his habits it makes no sense to have them, the end. Tragedy.

Hellcat

@Lily Rowan Ahhh, good point that logical person who have thought of. I am a notoriously barefoot creature though (once I get home, that is), and rarely remember that there are such things as slippers!

Lily Rowan

@tekkatron I seriously don't understand what a mostly-decorative bathmat even is. Is it a rug for the bathroom? Because bathrooms do get to have both things....?

@Hellcat I am a never-barefoot, so it's really a whole nother world.

Hellcat

@Lily Rowan I'm picturing us as some kind of Odd Coupleesque sitcom now.

Lily Rowan

@Hellcat LOVE IT.

Hellcat

@Lily Rowan You teach me about foot warmth and safety precautions, while I show you that freeing your toes does not have to mean fleeing your responsibilities! We can call it...

Sole Mates. Take THAT, Two Broke Girls.

Hellcat

@Lily Rowan I just had to come back and apologize for my atrocious typing a few posts ago -- "good point that logical person who have thought of." What the hell was I doing? Sorry 'bout that!

Lily Rowan

@Hellcat And yet? Totally readable! As long as readers are reading as fast as typers are typing, we're OK.

Can Sole Mates have a "schlemiel, schlamazel" type theme song?

Hellcat

@Lily Rowan Uhhh... YES! Accompanied by a montage that includes scenes depicting "zany," "exasperated," and "heartfelt."

Lily Rowan

@Hellcat
YAY!

Veronica Mars is smarter than me

@tekkatron But if the bathmat is hanging on the curtain rod, HOW DOES THE CURTAIN DRY??? (we drape ours over the side of the tub which somehow works)

tea for all

@Lily Rowan a thousand thumbs up for "ablutions." i thought i was the only one who used this word. it's especially appropriate because my abluting regimen is a flippin' Process.

Craftastrophies

@tea for all I have a row of hooks in my bathroom, one of which is for my towel, one for my bfs towel, one for the bathmat. I step out of shower onto it, then the next time I enter the bathroom after that, I hang it on the hook. My bathroom is teeeny, the ventilation inadequate, and the curtain rail high, so I need the matt to absorb the water that splashes onto the floor. But either way, I don't understand a non-functional bathmatt.

Scandyhoovian

@Lily Rowan mostly by "mostly decorative" I mean that mine rarely got *wet* much at all before the boything because of the way I dried off before stepping on it, not that it's actually useless in its ability to be a bathmat.

@Veronica Mars is smarter than me SOMEHOW IT MAGICALLY DOES!? I can't quite understand it, perhaps it's something to do with the material the curtain's made of or somesuch somethingsomething etcetera?

atipofthehat

What about when hard water causes lime and calcium buildup on the inside of the humidifier? The part that isn't submersible and apparently not designed to be cleaned?

noodge

@atipofthehat I would think that the vinegar solution would help with that (since vinegar is an acid and lime is a base, hence the vinegar should be able to dissolve the lime?)

Faintly Macabre

@teenie I think that would work--they recommend using cut lemons or vinegar to de-cake electric kettles. Or maybe those tablets they sell for kettles? (I have no idea of the anatomy of humidifiers...)

teaandcakeordeath

@atipofthehat
I am more of A Slobby Person and have never had a cleaning tip to share in my life so I am excited to say that I got rid of a lot of nasty limescale in my kettle by just putting vinegar in it and leaving it for a few hours.

This article just says soaking is key so if you can get something and soak it in vinegar and sort of leave it there then it might do the trick:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/aug/23/how-to-remove-limescale

atipofthehat

@teenie
@Faintly Macabre
@teaandcakeordeath

Thank you!

And now I'm wondering if lemon juice would work. I LOVE lemons.

missupright

@teaandcakeordeath *Paris face* my Lovely Employer puts a clean oyster shell in the kettle every time we have oysters to get rid of limescale. I think it works, but I might just be besotted with her/her life/Paris/oysters.

atipofthehat

@missupright

Funny, I have an oystershell in the truck. I'll try it!

teaandcakeordeath

@missupright
An oyster? Oh my that's some fancy cleaning.

anachronistique

@atipofthehat I always just attack it with a toothbrush.

Faintly Macabre

Jolie, your mom must be so proud! I can't show your column to my mom, or else she'll want to trade me for you.

P.S. If you use nailpolish remover to get nailpolish out of non-torn stockings, will it also dissolve the stockings?

KevinQ

Somebody needs to tell me why this is a bad idea - My humidifier (cool mist) was getting funky pretty quickly - probably a mix of mildew and lime. So I started adding a little dash of shower spray each time I filled the tank - probably a tablespoon or less each time. It makes the house smell nice (flowery) and seems to be keeping down the cooties.

