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You've Been De-Haunting Your Bathrooms Improperly This Whole Time

Updated on June 20, 2016

It Begins

You've arrived home late at night, ready to drop your things and head to the bathroom to wash the day off. Everything aches a bit more than normally, so you know a warm, magnesium sulfate bubble bath is definitely in order. You slowly nudge open the bathroom door--careful to not wake up the roommate--and are immediately disgusted. The sanctuary of indoor plumbing you have been fantasizing about all evening on your trip home is filthy, and reeks of the aftermath of one of your roommate's rowdy parties. Sigh. Time to douse the floor in bleach and call it a d--STOP RIGHT THERE.

This bathroom is not just dirty. My friend, this bathroom is thoroughly, pungently, and devastatingly Haunted.

But you have come to the right place.

"Why Should I Care? I Febreeze'd Like No Tomorrow"

Good question. Obviously, cleaning up the mundane substances from all surfaces is necessary (the dirt, wax, blood, etc.) however this alone, satisfying as it may look when you are done, is inadequate. If you stop here, don't be surprised when evidence of the lingering haunting appear later on. Some examples of a lingering haunting include, but are not limited to (these will all be explored in detail throughout this guide):

  • Abnormally high number of resident tchotchkes
  • Thin, slimy residue on bottles/vessels, regardless of frequency of use
  • Unusual difficulty controlling shower water temperature
  • Less reflective shower tiles--or other signs that your spectres are unhappy/unhealthy!
  • Wet towels taking much longer to dry
  • HIGH chances of another disgusting haunting for you to clean up again!!

Have You Identified Your Resident Tchotchke(s)?

My personal resident tchotchkes are bobby pins (pictured above) and Dr. Pepper bottle caps
My personal resident tchotchkes are bobby pins (pictured above) and Dr. Pepper bottle caps

If Not, Here's How

Every place where someone lives has a resident tchotchke, or multiple. They surface in corners, under furniture, or maybe even in the bottom of purses or old boxes. They're those darned things you pick up on weekly/daily basis! And yet! They're still always floating around! You know what I'm talking about. Those dang paper clips/gum wrappers/trading cards/mysterious dirt lumps/[insert yours here]!! Harmless, generally innocuous, occasionally irritating. Your resident tchotchke, folks. No matter how mundane (non-haunted, non-magical) your home is, sometimes they're just unavoidable.

A Brief Poll

Do you or a loved one suffer from a post-haunting?

See results

Residue, More Like Resi-don't (haha)

Depending on the severity of the haunting and how poorly it was cleaned, the gross, persistent residue may cover more than just shampoo bottles. You may discover some on the door handle, in a hair brush, or stuck to (sometimes new) shaving razors. No matter how many times you clean, it comes back like a somehow successfully-thrown boomerang.

The solution is simple: chinotto, Satan's chosen liquid.

Mix one part chinotto with three parts of your normal cleaning liquid of choice (something mundane, like soap or mashed bananas. Don't mix it with vinegar, lemon juice, or potatoes, you fool! Those are not mundane!).

Coat every grimy surface with your new liquid and leave it for five or so minutes, I recommend doing a small area at a time. Then, using only chinotto, clean it off completely. Repeat the cycle (solution, then just chinotto) until it no longer feels sticky. If you repeat more than seven-ish times and find it never stops feeling sticky, remake a new batch of the solution but with salt water (preferably from the ocean) instead of chinotto. Only switch to this on the last attempt. Chinotto must be part of the process at first.

Pick up any resident tchotchkes you notice along the way. If you try to clean the grime off of them in a similar way, it will not work. They are permanently haunted and must be removed and thrown out to make room for fresh tchotchkes in the future. Handle them with dignity.

What's Chinotto?

Chinotto is a bitter Italian soda made from the titular citrus tree. It's sold online. Also in Italy.
Chinotto is a bitter Italian soda made from the titular citrus tree. It's sold online. Also in Italy.

Hot as Brimstone or Cold as Ice, There is No In-Between

Don't expect constant perfection out of your appliances, that's just cruel and setting them up for failure. But there are reasonable parameters within which you can safely expect them to perform.

One sad effect of a haunting and its aftermath is its effect on your appliances' morale. The most common sign of this is a shower's water temperature not changing appropriately as the knob changes. Turning it a tiny bit might change the temperature way too much, very little, or not at all. Sometimes it might even change without the knob being touched. This is a classic symptom that most people dismiss too quickly.

Assuming you've already checked for mundane issues unrelated to the haunting, like plumbing issues, you can be sure it has to do with it. Go to your local porifera supplier and buy or barter for the largest, most spongy sponge.Thank it for helping you out. Then, get started.

Grab a strip of duct tape and secure your spongy assistant to the shower head, or wherever the problematic water typically flows from. Leave it there and stare at it, standing very very still, until you can't stand it anymore! Don't be worried if this happens as soon as four seconds or as late as an hour, your "impatience" is a better clock when it comes to this scenario than any device you could use. However, if you aren't one of the lucky people born with such a sharp internal timer (you may have been endearingly referred to as: "patient"), a countdown set to 15 minutes will do.

Release your spongy assistant and make sure they weren't injured in the process. If everything checks out, return them to the porifera supplier (explain it was necessary for a haunting, and they are usually more understanding). Another good alternative is releasing it in a wooded, grassy park or the ocean.

My Shower Mosaic is Looking Rather Prosaic

While you're nursing the haunted appliances in your bathroom, you might have noticed the wall tiles/mirrors looking rather dull. The familiar reflected bits of light or soft shadows in the corners of your eyes are gone, leaving you with nothing but boring surfaces.

Well, you can't blame them for vanishing, what spectre wants to inhabit a slimy, haunted room?!

Invite their safe presence back by flicking some of your good friend Chinotto on the surfaces with a paint brush, rag, or similar. While it's still wet enough that the droplets are dripping, wipe clean with a new square rag in a color or pattern never before used in that bathroom.

If it's not already square, cut it as best as you can. As long as it's not a pentagon or hexagon, which have distinct other uses, as you know, it's fine.

Still not looking gorgeously shiny, or still missing spectres? With the same rag, apply sugarless chamomile tea!! This stuff is spectre catnip. Wipe the surfaces lovingly, like a favorite car or reptile tank. You're putting care towards your spectres, after all.

It's a Staple for Having Happy Spectres

It doesn't hurt to keep a flowerpot of this stuff around, too. Don't spoil them, though.
It doesn't hurt to keep a flowerpot of this stuff around, too. Don't spoil them, though.

What Gets Wetter the More It Dries?

Your towels, if you don't hang them properly after use.

Assuming you've done all the other steps in this article, this problem will fix itself. It is an important foundation of any home to have healthy, happy spectres, which will be discussed extensively in the next article. Do YOU know all the benefits? Are YOU paying attention to your spectres?


After following everything I've mentioned, the remission of all symptoms and subtle reappearance of spectres are excellent signs that a haunting has been properly dealt with. You'll even notice the number of resident tchotchkes returning to its normal amount.

Keep this information handy, and share with friends in similar situations. Remember to never panic (but if you do, it's ok), and no haunting is ever too bad to handle.

Crack open a bottle of chinotto and settle into your bubble bath, you've deserved it.

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