Monday, April 28, 2008

A fuel injection cut off

Some perils of new home ownership are expected. You expect there to be a problem with plumbing, for instance, though you wish it wouldn't happen on your second full day in the house, on a Saturday morning. But you deal with it.

Other perils of new home ownership are more oblique, less anticipated, but perhaps even more insidious for their very unexpected nature....

Since we moved in in September, we haven't mowed our new lawn. It was fall and then winter and we didn't own a lawnmower, so we just left well enough alone. Of course, we live in the South, so fall and winter are relative. And things really were getting out of hand, so last week the husband bought a lawnmower. This weekend, he used it. And we weren't surprised to uncover heretofore unknown tree stumps, though the pile of what had apparently been leftover concrete was a shock. And the lawn looks much better and we won't be kicked off our street, as expected.

No, what caused us the most problems occurred before the mowing began, when the husband accidentally sprayed gasoline on himself while filling the gas can. When he came in after mowing, he reeked, so I told him to strip immediately and drop his clothes into the washing machine, where I already had a partial load ready, so as not to infect the rest of the house with the pungent gas smell.

Dear tiny band of loyal readers, don't ever, ever do this. What happens when you wash clothes that have gas on them is that the gas doesn't wash away. Instead, it contaminates everything else it touches (in this case, the one pair of cords that fits me now, among other things), leaving them covered in gas. Oh, and guess what? You can't dry something that smells like gas in the dryer because, of course, it's flammable now. In addition, the gas infects your washing machine, making the machine itself a distributer of gas for the next however many loads. This, in turn, converted my laundry room into a death trap of noxious fumes. In short, one outfit of gas covered clothing became one very big mess.

What to do? The internet provided me with many options: white vinegar in the wash was a no go, as was apple cider vinegar. Dawn Ultra Pump Foam along with vinegar sounded fancy and didn't work. Citrus degreaser wasn't available anywhere. What finally helped was hanging said clothing out to dry outside where (DUH!) the gas evaporated and the clothes are now able to be laundered normally (and, I hope, dried as well). Which left the washing machine itself. Again, all vinegar, in all water temperatures was unhelpful at best. What has finally prevailed is washing rags in hot water with a lot of baby oil in the machine. Something about oil-based product attracting oil-based product. Who knows? I'm just happy to be done with the whole fiasco.

Yet ANOTHER reason to cut down on fossil fuel use, no??

1 comment:

Becca said...

Spencer spilled gasoline in the back of my car once. It was so horrible, but I learned how to get smells out with this enzyme stuff. Hence me not worrying about buying a car that reeked of dog.