The Cuban Mop and Other Great Ideas

PC: Instagram @rewindryan

As I pondered the forthcoming (weird) collection of freaking AMAZING ideas, what immediately came to mind was how bizarre and disconnected it all seemed. It doesn’t even really fit nicely into a Blogging Category, per se, you know… like Recipes or Good Books.

But, seriously, I just have to share this stuff…

I admit it — whenever I’ve ever tried anything new or weird, it was probably at the urging of a girlfriend’s Facebook post just RAVING about some easy way to do whatever. I am not a naturally risky person, but I am curious about life hacks of any kind. If you tell me that 3D fiber lashes will make it seem like I actually have some eyelashes, I’ll probably pay $30.00 that very day and give it a try. (OK I actually did pay that)  I shucked out $40.00 twice for the tummy wraps of the summer of 2013 after a student told me they would burn away my fat (they didn’t) and I am actually about to get my first pair of vinyl fingernails because nail polish will. not. stay. on my fingernails. So yes, I am always a sucker for a bona fide recommendation. Mostly I crave new recipes and beauty products, and my Southern lady-friends are the best at passing these along. That, and sage advice. Naturally, some things work and some don’t but when they do…Man, oh man! So in the spirit of new starts and resolutions, allow me to pass along the best ideas I’ve ever heard of that I never would’ve tried had I not been just plain curious.

Y’all, I swear by these things.

Drink vinegar. I’m serious. Personally, I like vinegar. Pretty often, I slice up a cucumber and let it soak in red wine vinegar with salt and pepper and I eat this as a snack…yes, by choice. As a result, I never, ever, ever get sick. Furthermore, I work in the public school system (the world’s preeminent cesspool of germinesss) and yet I never need to get flu shots. I cannot remember a time in the last decade when I had a cold or the flu or a virus of any kind. On a recent school field trip, in fact, we had one of our travelers catch a nasty, wicked bug (he was the sickest human being I’d ever personally been around in my life) and we had the whole charter bus taking vinegar shooters. Miraculously, nobody else on the trip got sick! I thank the vinegar. If you don’t like vinegar, at least obligate yourself to holding your nose while you shotgun a vinegar bomb, at least once a week.

Mop your floors with towels. I learned this from my friend Jena who lives in Miami, where she was introduced to this Mother-of-Ingenuity, the “Cuban mop.” You can make this thing yourself with two broomsticks nailed together into a ‘T’. Then you wrap a towel around the end, mop your heart out, covering twice the territory at the same time, and then you simply launder the towel.  No more nasty mops and buckets. Seriously. Everything else is so gross once you cross over to the Cuban side.

GOOGLE IT: Cuban Mop…It’s really a thing!

I just returned from a ski trip and apparently my luggage hung out on the airport tarmac just as the snow started to melt. When I got home, my suitcases were filthy and disgusting. How does one lauder a suitcase???? I had to think about it, I asked around, and ultimately I decided to soak it in scalding hot, soapy water in my bathtub overnight.  Much of the dirt came off by itself but just a little scrubbing with a brush got almost everything else off.  My suitcases haven’t been this clean since they were new! And do I need to remind you guys how nasty the world is, specifically the floors of hotels and taxi cab trunks? You put your clean clothes in there, people! I’d suggest giving your suitcases a hot bath. It worked like a charm.

Lastly, sprinkle baby powder in your sheets. There are two reasons for this, actually:  It soaks up the mid-life-sweating-for-unknown-reasons kind of sweat and makes you feel and smell delicious. I know what you’re thinking: “It will get all over everything and turn it all white.” Actually, the powder disappears completely in the same way it disappears when you use it on babies butts. I learned this from my grandmother, who grew up in Birmingham with no air conditioning.

You know what they say. Don’t knock it ’til you try it! 

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About Dawn Quarles

Dawn Quarles is a high school political science and American history teacher who moonlights as a blogger and writer. She lives on Pensacola Beach, Florida.

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