With Spring cleaning on our minds, we are all aware of this phenomenon. Now, I am not talking about traditional magnetism. I’m talking about the mythical power of clean objects to attract dirt. As we all know it is a relative power. The Cleaner the surface the more dirt it attracts.
The Automotive Principle
I think that this principle is the most parodied of them all in movies and by comics. We have all experienced it in its many variations. Just as we drive out of the car-wash with our newly cleaned and shining vehicle it begins to rain. These beautiful little drops of rain carry grains of dirt that stay on our car long after the water is gone. Then of course there are the kamikaze bugs that swarm our newly cleaned windshield on the drive home. Don’t forget those birds that like to dive-bomb clean cars. My personal favorite is the cat prints on my windshield. It is amazing how much dirt seems to be attracted by a clean car.
The Clothing Principle
This is one that really frustrates me. Enough so that I wonder, some days, why I even bother to put on clean clothes.
Firstly, a clean shirt will always attract food. Not necessarily my food. I wonder if clothing gets hungry?
Secondly, dirty children seem to want hugs most often when you have on clean clothes. I have learned many ways to get various stains out of my clothing because of the loving and demonstrative children that I have. Of course, that is a whole other post.
Thirdly, our sweet, loving pets seem to be very excited about clean clothes. This is especially true if your pet has recently been outside. Paw prints are common in our house.
The Child Principle
We all know how it works. The child is bathed and clean clothes are applied. They don’t have to even move from that spot because in a matter of seconds something will come zipping through space and time to appear somewhere on their body or clothing.
One must understand that a child’s job is to get dirty. Children learn best by exploring their world. Squishing mud between their toes. Sifting dirt through their fingers. Climbing trees. Catching bugs. One very little known fact is that children are actually made of dirt. It is only after years of cleaning and drying that the dirt becomes an actual person.
The Floor Principle
We’ve all experienced this. We have just finished sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor and within minutes something wet and sticky has been spilled. Carpets are no different. Sometimes, when I am cleaning the floor for the 3rd time that day, I wonder why I bother because once the floor is dirty, nothing gets spilled on it.
Good Clean Principles
I remember, as a child, asking why I had to keep cleaning something that was just going to get dirty again. My parents or grandparents would smile and say something like, “Because we are happier when things are clean.” While this may be true, to the mind of a child (and some adults), cleaning seems to be a never-ending and fruitless endeavor. As a parent with children this is almost true. Cleaning is a never-ending activity. But it is not fruitless.
My children were always amazed at the things that were found when they cleaned their rooms. Toys, books, homework and money that had been “lost”. I was just excited when they found the floor. I have to admit at this point that my room has its disaster areas. My desk is a black hole that got cleaned only when I couldn’t find a 1099 for my taxes. My hobby corner looks like a large pile of yarn and fabric with odds and ends thrown in.
Anyway, this is my salute to Spring Cleaning. Why now? Because in the next week I have carpets to clean and corners to clear. Time to get some good audio books and find my headphones. Enjoy your weekend!