"Sterilization Time!"

Speaking of stuff that stinks …

So my mom’s been ever-so-kindly helping me out by finding things I’ll need for my trip while I’m stuck at work, like a new toiletry bag or a conversion adapter for those pesky plugs I’ll come up against.

Last week, she bought me this cute little wallet. Nothing fancy. Small, green, with a little detailing ’round the edges, and fabric. It was only a couple of dollars (which is fine, considering the potential for me to lose something like that while overseas – heaven forbid).

Just after buying it, she noticed there was a little crusty thing on the wallet. Probably someone before her had sticky or dirty fingers, picked it up, turned it over in the store, and then put it back. I thought, no biggie. I’m sure stuff like that scratches right off.

Yesterday afternoon, I was in the kitchen for whatever reason, when my mom passed by and said – more to herself than to me – “Sterilization time”, in a bit of a singsong voice. I had no idea what the hell she was talking about. I just saw her take this thing wrapped in what I could only guess was tissue paper and place it in the microwave.

About a minute later, all I could smell was this burnt odor. I know I’ve smelled it before, but I had no idea what made the smell … and then I left the room.

I was upstairs in my bedroom when about a couple minutes later, my mom kinda yells, “Oh no! You’re going to murder me …”

I was like, “What are you talking about?” I came down the stairs. “Why am I going to murder you?”

I appeared in the kitchen just in time to see my mom at the sink, unwrapping the tissue paper to show my new travel wallet. Or what used to be my new travel wallet. The one-minute nuke had burned a hole in the top of it, and warped the Velcro, which made it hard to open. But the culprit of the burning was the plastic foam the manufacturers had put on the inside of the wallet to bulk up the shell a bit.

She looked at me with a bit of a half-wry, half-sheepish expression. “Yeah, Mrs. Clean. I know.”

“You put the wallet in the microwave?” I asked a little incredulously. “Why would you do a thing like that?”

My mom said she figured she’d be able to get the stains off the wallet by heat, and didn’t think it would be a big deal because it was fabric. If it was leather or canvas, she added, she wouldn’t have done that.

Unfortunately, she didn’t see the plastic foam inside, which is visible, if you open the wallet.

“So THAT’s what you meant when you said ‘sterilization time’ “, I said, connecting the dots. “How long did you put it in there for?”

“Only a minute,” she said. (Seriously, putting anything at power level 10 for a minute in the microwave will make it cook.)

“Have you ever used the microwave before to sterilize something?”

“No,” she said.

So now I know what plastic smells like.

But seriously – is sterilizing stuff (that’s NOT a liquid) in the microwave a common thing? ‘Cause that was news to me.

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One thought on “"Sterilization Time!"

  1. stiner says:

    actually i learned recently that’s a good way to disinfest the sponge you use to clean dishes – pop it in the microwave for about 20 seconds once a week.

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