Saturday, April 26, 2008


I used to get Martha Stewart Living magazine. I'd oooh and ahhh over the gorgeous photography, dream of a perfectly clean, beautifully decorated home filled with "good things", and even contemplate making some of the recipes. The cat and I would curl on the couch in the mornings to watch her show and I'd buy Martha Stewart accessories at Kmart hoping to somehow become stylish, crafty, and organized. I was a new wife and clearly insane.

After a few years, I let my subscription run out. I never renewed because trying to force my Type B personality (& I'm even on the low end of that scale. B minus? C?) into Martha's super hyper Type A(+++!) lifestyle was stressing me out. Since then, I've accepted the fact that I am just not cut out to be a poster girl for good, or even mediocre, housekeeping and that I probably need a maid to follow me around, cleaning up after me - professional help, if you will. I'm a really good cook, have a thriving herb garden and while I might not have the tidiest house ever, I'm happier than most people I know, so who cares?

But yesterday I decided the mildew situation in the shower was starting to look like a science project. I got out some bleach cleaner and a scrubber. The bottle said that it would kill mildew at its roots (mildew has roots?) and I wanted that stuff dead forever. No zombie mildew, thankyouverymuch. And as I climbed into the shower to slay whatever beasties were lurking in there, I started to laugh. Whatever the Martha-approved method for cleaning showers was, this was most definitely not it... because there I was scrubbing away like a maniac, wearing nothing but a towel, Crocs on my feet and smile. (hey, I didn't want to get my clothes all wet. How do you do it?)

I eventually got the shower clean, and after that myself, but I really hope that the jerk who invented shower doors is now being slow roasted in hell.


falnfenix said...

hah, sounds like my housekeeping skills.

tyskkvinna said...

That's how I do it.. haha. It's also how I clean the dog. (Which I also do in the shower.)

BTW, if you ever find a need for it.. you can get "bleach pens" in the cleaning section (maybe the laundry section, depending on how they organise stuff). They look like a frivolous thing but THEY ARE NEAT AND USEFUL. My shower is tiled (bad idea! All I see with them now are mold homes) and it's by far the easiest way to get bleach good and in the cracks. Because sometimes, spray bleach is just *not* enough.

Carteach0 said...

Clorox cleaner with bleach.....
I give it a good mist down every few days. No scrubbing, mold, no crud, just clean.

I suspect plain old bleach solution would work fine as well.

Weer'd Beard said...

My Mother, who's name happens to be Martha, has many similarities with Mrs. Stewart. She watched the show and did many of the crafts, and tried several of the recipies. Now she's done with Martha Stewart. Her stuff looks good on paper, but overall the final product is crap.

I will say many of the recipes are inedable from my standpoint.

The Breda Method is MUCH better, I'd Fathom.

Less said...

I love Martha Stewart!


I'm an angry 200# man that loves the books that the wife brings home on how-to... While she's at school, I actually sneak off to read 'em!

Did I mention that I do all the cooking and 65% of the cleaning?

Anonymous said...

Automatic Shower Cleaners (little chemical warfare dispensers that hang off of your shower downspout) are the best invention ever. No cleaning, no mess, no muss, no fuss. Last person in the shower hits the button, dispenser gives warning tone, then douches the shower with "Agent Orange" or modern counterpart. Shower is clean, no mold, no soap scum, doors are clean and clear. Stuff is amazing.


homebru said...

The real advantage to shower curtain liners is that, when they get dirty enough, you can just replace them.

Really, how many people do you know who clean the black marks off of the inside of a light bulb and reseal it to avoid replacing it?

Xavier said...

That's how I clean the shower too!Mildew here is a way of life.

You may not be Martha Stewart, and neither is my wifemate, but I'm not Norm Abram either. I'm glad to see someone else doing some "This Damned House" stuff on their blogs. Maybe Helloize's Housekeeping Hints?"

Anonymous said...

(mildew has roots?)

technically i think they're called mycelia, but i'm pretty sure you don't really want to know.

and no, you won't get zombie mildew back. you'll get real, live mildew back --- mold, the next generation. (those showerhead poison dispensers, do they smell of anything? i might use them if they don't, but my partner's asthmatic, so chemical and/or perfume scents is a big deal.)

DirtCrashr said...

After de-bleaching I cut into the ceiling and installed a new, mo' powerful and quieter, high-flow fan in the master shower. It doubles the CFM of the old squirrel-rattler, and sucks out the vapor - the mildew has not reappeared. Re-sealed over the fresh drywall and repainted.
That being said, I understand that in all likelihood the mildew spores can live for centuries in a dormant state, snuggled into the paint-layer.

Chris H in Phx. said...

My wife bought one of the automated sprayers. Sounds like a construction truck backing up when you hit the button. I had to laugh at her tho, first time she used it, she wanted to see how high up the wall the thing sprayed so she cracked the door and peeked in as it was spraying. Got a snootfull of the stuff. My first thought was, great you just poisoned yourself but fortunately the only serious after effect was the humiliation factor of me reminding her about it about every 3 days or so. :)