eReading Room, Lifelong Learning
How to Clean Things
How did you learn how to clean? I guess my parents taught me, and after a few years of chores it just became second nature. Don't mix ammonia and bleach. Sort laundry into light and dark colors. Sweep first before mopping. Make the bed!
At some point in your life it might be worth going back for a refresher course. Or just get some hot tips to strengthen those scrubbing muscles. There might be something new to learn that would save us all precious time and energy in the neverending struggle to maintain basic levels of cleanliness. I picked up My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag... And Other Things You Can't Ask Martha by Jolie Kerr from the library, in part because I always laugh out loud at her column "Ask A Clean Person" on the Hairpin, and in part because I always need some cleaning motivation! She makes cleaning sound almost fun; she encourages you to turn on the music first, to never panic, and to get serious about that disgusting dirt sweater on the top of your fridge.
When an errant liquid suddenly becomes a stain, you might not have time to walk down to the library to pick up a cleaning manual. But we do offer several e-books about cleaning that you can check out from home. You might be surprised how many books we have on this topic, not to mention all sorts of clutter-buster motivational tomes.
- The Life-changing Magic of Tidying up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Book - 2014
- The National Trust Manual of Housekeeping: The Care of Collections in Historic Houses Open to the Public. Book - 2006
- My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag ... and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha by Jolie Kerr. eBook - 2014
- Good Housekeeping Stain Rescue! The A-Z Guide to Removing Smudges, Spots & Other Spills by Anne Marie Soto. Book - 2007
- 2,001 Amazing Cleaning Secrets by Jeff Bredenberg. Book - 2004
- Cleaning and Stain Removal for Dummies by Gill Chilton. eBook - 2004
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Cleaning by Mary Findley. Book - 2005
- The Ultimate Accidental Housewife: Your Guide to A Clean-enough House by Julie Edelman. Book - 2008
- Mrs. Meyer's Clean Home: No-nonsense Advice That Will Inspire You to Clean Like the Dickens by Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer. Book - 2009
- Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson. Book - 1999
- Cleaning: Plain & Simple by Donna Smallin. Book - 2006
- How the Queen Cleans Everything: Handy Advice for A Clean House, Cleaner Laundry, and A Year of Timely Tips by Linda Cobb. Book - 2002
- Dirt: The Quirks, Habits, and Passions of Keeping House. Book - 2009
- The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History by Katherine Ashenburg. Book - 2007
You might also be interested in the many public domain reading materials on the art of home economics available through HathiTrust.
- The Housekeeper's Handbook of Cleaning, by Sarah Josephine MacLeod
- Housekeeping Handbook: How to Do It, by Lydia Ray Balderston
- Rules for Cleaning by Mary Urie Watson
- Housecleaning Made Easier by Sarah J. MacLeod
Now that you know how to clean things, no excuses! Take care of that mess!