Is there any reason I shouldn't be inhaling that shower spray stuff?

K

tea for all

@KevinQ check the ingredients and assess how worried they make you? if it's that method stuff, no worries, because i think those products are all non-toxic. but if it's, like, clorox... i would reconsider.

detectivefiction

@KevinQ There's an actual additive you can buy that's made to put in humidifier tanks, but it might be only for warm mist. It's basically made to be used the way you're suggesting and seems like it would be safer to breathe than shower spray (which, IIRC, is usually just alcohol-based?)

karion

Dear Ask a Clean Person's Mom:

Was Jolie the type of child who wrote her own chore schedule?

Did Jolie's birthday and Christmas hauls include cleaning products?

On the rare occasion that Jolie needed punishing, did it involve spending time in unclean places?

Do you clean before Jolie comes home for visits?

Have you any tips on how to raise A Clean Person?

With the utmost respect and gratitude,
karion

AniaGosia

@karion Yes, tips on how to raise a Clean Person, please! Especially tips for Not-So-Clean Persons wanting to raise a Clean Person.

Craftastrophies

@karion 'go sit in and filthy corner and think about what you've done! If you repent, I'll let you have some bleachie so you can go back and clean it after'.

LastMinuteLulu

Do sneaker balls/shoe nuts work for stinky flats too, or are they too big? I tend to wear mine without socks the entire summer because I never seem able to find those special tiny socks that you're supposed to wear with them, and then I end up having to buy new flats every year! I try spraying them with Odor Eaters, but that only works for so long. ::sigh::

catfoodandhairnets

@LastMinuteLulu LYSOL WIPES!!! A clean person in my life introduced me to lysol wipes. When you get home, or when you put the big stack of shoes that accumulate beside your coffee table away wipe the inside of any shoes you wear without real socks with lysol wipes. Pay particular attention to that seam bit between the sole and upper. No more stinky shoes. If you get the lemon ones you can leave the wipe in the toe bit and it will dry all lemony scented.

Porn Peddler

@catfoodandhairnets As someone who once used some lysol wipes to clean her man's ridiculously smelly feet (while he was dozing in bed. I was bored and wanted to paint his toenails but they smelled so bad) I will attest to Lysol's amazing ability to destroy foot funk.

catfoodandhairnets

@LastMinuteLulu It will not rescue any really stinky ones. But when you get new ones start this. I started after an airport security dude scrunched his nose up at my stinky flats on a business trip. THE SHAME.

allofthecrafts

@LastMinuteLulu oh my god i LIVE in flats, so i feel your pain. literally every day, even in the winter. no socks. because i'm insane i guess? but man, they get gross after a while, especially the ones that are cloth on the inside and not like plastic-y. so, i've started only buying the plastic-y-on-the-inside kind of flats because they seem to hold up better to um, foot sweat ew ew ew.

i heard that making little baggies of kitty litter out of old tights and sticking them in the shoes when you take them off can work to help absorb the moisture (and therefore fend off the stank i suppose), but i have yet to try it.

Megasus

@LastMinuteLulu To be fair, those sockie things don't stay on for shit anyway.

anachronistique

@catfoodandhairnets Alternately, get a big can of Lysol and just spray the heck out of the insides. I do this with all my shoes periodically and haven't had issues with it destroying the shoes - though they are mostly cheap, so I may not have them long enough to notice?

detectivefiction

@anachronistique Lysol is a neurotoxin. I wouldn't spray it on anything I was planning to wear unless I planned to wash out the Lysol before wearing it.

Artemis47

@detectivefiction No it isn't: http://www.hescoinc.com/msds/ly800271.pdf

nevernude cutoffs

Maybe I'm just in an extra silly mood, but Father of a Clean Person's joke made me laugh out loud.

Alibi Jones

I'm an Ugg wearer, and I used to not understand the Ugg haters at all! They would be all "Sweet Jesus those are hideous why would you ever wear them?" and I was like "Tra-la-la! They're not so bad, and besides that they're comfortable so who cares?" And then Crocs became popular. And every time I see someone with Crocs on I want to rip those abominations off their feet and heave them into the sea.

So I guess what I'm saying is: I feel you, Ugg haters. I still think you're wrong, but I feel you.

lobsterhug

@Alibi Jones I'm such a bad hater because I despised both Uggs and Crocs and yet I have owned both and worn them with impunity. I have to say that they Uggs win hands down!

They are the softest, warmest and most comfortable shoes. I had no I idea what I was missing. And they are perfect for cold days with no rain/snow, which honestly is most of the winter. Especially this year, since it's hardly snowed in New England at all.

