Sunday, December 14, 2014

Labor Saving

I have had another thrilling domestic epiphany, similar to that "ohhhhh" moment when I learned about nuking a dishcloth so it wouldn't smell in the morning.

Bear with me. I find these things exciting.

This particular epiphany had to do with the tile on the wall surrounding the shower downstairs. It's very nice tile--handmade Italian tile with raised designs and fancy ridged grouting.

It is also a complete bitch to clean.

The fancy grouting and the raised designs are prime areas for mildew and mold to grow. And we have just about the most mildew-prone bathroom you'll ever encounter anyway, so this is a real problem. The only way I could get the grout and tiles clean was with a toothbrush. Attacking all the tile with a toothbrush took about an hour and left my hands in a claw-like state for an hour afterwards (even before I was dealing with pregnancy-related carpal tunnel).

Needless to say, I was never eager to get right on it. Which is why the wall was usually in really deplorable condition before I would reluctantly break out the toothbrush.

This is the condition it has been in for the past, oh, two weeks or so. But now I REALLY didn't feel up to the toothbrushing, thanks to the aforementioned carpal tunnel and being, um, nine months pregnant.

But I ALSO knew that if I didn't do it now, I was not going to be doing it anytime in the near future and I just could not deal with facing that horrifying wall of tile for the next two months.

And this is when I had my revelation: I needed a bigger brush.

I know. Sometimes I am not the brightest light on the Christmas tree.

The MiL had actually bought me a bigger brush some time ago, thinking it would work for that tile. But it had a long handle that made it really awkward to scrub a wall with. What I needed, I thought, was a big, long and flat scrub brush of the sort that I associate with maids in the Victorian era scrubbing floors on their hands and knees. Like this.

Or like a similar brush the MiL bought awhile ago for cleaning her horse blankets (I think), but that has actually been in more or less constant use in our house as a scrub brush for a lot of other things.

So I used it. And all hail the brush, I scrubbed that tile clean in ten minutes flat.

There were some areas near the corners where the toothbrush will still be useful, but overall, I have found my mildew salvation. Alleluia.


tu mere said...

It's the little successes in life that make the biggest impact. Non-moldy grout is truly a thing of beauty to be celebrated. Now you can go into labor with a clear conscience.

Drew @ How To Cook Like Your Grandmother said...

Victorian maids probably knew a fair bit about labor saving practices.

Anonymous said...

You could also use a battery-driven toothbrush?! Mary in MN

mil said...

The brush was actually sold as one for grooming horses. I had a smaller scrub brush that seemed to be the best I could find in my cart when I strolled over to the horse section of my favorite store to buy some horse supplements. AHA!!! That's a useful brush, I said. And so it has proved to be. We've used it on everything but the horse.