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Cleaning Boot Camp - Recap

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In Orange, California, Bonnie hosts home for three of her four kids who are young adults living at home. While Bonnie is a pre-school teacher, her class at home has graduated to certified slobs!

The earliest scene is of the 17 year old lifeguard who after sitting at the pool all day (?) feels the need to hit the couch at home. No sooner does her butt hit the cushions, the ants hit her feet! She swats them off and laughs with her brother about it, who’s probably already got ants in his pants since he’s been sitting there already. His excuse, as only a 20 year guy could come up with, is that playing the drums in a band, “with some friends”, precludes him from cleaning. We see him tapping his sticks on various pieces of furniture and the bedspread.

The 24 year old who has moved out and is a mother herself, feels awkward visiting and concerned about what the baby might be exposed to. Hey, just the ants would be enough for me. There are dishes piled everywhere, ironing seems to be done on the dining room table and as one of the girls is forced to sniff the carpet, the other two are given a bowl with something long unidentifiable in it, to inhale. If these people have a problem sticking their noses in things in their own home, well, do they not hear that alarm bell going off or see those red flags telling them to maybe do something? Obviously, no. They walk into the kitchen and the smell hits them like a wall. Speaking of walls, enter a bedroom and not only is the wall covered with an ant farm, but turning back the bed there’s thousands, literally, thousands more! These people don’t need a clean up as much as they do an anteater! Admittedly Kim seems to have to exaggerate the grime on the girls’ room blinds and in mom’s room, Aggie acts a good sneeze. Mom’s room fan is vile with dust and grease. Sure, waiting for the team to show up, three ‘kids’ just not doing anything might create good t.v. - but those ants have set up house. These people didn’t call for help frivolously.

The cleaning team shows up with appropriate product placement, since this is, after all, a half hour commercial with entertaining “ewwww” factor. Squirting Febreze is ok, I guess, for a temporary fix for temporary odors, but personally I’d rather just wash the bedspread than spray it with perfume. Aggie breaks out the testing swabs and aims for the room fan, making me question her choices. The carpet surely would have tested worse, or the stove top, but I like Aggie, however rehearsed she might seem sometimes, so she wants to test the fan - good enough for me. We all know the results already, some millions of buggy-boos that “could” cause stomach aches, breathing problems and all those horrible things we can focus on and fear when the state of the world isn’t enough.

I enjoyed the baby shampoo in water to scrub the carpet. It must have smelled pretty nice, but it’s only for spot cleaning and not to use in our handy carpet cleaning machines.

Now we also know how to clean our fans too - and this is a neat household hint since we often just use a vacuum on them (admit it). Pop the fan apart, use regular dishwashing liquid and a brush to scrub the blade protectors, use a damp cloth to wash the blades and around the motor (remember not to really get the motor area wet!) and then pop it back together. It may seem like a big effort, but you know, doing this once a year isn’t too much to ask of ourselves. As long as we use the vacuum regularly in-between.

The unusual hint is Kim’s using steak sauce on the brass symbols. Regulars like us remember we can use catsup/ketchup as well, so steak sauce isn’t much of a surprise, but it’s fun and it sort of fits what would appeal to a young guy just this side of needing to yell “HOO’ha” whenever he cleans something.

We see a staff of scrubbing sanitizers do the cleaning while the family is then shipped off for a day of leisure. I’d think having them more involved in the cleaning would actually teach them a lot more, like how much easier it is to just keep things clean than to let it go this far, but, we’ll see on the two week follow-up visit right?

The “after” was impressive, with new, bright colored accent towels to offset the total white kitchen and there are, of course, all those candles. Candles everywhere. The ants are gone though, the beds are made and strewn clothes and newspapers picked up. They kept it up for the two weeks necessary to have the camera crew return, but again, I’d love to see them in 6 months.

This house wasn’t as bad as some of them, I’m thinking the family wanted some t.v. attention and maybe there’s not enough of you out there writing or calling in with your own serious mess. Take a look at the forum to see what you need to do to apply and here’s hoping I see you soon!