Craftastrophies

@Alibi Jones My stance on both of those things is 'I see that it is comfortable, you seem to like it, carry on'. But I do not understand people (usually young girls in skinny jeans with hair extensions) who think they are high fashion.

But then, I'm Old, so maybe they ARE high fashion?

lobsterhug

@Craftastrophies Yes, I think this is the heart of the problem: young girls mistaking something relatively expensive for something fashionable.

DrFeelGood

@Alibi Jones the jeans/sweatpants tucked into the Uggs... why!?

Diana

I think teaching me how to de-odorize my shoes has just saved my relationship. Thank you, Jolie.

Manatee

I'm a hard-core ugg wearer. My first pair smelled so bad they were biohazards. Like, my roommate wouldn't let me keep them in the house and I had to wash my feet immediatley upon entering our apt if I wore my Uggs that day. You know how the word on the street is that you are supposed to wear Uggs sockless? That is a fallacy. That is why Uggs smell like dead, rotting camel. I wear really thin, cotton no-show socks with mine (like these http://Img1.targetimg1.com/wcsstore/TargetSAS//img/p/13/73/13733694_265x265_pad.jpg) Bonus: they come in cute patterns. I've had the same Uggs for like 2 years now and they don't smell at all.

melis

You will, of course, understand that we may hesitate to trust your judgment after this revelation.

atipofthehat

@melis

Next season: FULL BODY UGGS

LilyMarlene

Can I scream from the rooftops/raise the roof/set the roof on fire about how much I love scented vinegar?!? Like, I'ma evangelicalize about it up in here.

Therefore: get a massive 2-liter bottle of white vinegar, and put a fistful of really ripe lavender flowers in the top part. Cap the vinegar and let it sit in a sunny spot for a day or two, shaking it every so often. The lavender's color and scent will infuse into the vinegar from the sun's heat.

The process is complete when the vinegar basically turns fluorescent purple and smells less vinegar-y, more lavender-y. Strain the flowers out, pour the purple stuff into a spray bottle, and voila - pretty-smelling-and-looking hard surface/glass cleaner!

Also: If you're the type who really, really hates the smell of vinegar and still find it overpowering after this process, a drop or two of lavender essential oil should take the excess vinegar stank away.

It's best to undertake this when lavender is in bountiful supply and gets lovely and ripe (i.e., summer, unless you live in the south of France or something, where I think there's pretty much always lavender). To ensure a supply for the winter, you may find your home turned into a scented vinegar factory at certain times of the year. When guests walk into my home and see every sunny surface covered in two-liter purple vinegar bottles and get all judge-y, I just tell them I make my own douche products, and I unfortunately need it in vast, two-liter quantities at a time.

whereismyrobot

I have a dumb humidifier question (not cleaning related). I run the humidifier on low at night, but I have a computer on the other side of the room (and an iHome with my iphone on it).
How damaging is this? I NEED the humidifier.

Xanthophyllippa

@whereismyrobot: Probably not damaging, unless you've got the humidifier up so high it's creating clouds and little thunderstorms in the room.

gobblegirl

@whereismyrobot I figure people own computers in places like Florida and it seems to work fine for them, so me and my humidifier in dry-as-the-Kalahari Alberta is probably not going to damage anything.

Blaurghs

Re: Uggs....

I wore them proudly in college when I was treasurer or my sorority. Now, as a real-life person, I usually only wear them when I go to the laundromat or run to the food mart down the street. They aren't cute, they are warm. And they can be washed in the washing machine!

I have thrown mine in the machine, on delicate, and I used that special detergent for baby clothes or delicates or whatever. Then air dry them - I put wine bottles in mine to hold their shape upright until they were only slightly damp, then took the bottles out to finish drying. Then resprayed with that waterproof shiz. Done

Squinkleys

@Blaurghs YES YES YES you can!!! the Ugg salespeople will tell you no, but my mom (who has been wearing Uggs since the '70s as slippers) was like "PSHAW" and she was right. I spray mine with great waterproofing stuff, Kiwi brand "Protect-all" and they've survived being worn LITERALLY every day in the freezing winters of Pennsylvania (not about fashion, people, it's just really really cold and Uggs are crazy warm/awesome). I never had wet feet. When grubby, I would use Kiwi "suede & nubuck cleaner" (which I got at Target), then throw them in the washing machine on gentle, and then dry them IN THE DRYER (seriously! It puffs up the fluffy wooly part again! Just throw a couple towels in the dryer with them). Then rub the boots with the handy-dandy top part of the nubuck/suede cleaner bottle, which is a gentle-ish kind of plastic bristle brush, to restore the nap. Then re-spray with the protect-all water proofing stuff, and you're good to go. I've done this loads of times, and people always say my Uggs look new, even though they're like 2 years old. Keep in mind, they're made from sheepskin, not spun glass. Skin is hardy!

