One time when my mum was staying with me she was taking my rubbish out (she’s a good mum) when she recoiled in horror squealing “When was the last time you wiped out the inside of your bin?!” The only obvious answer was “Is that a thing you’re meant to do?”
You see, unlike cats who teach their children all they need to know within the first eight weeks of life, human mothers sometimes drop the ball. Now and then you’ll discover an important piece of information you were never taught, like for example that you should wipe out the inside of your bin. I’m not blaming my mum for this – she could never compete with the perfect standards set by our feline friends, plus the taking out my rubbish example above illustrates her exceptional parenting – but this incident got me thinking about all the other adult things I didn’t know I should be doing. Naturally I turned to everyone’s ultimate life guide and surrogate parent for advice: Google.
Wiping out your bin
I thought my mum was having me on with this one. Yes it’s disgusting in the bottom of the bin; it’s a bin. Bins are by their very nature disgusting. But a quick Google search shows I should never have doubted her: cleaning out your bin is indeed a thing. According to one link I found you should do it every damn time you empty that bad boy. The same link suggested that the best way to do this is to dilute some multi-purpose cleaner in water, pour it into the bottom of the bin and let it stand for while, soak the bin lid in the same solution, use a rag to wipe the outside of the bin, tip the cleaning solution out of the bin, dry the bin thoroughly, sprinkle bi-carb soda in the bottom of the bin, put a new bin liner in, and finally soak the cloth you used in diluted bleach. So you can be sure I’ll never do that.
Flipping your mattress
I was thrilled when this Google search brought up a WikiHow with pictures. A WikiHow with pictures is always a delight and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. My key takeaways were to move any breakables before trying to flip a mattress as it can be an “awkward endeavour” and that the best technique is to “helicopter” your mattress on the base or frame. In terms of how often you should do it, the jury’s still out. If you have a newer mattress or one with a pillow top it’s possible you don’t need to do it at all, otherwise three monthly seems to be the general consensus.
Changing the oil in your car
Eugh, car maintenance. I mean really, how boring. My approach to looking after my car is basically to just not worry about it and show no interest in learning what any of the parts do. Yes, this means I get ripped off on the odd occasion that I do go to a mechanic. But it also means that I get to spend my time doing interesting things, like not having my hands covered in grease and not reading about what ‘timing belts’ or ‘carburetors’ do. I did find another WikiHow (with pictures), which claims that changing your car’s oil is “easy”, although the 25 step process that followed would suggest otherwise. Honestly, I got bored even reading how to do this so if it’s something you’re like passionate about or whatever you can do it I guess, but my advice is just don’t even worry about it.