10 Smart, Hilarious Cleaning Tips from Vacuum in the Dark Novelist Jen Beagin


Pretend I’m Dead, Jen Begin’s debut novel changed into certainly one of our favorite books of 2018. It stars Mona, a 20-something housecleaner who is awful at relationships, however exact at taking furtive pics of herself wearing her patron’s clothes.

Begin’s a follow-up, Vacuum inside the Dark also follows Mona as she attempts to wash the dust from her past and present. Despite being brash, Mona is a lovingly-crafted and straightforward individual; it must come as no wonder that Begins herself once wiped clean other human beings’ homes. We asked the novelist to present us her 10 great suggestions to keep your place as sparkling as her prose.
Use stones.
Pumice stones eliminate callouses from your feet. However, I don’t use them on my toes, and I must. I use them in my bathrooms. It’s the most effective factor that gets rid of difficult water stains from porcelain without scratching it. So, that ring round your restroom bowl that by no means seems to head away? Hit it with the pumice. But ensure the pumice is white or gray—not black. You might want gloves for this system, even though I never use them, which might be why I even have the palms of a seventy three-12 months-old.

Try olive oil.

Olive oil absolutely does polish stainless steel, but a pal informed me he used it on his appliances, and his puppies spent the following numerous days licking his refrigerator and oven. But olive oil might be exact for puppies. Two birds.

Stick to natural substances.

For fresh rust stains, use lemon and salt. Make a type of paste with it, smear a generous amount on the stains, and let it sit down for a minute. For hardcore rust stains, purchase that awesome toxic stuff on the bottom shelf of the grocery save. It comes in a bottle that makes you want to drink it, kind of like Kombucha or Gatorade; however, DON’T DRINK IT.

Forget bleach.

To get your sheets and towels truly white—and anyone ought to have white linens, in my opinion, as it’s classy—use bluing liquid, not bleach. My favorite product is Mrs. Stewart’s Liquid Bluing: Whitening Whites Safely Since 1883. It’s to be had online, and it’s focused and non-poisonous and will ultimate forever since you most effective need 1 / 4 of a teaspoon for an entire load of linens. Read the instructions carefully—you ought to upload the bluing agent to water before including your linens. I recognize it appears bizarre to clean your white items in blue liquid, but I don’t recognize that truly white fabric is truly a touch blue for scientific reasons.

Really, persist with natural substances.

The great manner to easy a microwave is to dampen a rag with water and a touch lemon juice and zap it for fifteen seconds. Let the rag cool for five seconds. Wipe out the microwave. Smile. All that spaghetti sauce caught to the top is now for your rag, and the microwave smells like lemons. (This is likewise the most effective way to smooth your sponges when they’re semi-new; however, one way or the other already smelly.)

Stay away from solar.

Never easy a reflector window in direct sunlight. It will streak immediately and seemingly irrevocably. When this happens, wash the surface with water, watch for the solar to move down, drink a few wines, begin again within the morning.

Find the proper sponge.

If your bathroom tiles are protected in soap scum, strive to set some of your shampoos on the scrubby a part of your Scotch Brite sponge—the most effective sponge you need on your cleansing arsenal—after which lather the tiles along with your shampoo. I’ve been doing this with mixed consequences for years, however, while it really works, it definitely works, and it gained’t burns your nostril hairs like Tilex.

Follow those actual rest room-cleaning steps.

Back to toilets. When you easy a bathroom, first lift the seat. This appears apparent, but I’m continually amazed at the wide variety of people who skip this step. Next, sell off a bunch of Comet into the bowl, sufficient to smooth each of your brush and the bathroom. Now you’re geared up to clean. Don’t stir—it’s now not a bowl of sangria. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Under the rim, down into the cave, everywhere in between. You’re alleged to brush your enamel for two minutes—identical is going for the bathroom. When you’re executed, don’t flush yet. Spray the bottom of the seat and the rest of the toilet with Windex and wipe it down with toilet paper. Now flush. Use a rag for the pinnacle of the tank, which’s constantly very dusty.

Buy this vacuum.

On dates, I used to invite about the man or woman’s vacuum. As in, do you own one? What type? I likely ruined quite a few first dates this way. Maybe wait until the 1/3 date; however, don’t wait too long. A man or woman’s vacuum speaks volumes. This brings me to the cleaning tip: if vacuuming makes you cranky or irrationally indignant, chances are you’re using the incorrect one. Do yourself a favor and buy a Miele canister vacuum. Get the Miele that prices $600. It’s German engineering at its best, almost like driving a Mercedes. A Miele handles corners well, is not as loud as American vacuums, and is so handsome and compact you can use it as a purse. Personally, I don’t very own a Miele because I can’t manage to pay for one right now, but I’m hoping Miele will ship me an unfastened one for citing their call—Miele—six times in one paragraph.

Get assist.

Hire a cleaner. It’ll be one of the pleasant stuff you ever do for yourself. Interview her first to make sure she’s not like Mona, i.E. An annoyed photographer with boundary problems, and then treat her virtually, clearly well. Don’t overlook to tip her, for instance, and no longer just on Christmas. Tip her as you’ll your hairdresser because she’s dealing with just as tons of hair, in conjunction with all your different grimy commercial enterprise, and because cleansing houses aren’t any comic story if it’s finished properly. It’s without a doubt the toughest task I’ve ever had.