Saturday, June 13, 2015

Coming Clean

A few weeks ago, Saffy discovered the joys of a white Japanese sponge. This might strike some of you as an odd statement to make, but it has literally changed our lives. It looks like a sponge. It feels like a sponge. But it doesn’t need any cleaning liquids. Just wet it and it cleans off the most caked in muck with just a single swipe.
A simple demonstration on a tea-stained cup we had scrubbed for years was all it took to convert Amanda and me. We’ve not stopped cleaning with what we now call the Miracle Sponge (the packet is in Japanese, so this is not our fault). It’s expensive as hell, but it’s totally worth every cent for the endorphin rush we get when the grey dirt comes right off the floor tile grouting and the stainless steel sink is so sparkling you can see the reflection of your satisfied smirk in it.
And according to Google, the sponge is anti-bacterial, though I’m not sure how. “If the dirt comes off like this, I don’t see how bacteria can stand a chance,” Amanda reasoned.
            “I guess,” I said as I worked on the remote control. After years of use, oil and dirt had settled in over the number pad and volume keys. A few vigorous swipes with the Miracle Sponge and the remote was good as new.
Our apartment now looks like an Ikea set. Well, it would if we had more Ikea furniture and we were a lot tidier. Still, we keep finding new things to clean. When we finished with the floors, we did the oven. Then we did the windows. Then the edges of cupboards. I attacked the washing machine while Saffy started on the home telephone. “There’s so much grime on the numbers and on the ear-piece!” she murmured. “And how do we get so much make-up on our ears? That makes no sense at all!”
Amanda brought a Miracle Sponge with her to the gym. The condo security guard called up and said that we needed to come down and collect Amanda. “She’s scrubbing the dumb-bells,” Murti whispered down the line. “She is seriously disturbing the other residents in the gym! Oh my goodness, now she is cleaning the light switches…” She paused and I could imagine her watching Amanda work on the grubby panels. “Wow! The dirt is coming right off!” You could feel the exclamation marks hanging in the air. “What is that white sponge she is using?”
“It’s the Miracle Sponge, Murti!” I told her. “Come up later and I’ll give you one to try. It will change your life!”
“Now, Miss Amanda is cleaning the floor. Gracious, is that the real colour of the floor? I always thought it was dark grey, not white!”
I clicked off the phone and told Saffy that we’d turned another person to the Clean Side of the Force.
Saffy stood up and flicked hair from her brow. She’d been cleaning the underside of our dining room table. “There’s no stopping us now,” she said with satisfaction.
Later that evening, she went down to the gym for an inspection. She called on her sparkling freshly cleaned phone. “The place looks brand new!” she reported with satisfaction.
She was so overcome by the sensation of clean sanitized equipment she actually stayed to do a few sets on the dumb-bells. She then did ten minutes on the treadmill, pausing every so often to admire how shiny the electronic screen was. She called me again. “I’m amazed that the sponge can clean glass without scratching it!” she puffed over the sound of whirring machinery.
“You’re actually using the gym?” I asked.
“I know, right? But I’m thinking that my gym aversion has really been a germ aversion the whole time!...Oh crap, now what’s happening? Why is this thing speeding up…I think I pressed a button by mistake and now…oh my God, the treadmill is going really fast! Help! Help! Jason, help!”
“Pull the emergency red cord!” I shouted into my phone. “Pull it!!”
Saffy later said the only consolation about the whole sorry Treadmill Incident, as she’d already dubbed it, was the fact that when she was thrown clean off the machine, at least she landed on a clean floor. “My body actually made a squeaking sound on contact!”
When we came back from the doctor, Murti popped her head out of the security guard post. “That sponge is mi-raculous!” she said, her gold bangles clanging with enthusiasm as she rotated her wrist.
Amanda says if we ever got fired, we could always get jobs as cleaning ladies.




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