My rug-cleaning fiasco

pixabay image

Once again, I jump in feet first and use my brain second. Mistakes and failures are great teachers, and I seem to repeatedly rely on them to make life interesting.

This one involves not writing, but rugs.

It started with Tornado Boy (age barely-4) who stayed at our house last weekend. After indulging in bowls of ice cream with Grampy, he suffered a sugar-crash, decided to go to bed, and then perked up with an ill-fated second wind – the kind that’s usually headed toward disaster. Tornado Boy left his clothes in the bedroom along with his brain and decided to enjoy the balmy outdoors in his birthday suit.

Grampy and I were on the lawn, and Tornado Boy was on the elevated deck being wild and silly. Amidst his antics, he picks up the garden hose and starts blasting the lawn and garden with water, waving it around like a lunatic and trying to spray us. We’re laughing at how cute he is until he aims the hose at the open window into our living room.

Grampy and I yell to stop, but Tonado Boy is in Crazy-Over-Tired-Land, and the water is spraying a jet stream into the house. From where we’re standing, there’s no access to the deck and, completely delirious, Tornado Boy is having the time of his life. With no end to the torrent in sight, I sprint around the house, take the steps three at a time, run the length of the deck, and grab the hose. Tornado Boy looks at me with a bewildered expression and explains that he was “washing the house.”

Grampy disappears for a walk with the dogs while Tornado Boy and I face the mess.

The living room is soaked: couches, chairs, rug, computers, tables, mail… the floor is a puddle. I drag the rug outside onto the deck, move the furniture around, and use every towel in the house to dry things off. We all take a deep breath and go to bed.

The next day, after Tornado Boy goes home, I decide that I might as well wash the rugs since they’re long overdue for a cleaning.

(This is where Grammy has her turn at making a mess.)

I drag the upstairs rug out to the deck too. I go down to the barn and get the rug-cleaning machine, bring it up to the house, and fill it with water and dish liquid because I don’t have any rug cleaner and I’m out of laundry soap. I tap the ON button and nothing happens. The Hoover is dead (unsurprising since it was in the barn during the last flood).

But that doesn’t stop the determined. I squirt dish liquid on the larger of the two carpets and get out the hubby’s power-washer. If it can blast moss off the deck, it can blast dirt out of the rug, right? So I spray the carpet and start scrubbing it with my bare feet. I water some more, add more soap, and lather it up. Works great!

Then, I try to spray the soap off.

Well, spraying soap off a flat, saturated rug doesn’t work, even with a power-washer. It creates bubbles, lots of bubbles, massive impenetrable mountains of bubbles. I need to drape the rug over the deck railings so I can hose off the soap, but full of water, it weighs about 400 pounds. It’s not budging until it dries – soap and bubbles intact.

Having learned from my mistakes, I march off to tackle the smaller carpet. I drape it over the rails first, skip the dish liquid, and just power-wash it. Easy peasy. It will dry in place.  A couple hours of blogging later, I find the large carpet dry enough to drag and heave over the tops of the deck chairs for a hose-down. I check the clock, and the rugs have 5 hours to dry before Grampy gets home from work.

By the time the Subaru climbs the mountain, all evidence of the crime is cleaned up. He’ll never know. And my carpets look clean!

Now, I guess you can see which side of the family Tornado Boy takes after. 😀


174 thoughts on “My rug-cleaning fiasco

  1. I enjoyed your funny story about Tornado Boy and the bubble rugs, but then I thought how lucky you were to have rugs rather than a hard wood floor which may have been ruined and cost you much more work and money and there would have been no way of hiding that from Grampy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The rugs are on hardwood floors! That’s why I had to drag everything out to the deck – so I could dry the floors from corner to corner. It was a fiasco. The floors weren’t wet for long so they recovered nicely. I’m glad you got a laugh out of the story. It wasn’t so funny when it happened, but in hindsight, we had a giggle. 😀


  2. Stacey Wilk says:

    Great post. I admire the fact you own rugs that have to be dragged outside to be washed in the first place. May I suggest Stanley Steamer for your future projects? Wink Wink. Now, let me ask you, had one of your darling children pulled that stunt off at the age of Tornado Boy, what would your reaction have been? My niece drew on my mother’s white sofa with red marker when she was around the same age. My mother shrugged and found her upholstery cleaner. I nearly fainted. Who was the calm and collected woman?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m much calmer as a grandmother. Some of it is because grandmothers only have grandkids part time! Phew! But there’s also a bit of wisdom that I think comes with a hindsight. I’ve been through a lot worse than a dousing with the hose or marker on the furniture (which sounds familiar btw). Ha ha ha.


