Deadly Cleaning

In this time of coronavirus, you are being told to disinfect everything except maybe the dog. They say dogs don’t get coronavirus. They say a lot of things. One thing they don’t say often enough is what to use to clean. (Below is a link to a NYT article about which cleaners to use and why. Read it.)

My own cleaning disaster was many years ago when I lived in a very old duplex in Oklahoma City. The house had lots of architectural charm but also boasted a well-used, gray-tinged bathtub that I decided to clean thoroughly. They say suicides often are found nude and I was nude but just because I was home alone and fixing to take a bath. Suicide by bleach and ammonia was not my intention, but that was almost the result. As I was scrubbing away with the bathroom door and window shut, I started to feel queasy, then dizzy, then plague-struck. Close to passing out, I crawled out of the bathroom and lay in the hall wondering what had happened.

It took me a while to figure out what had gone wrong. There was no internet for research in those days and no coronavirus. I thought maybe I had the flu, but my symptoms cleared up as soon as I had fresh air. Eventually, I learned that you are not supposed to mix bleach and ammonia. I have told many people about this deadly cleaning combination. Now, I am telling you. Clean to keep from getting coronavirus, but don’t clean and die.

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