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"Pumpkin" Pies

This is so dumb easy that I'm ashamed I didn't think of it before. READ MORE

Ask a Clean Person: Still With the Armpits

Apparently it's still summer, and apparently I'm still banging on about your armpits. How's about that?! READ MORE

Ask a Clean Person: 'Pits, Revisited

It's almost August, which means I've been sweating like my Slavic farmer forebears for months now. All the t-shirts (cotton!) that I bought at the beginning of the summer have gross pit stains! And not just a little discoloration on the lighter ones, but whitish, hardened patches as if the deodorant isn't washing out all the way! I've always used Tide detergent, and usually wash my shirts on cool with jeans and stuff. I've tried some Arm & Hammer "wash boost" and washing them on hot, but that didn't work. Can the damage be undone? If not, what can I do with my next round of shirts so they don't get ruined after one summer?? READ MORE

Ask a Clean Person: There's No Laundry Care Tag. EVERYBODY PANIC.

My dear boyfriend just got back from Afghanistan (hooray!) and brought with him many fun presents. Among which was a burqa for me. It's half-ly a keepsake gift, but is also very beautifully embroidered and I think it is wonderful and would like to keep it nearer to me than in the back of a drawer. However, it smells very strongly of sandalwood maybe? I really have no idea. Being that it was made for domestic consumption, it also lacks a laundering tag, and I have no idea what material it's made out of. Definitely not cotton or silk. Maybe polyester? Again, no idea. READ MORE

Ask a Clean Person: Dusty Air-Conditioners and Dirty Fans

What is the proper way to clean an air conditioning screen? I kind of just pull it out and rub it lightly so some of the dust pills off, but then now I ran it under some water? It didn't work all that great, either, but it was mostly clean, and I patted it dry with a paper towel and then put it back in, dampish. Was that horrible? READ MORE

Ask a Clean Person: Here We Go Again With the Roaches

HELP. After a ridiculous month of a roommate ditching me with a lease I couldn't afford and me subsequently living with my boyfriend for a month in his apartment that's barely big enough for him, I finally moved into a room of my own on June 1. It's close to public transportation, it's pretty, and I have hung things on the walls, and I was oh-so very happy. READ MORE

Ask an Indelicate Question: How Do You Go, Girl?

I was recently confronted with A Clean Person Mystery (I'm just like Father Dowling! Except … not at all!) that I was desperate to solve. So I turned to the internet, because the internet is magic. Here was the question as I posed it: READ MORE

Ask a Clean Person: Sulfur Water, Toilet Brushes and Shower Mold

The very bastion of cleanliness in my tiny box of an apartment has a stank issue. After merrily signing a lease on my new apartment, I moved all my stuff in and then promptly showered that nasty New Orleans sweat off my bod, as one is wont to do. Imagine my horror when the smell of sulfur (the devil? Hellsmoke coming for me?) filled my bathroom, coming (I think?) out of the drain, not the showerhead. READ MORE

Ask a Clean Person: What's Cookin'? Oh. Ew.

My problem is a strange one: what to do about an oven that smells like pee? Whenever the old gas range in my new apartment gets turned on, the room gradually fills with the smell of urine. Like, stale, nasty urine-stink. At first, I thought it was the fan vent above the stove, but soaking and scrubbing that has done absolutely nothing for the problem. I can only conclude that the issue lies within the oven itself and not the burners, since it seems to be primarily preheating that unleashes the smell. My landlord will throw a fit if any parts are replaced/dismantled, so I need to find a way to sanitize this one into submission. READ MORE

Ask a Clean Person: Laundry School Commencement Exercises

Get out your notebooks, sharpen your pencils, hone your note-passing skills: Laundry School is in session! We're devoting the entire month of May to the subject of laundry. And what fun would Laundry School be if you couldn't backtalk the teacher, right? So! The Twitter hashtag for this is #LAUNDRYSCHOOL. If you follow me on Twitter (@joliekerr) you can holler at me when you do your laundry! Or lemme see those beautiful piles of folded clothes! Or ask questions! Or tweet at me in emergency situations! Or maybe you just really, really, really need to talk to me about how folding a fitted sheet sends you into fits of rage. This is me, being here for you. And because I try to be here for you in as many ways as possible, I've started a pinboard devoted entirely to laundry to serve as a reference source. Most importantly: got questions? Ask away! READ MORE