Monday, May 26, 2008

Cleaning up messes my way

This is the reality of life. There will always be messes to clean up. After 50 plus years I know that. Sorry but it's true. Different kinds of messes. Today we will start with the easiest. If I smell a mess and go to clean it up, I puke. Yes sadly. My husband taught me to use perfume under my nose to manage the smells of the dentist and I found it worked to trick my brain for messy, smelly clean ups. I've not only had those little kid clean ups to do but after years of the animal kingdom I've had bad wounds, sick horses, I won't go on, I'm sure you are getting the picture, kinds of clean ups.
So I use my imagination. Sure this is what it was made for. A mess should be addressed fast. In your mind it gets worse with age. I dab that perfume and grab the cleaning tools and consider that an imaginary guest is at the end of my drive way and how fast can I clean it. Or I figure It must be diamonds and if I don't get them fast someone else will........IF ONLY.
The next great tool is Costco's Kirkland brand small wastebasket size bags. They come in a million in a box or so it seems. They are hard to unroll and sticky to open but when they are open they are magic. Light weight they can be used to clean up anything! It protects your hands and your arms if you wish. when you are done you just take your other hand and pull the bag inside out, over the paper towels, or rags or what ever was used to clean up. Now everything is in a bag you can quickly seal (to keep the smell away) and off to the trash it goes.
If it's carpet you need to clean you must get the liquid as fast as possible. There is a pad under your carpet. What ever soaks in there stays. I get an old bath towel, nice and thick (we call them horse towels as my middle child used them to dry her horses after their pre-show bathes) I lay that towel over the mess and stand, hop and put as much weight on the area as I can. Move that towel every few seconds to let the dry areas soak up what it can. Now take a peek. what do you have left to deal with? If the mess has color to deal with it you best take a cup of clear water, a fresh horse towel and pour that over the mess and lay the towel down and do the hop again. Is the color gone? Keep doing it until it is. I know a lot of towels, but it is better then other ways to pull wet messes up. (got a shop vacuum?)
Now for smell. Human, urine, animal smells all respond to an enzyme found in several brands of cleaners. We get ours by the gallon at the feed supply (farm supply) but you can try a pet store they just sell it in smaller bottles for more money. We buy the brand Natures Miracle. You need a sprayer and read if it needs diluting, some do, some don't. Put that bit of miracle in your sprayer and moisten the spill area. Only do this at the end when all moisture is pull up into the towels and nothing else needs to be done. Let it dry and try to keep family and pets from walking on a wet spill. They will make the spot dirty. My kids would see me put a towel over it until they went to bed so they couldn't leave dirt on the spot. I think they thought that is how to clean up a mess! Nope that towel came off at night so the spot could dry un-walked on.
Remember the key to cleaning up messes is the right tools, a bit of perfume and your imagination. Do it's always better. Don't think much about it, its a reality of life and being a Mommy is hard enough so don't add the messes to your stress! Save your frustration and concern for the people not the messes.

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