I spent the day cleaning a plastic container that was stained by years of barbecue sauce.
That sounds so wrong. In several different ways.
I did not stand over that plastic tub all day. I set it out on the corner triangle where the rails join on my back deck. The little platform Hick built in to set his barbecuing supplies on. The guy who started this whole problem, barbecuing too much food so that it has to be hermetically sealed and stored in the refrigerator for later consumption. Okay, that refrigerator part is against Hick's wishes, apparently, ever since he shouted that I am the one who thinks food must be refrigerated or it spoils.
The container is rectangular, with rounded corners. Clear, with a country-blue lid. It's not Tupperware. That would imply that I had spent good money on it. Or attended a wild and crazy party. No. I'm pretty sure my plastic container is Walmartware. It doesn't even burp. I would hate to put a liquid in it and turn it over. But for barbecued pork steaks and hot dogs and hamburgers, it does the job.
Somewhere, probably the reliable internet, every source above reproach, filling the noggins of the masses with infinite knowledge to apply to any situation, I read that you can make stains on plastic containers go away if you place them in direct sunlight. So I tried it. Of course, I had to be careful that the cats didn't hop up there and lay in the container. "Oh, new cat bed! That woman rocks, I tell you!" Not that I'm so germophobic that a cat laying in my plastic container will send me into conniptions. I simply did not want them to knock it into the green water of the fake fish pond that is directly below that corner. Because it might hit one of the two large frogs who never move, yet croak threats at each other all the livelong day. One from the spray of a broad-leafed grassy plant, and the other from below the surface at the other end, with only his bulbous eyes above water.
This container has been with me a long time. Don't go thinkin' that I never wash it. I do. Every time I toss the leftover meat to the dogs after several days. But you know how plastic is. It wants to hold onto red sauces. Even soaking did not bring my plastic container back to its pre-barbecue days. So I left it outside from ten-thirty until five-thirty.
The Pony found it when we arrived home after a bout of after-school shoe-shopping. "Hey, what's this?" He picked it up and carried it in the house.
"Oh, I put that outside to see if the sun would take the stain out of it."
"I think the answer would be 'Yes,' because there's no stain!" The Pony was impressed with my mad stain-scrubbing skillz.
A seven-hour dose of ultraviolet light is better than a Brillo for cleaning barbecue stains out of plastic.
Now all I need is my own infomercial, to sell sunlight to naive plastic-stainers.