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Cleaning gel (which is really just slime for responsible grown-ups) always seemed a little bit extra to me. I mean, how hard is it to get out a rag and wipe away dust and crumbs? I know it was intended to get in nooks and crannies of hard-to-clean areas like a car’s cup holders, but can’t those tasks be managed with a dust rag, brushes, or vacuum like they have for decades?
Fast forward to the pandemic lockdown: I’ve found myself eating lunch at my computer almost every day this past year, which has resulted in my keyboard becoming a landing pad for crumbs. I once made the mistake of trying to blow them away, and instead lodged a garlic flake from my bagel right into the side of a key. After my first recovery attempt the flake was pushed even further down inside the keyboard, just sticking above the top.
In an effort to risk pushing the crumb down further into the keyboard with a dust cloth, I turned to some cleaning gel to see if it could safely do the job.
Of course it could! It ever so delicately dripped onto the garlic flake and stuck to it, then I was able press down the key and lift off the slime — flake and all. Then I rolled the goo all over the seemingly clean keyboard (just for kicks) and wouldn’t you know, the slime pulled up a ton of debris, which I decided not to show here (because no one needs that).
So now I’m a believer in cleaning gel — for very specific tasks. Here’s what else I’ve used it on.
1. Cleaning the cracks in a wood table
I have an old farmhouse table in my kitchen that I use daily. Everything from sawdust to potting soil to protein powder has been spilled on the table and found its way into the cracks. No amount of MacGyvering paper towels over tools or toothpicks has been able to get down in the cracks to get them clean — then I tried cleaning gel. I smashed it down through the cracks and let gravity do its thing, then lifted the gel out and holy moly, it was so gross. I had no idea how much gunk was actually down in there!
2. Picking crumbs up off a tablecloth
I’m not the sort of person who has space in my life for an actual crumb sweeper, but I’ll keep a tiny pot of slime in my cleaning caddy any day! I found it was handy to roll around over the tablecloth after dinner instead of taking everything completely off to shake out the crumbs. Lazy? Eh, I say convenient!
3. Cleaning the cracks between the oven and the counter
You know that little crevice where your counters butt against either side of your oven? No matter how careful you are, crumbs always end up in there and they’re nearly impossible to lift out — instead, you just end up pushing them deeper down where they ultimately wait to attract pests. The slime? Well, it picks up every last bit.
Note: The downside with this miracle product is that you can’t actually clean the cleaning gel — once it’s filthy it’s done. And if you’re picking up crumbs you probably won’t want it around that long anyway. I found it was helpful to pull off a little dime-size blob to use for cleaning up crumbs on the table. I stored that little bit in a separate jar with a lid and tossed it after using it again a few days later.
Also, I have no idea what it’s made out of, as there are no ingredients on the label. There are however warnings: “Keep away from children. Don’t eat it! Keep away from direct sunlight and keep in a dry place.” So keep that in mind.