coming clean

This is embarrassing, but it’s undeniably true. I am forty years old. That’s not the embarrassing part. The embarrassing part is that up until a week ago, I still took laundry home to my mother’s house. Or to my brother’s. Or to my best friend’s. Really, I was open to anywhere that wasn’t a laundromat. It’s not actually going to the laundromat that I take issue with – I mean really, it’s a nice excuse to sit and read for 45 minutes while your clothes spin. Or, if you’ve been smart and timed things properly, to pop off to the nearest bar for a pint. And the closest establishment to my laundromat happens to overlook Lake Superior. Not a bad venue.

My real beef with the laundromat (despite the inevitable screaming child phenomenon) is that my clothes seldom come clean. Yes, they smell fresh and generally look at least slightly better than when they went in, but not much. Nor is it unheard of for items to come out even worse for the wear. And so to drop twenty bucks in quarters, squander a couple hours of my time, and return home with only marginally clean clothes is something I have come to truly loathe. So when a nice, clean, highly functioning washing machine presents itself, I have no qualms with taking advantage of it. Nevertheless, it’s hard to feel entirely grown up when you’re still driving around with a basket of dirty clothes in the back seat.
washing machine
But this is it. I have crossed the threshold. I am now an exceptionally grateful owner of a perfectly sized Asko washer and dryer. They are so cute. And my clothes are so clean! I feel so adult. Along with our new house, I am also the proud owner of a kitchen faucet. And a bathroom faucet. And a shower. And a toilet that flushes even.
It occurred to me the other day that I have lived almost as much of my life without running water and indoor plumbing than with. Mostly by circumstance and choice, granted, but still, it’s time. I’m ready. It was the laundry that really pushed me over the edge. I love our outhouse. It has a great view. I still opt for it over the new toilet that flushes. As far as the laundromat goes though, I will never, ever look back. Ever.
outhouse
We haven’t officially moved in to our new house yet, but we’ve gradually been making our way over there, dabbling in the various conveniences of modern day living. Yesterday I looked up from my desk to see Mark trudging across the lawn with the stand mixer in one arm and his slab of marble in the other. Pizza night. He popped his head back in an hour or so later and shouted up for me to bring over a bottle of wine. It was a little sparse, but still, we enjoyed our first real meal in the new house. We even broke a glass. Actually the cat broke it. Which made it feel even more like home.
kitchen
It has not escaped my notice, however, that along with all the pleasures of our schmancy new house comes upkeep and cleaning. The nice part about not having had a bathroom for the last 18 years is that I have not cleaned a bathroom in 18 years. Rustic living has its perks people! After just a week’s worth of showers though, the new bathroom is already demanding my attention. I always keep a spray bottle of homemade, planet-friendly cleaner in our kitchen now, but I decided it was time to mix up two more bottles for the new house. One for the bathroom and another for the laundry room. Have I mentioned how adult I feel?
I love this cleaning solution. It smells great, it’s cheap, and I can spray it liberally in my new shower without fear of poisoning my lungs, or the planet. It’s super quick to mix up and it does the trick on almost everything. Even outhouses.
outhouse seat
Good for Nearly Everything Cleaner

Spray bottle
Water
White vinegar
1 tablespoon Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds (or similar liquid soap)
1 tablespoon CitraSolv (or similar citrus cleaner)
Few drops of essential oil (I use geranium)

Fill a standard size spray bottle with half water and half white vinegar.
Add liquid soap, citrus cleaner, and  essential oil. Mix gently.

all-purpose cleaner

13 Responses to “coming clean”


  1. 1 Anne-Marie May 7, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Your new house looks beautiful. So does your outhouse! Thanks for the cleaner recipe. I’ll be mixing some up tomorrow.

  2. 2 Joanne Cirillo May 8, 2012 at 6:11 am

    I have been enjoying your posts. I have lived with both an outhouse AND Asko laundry equipment. We finally got ours after we gutted and re did a teeny farmhouse. They fit right under our kitchen counters. We still have them today after nearly 12 years of rugged use.

    Please keep writing. I am enjoying it very much.

  3. 4 Jill L May 8, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Jill, at first I thought your toilet seat was a finely decorated cake! Congratulations on everything. I identify with the laundry thing especially. I did like going to the l-mat and doing a month’s worth of laundry in a couple of hours, but I haven’t looked back.

  4. 6 Lee Kaster May 8, 2012 at 10:20 am

    What is that toilet seat sposed to be? Another of your creations?

    • 7 GarlicPig May 8, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      It’s a croc! You have to see the inside to fully appreciate it’s charm. I’ll send a photo :-)

      (And no, I can not claim credit. I bought it on ebay, of all places, many years ago. Who buys a toilet seat on ebay?!)

  5. 8 Terri Wagner May 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Love your outhouse. I’ve always told Tom that as long as I could have running water in the house, I could happily live with an outhouse. Cleaning bathrooms is way down on my list. Your new kitchen is lovely. We’re redoing ours soon and my new mantra is: Less is better.

  6. 9 ella thayer May 9, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Brings back memories of days gone by; I was young and the outhouse was easy. I actually enjoyed the early morning dew on my bare feet. No kidding. Ah yes, the 70s.

  7. 10 Sarah May 10, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Ahhhh, the view from that outhouse is phenomenal….best ever! What will become of the outhouse???


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