Oh, don't pretend like you don't have one!
I know Memorial Day Weekend has passed, but it isn’t summer yet. It's still spring. You know what that means: spring cleaning.
My xoBio mentions how I love a spotless MF-ing house; it's something I take pretty seriously. As an adult womanchild with ADHD, it takes a lot of kindling to get my creative fires burning steadily, and when I see dust bunnies or dirty dishes, I just CAN’T.
I can't write. I can't sew. I can't bake. I can't cook. I can't do much of anything except hide from my filth and watch TV and eat Lombardi's pizza.
At some point in my Netflix binge, I throw down the chip bags and go full Cinderella on this bitch (this bitch being my apartment, which I share with two other humans and a dog).
I'll admit I do have a bit of a clutter problem, but I keep my environment in check and free of dirt, dust, and animal hair. Sometimes I imagine having a housekeeper/friend like you see in all of those '90s divorce movies. My own BFF Agador, like in The Birdcage.
But until I can pay another human to do it for me, I will be cleaning my apartment myself. And I really get into every nook and cranny, because if the cleanliness of my domicile doesn't meet certain criteria then, yeah, I CAN'T.
As much as anything else in the home, beauty products and doodads need regular cleaning. But how often do you clean your hairbrushes, product bottles, and tools? Not very often? Then they're definitely due for a little scrub-a-dub-dub.
Speaking of dub, I made you this super hyphy playlist with music from all over the world so you can be a sexy cleaning person (because booty shaking knows no gender). I find it helps to do everything at once; just push play and don't sit down. There are 28 songs to get you all the way through.
My tips, should you need them:
1. Wear gloves! I learned the hard hard way to take care of my hands and fingernails, and limiting exposure to water, soap, and cleaning solutions has made a big difference in preventing dryness. I wear my gloves whenever cleaning, washing dishes, or handling hair chemicals. Overexposure to hair chemicals can also cause sensitivity, so please use gloves whenever treating hair with color or texture chemicals. I loathe touching food and goopy messes with my bare hands, so gloves are an absolute must!
2. Clean all hairbrushes and combs once per month. Dirty brushes actually add buildup and grease to your hair. And if you're using your everyday brush to distribute oils or silicones, that's even worse. Brushes can also cause lint and dirt to stick to strands if they are really out of control. Yuck. To clean your hairbrush, simply pull all hair (or use a rattail comb to maneuver it out) and dust out of the bristles and run it under very hot water. If you want, you can squeeze some clarifying shampoo on the bristles and use a separate brush to scrub gently, dislodging any residue caught in between or on the bristles. Be sure to rinse super thoroughly to remove all of the shampoo. Allow brushes to dry overnight before storing. Combs, meanwhile, can be soaked in a solution of baking soda and water overnight. But don't use that method for brushes, as the baking soda can loosen glues and components, or worse, foster mold and bacteria.
3. Clean all hot tools quarterly. Hot tools may look clean, but you can bet there is buildup on the barrel or plates. All that goo formation can transfer onto hair and make it dirty and discolored. Clean any hot tools by first unplugging and cooling. (Liquid + electricity = nope.) Soak a cotton pad in rubbing alcohol and rub away! Depending on the amount of buildup, you may need to use a fresh pad a few times before the appliance is fully clean.
4. Purge your beauty stockpiles on a bi-monthly basis. I have loads of crap. The one place I try to keep clear of unnecessary clutter is my bathroom. It doesn’t always 100% work out, but one thing I try to do is never hold onto anything spoiled or potentially spoiled. Keeping products for nostalgia can cost you a round of antibiotics--not cool. Another tip? Be generous. If you know someone who would like a barely used product, give it to them. If you have unopened, unexpired products that you're never going to use, donate them to charity. Transitional programs for the homeless, at-risk youth, abused women, and so many more will accept donations of toiletries. Or, you could start a product drive! People even do it with extreme couponing. I learned that during a Netflix binge. It's touching to watch regular people scam corporations to give to those in need. Very Robin Hood.
Photos by Darnell Scott