14: Hanna and Her Sister

L to R: Emma, our grandmother, our mom (another frequent guest), and me (HBO). We look as related as we sound.

L to R: Emma, our grandmother, our mom (another frequent guest), and me (HBO). We look as related as we sound.

How much is your labor worth—and if cleaning isn’t your bag, is it OK to outsource it to a third party? This week, Hanna’s sister, Emma (confusing, we know) joined us on the phone from Oregon to talk about how she hired someone to clean her place. Does that buy her some extra time to do other things? Or is this a case of invisible labor made even less visible?

During the course of this conversation we talked about Gemma Hartley’s article, “Women Aren’t Nags, We’re Just Fed Up,” as well as her book, Fed Up. Both of these are super-interesting supplemental materials for listeners who want to think a little bit about what we consider “work,” what we do in our daily lives, and how much we notice about the ones around us.

Listeners can also find more about what Emma does in her day job by following her grooming salon, Murphy’s Paw, on Facebook. It’s A+ DOG CONTENT.

We also heard from listeners with some great feedback and tips. Like, for example, an oven-cleaning mixture that is effective AND most likely won’t burn your skin off upon contact. And look at these photos!

Here’s a link to the recipe for the oven cleaner, as well as one for our beloved castile soap.


We also heard from a listener with a fan-flipping-tastic accent, talking about three basic, must-have cleaning products that she says she recently rediscovered. They were:

  • Microfiber cloths

  • Sponge mops (REALLY??)

  • And Fabuloso, preferred all-purpose cleaner of abuelitas.


Her call was prompted by Andrew’s AMAZING, EXQUISITE, VERY STURDY cat litter scoop. When his partner brought it home, he couldn’t believe he ever lived without it. This is also how I felt when I bought my handheld vacuum (I KNOW, I’M IN LOVE. JEEZ). So we were wondering: What cleaning products or tools have you recently discovered or rediscovered? What did you live without for much too long?

As always, we LOVE to hear your tips and tricks and questions. You can call the Spotline—508-HOW-WASH—or email us at spotlesspod@gmail.com. And follow us on Twitter! We like to get your photos there, too.

Hanna Brooks Olsen