Razor’s edge

My aversion to cleaning is legendary; I’ve detailed some of it here in this blog (you can track down the post in the increasingly useful “Categories” section under the “Home” category entitled “A home filled with love…and hate”).

However, despite all preferences to the contrary, I do actually clean my home.  My only other alternatives are hire a cleaning lady or marry a woman who likes to clean more than me (admittedly, not hard…although, it’s my luck that the woman would literally love cleaning and not me, which would put us back to a cleaning lady and not a wife).   Both circumstances smack of laziness and irresponsibility (which are poor characteristics for someone seeking a wife but perfect for someone seeking a cleaning lady).

Given that I do clean for myself, I take great pains to be neat around the house to lessen my future “burden”.  In this I am mostly successful.  Placemats catch most stray food crumbs; TV tables prevent random food items disappearing into the couch or falling to the carpet and I have learned other tricks from friends to reduce my cleaning efforts (for example, a squeegee in the shower to wipe down the doors before drying and a hand towel on the counters to clean mirrors and counter tops from splashes).

One area I seem to have significant trouble with is boiling water.  No, not getting it to boil…sheesh, I’m not that daft…no, I’m talking about keeping my water from boiling over when I’m cooking.  For some reason, I repeatedly misjudge the amount of water to put in a saucepan or pot and the water eventually bubbles up to spill on my glass top stove.

Should you not own a glass top stove, here is what happens when water boils over:  it dries up.  Yes, amazing, the principles of thermodynamics and laws of physics apply just the same in my kitchen as everywhere else.

What I didn’t realize about glass tops stoves prior to getting one for the first time three years ago is that once the water dries on the glass top, you can’t wipe it off.  You. can’t. wipe. it. off!  That’s insane!  It’s dried water!  Who makes these things and why do they make them this way?

As one of the few men on the planet that actually keeps and reads his owner’s manual, I discovered this is actually a common malady of cooks and glass tops (well, fix it already…sheesh!).  The solution is to use a razor blade and angle the blade across the glass top to scrape off the dried water.  I can’t believe I jut typed that.  Scrape off dry water.

Of course, the first time I’m standing there over my attractive and expensive and new glass top stove with a razor blade, I’m thinking this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever read.  But, it’s in the manual, so I figure I at least have a case if I have to write them a complaint.

My first try did nothing.  Obviously.  I was so concerned I was going to scratch the top I angled the blade nearly vertical and applied very light pressure.  Swallowing nervously, I put less angle on the blade and pressed more firmly.  There was an uncomfortable scritching sound and it felt like I was indeed scraping into the glass.  No doubt, stuff was coming up from the glass top, but what would the glass look like once I wiped it away?

It looked fine.  Like new, matter of fact.  I sighed and relaxed.  Mission accomplished.  I vowed to be more careful next time since I didn’t want to press my luck again.  Who knew how many times you could scrape the glass without permanent damage?

I may one day find out, since I’ve had at least four more occasions of careless boiling (just last week with some seashell pasta, in fact).  On the plus side, I have become quite adept at using the razor.  My experiences with the stove paid cleaning dividends, too.

In a recent cleaning of the guest bathroom, I finally tackled a problem with the shower doors that has been pestering me.  Somehow, one of the shower doors had little paint splatters on it (more like sprinkles).  So tiny, I didn’t even notice it for two years (in my defense, I rarely use the guest bathroom and my guests must either be too polite or too..er…preoccupied).

Today I got rid of those specks once and for all with a smooth application of a razor blade angled across the shower door.  Smooth!  As it stands today, the glass in my home has a cleaner shave than me.

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