Thursday, January 26, 2012

How I fumigated my bathroom--A serious story (Re-post)

 I don't have any sense of smell. I wasn't always this way; when I was a kid my mom would always ask me to smell the milk if she thought it had turned. She had lost her sense of smell so I guess it runs in the family.

Because I can't smell, whenever I'm cleaning I worry that everything reeks and I must take special pains to freshen it up. This is in addition to getting rid of cobwebs from a thriving population of house spiders--but I digress.

Case in point: Cleaning the bathroom.

I poured an ample amount of blue liquid stuff in the toilet to let it "steep" while I scrubbed the bathtub and sink. When I mopped the floor, I noticed that the plastic caddy that holds the toilet brush had water sitting in it. Since it was likely that the water might smell, I poured the water into the toilet.

Now this is the stupid, serious part. Just to make absolutely, positively sure the caddy didn't smell, I decided to rinse it out with some bleach. I swished the bleach around and then poured it into the blue water in the toilet.

It took a minute before my fractured olfactories began to sense the fumes. My nose actually starting burning. I quickly turned on the ceiling fan and got out of there, closing the door behind me.

I knew that you should never mix ammonia and chlorine bleach. In fact, I once read of a woman who died while cleaning her unventilated bathroom. So I inspected the label on the toilet cleaner to see if it contained ammonia (which I never would have expected). It wasn't listed on the contents. But, in tiny 8-pt letters on the back, it said not to mix it with bleach.

C'mon! That should be in BIG RED letters on the front!

It wasn't until late evening that I could open the door to the bathroom again. But, by golly, there was nary a spider in there. I hope they died quickly and painlessly.

I don't hate or fear spiders and generally try to co-exist with them. I practice catch and release whenever necessary--like a really big, obnoxious-looking spider. I'm not heartless, after all.

FUN FACT: No matter where you are in the world, there is probably a spider within six feet.

(When I originally posted this, Pearl commented, "That is NOT a fun fact!")


Joanne Noragon said...

Scary mix-up. I am OK with wispy fairy like spiders. If they have heft or hair they're toast.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Oh, my. That could have been a disaster! I guess for the spiders, it probably was. We have three of four spiders, all small and tidy, who trap other bugs in their tiny corner webs, so we allow them to stay.

Ms Sparrow said...

Joanne-I just kick the "hefty" ones out onto the patio or garage.

Bliss-You're a gal after my own heart. I can live with a few dainty little bug catchers!

Moving with Mitchell said...

Oh, I so agree with Pearl. This is NOT a fun fact. I have a nephew (a surgeon and father of three) who is terrified of spiders. One day, after working in the yard of their new house, he was standing and peeing (pardon me) and a bead of sweat ran down his neck. He thought it was a spider and started screaming. He peed all over the walls and floor.

As for fumigating the bathroom, as I started to read, I thought "what a dangerous sense to be without." You confirmed it. It's a good thing your eyes started to sting!

Teresa Evangeline said...

I recently over-sprayed my shower stall with cleaner and then had the close the door for quite awhile, as well as open the hall door to the outside across from it. Blech, won't make that mistake again.Gglad you came to your senses, the one that told you what you needed to know! :)

Kittie Howard said...

Thought I'd share:

It's about how to make a cleaning solution from vinegar and orange peels. Pure genius!

Spiders don't bother me; now, snakes - that's a different story.

Have a great weekend.

Ms Sparrow said...

Mitch-Thanks for the good laugh! As far as not having a sense of smell, if I had to choose, that's the one I'd go without.

Teresa-It's scary how dangerous household cleaners can be!

Kittie-Thanks for giving me the info on safe, environmentally friendly cleaners. Sounds like they're a lot cheaper too!

Crafty Green Poet said...

You're right the warning should have been in extra large red print!

I tend to try to co-exist with spiders, but there are times when I've been really scared by spiders appearing unexpectedly!

Linda Starr said...

Best not to mix anything at all I think; I take a broom and get the spiders, even the hairy ones, to crawl on it and then I take the broom outside and shake it and they fall off, that way I don't have to get so close to them.

The Owl Wood said...

Without my spectacles I'm so short-sighted that I can focus down to the molecular level. I will never, ever, ever recover from waking one day eyeball to in-focus eyeball with a (large, hairy) spider on my pillow. I screamed, the spider screamed and we both started hitting each other with rolled up newspapers and dining chairs.

From now on, twice a week, I shall be mixing household cleaners and fumigating the house Sparrow-style!

^..^Corgidogmama said...

Gosh this experience could have been a deadly experience....I would really miss the sense of smell, especially the scent of cinnamon and fresh bread! Glad you're alive to post on your blog, you silly!

Ms Sparrow said...

Poet-As a birdwatcher, it's good you like to keep the spiders co-existing.

Linda-Good way to keep the little buggers at arm's length!

Owl-How I wish I could have been there to see your "close encounter"!

Corgi mama-How sweet of you to say I was silly--it was damn stupid!