  3. Antonia says:

    I love the photo Diana! Before I started reading, I was scared that might be! Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. reocochran says:

    This was reminiscent of Jean Kerr or James Thurber. Diana, you wrote a humorous, throw in a dash of dry wit, very funny, laughter-inducing real life story!
    This description was like so many of the years I “stayed home” babysitting five children added to my own three kids. Everything was “fly by the seat of my pants.” Glad it seemed to be Shakespearean, “All’s well that end’s well.” 🖋📃

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can barely handle one kid without things getting out of whack! How did you handle 8!?! Ha ha. Of course, I’m a big kid and terrible at keeping control of things. 🙂 The trick, as you know, is to laugh. ❤


  5. As they say, you couldn’t write it, Diana. It would make a wonderful short film 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. OH NO!! You seriously could not make this stuff up! I am not going to lie, the outcome was unexpected. For real I thought those rugs were getting lit on fire. HA! And the secret is out of the bag, your little grandson does NOT take after grampy! I love reading stories like these because they make me feel like I am not alone. I totally would have used dish soap as well. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s funny how many people have dish soap bubble stories. I don’t feel so silly. This adventure was not exaggerated and the flooded living room wasn’t very funny at the time, though given some time we laughed about it. Tornado Boy was over again this weekend and the garden hose was firmly turned off! Thanks for the visit and have a great week. ❤


  7. A comedy of errors. 😊All’s well that ends well. (((Hugs)))

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Haha! Very awesome image of the water filling the room. What program did you use to create that? Or maybe it was that bad 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A veritable sitcom (though it felt more like tragedy when you were knee-deep in it). The stuff of precious memories. =)


  10. gilian says:

    Can’t imagine how bad that was and how difficult it was to clean. Haha love your way of story telling. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • It was a flood, Gilian, no exaggeration. But other than wiping down and mopping up, the rest just had to dry on its own. Fortunately, our summers are hot and dry. Once the worst of it was cleaned up, it all became quite funny. Thanks for stopping by to read!


  11. I’m sorry… 😂 That’s… Thats beautiful. 😂😂😂 My night is made. I needed that laugh so badly. And you’ve got clean carpets so I’m laughing WITH you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ali Isaac says:

    Well… that’s one way of doing it! Who cares so long as it worked. Care to try that over here? It’s so cold and wet they wouldn’t dry in a week, never mind a few hours. Hope you’re finding some time for writing in amongst all this domestic activity!

    Liked by 2 people

    • We drown in rain for 8 months of the year, and go into a drought for 4 months. Weird weather, Ali. I took the summer off from writing but will be starting up again in Sept. Summers are just too busy around here . I’m looking forward to starting up again!


      • Ali Isaac says:

        Weird weather indeed! Bet you are just itching to get back into the writing… You are quite prolific! Wish I could be like that. I have a horde of ideas but can’t put them into reality. I struggle with time so much. Why I decided to go back to uni I have no idea. I’m hoping it will at least enrich my future writing, I guess. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t know how anyone with kids manages to find writing time. Add uni on top of that? I’m amazed you even have time to write a blog post. The time will come eventually. Breathe and enjoy all your moments now as they will surely pass. ❤


  13. Solitaire says:

    Lol, its funny! But not! 😂

    Liked by 2 people

    • No so much while the water was blasting into the house, but with a little hindsight it got funnier. While I was dealing with the bubbles, all I could think of was “this will make a good blog post!” Lol. Thanks for stopping by 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh, how I love this true story, Diana. Hyper Tornado-boy creates a mess in the middle of the night and Grammy suffers from the excess lather on the carpets the following day. It must have been tough to deal with the weight and the foam. Glad to hear everything worked in the end and the carpets are clean. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Sebnem. The soaked carpet was so heavy with water and suds, I really couldn’t budge it, so I gave up on that quickly. The foam was annoying and hysterical at the same time. Thanks for stopping by to read. Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

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