Monday, August 21, 2006

On the bright side, the carpet is cleaner

Friday afternoon no, not even. It was still the morning. Friday morning I was struck with the urge to do laundry (the Rash of Doom kept me home from work for a few days, and apparently introduced a housework ethic which was certainly not there before). We were, of course, out of laundry detergent so I went to the local Jewel and purchased one (1) brand-new jug of laundry detergent.

Not 15 minutes after the new jug of laundry detergent was in my house, I was trying to get the dryer balls (which I absolutely love, by the way, for towels & sheets) from the topmost shelf in the tee tiny laundry supply/paper towel storage/linen closet/medicine cabinet/vacuum cleaner storage area. (Pay close attention to that last one) Like an idiot, I sort of only kind of balanced the new jug of laundry detergent on a seemingly stable stack of towels while I groped on the top shelf for the aforementioned dryer balls (sometimes 5-foot-6 seems like enough, and sometimes it falls woefully short).

As often happens when I act like an idiot, the universe caught on to me and made good use of its time in teaching me a small lesson about gravity. About how gravity always, always wins out over a seemingly stable stack of towels.

The jug of detergent (full, mind you, and just minutes old) toppled off its perch and fell directly onto the vacuum cleaner whose crevice attachment was STICKING POINTY-PART UP, and was immediately punctured. It proceeded to follow the laws that govern such things and glugged thick, viscous laundry detergent all over the carpet.

I picked it up (still glugging) and put it in the bathroom sink (thankfully mere steps away, though of course plenty still managed to find its way to the carpet). After I regained my wits, I placed the jug (no longer full, but still only minutes old) with the puncture hole at the top so no more would glug out into the sink and waste more of my money.

(Practical Household Hint: if this ever happens to you, immediately pour yourself an adult beverage of your choice, and drink it straight away. This will help quell any hysteria and keep you focused on the task at hand. I didn't do this initially, and lost valuable calm-thinking time to abject-flipping-out time. Not pretty.)

By the time I figured out what to do (it took a long time because of the non-drinkng and because my Mom wasn't answering her work phone), the damn gooey stuff had sunk into the carpet and colonized my hallway like it was some gelatinous empire. My first attempt--soaking the detergent up with a sponge & bucket of water--was short-lived and involved a lot of swearing. Inquiries at the neighbors' revealed that the local hardware store rents carpet shampooers for a mere $20.00. Of course, by the time I got to the hardware store, they were renting out their last one just as I walked in the door.

I rented a cleaner on Saturday (no, thank you young hardware store dude, but I don't need the upholstry shampoo for this particular job), cleaned the hell out of my hallway carpet, and proceeded to do laundry all afternoon, spilling nary a drop more (though the cursing was profuse).

(Practical Household Hint: if you happen to drop a whack of laundry detergent on your floor and clean it up with handtowels--or whatever's handy in the linen closet--you can just toss those handtowels or whatever into the wash. No need to add soap! Convenient for those times when all your soap is coagulating in a puddle in your hallway!)

6 comments:

Rabbitch said...

Hee! I mean, um, I feel your pain.

And, apparently, share your housekeeping skills.

OneScrappyChick said...

Oh No! I won't tell you that if you put a laundry detergent bottle into your trunk to go wash comforters at the laundromat.. and you weren't the last one to do laundry and didn't have the smarts to check the cap.. you will end up with laundry goop all over the inside of the trunk. And it NEVER comes out.

Renee said...

I feel your pain. I once had one of those ginormous detergents they sell at Costco with the wee spigot for getting the detergent out. It was full and I left it on the edge of the dryer for easy spigot access. Needless to say, the vibration of the dryer jiggled the jug off onto the floor where it imploded (but I blamed the cats). I'm pretty sure the cleanup rivaled that of the Exxon Valdez.

margaret said...

on the bright side, there are probably much worse things you could've spilled on your carpet. spilling detergent doesn't seem bad compared to, say, wine or ketchup or cat piss. all of which have ended up on my carpet at one point or another. and let me tell you, the smell of cat piss on carpet is just lovely. like a spring day.

alliesw said...

"abject flipping out time" I love that phrase. At least you now have a very clean rug....

Alison said...

Oh man. The one time after spilling something that you wish for hardwood floors . . .