[This post is a collaboration with VAX.]
Terry and I rarely watch “live” TV these days (Netflix marathons FTW! Remember the days when you had to remember what day/time your favourite show was on, and then watch it at that exact time? So quaint!), but on the rare occasions we find ourselves exposed to a commercial break, there’s always one commercial in particular that Terry dreads.
“TERRY, IT’S ON!” I’ll shriek from the living room, as he’s getting himself a drink, or cowering in a corner, hoping that “it” isn’t what he thinks it is. But it always is. It’s an advert for a certain steam cleaner, and it depicts a woman in one of those pristine TV-Commercial homes (You know the ones: they’re roughly the size of a football stadium, and always filled with soft, radiant sunlight? I dream of those houses sometimes. I wish I was joking.), using the device to quickly and easily clean her floors, her sofa, her oven, her…
“SHE’S CLEANING GLASS, TERRY!” I’ll shout in excitement. “QUICK! SHE’S CLEANING GLASS!”
You all remember my issues with cleaning glass, don’t you?
In short, by the time Terry finished installing the last LED light in the kitchen last week, my house was an absolute mess. And I mean, I’d been doing my best to keep it clean, I really had. Every Friday, I’d devote several hours to deep-cleaning that week’s mess, so we could enjoy the weekend in a state of relative organisation. And every Monday, I’d wonder why I’d bothered, as I tripped over the pile of bathroom tile in the kitchen, or wondered if I’d ever see the hall floor again, so cluttered was it with power tools, and the other detritus of an extended DIY project.
Even once the work was over, the mess remained, despite my best efforts to remove it. In fact, a lot of the mess remained BECAUSE of my best efforts to remove it: let’s just say we have a lot of glass in our house, and you all know how I am with cleaning glass.
That’s why today I’m writing a post about a steam cleaner. Because I really don’t deal well with mess. It makes me stressed and anxious, and basically, if my house is a mess, I feel like my LIFE is a mess too. My house/life has been a mess for two months now, and, well, Christmas is coming, with all that the season entails. Last Sunday, for instance, we hosted a little get-together for 11 adults, two babies, and two toddlers. I really wanted the house to be clean for that. I wanted my mirrors and windows to be streak-free. I didn’t want to have to spend a full week endlessly cleaning and re-cleaning the mirror in the hall, and watching it get dirtier every time. So when the opportunity arose to try out the VAX Steam Fresh Combi Multifunction 15-in-1 Steam Cleaner (Which I’m just going to refer to as “the steam cleaner” from now on, yeah?), I jumped out of my chair, and I did a little dance. I mean that literally.
Anyway, the cleaner arrived last Saturday, and while it would be an exaggeration to say it saved my life, it totally saved my life. Because it cleans everything. Every. Thing. Yes, EVEN GLASS. I KNOW.
This particular cleaner has the ability to be used as both an upright cleaner, and as a hand-held unit. Although I was looking forward to being able to clean the kitchen floor without having to get down on my hands and knees, like one of the servants from Downton Abbey or something, I was most interested in the glass-cleaning capabilities of the hand-held unit, so I carefully detached it, and headed straight for my arch nemesis: the shower stall.
Oh, that shower stall. I mean: IT’S GLASS, so obviously I hate it. I clean it diligently after every single shower, but it still always looks streaky and awful, so I attached the “squeegee” attachment and got to work. Then, ten minutes later, I attached the ACTUAL “squeegee” attachment, having realised that I’d been using totally the wrong thing (the unit comes with a variety of little brushes, mops and other items, all designed to meet every possible cleaning need. Of course, I hadn’t bothered to switch my brain on before I switched the steam cleaner on, so I’d been using a little cloth thing, and wondering why it wasn’t really working…), and got to work for a second time.
I have a sparkling clean shower stall. Well, OK, other than that bit in the corner I couldn’t reach, but close enough. And, not long afterwards, I had streak and smudge-free mirrored doors on the bedroom closet.
After that, there was no stopping me. At the time of writing, I’ve basically steam cleaned everything: floors (using the unit as an upright cleaner), bathrooms, upholstery, GLASS… Thanks to Rubin doing his, er, bit, and smearing something unmentionable on the office carpet, I’ve steamed that too, and will no doubt tackle the rest of the carpets sometime before Christmas.
To cut a long story very slightly shorter: I like it a lot, and it’s been a huge help in getting my house – and therefore my head – back into order this week, just in time for us to start messing it all up again over the Christmas break. Although this has saved me a lot of time, however, I have to stress that it’s not made of magic, so if you’re thinking of getting one, you need to be aware that there’s still a bit of work involved. It took me a couple of tries to get the hang of using it (I’m a bit slow on the uptake, though), and to work out exactly how much steam I’d need for different jobs. The first time I tried to clean the kitchen floor, for instance, I was left with pools of water everywhere, because I’d been a little TOO enthusiastic with the ol’ steam setting, and my complete inability to clean glass hasn’t been totally resolved with this either: I generally have to give my mirrors a bit of a polish once I’ve finished steaming them, or I’ll still have a few streaks. Overall, though, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this little device has saved my sanity. Well, I mean, it WOULD be an exaggeration to say that. But if you’d seen the state of my house last week, you’d know exactly what I mean.
Now, if only I could find a gadget which could change the duvet cover…