Friday, March 27, 2015

Cleaning Products Don't Work Unless You Use Them

It has been quite a while since I’ve published any fiction.  Today I am participating in this week's Words for Wednesday challenge

I love the task of taking the six words provided by Delores from Under the Porch Light, and turning them into a story!  While writing this one, I think perhaps I was sub-consciously thinking about the spring cleaning I need to do.
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Morning could not come soon enough for Mindy. She had to end this suffering! The self-imposed shopping moratorium that she had placed upon herself had lasted long enough.

Four whole days without buying a single cleaning product! Since she was eleven-years old, this was the longest she had ever gone without buying something that cleaned, sanitized, shined, disinfected or removed dirt. She usually bought at least one thing every single day!

The memory of the first cleansing product she ever bought was still vivid. Her mom had refused to buy the shampoo the television commercials recommended, because it was so much more expensive than their regular brand. Mindy had walked to the store and purchased a bottle of it herself, with some of the money she had gotten for her eleventh birthday. That first whiff of the shampoo's heavenly herbal essence had given her a feeling of fulfillment like nothing Mindy had ever experienced before in her young life.

The next day she bought soap. Then a new brand of toothpaste. From there, it morphed into not just items related to hygiene, but cleanliness of any kind. Scrub brushes, make-up remover, toilet bowl cleaner, vacuum cleaners, rug shampoo, dishwashing detergent - she had to have them all. And not just one of each, but a multitude of every brand.

Mindy knew she was a spendthrift and that she could ill afford the multitude of purchases she made. She knew most people didn’t own nine vacuums - or squirrel away 167 boxes of bath soap in their basement.

In fact, in a flash of insight, last week she had realized that although she owned all of these cleaning products, her house and body were a far cry from immaculate! Practically every inch of space in her home was taken up by these purchases. Even her bathtub was filled with a miscellaneous assortment of unopened bottles, bags and boxes. Removing them from the tub and stacking them all on her bed (the only empty space left in her house) took  so much effort that she never seemed to have much energy or desire to bathe.

Mindy decided there was no reason to wait until morning. She hopped out of bed, fired up her computer, and ordered a Steamfast Multipurpose Steam-Cleaner from

Mindy wasn’t even feeling any guilt about going back on the promise she had made to herself to stop these purchases - she had come up with a phenomenal plan. For every new cleaning item that she bought, she would sell two things that she already owned on eBay. (At least until the bathtub was empty, and then she might drop down to selling just one for every purchase!)

Why hadn’t she thought of this before? She didn’t care about any of the cleaning stuff after she got it home. She just loved to make the purchases! Who knows - she might even end up making money instead of spending it!

This story is totally fictitious! It is not even loosely based on any event or person, but is a fiction story sparked solely from the word prompts provided for this week's Words for Wednesday Challenge. 

I wonder if Mindy's new purchase was a good buy?

I shamelessly including several Amazon Affiliate links to cleaning products in this story. It was easier to use them than take my own photos for this post!  

I fear a little of Mindy rubbed off on me - I don't own a Steamfast Multipurpose Steam cleaner like the one in the last photo - but after reading the reviews, I am a little tempted to try one out! It does sound like you have to follow the directions, and use extreme caution because of the steam - but I wonder how well this machine works?

This week's Words for Wednesday word prompts were: 

immaculate, moratorium, flash, spendthrift, miscellaneous, and squirrel.

What are your thoughts about Mindy's new plan?
Do you own a multi-purpose steam-cleaner?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!

Note: In the spirit of full disclosure, this post contains Amazon affiliate links, for which I may receive compensation if any purchases are made. All opinions expressed, however, are entirely my own.


  1. Totally fun, Susan! Hoarding with a cleanliness bug. Not one we usually hear! :)

    1. I know Diane - Even as my fingers were writing the words, I was a little astounded!

  2. A really fun take on Delores' challenge. I tend to find a product I like and use it until the manufacturer discontinues it. Which always gives me a hissy fit.
    And I really, really need (in Autumn) to do a spring clean.

    1. Thanks E.C.! I find I really need to do Spring type cleaning year round ... sadly, it doesn't always get done that way!

  3. I wish I had a steam cleaner! I love it when you write a fiction story - you are so talented. Your character definitely has a hoarding problem!

    1. Yes - I agree, she is a hoarder ... but maybe she can now just open a store :)

  4. I have a couple of steam cleaners -- one a handheld and a floor cleaner. I really like cleaning with both of them. The floor cleaner is a new one. I use it on my hardwood and tile floors. It works great -- doesn't get the floor wet at all and is quite quick. So good. I don't think I would use it on a laminate floor, though. Might loosen the glue. The floors feel really clean when done. I have used the handheld one in the bathroom and kitchen. has a rather small steam outlet so it isn't as fast as the floor cleaner.
    Your story is so funny. I have tons of cleaning products but have decided white vinegar is about as good as anything. I just put it straight into a spray bottle and use it for just about everything. It smells like a tossed salad for a little while but the smell of vinegar dissipates pretty rapidly. The best part -- no chemicals!

    1. Glad to hear steam cleaners work Lynn - I might have to get one! I'm going to try your spray bottle vinegar tip. I have washed my wood floors that way for years - damp mopping just a little vinegar in the water.

  5. I absolutely loved the story Susan! Great job. I also fell in love with the mop too! That would be perfect for my floors and blue is my favorite color haha! How awesome is it to read some great fiction and shop at the exact same time!

    1. Glad you liked it! Just don't let it encourage you to hoard as well 😏

  6. I'm a little concerned. Is Mindy planning on using the multi-purpose steam cleaner on herself? since she can't get into the bathtub......(*~*)

  7. Way to use the words! A cleaning product freak who doesn't actually clean. Sounds like she needs to come clean about her compulsive shopping! Join AA (antiseptics anonymous ) ?


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