I’m a habitual “googler.” Let me clarify for those folks who haven’t bought into the wonderful world of cyberspace investigation.
Google is a trusty search engine on the internet that will tell you everything you want to know about anything you want to know. I’m sure Google has destroyed the sale of encyclopedias for starving college students, plus cut down on visits to the public library.
Okay, so sometimes you can’t trust everything Google tells you, but nine times out of ten, you will be enlightened. Just tread carefully.
Case in point: I googled “how to freshen up a kitchen sink” since my white porcelain vessel was looking a little peaked from a steady diet of coffee grounds, tomato sauce and green tea. I was instructed to fill the sink with a mixture of bleach and water - let it “marinate” for an hour, then drain the sink and put on my sunglasses. It was unbelievably bright and shiny. I was a happy homemaker.
Hmmm, I pondered. My old claw footed bathtub needed a little freshening up too, so I repeated the process in the tub and stood back to let the recipe do the chore for me. A gallon of Clorox later, I waltzed in to find that my bath tub’s interior was a blazing shade of Halloween orange! And a vase of flowers by the tub had wilted.
I googled again. Oh no, there was a warning I had overlooked that specified NEVER use chlorine bleach on any cast iron fixture. The chemical reaction can be lethal. Too late now, the dastardly deed was done, and I was feeling ill.
I rushed to the hardware store and came home with a bevy of products from Bar Keeper’s Friend to 20 Mule Team Borax. I scrubbed and scrubbed, but the stain wouldn’t budge. I figured it was etched on for life.
Back to the computer, I googled “professional bath tub refinishing”. None popped up in my area closer than Toledo. What’s a girl to do when she has company coming for the weekend and her boudoir looks like 20 mud wrestlers just soaked in the tub?
Googling frantically this time, I located a website that was created for people like me who don’t follow instructions properly. The solution was so simple and effective I couldn’t believe it. All I had to do was spray oven cleaner over the orange stains, leave it an hour and wipe it off with a sponge.
It took two cans of EZ Off oven cleaner, but it worked like a charm. My tub is white again, but I’m wondering if it’s safe to take a bath with residue of oven cleaner.
Later: I took a bath and so far my skin is still in place and my tub is sparkling. Now, I’m wondering if EZ Off might be just the thing to whiten my teeth. If you want to send flowers to me in the hospital, I don’t care for carnations.
Emily Jones is a retired journalist who lives in Starkville,. She edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement and welcomes comments at www.deludeddiva.com