Thursday, August 8, 2013

Potions Class; or A Long Winded Story About Shower Walls.

First, let me start by saying, for those of you who don't know, my bathroom is blue. I suppose at one point, it was a lovely robin egg blue, but after being blue for thirty years, a couple of years with no tending whatsoever, and then, well, we came along. I haven't been, let's just say, diligent about cleaning the bathrooms. Rest assured I KNOW how to clean a bathroom. When I worked retail that's one of the jobs they always had me do because I would do it quickly and be thorough about it, but when it comes to my own house, before starting over as I have been, I was lax about the bathrooms. After 2-3 months even the nicest bathroom can be a little scary, and mine had gone more than that without a proper rub-down.

I decided to do a House Boot Camp. It's three weeks of working extra hard so that I can get back to eating bon-bons and watching daytime TV. That's what we housewyfs do, right? No? Oh. Right. Back to the Home Front with you, Prudence!

Alright, chemistry time--actually, avoiding chemistry time. Of all of my cleaning supplies, I use NO bleach and NO ammonia. I use mostly Vinegar mixed with other stuff, and occasionally use Borax, a mineral, and Baking Soda/Washing Soda (closely related). I only have to worry when pulling out my big gun: Hydrogen Peroxide. This can be safely combined with Borax or Baking soda, but combining it with vinegar yields something called Peracetic Acid (and Oxygen for those playing the home game). This does not clean things. This burns things. Let's not use this. (EDIT: Peracetic Acid is used in Pine-sol and other harsh chemical cleaners. While this means that I could make it at home, I don't want to. I like my nose hairs in tact.)

Well, I decided, under my usual mantra of "There is very little I could do to make this worse," to try my new Peroxide spray. I didn't expect much, possibly a bit of bleaching. I certainly didn't expect foaming. That was  a surprise. The mark of a good housewyf is never panicking. Never. Spilled juice, broken arms, and the fridge kicking on have the same emotional response to an elite housewyf. So, not panicking, I wiped it down.

It was still blue. I'd like to call this "on the plus side," but I just can't bring myself to say it. On the other hand, it was also no longer starting to turn a startling an moderately violent shade of orange, signalling an infection of Serratia marcescens, a nasty bacteria. I know I need to regrout the tub, and I'm sure the whispering toilet has told me on multiple occasions to either assassinate a pop star or else watch reality television, it's hard to tell. I'll fix that later, I think I have some more caulk, string and miracles somewhere.