I recently bought a lovely antique lamp—really more of a gold pitcher-type thing—at a yard sale. I absolutely adore it. It's very cute and totally vintage, and it brings great on the table in my foyer, next to the bowl where I put my keys. The only problem is, when I bought it the lamp was very dirty. I started to clean it the normal way, by rubbing it with a damp rag, and ended up releasing cursed genie who wanted to grant me three wishes. I've seen enough movies to know that that kind of thing never works out like you want, so I forced him back into the lamp, but he wasn't happy about it. Now I'm afraid to release him again, but this lamp is still so dirty! I simply cannot abide by a dirty lamp. What should I do?
Lamp Lover in Lafayette
This is a tough one. How do you clean a lamp without rubbing it? Normally I would suggest dropping the lamp into a bowl of warm water mixed with a few drops of dishwasher detergent and letting it soak for about fifteen minutes. But then you're still going to have to wipe the dirt off, and wiping could definitely construed as rubbing. Could you use a solution involving something stronger than detergent—say, bleach—and hope that the dirt simply falls off? Sure, but that could potentially be harmful to the genie since we have more questions than answers in terms of his anatomy. And, even worse, we could damage the coating on the lamp.
I think your best course of action here is to simply embrace the genie. Rub the lamp, let him out, apologize for your initial rudeness, and make your first wish for the exterior of the lamp to be clean. Specify what you mean by "clean," so he doesn't somehow turn that around on you. Then, you have two more wishes left, and are you honestly telling me that there's nothing else in your house that needs an upgrade? Have you always wanted an infinity pool? Now's the time! Really, what's the worst that could happen?
Hope that helps,
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