Thursday, September 07, 2006

Swiffer = Google of Cleaning?

Done with mowing the yard. Mosquitoes are bad down here on the Gulf Coast right now. I sprayed down with insect repellent (don't want me none of 'dat West Nile virus mojo). It worked as I didn't see a single one, but somehow it seemed to perversely attract "love-bugs" (aka. Plecia nearctica) in black swarms around me. Actually, I believe it was the petrol-exhaust fumes from the mower. I think there is something in the fumes that attracts them. They often seem heaviest in concentration around gas stations. Although harmless, they can quickly render a Gulf-Coast commuter's windscreen uselessly covered in clear, smeary gunk of bug-guts--quickly baked to an hardened enamel-like finish in the Texas sun. Also rendering the front bumper and grill of said vehicles peppered with black bodies and wings unable to be scrubbed off without damage to the finish without, petroleum based bug-remover products--which ends up just attracting the live ones in the air back to taunt you. Fortunately, my car is black so let the buggers impact at will. I just scrub down the windscreen in the morning after the guts have been softened in the overnight dew.


What was I posting? Oh yeah, Swiffer stuff.

Every couple of months, Lavie goes "grocery shopping" and comes back with some new household cleaning product contraption from Swiffer. Typical conversation:

Claus: Umm. What's this?

Lavie: Something to help with the housecleaning. Go away and leave me alone.

Claus: [Walks off stage...shaking his head.]

Two weeks later:

Claus: Hey Lavie! This (insert Swiffer product name here) is really cool!

Alvis: Let me do it!

Claus: Go away, Alvis...

Lavie: [Walks off stage...grinning to self.]

I'm old-school. Grandma and Grandpa ended every dinner with her washing all the dishes by hand and Grandpa (or me) towel drying them. I use a dishwasher now, but still end up doing quite a bit of hand-washing of dishes (nice knives, nice pots and pans, oversize cookware...etc.) When you clean the house you should use a hand-wringing mop and bucket of water, a toilet bristle brush that flings water all over the bathroom, and for dusting, an old cut up cotton t-shirt saturated with gunky waxy dusting spray. That's just the way it should be.

Well, Swiffer has a different philosophy. Cleaning should be done with implements on some kind of extendable handle/pole gizmo. They should have bright, fun colors that attract small children to housework (like love-bugs to windscreens) and should require pricey refillable cleaning elements.

To date in the Valca home:

The Swiffer CarpetFlick: Alvis's housecleaning tool of choice. I suspect that if Samantha had been alive today, she wouldn't be riding a broom, but a's magical! (Bright Orange).

The Swiffer Max: Dual use. Put a dusting pad on it and dust-up your hardsurface floors. The loose pads are great for smooth hard surfaces like table-tops and electronic equipment as well. (Lime Green). Place a wet-mop pad on it and the floors are mopped up and the sticky places gone in a heartbeat.

The Swiffer Duster: Newest arrival to our home. Lavie bought this many months ago and it had remained boxed in the back recesses under our kitchen sink area. I finally dug it out in desperation and set to dusting our home. I was going to just do a room or two and the baseboards, but it managed to soak up all the dustable surfaces in our entire home with ease. I had to beat Alvis off to keep her away from this one. (Purple Grape).

I haven't drank the cool-aid and picked up the WetJet yet. Don't think I yet need a liquid cleaning product dispensing version. But then again, it does have that really handy "scrubbing head" on it and the Sweeper is hard to get a good scouring action going with on the stubborn stickies....Nor have we picked up the Sweeper or Sweep+Vac. Got those areas covered with the traditional vacuum cleaner and the Max.

Why are they so addictive? They are light, quick to use, and do what they are designed to do, and do the tasks well.

Now if they would embed an MP3 player in them, I think I could turn Alvis loose in the house and never have to clean it myself again....


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