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Tag Archives: pet peeve

Let’s talk about mildew.  In particular, let’s talk about mildew as related to household items and cleaning.

Mildew is a superficial fungal growth on organic matter and also the resulting smell from said growth.  In a house, mildew can refer to many types of mold growth, but usually the mold has a flat growth habit.  These molds thrive in damp conditions or in areas with poor moisture control, e.g. a poorly ventilated bathroom.

Exposure to mold and mildew can cause various symptoms, such as nasal and sinus irritation, eye irritation, respiratory problems, skin irritation, and headaches.  It can be a trigger for asthma attacks in those suffering from asthma.

There are only three things are needed for a mold colony to establish itself: a food source, moisture, and time.

Time: mold can start growing within 24 hours from when growing conditions are met.

Moisture: mold needs moisture to help the decaying process caused by the mold.

Food source: This can be any organic matter.  Cellulose is common for indoor molds.  Besides the decorative indoor plants and fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator, there are plenty of cellulose-based products in a home.  Lots of building materials are plant-based and thus contain cellulose, e.g. wood, paper, drywall, carpet, carpet padding.  Lots of textiles are made of plant-based materials and thus contain cellulose: e.g. curtains, couch upholstery.

But mold does not feed only on cellulose; a colony can from where there is any organic matter, e.g. dead skin cells, soap, cotton.  And here’s the whole reason for this post on mildew.  Think about the last three items I listed, dead skin cells, soap, and cotton.  Now think about how you often wonder why your bath towels start stinking it up after you use them a couple of times.  Think of all the dead skin cells you’re leaving behind on the towels along with the water.  Think about just how much laundry detergent you put in your washing machine to try and get rid of the smell.  Think about how disappointed and confused you were when your towels almost immediately started smelling like mildew again.

STOP USING SO MUCH LAUNDRY DETERGENT.  Yes, you’re washing away the dead skin cells on the towels, but you’re replacing it with a bunch of soap, which is also organic matter, which is a food source for mold.  Your washing machine has a set time and amount of water it will use to rinse the load.  If you use a metric crap ton of detergent on your towels, how do you expect to rinse all of that away with limited water and time?  When you accidentally use too much soap washing your hands, don’t you have to rinse longer?  SAME.  PRINCIPLE.

Follow the recommended guidelines for your preferred brand of laundry detergent and you won’t have nearly the same issues with mildewy towels.

This has been a public service announcement brought to you by my pet peeve of people using too much laundry detergent.


I spend a fair amount of time on the road so I see a good amount of stupid driving and stupid drivers (as well as perfectly good drivers, but we aren’t talking about them in this post).  Some are just reckless, some are distracted, some are completely clueless, and some…are just plain unreasonable.  And it’s that last category of drivers that really irritate me.  The other types of drivers I can stand…from afar.  I may find them briefly annoying and/or dangerous, but once I’m far enough away from them, they don’t continue to bother me.  But those unreasonable drivers…

So, what do I mean about unreasonable driving?  Well, it’s not really a particular style of driving.  It’s not necessarily aggressive driving, although sometimes that’s part of it.  It’s that these people are probably unreasonable in their day to day lives as well and it happens to be that they are driving near me and thus I perceive them to be unreasonable drivers.

So…what do I mean about unreasonable people?  You know the type.  Sometimes you see the woman arguing heatedly with a shop clerk about something inconsequential and has to have her way.  Or it’s the guy who is really demanding and condescending and rude to the wait staff for no reason other than he perceives that it makes him look powerful.  Or the client the demands to include things outside the agreed scope of the project and refuses to give you more time or money to do it.  You know, unreasonable people.

So, I assume when these people go driving, they keep their unreasonable ways.  For example, there was a woman driving a luxury SUV behind me when we were very stuck in traffic.  So stuck that we were probably moving only 10 ft every 30 min or so.    You think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not.  It was really bad traffic.  We were also in the left lane so there was no place to go.  And what did she do that was so unreasonable?  She would honk.  Any time I let more than 3 ft of space get between the next car and me.  Three.  Feet.  And when I would look back in my mirror at her, she’d be gesticulating and pounding on her steering wheel.  I’m sorry, but in the grand scheme of things, being 2 ft closer to your destination when you’re stuck in stuck in such bad traffic doesn’t make much of a difference.  If we were in the right lane and I only needed to move a few feet so that she could get around me into the right turn lane, I would think she was a jerk but I’d do it, because I know how frustrating it is when you only need a few more inches of space to get to a lane you’d like to be in.  But we weren’t in that situation.  And she was being completely unreasonable.

Another example?  How about the guy in a subcompact who would flash his high beams at me and put on his blinkers to try and get me to move over into the next lane so he could pass me?  Now then, the US has standards on the use of the passing lane.  You generally pass on the left lane and slower traffic should keep to the right.  And this is in relation to the speed of the traffic around you, not the posted speed limits.   So, if the traffic around me was moving faster than I was driving, then definitely I should have moved over to the right and let the guy pass.  BUT.  I was traveling with traffic.  And I was traveling faster than traffic in the lane to the right of me (we were in the leftmost lane).  And I was holding distance between the car in front of me who was traveling at about the same speed I was.  And this guy would not have any of it.  He kept flashing his high beams at me.  And I finally did after I passed one particularly slow moving truck.  And he raced forward past me by about 1 ft when he had to slow down again.  Why?  BECAUSE TRAFFIC WAS MOVING AT THE SPEED I HAD BEEN DRIVING.

What I found even more irritating is that after he passed me, he proceeded to repeat his whole performance to the car in front of him.  He may have been doing that the entire trip, slowly bullying other cars out of his way.  I think he managed to bully that other driver too, and then what?  Same thing.  He got may be a foot in front of the other car and had to slow down again BECAUSE TRAFFIC WAS MOVING AT THE SPEED I HAD BEEN DRIVING.  If he kept at it, he would have had to do that for a line of like 5 cars because we were all traveling at the speed of traffic around us.  I do not understand why he was being so unreasonable.  And at the very least, he could have just started weaving like any other aggressive and impatient driver would have.