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Clean is as clean does

Cleanliness Is Next to ...: Life's Most Essential Cleaning Tasks Clarice Taylor Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $12.95

September 16, 2004|Carolyn Huffman Kimball

Suppose you're the sort of person for whom that 900-page bestseller about housecleaning was a tad too involved. Suppose you're more the sort who, when faced with a white ring on the coffee table, puts a coaster over it and makes a mental note to get some Pledge when you have more time. This slim little volume may be for you.

Clarice Taylor, though a bit dry in her delivery (and in need of a little spelling and punctuation cleanup), lays out simple, specific steps for cleaning and maintaining household items, often by using generic products you probably already have in the pantry or under the sink.

Among the clever gems: unsticking a zipper by rubbing a candle on it, shining silver with fireplace ashes, giving shoes the (ahem) personal touch of an actual spit shine. Even if you don't meet Taylor's challenge of saddle-soaping your leather chair every six months, you'll be grateful for that tip about table salt next time you slop some red wine onto the white tablecloth.

*

-- Carolyn Huffman Kimball

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