Hambulance

(it tingles!)

I AM DYING.

Craftastrophies

@Hambulance Jolie is the cutest.

Kneesies!

Craftastrophies

I NEVER comment without finishing reading, but I need to say that I need a t-shirt that says 'What do Clean Persons do?'

And maybe the back will say xxMom?

sparrow303

I had a roommate once who put her size 11 uggs in the dryer. THE DRYER (the dryer that I shared my bedroom wall with). At 5am. And when I woke up and rather understandably thought someone had perhaps broken into our house by using a golf club to bash open the door (because what else could be making that godawful racket?), she got mad. At me. For not understanding her needs? Grad school was a complicated time.

Squinkleys

@fishiefishfish (Yeah, that's why you put towels in with the uggs, so they don't pound the shit out of the dryer/produce obnoxiously loud noise)

Xanthophyllippa

@fishiefishfish How did someone with that kind of logic even get IN to grad school?

sparrow303

@Xanthophyllippa My other roommates and I asked that question frequently.

Valley Girl

THANK YOU JOLIE! This is so timely for me; I've really been hitting the Clean Person kick lately and have been vinegaring everything in sight, and now after all the exposure instead of Easter eggs or douche it smells really strongly of KETCHUP to me and I'm finding it completely nauseating. I'm thinking some peppermint or orange essential oil would make a nice clean smell I would enjoy more.

spectacularisms

DIY suede cleaning. This worked on RED NAIL POLISH that I spilled on brand-new LL Bean suede slippers. You can employ some or all of these steps, depending on what you have around the house.

1. Use a paper towel or something to blot up any of the excess of whatever it is got onto your boots. Don't use water. This step obviously doesn't apply if the stain is dry.
2. Use a dry, cheap, hard-bristle toothbrush to chip off as much of the stain as you can.
3. Hold the object over a sink. Take some extra-fine-grit sandpaper (The stuff used for FINISHING wood, not for shaping it. 220 or 240) and gently buff the stain out of the suede.
4. GENTLY!
5. Do not begin crying. Yes, there is a snowstorm of tiny flakes of suede. This is because you are rubbing the top layer off of the suede.
6. Take a suede brush and brush the suede to restore the "nap." Pretend you are Mr. Carson: move your hand really precisely, but with a touch of English briskness. (I used a boar-bristle hair brush, and a shoe-brush should work, too. The toothbrush won't.)

It's not going to look PERFECT, but the red nail polish stain went from game-changer to barely noticeable, and I didn't have to pay $50 for professional leather cleaning.

DrFeelGood

@spectacularisms ooh thank you. I have a pair of hiking sandals that are pink suede... not my biggest moment of clarity, but they are soo comfortable.

finky

For slippers, dude should just buy them at LLBean and then return them over and over again when they get stinky. There are girls who wear their LLBean slippers as outdoor shoes and then just return them. I saw it with my own eyes! Of course, I am still mad at Bean for not letting me return my boyfriend's 20 year old backpack.

detectivefiction

My humidifier (warm mist, Vicks, single tank, advertised as being 90-some percent bacteria-free, etc) came with cleaning instructions! I haven't used it in a few years, but I recall them being: 1. Fill the tank with a bleach and water solution in your sink, cap it, and leave it setting for at least 20 minutes, rotating it so that all surfaces come in contact with the bleach. 2. All other removable parts can either be soaked in a bleach and water solution or run through the dishwasher on the top rack. 3. The reservoir with the heat element is filled with white vinegar and allowed to soak for a while. (There *will* be mineral scale to remove from the element.) 4. Rinse anything that came in contact with bleach solution or vinegar. Most of this stuff has to be dry before you reassemble the humidifier (obvs not the inside of the tank or the interior wells where the water will be heating anyway). I think you're supposed to do this every two weeks, but it might be every week. Anyway, it's basically a "Sunday evening in the kitchen" task because it requires some time and space, but it's easy.

cmchammer

Hey A Clean Person! I just wanted to say that I remembered your earlier advice for using baby wipes in a dire situation last week, purchasing a package to clean up my severely mud-encrusted shoes. They made it out alive! The shoes, I mean. I think I used all 25 baby wipes. Thanks for your advice, and feel free to read about my misadventures in footwear here: http://travelswithmoonshine.blogspot.com/2012/03/lessons-for-enthusiastic-pedestrian.html

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