Before I begin this post, I would like to set the record straight that my husband and I really enjoyed deputation! We made so many wonderful friends and many times we were spoiled way beyond what we deserved. It still touches my heart to think of the many great men and women of God who treated us like their honored guests as we visited with them. Deputation truly is a wonderful time.
There are times in our travels, however, where we had to stay in hotels or prophet’s chambers that were, shall we say, less than pristine clean. For those rare occasions, we were thankful to have The Cleaning Box. This was an idea given to me by a veteran missionary lady when I was as young teenage girl studying missionary life. Everywhere we went, we brought The Cleaning Box, and it saved us quite a few times—especially since I, as a brand new mother, had waged a war on the germs that I just knew were out to get my little four-month-old baby.
1 Flat Sheet
We carried this for two reasons. If the bed sheets looked at all questionable, we could top the bed with the sheet. I don’t think we actually ever had to use it for that reason on deputation. The other was to allow our babies to have a clean place to crawl around on the floor after being locked into a car seat all day long.
What can we say? Even the cleanest of hotels have roaches in Florida and South Texas during certain times of the year. I always got the show-no-mercy-kill-in-two-seconds kind of spray. Baby did not get to crawl around in those rooms, even on the sheet.
Pest Traps—For peace of mind
If we were staying in a place that had a known mouse or a roach and there were no other options, I could not sleep until I had set the traps. That way, even if our visitors did come back, the traps were sure to get them, I reasoned.
If I was unsure of a place’s cleanliness, I would use a lysol cloth to wipe the door knobs, counter tops and toilet over. I would also clean the shower, but you should have a pair of flip flops for the shower anyway.
Laundry Detergent, Fabric Softner Sheets, Laundry Bag, and Quarters
We stayed at quite a few prophet’s chambers that came equipped with a washer and dryer! What a blessing! I made sure I was always equipped with everything I needed to do laundry just in case we stayed in one of these prophet’s chambers.
If I had a chance, I would use this to dry clean my husband’s practically lived-in suits. It saved us tons of money—especially as these suits often exhibited evidences of the babies he had been carrying.
This was so nice if we entered a guest house that had not been used in a while and needed freshened up a little.
One of my best friends in all the world is also a young missionary wife. I was talking to her about this post and she added the following two things:
Invest in bedbug repellent. (“But not the UV light to check for bedbugs,” I quipped. “There are just somethings you do not want to know…”)
Never take your socks or shoes off in a guest house. You will never get your socks clean again!
Do any other missionary or traveling ladies use a cleaning box? What do you have in yours?
These brilliant additions were made by the ladies on from the Baptist Missionary Blog:
“Stuff to clean a toilet including a toilet brush. Really strong, thick paper towel. Lysol wipes. We always brought sheets and stuffed them away for the nasty places.”
“I’m not an experienced missionary and this isn’t necessarily considered a cleaning item, but I always have a mini bottle of WD40 with me Squeaky doors and sleeping toddlers just don’t mix! I’ve used it several times.”
“We hid ours in a suitcase. Some random color. Many call it blue. So when you walk in a home or a prophet chamber and its dirty, you say,”Hon, can you get the blue suitcase?” and no one knowns what’s inside”
“Mine is more a cleaning bag. I carry febreeze, bug spray, lysol, and of course I can’t live without my wax warmer!! That wax warmer has made many a place much more pleasant to stay in!!”
“We kept ours in a dark colored bag and if the place was really bad I’d ask my hubby to get the black bag…he knew what I meant. I always kept a set of queen size sheets in there, it saved us from sleeping on greasy, hair covered sheets several times. No one was any the wiser and we slept a little better. Thankfully that didn’t happen a lot but when it did, I was glad the “black bag” was in the van.”
“We went through Lysol wipes like crazy hehe I wish we has thought of the bug spray and things like that since we dealt with mice and cockroaches…gloves is a good addition! we brought an ikea car rug that was washable and folded well for our son to play on. For furlough we will probably add a diffuser and essential oils.”2