TIPS FROM THERIOT


What did the anal-retentive cleaner say when asked how she always finds the dirt that others miss?

Hindsight is 20/20!

Howdy, y’all! It’s July, and as it happens July 1st is International Joke Day! I am commemorating the occasion with the joke above, which uses ass wordplay to cleverly make fun of my OCD. Rear end and flatulence jokes have been popular since before Christ! According to Dr. Paul McDonald (University of Wolverhampton), the oldest documented joke, recorded on a stone tablet in cuneiform writing, is a fart joke from 1900 BC Sumeria: “Something which has never occurred since time immemorial… A young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap.” This summarily (wakka wakka) rejects the idea that humans of antiquity had a sophisticated sense of humor and proves that we always have found toots funny and probably always will. Also, laughter is the best medicine (unless of course you have a gunshot wound or something). According to HelpGuide.org, laughter is great for your physical health (lowers stress hormone levels and prevents heart disease) and mental health (relieves stress and improves mood) as well. It also strengthens bonds between people by helping us find common ground and let go of bitterness. Whilst accepting the Mark Twain Prize For American Humor in 1998, Richard Pryor (one of the greatest comedians of all time) relayed the ability of wit to dispatch disdain and create connections. “Two things people have had in common are hatred and humor. I am proud that, like Mark Twain, I have been able to use humor to lessen people’s hatred.” When one of my melancholic states has brought me to the brink, jokes and laughter have always been my lifeline. For if I sit too long with my head up my ass, this will surely lead to a terrible case of Optical Rectitus, causing me to have a shitty outlook on life (bada bing). Below, you will find tips about cleaning.


How do I get rust stains off of a marble countertop?

Oh dang, that sucks. You know what else sucks? Marble countertops. I know, I know, rust can stain anything, but staining marble is a different story. While it’s beautiful, it’s also extremely delicate. Marble is composed of calcium carbonate. When acidic food or beverages drip onto good ol’ CaCO3, a chemical reaction occurs, whereby the acid is absorbed and neutralized. While the absorption-neutralization reaction of acid and calcium carbonate is great in antacids, it etches the marble. You know all of those cloudy, dull marks that you see on your marble countertop? Those are etches. These etches are a pain in the ass to remove. Here’s one more annoying tidbit about this rust-marble scenario. Rust can just willy-nilly appear on marble, even without a can or other such rusty thing touching it. Perfect! Marble often contains iron compounds such as pyrite and siderite. Once water is introduced to the stone’s surface, oxidation of the iron compounds begins and can cause tarnishing. Also, marble is a very porous stone, so the longer a stain sits on it, the harder it is to remove. So you’ll want to rock and roll (hiya!) on this stain removal project as soon as you notice the spot. Grab some pH neutral dish soap (I recommend Sal Suds; it’s actually a multipurpose concentrated soap brought to you by the Dr. Bronner’s company, with its spooky, cosmically-aligned, All-God-One-Faith bottle labels), and squirt it onto the rust stain. Splash a little water on top of the dish soap, and lightly scrub the area with a soft bristled toothbrush. Sprinkle a bit more water atop the area and wipe with a soft cloth to remove the suds. If the rust stain still remains, repeat this process. Another option is creating a marble poultice (sounds witchy, right?). Add 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide to 2 cups of baking soda in a bowl. Mix the ingredients together with a wooden spatula until it’s the consistency of frosting. Use the spatula to spread the poultice over the rust spot. Cover the mush with cling wrap and place a paper weight or some such object around the perimeter to keep the wrap in place. Let this sit for 48 hours. Remove the wrap and poultice. If the stain is still visible, repeat the process. If this fails, dip your soft toothbrush into the poultice and lightly rub the spot. Some people recommend applying lemon juice and baking soda to the spot and cleaning the area with a toothbrush, but I think that this idea is asinine. Not only will you remove the rust, but the acidic lemon juice will damage the marble and then you’ll be between a rock and hard place (za za zoom!). Good luck!


How do I remove the smell of cigarette smoke from a Mid-century modern velvet chair?

Congrats on having good taste and owning a cool chair. Sorry that it’s stanky. Did you know that cigarette smoke has one of the most complex odors?! Neither did I! It contains over 400 rank organic chemicals known as odorants created during incomplete combustion. Some of the chemicals created during this ghastly causal nexus are ammonia, acetic acid, 3-Ethenylpyridine, and hydrogen sulfide. All of these yummy chemicals and the residue of the nightshade-produced, addictive alkaloid nicotine are now clinging to your chair in what is called third-hand smoke. For my money, the most effective remedy for odor banishment is baking soda and the sun. The absorbing power of sweet, sweet sodium bicarbonate is second to none. Unless you’ve already brought the chair inside, don’t. I don’t want you to foul-up your home with this carcinogenmeister. Place the chair in the sun. The antimicrobial properties of UV rays will help with odor removal. Remove any cushions from the chair and place them on a sheet next to the chair. Cover the chair and cushions with baking soda. Leave the chair outside for 24 to 48 hours—as you’re able in summer New Orleans weather. Vacuum all of the baking soda off of the chair and cushions. Put your face next to the chair and inhale. Does it still smell like smoke? If so, repeat this process. If the chair still smells, you can mist it with a half water, half vinegar mixture and rub it with a lint-free rag in a brushing motion. Let this dry outside. After the chair is dry, use a soft upholstery brush to fluff the fabric. You can also make fabric spray, if you’d like your chair to have a new, pleasant odor. Add 20 drops of lemon essential oil to a spray bottle filled with 2 cups of witch hazel. Shake the bottle, and spray the chair with this concoction. I hope one of these tips leaves you sittin’ pretty (BOOM)!


Got cleaning questions? Email isabel@antigravitymagazine.com


illustrations by Ben Claassen III

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