A black and white illustration of people on a ferris wheel being controlled by changing weather. The person in one cabin is being blown on by a cloud, and they’re frozen in a block of ice, shivering with multiple layers on. The person in the cabin below them is a skeleton on fire, being lowered into hell while the Devil cheers nearby. Illustration by Ben Claassen III.

Can you smell it? No, it’s not the leftover disappointment from pretend Mardi Gras 2021. It’s the night-blooming jasmine perfume Persephone is wearing as she ushers in spring (It’s also the smell of the cheesiness emanating from that sentence). It’s time to put away your chilly-weather clothes and pull out your swelteringly-hot-weather clothes. Then put those away and take out your chilly-weather clothes again before pulling out your swelteringly-hot-weather clothes once more, back and forth for about two months, until the weather finally picks a side. While you’re moving your stuff around, why not do some spring cleaning? Lemme help you with that!

Why are my white clothes not bright-white anymore?! How do I make them white again? 

Who doesn’t love the first wear of a new white tee? You may even get two or three sunny-white wears before the shirt changes to a hazy shade of winter. If your clothes have already lost their luster, there are ways to bring back the shine. Here are three: 1) Be careful to separate your colored clothing from your white clothing (duh). Washing white clothes separately from colored clothes is essential in the prevention of color bleeding (transfer of color from colored clothes onto white clothing). 2) Don’t overload the washing machine. Overloading the washer doesn’t leave enough room for the water to flush away dirt from clothes, so it is redeposited onto your clothing. To help you remember not to over-stuff your washer, use this catchy saying: “If I overload, I’m a dirty choad.” 3) Whenever possible, hang your whites in the sun to dry. Remember when you were a kid and after a summer of hangin’ outside in the sun, your hair lightened? Well, same concept here. The UV rays from the sun cause their own chemical reaction; it’s called photodegradation. On the color spectrum, sunlight is white. When the photodegradation of an object takes place, the object (your article of clothing, in this instance) will lose its original color and appear white—the color of the sun. Neato. If you’ve been a terrible person and have caused your white clothes to look gray, you can remedy the problem with one of the following. Grab one cup of baking soda and dissolve it in one gallon of warm water. Soak your clothes in this solution for about eight hours. After this, (properly) wash your white clothes in the washing machine. You can also use lemon juice to whiten your clothes! Boil two sliced—not halved—lemons in a large stockpot filled about 3/4 the way with water. After removing the pot from the heat, add your white clothes to the water and soak for about an hour. You can then run the clothes through the wash and hang them in the sun to dry.

My clothes are moth-eaten. How can I get rid of the moths without using moth balls?

My Maw Maw Sammy’s house and my Maw Maw Sammy herself always smelled like moth balls. She stashed moth balls in pretty much every closet and drawer in her house. As a child, my siblings and I always joked about how you could smell her coming from a mile away. But all jokes aside, that pungent perfume we were inhaling was actually a toxic vapor called naphthalene. It’s not only an insecticide but is used in the manufacture of plastic, amongst other things. Prolonged exposure can make you sick. If your pet eats some moth balls, it can kill them. So yeah, they’re bad news. Luckily, there are some non-toxic options for repelling moths, and they actually smell great! Not only is lavender used in aromatherapy for stress and anxiety relief, but it is also a natural insect repellent; moths tend to avoid the scent. Fill a few sachets (I use a few clean socks) with dried lavender and place them around your closet. You can also sprinkle a few drops of lavender oil on some cotton balls and hang them around your closet. Don’t let the cotton balls touch your clothing, as the oil can leave stains. Cloves are also a great moth repellent, and they smell great! Stuff a few of your socks with cloves, just as you did with the lavender, and banish those moths from your bureau. If you happen to see moths flying around your home, you can kill them if you like with a homemade repellent spray. To make this murder mist, you’ll mix 1/4 cup of neem oil in a two-quart spray bottle filled with water. Add a few drops of dish soap and shake. Now douse those little fabric-eaters with the spray and kill them.

Before Hurricane Zeta, I put tape on my windows to prevent them from shattering. Now I can’t get the sticky residue off. Help!

First off, don’t use the old tape-on-the-window trick to prevent your windows from shattering during a hurricane. It’s been proven not to work. I know, I know, your parents did it when you were a kid. Well, it doesn’t work, so stop doing it. Also, if you affix tape to your windows, they will be covered with adhesive residue when you remove it. Luckily, if you used this “preventative” measure, you can pretty easily get this residue off. Fill a small bowl with warm water and add a few drops of mild dish soap to it. Now add 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar to the bowl and stir. Dip a sponge or rag into the mixture and apply to the tape residue using a small, circular motion. If this doesn’t do the trick, dip a rag into some rubbing alcohol or fingernail polish remover and wipe the tape residue off. Good luck!

I smoke a lot of weed, and I have resin stains on a fabric chair. How can I get them off?

So you like to puff the ganja, and you use a pipe to do it. If so, you’ve probably accidentally wiped resin onto your clothing or furniture. Resin was recently rubbed onto my couch, and I did the following (it worked like a charm!). Pull out that isopropyl alcohol that you used to get the adhesive off of your windows. Pour a tiny bit of the alcohol onto a rag, and lightly rub the resin spot. I want to emphasize that YOU MUST RUB THE SPOT LIGHTLY. If you press too hard, you’ll just spread the resin around and make the spot bigger. Now smoke a joint to celebrate your resin-free chair!

Got cleaning questions? Email

illustrations by Ben Claassen III | @dirtfarm

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