Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Please Ignore the Carpet

Why is it that I can spend the whole day cleaning, folding, vacuuming and putting away then leave for one hour and come home to a house in disarray? This is what happened last night, but I can't say that anyone was really at fault. Unfortunately, Isaac threw up twice while I was gone, so between the cleaning up of that mess and the creation of several others, the house I came home to did not resemble the one I left.

Sunday, I had a meeting and was gone one hour. ONE HOUR! When I came home, every person in our family was in the computer room. All appeared to be having a fine time doing whatever it was they were doing. A short while later, I noticed a miniature marshmallow had been torn apart to create optimal stickyness and smashed into the carpet just under the computer desk. I noticed it when my bare foot stuck to that particular spot of carpet.

Now, our carpet is nothing special. While many of our friends in the area request "shoes off" when inviting us into their homes, I usually request of our house guests "shoes on for your safety and protection." The only source of comfort I have about our stained and worn carpet is that it's not as bad as the family I knew growing up who had not only worn a hole right through their carpet and pad, but had gone on to wear a hole right through the floor boards so you could see down into the crawl space under the house. (You have to take your comfort where you can get it.)

So our carpet has seen better days and with 3 boys who think nothing of tromping through the house in muddy shoes, or spilling, drawing or even throwing up on the carpet, we are in no hurry to spend thousands to give them a clean slate with which to work their special brand of magic.

Back to the marshmallow sticking to my foot...I was irritated. Of all the stained and worn carpet in the house, the section under the desk was a protected haven that was still fairly pleasant. I had a few questions:

1. What were the kids doing snacking on mini marshmallows when I made sure they were well fed and snacked up before I left?

2. Why were they eating in the computer room when the house rule is "eat in the kitchen only?"

3. How could the other adult (I won't mention him by name) be literally feet away from these kids and a) let them snack on mini marshmallows, b) let them eat them in a non-kitchen area, and c) let them grind one into the carpet?

Personally, I was at a loss on how to remedy the situation. Not that I care about one more stain on the carpet. I'm beyond caring about that. My concern was that my foot would have to be subject to the unpleasant stickyness every time I sat at the computer. The only way I could think to remedy the sticky mess was to stick something over the top of it, like a piece of paper, a small swatch of fabric, or 1,200 square feet of brand new carpet.

I stewed for about 2 hours on Sunday afternoon. I won't tell you all the thoughts that went through my head because I really don't want to paint that un-named other adult in a negative light. After all, he was on-call and thoroughly engrossed in looking for microscopic pieces of dust on silicon wafers. I stewed and stewed until I thought that google might be able to point me to a solution that would not include a blow torch or hydrochloric acid.

My Google search paid off and I found the following: Since marshmallows are water soluble, simply set a damp towel over the marshmallowed area for a while and the sugar in the marshmallow will dissolve. It said to treat the area with your favorite carpet cleaning method and in my case, my favorite method is dimming the lights so no one can see the stains. So, the lights are low and the carpet is not sticky.

You should see how great the carpet looks with the lights low AND my glasses off.


Catherine said...

Ooh, I like the dimmer-switch-as-cleaning-agent idea. Our carpet is original to our 1988 home and is somehow bleached in areas so I can always claim that it came that way.

Afton said...

Funny bleached carpet story that my sister-in-law can remind my brother about if she needs some fun ammo:

So my brother...I won't say which one (but it's the married one) used to use Oxy 10 or Clearasil or some other kind of pimple potion on his face each night. (Ok, what teenager didn't?) However, my brother would not wash his hands and went directly into his bedroom to do push ups. So, over time, 2 bleached handprints appeared on his carpet.