The Crazy Suburban Mom: Too Dirty for Words Project #3 - Grease and total humiliation

Monday, May 13, 2013

Too Dirty for Words Project #3 - Grease and total humiliation

Kitchen grease is a huge issue for me.  I know it's technically not a decluttering project but I'm looking for things that don't work, and found it.   The kitchen ceiling -also the cabinets and flat surfaces- is the thing I've worked the hardest on (unsuccessfully many, many times).

The main problem is I don't have a window in there or an external venting fan (and the one in the microwave is less then no help because it recirculates.)

I've tried many things that people have had success with; mostly cleaners that warned me wear gloves and ventilate ( just try not getting any on you or breathing it  when your spraying upwards trying and hit your ceiling), plus some friendlier methods like Simple Green, straight out of the bottle white vinegar, magic erasers... and the less friendly, ammonia.

All it did was get worse. For years it  got worse and harder to clean.  And in case you think I'm kidding here's a closeup shot.


That is stuck on grease, plus other begrimed morsels.   Seriously, I think I see dog hair on my ceiling...

Somewhere around the crack of dawn, I was loopy from sleep deprivation. I went to bed around 11:00 p.m. and at 12:30 a.m. Ginger woke me to pee.  And again at 1:30 and 2 and when she had to go out  again at 2:30  I gave up the sleeping gig altogether.

I watched Filofax Videos for about an hour and half and then decided to clean the ceiling in the kitchen with coconut oil.  And before anyone says that's irrational.... Coconut oil is great at cleaning the sticky residue left by price tags and I thought maybe it could clean the sticky residue from my life in general.

I was  more then a little afraid my family would catch me standing on a folding chair at Ridiculous O' Clock rubbing coconut oil on the kitchen ceiling but I was sleep-deprived beyond reason at that point.

So did it work?  


I saw something I've not seen in years, a clean spot. So you tell me...

I rubbed a glob of coconut oil up there and years of scuzzy awful started to dissolve, I mean just... melt away like a greasy bad dream..   I took a paper towel, wiped off the now-soft goo and Holy Clean Space, Batman! I saw ceiling on my ceiling. Of course I grabbed my camera to commemorate the insanity.

It took just minutes to clean and I'm not even kidding about the minutes part.  After I was done I sprayed Simple Green on a paper towel (it really is a good degreaser for most jobs) and cleaned the pina-coloda scented residue off .


And Voila!  A clean ceiling. 

 I. Can't. Even. Believe. It! Oh, the wondrous things you think of when your brain firing like a carnival from sleep deprivation.    I'm going to crawl under a rock now because this post was an embarrassing display of my lack of homemaking skills and tolerance of grime.

Although I must admit,  the picture of my clean ceiling feels kind of divine and my hands are crazy soft from all that coconut oil.

*PS - The paint on my walls is not flat latex, I'm not sure how this would work on flat paint. Test it in an inconspicuous location first.


Circus Life 5/13/13, 8:35 AM  

Wow! We moved into an apartment that still has the original appliances, cabinetry, etc from when it was built in 1984. Needless to say, some of the tenants previous apparently didn't have good housekeeping skills. I have been trying everything to get the grease coating off the range hood. Going to buy coconut oil now!

Tracy Reinhardt 5/13/13, 8:38 AM  

Would love to know how it works for you! It's impossible to get that stuff off, so this was amazing. I'm sure I will have to do it again since the reason it accumulated isn't going away - Poor to no ventilation and no extenal fan - but it was SO easy to do.

Carole Anne Carr 5/13/13, 9:22 AM  

Can just imagine your desperation, and well done for finding such an excellent solution!

Tracy Reinhardt 5/13/13, 9:25 AM  

Carole Anne - It was the most frustrating issue! It's something that only got worse no matter what I did. I can't even believe it's gone and with something so incredibly simple.

paperscribe 5/13/13, 10:25 AM  

Amazing, I'm trying to tackle the same issue with no external vent...I'm afraid to look at the top of my longer!! Thank you!

Tracy Reinhardt 5/13/13, 10:29 AM  

Paperscribe, I've got to do above the cabinets too. But I'm working from most to least obvious at this point to have my progress more satisfying. I did the ceiling, then moved on to the front of the cabinets by the stove.. next the ones across from the stove, then the fridge top. Last the top of the cabinets - It's really the least visible thing unless you're in the exact right spot


kanalt 5/14/13, 7:51 AM  

Wow! This is awesome. I'm going to keep this tidbit tucked away for when I need it. And don't be embarrassed - you've enlightened all of us, so there was a purpose in greasy ceilings and cleaning at ridiculous o'clock.

Tracy Reinhardt 5/14/13, 8:04 AM  

kanalt - I know! It's amazing. I can't even believe the ceiling is clean! I started on the kitchen cabinets and it's working on them too. AAA-mazing!

Jotje 5/14/13, 8:52 AM  

I do hope we have coconut oil here in Holland. You'd be surprised that not every supermarket here carries canned coconut milk, which is an essential if you want your fussy kids to eat rice in the first place ... (but I disgress).
Will try some of the Chinese markets in the city.
My cabinet tops are in dire need of coconut oil, of that I'm sure ...

Tracy Reinhardt 5/14/13, 9:01 AM  

Jotje - I'm almost positive they would have it at an asian market. amazon does international shipping on a lot of items so you could get it there also I think this one, and looks like there are others too-

But usually an asian market has coconut oil

I have to do the cabinet tops too. I need a step ladder though - a little afraid I'll fall off the chair :)

Alison Reeves 5/15/13, 3:59 PM  

Wow - that's interesting. I have some spots in my kitchen that could benefit from this - I take it you just rub it on with a cloth?

Tracy Reinhardt 5/15/13, 4:16 PM  

Alison, I put the 'glob' of coconut oil on a paper plate and used paper towels. I was afraid all that coconut oil and dirt would be hard to wash out.


LJ 5/17/13, 7:15 AM  

Wow!!! I need to get me some coconut oil!!! And don´t stand on folding chairs - the injuries when they collapse on you can be pretty ouchy as I discovered once, the bruises were so impressive I had to take photos!!! x

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