Monday, May 28, 2007

Clean Soles

(For those of you that asked, here is the special soap; which I guess now that I think of it is more like a cleanser, that I used to clean Bailey's shoes.)
Last Thursday Bailey's teachers came for a home visit. After all good news- your son is active and makes friends easily; came the bad news- your son's indoor shoes are not as white and clean as they should be. Oh no, now don't get me wrong, she didn't say it like that so directly, so American, nope the real story went something like this:

Teacher: Bailey loves to play outside. He is so eager to go outside that he often forgets to change from his indoor shoes to his outdoor, play shoes and as a result, his indoor shoes get pretty dirty. (pausing for a moment to let in all sink in) Have you ever washed a pair of shoes before?

Me: I guess so.

Teacher: Well, in Japan, there is a special way. A special brush. A special soap. All to keep our indoor shoes very clean.

Me: Oh, right.

Teacher: Do you have a special brush and special soap?

Me: No, I was just using a toothbrush and diluted bleach.

Teacher: Oh, well, you should probably get the special brush and the special soap and scrub away this weekend. Have Bailey help you; he is good at cleaning up the sand box toys.

Me: I will see what I can do.

So, while the kids and Hubs napped on Saturday afternoon I went to procure the special brush and the special soap so that I could "scrub away". I found them and once back home fumbled my way through the directions and scrubbed with all my heart and soul. The result? Pretty, nearly as good as new white indoor shoes. A day hanging out on the line and I put them back into the shoe bag and sent them with Bailey to school this morning.

This afternoon, when I picked Bailey up at the bus stop, his teacher was on the bus. As Bailey got off, she yelled to me, "Bailey went outside in his indoor shoes again today. Please wash them again. And, don't forget to scrub the soles too!"

Now, they are nicely scrubbed and hanging in the sun to dry. Clean right down to their soles. (Couldn't resist the pun!)


Tigermama said...

LOL! I will come clean here (pun intended) and share with you one of my mistakes that involved the indoor shoes. I had no idea I was supposed to wash them until another mother dropped them off for me one day after my dd had been sick and missed Friday school. She said, "Here`s dd`s indoor shoes, I washed them for you". I had NO IDEA! My dd had been going to school at that time for 3 weeks already. jeez.

p.s. What special soap?

coarse gold girl said...

LOL. With DD#1 I never washed her indoor shoes at all at the first hoikuen (one year) and then at the next one, somewhere after being there for about 4 months? I was standing out side the classroom waiting for her to come out and I noticed how CLEAN all the other kids indoor shoes were! Wow. Another mum saw me gazing and commented, "yes, it is work isn't it? Scrubbing them clean every week." I just laughed out loud and admited what I had been (NOT) doing.
And now, for another confession, I hate the special brush/special soap scrubbing thing. So I buy Oxiclean from the Flying Pig (costco) and just soak 'em and take the brush to the soles if they need it. If they are not particularily dirty I actually just toss them in the washer.

No one knows, I've checked and DD#2's indoor shoes look just as clean as any other child's indoor shoes at her youchien.

You can maybe get Oxiclean at home centers now too--I saw it at our local homecenter here (much smaller container than the Flying Pig/Costcos) We use it a lot so I'll keep ordering the huge container from Costco.

chelle said...

oh my!
It all seems way too picky!

Gina said...

I just throw Branden's yochien shoes into the washer every weekend and they come out white and squeeky clean! My hubby told me way back, when B started yochien back when he was 3. That I am supposed to wash all his stuff every week. Yochien bags, shoes and the whole kit and caboodle basically. Ha ha ha. So, I just always have.

PS....I never heard of the special soap either. But then, I like just tossing mine in the washer. yup....I'm a lazy bum! : )

Sarah said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't do this properly. I throw my girls inside shoes in the washing machine about once a month. Fortunately, because they're girls, the shoes don't get too dirty so I can get away with it!

My neighbor has two boys and every Saturday morning, she puts their inside shoes in a bucket with some laundry soap and then comes back about an hour later and scrubs them with a special brush and then hangs them up on special hangers to dry. I'm amazed at her diligence.

ame said...

oh, my. we would be in SO much trouble!!! my girls rarely wear shoes unless at school! then it's flip flops. i've received many interesting comments, even here in the states. but the truth is it began as a medical thing. when they would wear closed-toe shoes from babies on, the under-sides of their toes would slice, as though you took a knife to them. i learned to keep them free from socks and shoes as much as possible.

wow, would i be in trouble in Japan! i would guess that if you have indoor and outdoor shoes, that barefoot or dirty feet would be really taboo!

tAnYeTTa said...

indoor shoes, outdoor shoes????

p.s. i've always done this: I was just using a toothbrush and diluted bleach.

maybe i need to get some of that special soap from you :)