Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 473


OMG, I totes forgot to tell a California roadtrip story from July.

It went like this, as we were coming out of Santa Barbara to Carmel.

Husband: ‘Look at all those signs saying that the California Highway Patrol are out on the roads today.’
Me: ‘Oooh, CHiPs! Cool! I hope we get pulled over.’

Twenty minutes later…..

Me: ‘Uh oh, that cop car just spotted you speeding.’ [Looking in the mirror]. ‘Yep, he’s totally behind you. Yes, he has his sirens on. Oh yes! [Excited now] He’s pulling us over! Can I take a picture?’
Hubby: ‘No you bloody well can’t.’

Anyway, the long and the short of it was that we weren’t going THAT fast and the cop had been to the UK and so we had a lovely natter in our best British accents, and, along with the fact that I was wearing my Daisy Dukes at the time and had purposefully put my legs up on the dashboard (excellent distraction technique 😉 ), we got a warning, but no ticket.

And, sadly, I didn’t get a picture.

They were dudes!

They were dudes!

Being a Housewife in the USA

Sometimes, when the sun isn’t shining and I’m not gadding about doing super fun UK Desperate Housewife USA things, I have to be a proper housewife and actually clean the house, which I am not very good at. Fact.

This isn’t as easy as it sounds in the USA. This is mainly owing to the fact that I have carpets (unlike at home, where we have laminate flooring – ahem, I mean proper oak 😉 ).

It’s also because of the electricity here. It makes the hoover totally rubbish and it picks nothing up whatsover. My dad tried to fix it whilst he was here, but the long and the short of it is that because of the electricity power surge wotnot being less than back home that vacuum cleaner isn’t doing what it should. I’ve given up on the American one and resorted to my British one.

In addition, I have tried and tried to work out what American household cleaners do what to get stains off the carpets, but none seem to do the job. Oh, how I miss my easy-to-clean laminate (read as ‘real solid oak’ 😉 ) floors back in the UK.

Anyway, these are my top tips for other UK Desperate Housewives in the USA!

Enough of This Mess — Cleaning Hacks for a Happy Home

Some people just hate having to clean. It might be nice to keep a tidy house and it might be satisfying to see everything sparkling, but the actual act of cleaning can be enough to bring some people out in cold sweats! (Sound familiar, Desperadoes?!) What I have found is that you can keep some of the mess under control with a Dyson Hoover (British made, don’t ya know!) to ease the pressure, but what about all the places a vacuum can’t reach? Hoorah for British hoovers!


Here are a few top cleaning hacks that can make your life easier come your cleaning day!

For a cleaner kitchen
It’s really important to keep the kitchen pristine if you are a Desperate Housewife. But it’s also one of the toughest rooms to do this in! A whole colony of grease and dust can build up on your kitchen cabinets if you’re not careful, but here’s a great tip to get rid of it. Using vegetable oil and baking soda you can scrub the gunk off your cabinets with a toothbrush to get them looking good as new. How cool is that?!

And when it comes to burnt pans, why not try boiling some rhubarb in there? How utterly lovely and British rhubarb is! The acid from the rhubarb will clean off those ghastly black stains leaving your pan sparkling.

Grease – and lint-free clothing
No sooner have you lifted your fork and the food has slipped off on to your clothes, leaving big greasy stains that the washing machine just won’t get out and that’s no way for a Desperate Housewife to look. The best (and cheapest) way to get rid of grease stains? Rub white chalk over the top of them. Chalk has near-magical absorbing properties and will leave your clothes looking good as new! Fact!

oil stains

Another annoying thing, or rather things, are those tiny lint balls that collect on jumpers and cotton t-shirts making them look old and worn before their time. To get rid of these, take a disposable razor and shave ‘em off! It’s simple, it’s cheap and it’s very effective. Go on, grab your hubby’s now and give it a go!

Dispensing with pesky pet hair
Love them as we do, cats and dogs tend to leave our homes dripping with yucky looking hair. I should know, I brought my cats over from the USA and their cat hair is all over my American carpets! If you have pets and your vacuum isn’t getting everything up off the carpet, get a handy squeegee and run it over the floor. You’ll be left with a large, easy to remove ball of hair and a clean carpet. That is a top tip that would earn you 10 excellent British pounds in the Woman’s Own advice column.

So there you have it, a few top cleaning tips to keep your house and you feeling and looking fresh just like in Wysteria Lane! With the help of these and your best British vacuum cleaner, you can keep the mess at bay for longer.

Now breathe… isn’t that better!?

And go and put the kettle on! 😉

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10 Responses to Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 473

  1. Andy says:

    This was recently voted the best one-liner joke at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival:
    “I’m selling my Hoover. All it does is gather dust”


  2. Maryjenmary says:

    Many Americans learned years ago that Dyson is the only way to go. They are wonderful cleaners. Plus there are many kinds, and there is a kind available to clean anything anywhere, no matter how high up the wall. Myself, I have 4 different kinds of Dysons, all of which I use for various purposes. Sure they’re expensive, but if you have to do the cleaning, you deserve the very best, which Dyson is. I have been fascinated by that man’s inventiveness for decades. I’m happy to buy British whenever I can. Yes, the British are better at making lots of things, and I’m happy to support the British economy. We’re cousins after all. My family fought in the Revolutionary War, but it doesn’t make any difference in how I feel about Britain–I absolutely love the place. I am hoping for the day when there is free trade between the two countries and it is easier for all of us to experience each other’s country.

    P.S. The vegetable oil and baking soda can be used to remove anything that can’t otherwise be removed. Thanks for the hints.

  3. Lesley Allen says:

    Did you see the article concerning an EU Directive on powerful cleaners. No longer will they have the cleaning power to do the job! Check this out, and it only get worse in a few years time.

  4. Joan says:

    Don’t Brits use a “char-woman” to clean for them? Housekeeper? Cleaning service? That’s really the way to go. Then you can stop this foolishness with the Hoover!

  5. lajules says:

    I’ve just learned I’ve been using the wrong cleaner for my vinyl kitchen floor, which is the reason it looks revolting all the time. So I spent Saturday night on my knees, pouring wax stripper on each tile and scrubbing grime away with a plastic brush.

    I might still be a little off because of the fumes, but, as a fellow expat in DC, I just wanted to say I like your blog.

  6. lajules says:

    I’ve just learned I’ve been using the wrong cleaner for my vinyl kitchen floor, which is the reason it looks revolting all the time. So I spent Saturday night on my knees, pouring wax stripper on each tile and scrubbing grime away with a plastic brush.

    I might still be a little off because of the fumes, but, as a fellow expat in DC, I just wanted to say I like your blog.

  7. Pingback: Desperate English Housewife in Washington, chapter 480 | ukdesperatehousewifeusa

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