Those of you who know me well will be familiar with the fact that housework is not a strength of mine, so the title of this blog may throw you a little. For those of you that know me not at all, then this declaration will give you an insight into me. No matter: what will be clear is that my love for my Swiffer cannot be underestimated or denied.
Ask anyone what their favourite household gadget might be and they may mention the mighty Dyson vacuum cleaner with its newfangled Cyclone technology and battery pack so a cord no longer gets tangled around your furniture or your own legs or the cat or whatever other obstacle you may find yourself hoovering around. No more being yanked back suddenly as you try and push the head under that dresser. Convenient indeed.
Or perhaps it could be a food processor with a variety of attachments which mean that you don’t have to have the forearms of an Eastern European weightlifter to beat a cake mixture into a light and fluffy sponge. Time savers both of them and to be applauded.
I can see the merits of these suggestions and indeed, I am lucky enough to have a Dyson and can state categorically that it is a good vacuum. But nothing can sway me in my love for my Swiffer as top household gadget, certainly not the sucking power of the Dyson.
I don’t handle my Swiffer a lot. I don’t want you to think that this is a love born of obsession: that I have an unhealthy emotional attachment to a household object which maybe does not deserve it; that I cling to my Swiffer lovingly in my lonely days at home when the kids are school bound; that I am in danger of becoming one of those people who end up in Emergency Rooms or A and E Departments with dubious stories about how their body part became physically trapped in an aperture on said household cleaner, usually by “falling” on it or indeed, cleaner part in body aperture, presumably by it “falling” on them.
It is far more innocent than that, rather disappointingly. What I like is that my Swiffer is there for me when I need it and performs brilliantly and effortlessly every time. It is dependable and ever-present. It doesn’t take up a lot of space. It NEVER answers you back. It allows itself to be pushed around for the time required and never complains. Not that I want to push things around generally – I am no bully – but just once, it would be nice to issue an instruction and have it followed, immediately, without debate or protest. I am sure some of my readers, especially those with children understand what I mean by that.
And then, when we have performed together in perfect harmony, I can put it back in the laundry with the other useful household appliances until the next time. It is an uncomplicated but ultimately rewarding relationship.
You may be wondering why I am waxing lyrical about a floor cleaner. I have to ask that myself too really but it is simple. I REALLY don’t like housework – anything that reduces my time doing it has to be looked on favourably. If I can avoid doing it, I will. On Facebook, one of my friends had asked the question “What have you got on your fridge at the moment? Tell the truth!” Lots of people had cited their answers – light bulbs, bags for refuse, cloths, cooking equipment, ice cube trays. My answer – “Dust”. This was accurate because I went and looked.
I’m not unclean. The dust from the fridge is no more. My house does not look like an episode of “Hoarders” – it is cluttered sometimes and there can be areas that demand attention but they are dealt with over time, before we all become buried.
There is no excuse for me not to do housework other than laziness perhaps, but ultimately, my reasoning is that I just feel there are far more useful things that I can do with my time, like blog writing, for instance or baking or knitting or gardening. Anything that is not housework.
My Swiffer allows me this luxury although it’s not practical to use to clean the top of fridges. Not only do I have time to do my hobbies but I also have the satisfaction of a wooden floor which is smear free and fresh smelling in minutes. In minutes! Ah, the bliss! Remembering what life was like pre-Swiffer makes me shudder:
- Filling up a bucket with warm water and detergent of some form in which to plunge your cloth mop
- Squeezing out the water to ensure that only the minimum amount will be used
- Re-rinsing to get rid of smears
- Waiting for it to dry to avoid sodden socks
What a bloody arduous process that was.
Before you think that whilst I might be benefitting, the planet is suffering and berate me for using those plasticky disposable pads that Swiffer’s makers recommend, criticise no more ( I can hear you “tsking” from here) as I have been mindful of this and sought out washable microfibre pads from the dollar store which can be reused over and over again.
And so, even though cleaning is a necessary eviI, I now get to enjoy the act itself because I know it won’t last an inordinate amount of time. And so, I go at it with a superb amount of gusto, lunging and thrusting, using my Swiffer like I’m sparring in a fencing contest, a barely disguised look of delight on my face: imagine Freddie Mercury in the video to Queen’s classic tune “I Want to Break Free” with his vacuum except with longer hair, a better outfit and a marginally less luxuriant moustache on my upper lip. In those moments, my Swiffer and I are as one and I give it my all, finishing in a crescendo of tumultuous joy, knowing that the whole process has lasted mere minutes, the results are instantaneous and that the floors will be free of dirt at least until the kids get home.
Such joy! So brief an experience! A shiny floor in moments and a guilt free couple of hours of doing something craft motivated as a reward.
That is why I love my Swiffer, wonderful thing that it is, and I can only hope that this love affair between us will be long lasting and that it appreciates me as much as I appreciate it.