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There are those, my mother chief amongst them, who believe that cleaning regularly is a 'good thing'. Believe it or not, there are even those who clean things on a daily basis. Let's be clear about this from the start, though: regular cleaning is not a good thing. Vodka, Marlboro Lights, bacon sandwiches and not having to work for a living: these are all unquestionable good things. Science backs me up on this: an increasing number of medical bodies are now suggesting that limited exposure to allergens as children means we are much more susceptible to allergies, asthma and other respiratory ailments. In conclusion (although the BMJ may not wholeheartedly agree with my findings), don't clean! It'll make you really sick, or at the very least, a bit wheezy.
Now, and this'll come as no surprise, I rarely clean. Why spend time on a weekly basis hoovering and dusting when you could usefully be watching rubbish daytime TV instead? Much better, I think, to leave the filth to accumulate and then spend a couple of hours tackling it armed with heavy duty bin bags and a flame thrower every six months or so.
That said, there does eventually come a time when your house is so damn dirty that you live in a reasonable degree of fear that you will be overwhelmed by rats and that the mould growing on the coffee cups in the sink may not be as innocuous as you might initially have hoped.
Anyway, this week saw my bi-annual assault on the astonishing levels of dirt and grime that had become encrusted on pretty much every surface in my home. In all honesty, I probably could have left it a bit longer, until something a bit grim happened. About a week or so ago I noticed that there was a funny orange stain on one of the tiles in the bathroom. Being pretty much immune to dirt, I decided it must be some conditioner and left well enough alone. Then, a few days ago, the big stain exploded and millions of teeny bugs came crawling out of it. Admittedly, I have a pretty high resistance to grime, but I'm not a TOTAL tramp, and that incident spurred me on to a cleaning frenzy.
After I'd doused the bugs with boiling water (Christ, that was just horrendous) I set about tackling the kitchen. I decided to use Cillit Bang universal degreaser spray cleaner, because the very shouty man in the adverts seemed to imply that all you needed to do was spray the stuff on, leave it for a while, and the place would be more or less sparkling upon your return. My gullibility about advertiser's claims knows no bounds.
Anyway. Cillit Bang comes in a lurid purple and green spray bottle with a bright pink label (it looks like what a migraine feels like). I got ripped off for £3.50 for mine at the local shop, but you can get it in most supermarkets for £2.98 for 750ml.
You do a test on an inconspicuous area first and leave it for 24 hours to make sure that it doesn't turn your worktop an odd colour/make your entire kitchen spontaneously combust. I have no idea who is actually going to be buggered to do this. Have the courage of your convictions and think of the settlement you'll get from Injury Lawyers 4U if your kitchen does explode. Once you've ignored the patch test warnings you spray the stuff liberally over the rancid areas, leave it for a minute, rinse thoroughly with water and wipe off. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these instructions seem to imply easy removal of dirt. This is not the case, which brings me to…
I sprayed the whole kitchen with the stuff (and must have inhaled a fair bit in the process, and have yet to contract emphysema so that's one good point, at least). Then I went off and had a smoke, fielded a phone call from my mother, and watched some daytime TV. In other words, I forgot I'd sprayed the kitchen. Half an hour later the spray had dried, so I repeated the process and waited the allotted time. Now, having had two applications of the stuff you'd think the kitchen would have been pretty much clean, no? Sadly not. As directed, I rinsed with water and was left with a kitchen that was just as dirty and greasy but that now smelt vaguely of Cillit Bang. Undeterred, I wiped everything with a cloth. All this did was to make the dirt and scum that the spray had managed to dislodge spread around a bit and re-adhere to other surfaces. Even scrubbing really hard (a practice I am not at all used to) with a green dish cleaner thing didn't make much of a difference.
In the end I brewed up a potent concoction of Fairy Liquid, Bleach, Savlon liquid and boiling water and tackled the job with that. Warning: should you try that mixture at home it bubbles ominously, turns an odd reddish colour and gives off some fairly potent fumes for about 5 minutes. The best practice is to squirt all the ingredients into a bucket and then retire to a safe distance until the vapours clear. Also, no naked flames for at least 24 hours after you've used my concoction. Spontaneous combustion is a very real possibility in this case.
Admittedly, my kitchen was a tough challenge for any spray cleaner. However, Cillit Bang (and the shouty man they've foolishly put in charge of their advertising) claim that this is a universal degreaser and that it's suitable for pretty much everywhere, including work tops, hobs, tiles etc. The reality is that it's suitable only for things that are, essentially, already clean.
I'm giving an E and adding to my COT as this review is one of the most entertaining I've read in ages! I totally agree on all of the 'good things in life', now if only my boyfriend would let me smoke again and I could win the lottery that would be perfect!
plod591 01.07.2010 22:20
You never fail to amuse me Fiona, an E for the Ecstatic fun reading this review gave me.
lillamarta 05.06.2010 10:08
Sounds like a waste of money and time. A bit of bleach, vinegar and Marseille soap does all the cleaning job ever needed.