Morning Cup O' Joe

Time you enjoy wasting isn't wasted time.

GTD ala Tim Allen

We all have standards in various areas, various ways and various forms. You might like your sheets tucked, maybe not. Then you’ve got the cleanliness issues. Dishes on the counter may not be acceptable, but maybe they are. A few clothes scattered on the floor, no good. Maybe a messy pile is your idea of organization and efficiency since you never have to worry about which drawer your underwear is in. Assuming you even wear underwear. And then there is the bathroom. Let me guess, your toilet is always sparkling and fresh. Oh, only when guests are coming over or your parents are in town? The bathroom is one of those places that standards become important. The challenge is that you’re in such a wonderful environment for molds and mildews of all sorts. Look at your shower? Warm, moist, heck you probably have some oatmeal laced body wash in there perfect for hungry little buggers to snack on. The shower pretty much is a petri dish on steroids. I’m ashamed to admit my shower had reached a rather nasty point. It’s never been all that great thanks to a crappy fiberglass basin with a dark stain that looks something like Gorbachev’s notorious birth mark, I’ve never really liked my shower. 6 years ago when I bought the house, it was really nasty. A hearty scrubbing with a variety of bleach based abrasives and scrubbies and it only moved up from disgusting to kinda gross. The shower doors have hard water stains that just won’t come off and some lime deposits that look like they belong in an underground cavern, not my shower. With the initial cleaning behind me, the new grime was at least my grime. Somehow this is much less disgusting than the grime of others even though I’m sure there are only subtle variations in the list of thousands of germs inhabiting each nook and cranny. At least they are my germs.

The shower had crossed some threshold in my mind. I don’t know why those exist or what we can do to set them lower, but sometimes you’re just done with something and it must be dealt with. Today was the day for the shower. Recent scrubbings just hadn’t been enough. Rust stains from some unknown source had appeared. Soap scum was building up and the floor was exhibiting a new birthmark. Mind you, I’ve tried before to deal with the stains. I even went so far as to try a mild solution of muriatic acid. No real luck. Today was a day for something different. It wasn’t about chemical bonds, scrubbing bubbles, bleach, acid or space soap. Today was about power tools. The application of more force and power could certainly help me in my quest to clean the shower. So with my goal in mind, I threw a couch on the lawn, set the car on blocks next to the couch and prepped for my afternoon of Redneck Cleaning. I’m sure I owe royalties for some Jeff Foxworthy trademark, but there pretty much isn’t a better way to describe my plan of attack. I rolled the gas powered pressure washer around to the back of the house and up onto the porch by the bedroom. Thankfully the bedroom has a sliding door to the porch and provided reasonably direct access for the hose to the gun. I checked the distance to the shower. Just under the 25ft of hose that I had. It would work, I would have my glorious victory over the shower.

So here I am, preparing to drape 25ft of pressure hose across my bed into the master bath to clean a shower. 1800psi of water jetting out, blasting mildew and stains away. It had to work! I fired up the motor, angling the exhaust away from the window so as to minimize the fumes entering the room, hopefully reducing the likelihood that I would be found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. With the motor running, I pushed the door closed around the hose and went to the dreaded shower stall. With the first squeeze of the trigger I knew I had made the right choice. White, brilliant gleaming white, shone from the tub where previously only a dingy surface was visible. Maybe gleaming white is exaggerating, but it was at least a clean-ish off-white. Each pass of the wand across the tub blasted a one inch strip of whiteness in to view. Rust stains, gone. Mildew gone. Soap scum, gone. In a matter of seconds, pressurized water had done what hours of Ajax and scrubbing couldn’t. The floor, the walls, the doors and their tracks. Everything was fair game and subject to blasting and with each pass I felt myself closer to feeling good about the shower again. In total, I think I spent about five minutes gunning down every nook and cranny of the tub and tile. It’s not perfect, the birth mark is still there but I have faced the evils of the shower and I claim victory. Maybe pressurized acid would stand a chance against the birthmark, but I’m fond of my skin and eyes so I think I’ll live with the stain.

Mission Accomplished. I may not have had an aircraft carrier to stand on or banner, but damnit, my shower was clean again. And in less time than any other scrubbing event ever. So laugh at me, call me a pig, but wallow in your jealousy of power cleaning tools in the bathroom. This was man cleaning, I’m talking putting all the colors together in one laundry load, wipe off your fork and put it back in the drawer, use a rake in the bedroom, testosterone fired man cleaning and damn it felt good.

The best part was Julie, thrilled with the clean shower and giving it a stay of execution so I don’t have to buy a new stall and doors. Not yet at least.

So for my local friends, the power washer is available. I highly recommend it. But not for washing children or pets.


March 23, 2008 - Posted by | How-To, Humor, Rants



    I’m in (almost literally) the exact same situation right now (Sandi wants to replace everything in that bathroom …that only we see …to the tune of a couple grand that we most certainly don’t have).

    I’m all for brute force (in pretty much all applications)! What’s the worst that can happen? Everything is destroyed and we have to replace it anyway?

    First, I’ve gotta’ tell my dad …this is right up his alley! Second, I’m borrowing his pressure washer!

    Thanks for the great story!

    Comment by DT | March 24, 2008

  2. Hahahaha! AWESOME, Morgan. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Mike | March 24, 2008

  3. I’m not one who reads long winded posts. But this one ROCKS!!!

    1800psi BIATCHES!!!

    Comment by xraytech | March 30, 2008

  4. There’s a difference between “long-widned” and “having substance.” 🙂

    Comment by Mike | March 31, 2008

  5. Great story Morgan!

    Comment by Tom W | March 31, 2008

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