Thursday, July 14, 2011

Gettin' Down 'n Dirty

So yesterday brought the conclusion of our latest Epic Win in Baby Gear Acquisition. We picked up our crib! Here is what it looks like all nice and assembled in the nursery:

This room is shaping up! I still sort of want a nice blind to go on the window, but that's not immediately necessary. It's another Mamas & Papas score: their Metro crib from last year. And - just as we expected - it's in quite good shape. The base is set high right now because Yours Truly doesn't fancy all kinds of bending over in the unholy hours of the morning to retrieve a cranky baby. Anyway, the baby can't roll around for a while, and when we come to that hurdle, I'll just readjust the mattress height.

But that brings us to the one issue I wanted to tackle with this purchase: the mattress. I had to admit, when we picked it up, the lady did show that it was in pretty good shape. That said: her kid had still been sleeping on it, so I thought that it deserved a bit of super-cleaning TLC before Piggly Wiggly was asked to snuggle down.

Step one? Yank off the washable mattress cover and toss it in our washing machine. The tag specifically asked that it not get tumble dried, so it's airing out now on our clothes rack. (The first use I think that thing has got since we moved!) I made sure to be a bit more liberal with the pre-wash detergent and wash cycle amounts than I might normally have been...just because, you know. I mean: I borrow friends' clothes (especially now when maternity clothing is so freaking expensive! And I know a ton of people who are willing to part with their maternity wardrobes.), but before I wear someone else's clothes long-term, I definitely chuck that junk in the washing machine. It's not like I think I have dirty friends with poor personal hygiene, but if I were lending out my clothes, I'd wash them first, too. It's just a courtesy if the fabric's going to be sitting next to your body all day.

That done, it was time to turn to the mattress itself. A lovely sprung foam affair (read: easy to vacuum clean!) with a meshy outer layer. After a brief Google search to confirm my suspicions, I knew how I wanted to proceed. I could make this mattress cleaner...better. I had the technology. It would be the $6 Million Man! and clean mattress. What technology, you ask? Why; only the most advanced and sophisticated chemical engineering to hit the world of household cleaning...

Of course, by that I mean "I went old school like your grandma and used baking soda...fool." Oh, and I know in my photo, my little jar says "Bicarbonate of Soda"'s the same thing. It's just another example of how the Brits like to be different. In either event, I think my Nana would have approved.

So armed with sieve and baking soda, I sprinkled that mattress like I was covering doughnuts. (Incidentally, I have been snacking on sugared doughnuts this judgements.) The plan is to leave it until tomorrow and then vacuum the mattress of its frosty topping. That way, the baking soda can absorb any stray smells or stains. Not that I saw any stains (unless you count the discolouring from the side of the mattress that was always face-down, but I don't count that), but it's still worth the small amount of work it takes.

 And, once this blog post is done, I can make a short run to Waitrose for the one thing that will finish off this short project (and just be generally useful around the house anyway)...
Febreze just isn't as ubiquitous over here as it is back home. So this purchase is actually a long time in coming because I've made angry faces for months when I'd check the big grocery store for Febreze and only find air fresheners. Not what I was actually looking for. I just wanted plain old, fabric-cleaning, nice-smelling Febreze.

Either way, I'll let you know tomorrow how my mattress cleaning exploits have turned out. And if they don't turn out so well, that's okay! I can just let the mattress complete the circle of life (i.e.: go in the trash bin outside or to a charity shop), and then buy a new one. Seeing as we've saved about £340 so far on our baby budget (I'll do an official total at some point soon), it's not as big of a deal as it could be.

Update! Turns out that washing everything worked like a charm. It feels a lot cleaner (not that it seemed particularly dirty before) and I'm happy with keeping up a strict washing/airing-out routine to keep it that way.

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