Sebastopol v. Somerville, a Dustoff

I am the first to confess that dusting is not my favorite task. I like to make pretty designs in accumulated dust with my finger, periodically move figurines around so the surface gets uniformly dusty, or poofing away large dust wads, but actually dusting? Not so much.

Then I moved to Somerville: hardwood floors, open windows, in an urban light industrial area. It was not dust, it was grime. The cute little dust-bunnies of my youth multiplied in to huge nasty dust monsters that congregated below the desk in the important computer cables and mysteriously acquired things like hair, goldfish crackers, paperclips and paper scraps. These were serious dust monsters.

The bookshelves also acquired a certain patina. They were not simply coated in a light layer of dust, they had a layer of grime. The grimy gray finish could not be lightly wiped with a finger, no, pressure had to be applied, the finger had to be dragged, and there was a certain awful texture to it. The Grime was Nasty.

The Grime was not content to confine itself to the bookcases, it moved on to cover all of our furniture. It was the worst in the summer months, with no AC the windows stayed open around the clock, unless it was raining, and our thoughtful neighbors at the paint and body shop continued to blast paint particulate into the air.

I suspect our Thoughtful Neighbors because the Grime occasionally had a slight red or blue tint to it, and they were about a block away. Our apartment also frequently reeked of paint fumes, and our mini-blinds were so encrusted with the Grime that cleaning them was a hopeless task.

So when I saw the Multi-Part “Let There Be Light” Challenge #1 on my LJ Friend’s Household Challenge Group which included: Wash the inside panes of your windows. Wipe down the sills as you go. Do you have blinds in your home? Are they in need of a good dusting? How are the curtains and fabric window treatments looking? Vacuum them if necessary. How long has it been since they’ve been laundered or taken to a professional cleaner? Take down any light fixture covers. Wash and dry them. Dust lamp shades with your vacuum attachment. Don’t forget lightbulbs in task lights/area lamps. They often get dusty too.

I nearly cried. Fortunately we no longer have curtains, they’re in a box in the garage, instead we have plantation shutters.

I thought back to the mini-blinds in Somerville: the impossible Grime, the Monster dust bunnies, and realized this was not the sort of challenge I wanted to do, but it needed to be done.

Armed with EndDust and a roll of paper towels I set about cleaning the downstairs shutters. The dust came off quickly and easily. Happily, Sebastapol dust is not like Somerville grime. I felt inspired. I dusted the bookshelves, the tables, the lamps, the figurines, our little car collection. The dust was going away!

The next day the novelty had still not worn off, I charged upstairs with my EndDust and paper towels, upstairs got dusted as well. The plantation shutters came clean easily, the window sills surrendered the trace cobwebs, the office got dusted as well.

I wonder if my husband will notice that the dust is gone.

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