Portland is a cleaner city than Seattle. I know this because Portland has a fancy, world's-best-cleaning-products store and we don't.

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Portland is a cleaner city than Seattle. I know this because Portland has a fancy, world’s-best-cleaning-products store and we don’t.

That’s right, GR Scrub in the Sellwood neighborhood (or www.grscrub.com for us up here) is a destination location for all things sanitary, nontoxic and efficient. Could be a European-made outdoor folding clothesline or Czech dishcloths made from Ulster linen or German-made brushes.

GR is Glenn Recchia. And because spring is when dust bunnies are in season, we called upon Mr. Recchia for a chat. First some background: Mr. Recchia knows about all things spotless because he has been, to put it delicately, “the help.” Yes, Mr. Recchia cleaned houses for a living down in L.A. for a time.

Why? Because he likes to clean, and he’s good at it. And when you’re good at it, there’s good money in it. Clients once flew him to Amsterdam to clean their other house. That’s how good.

So take it directly from Mr. Recchia, who I must report looks astonishingly like Mr. Clean, except he wears a shirt to work:

You actually like to clean, yes? (We know to ask this because the materials he sent on ahead say, “housekeeping chores jazzed Recchia by 7!”)

“I love to clean. For me it presents a simple solution for instant gratification. I’ve always been fairly organized. I must have inherited a bit of my grandmother’s German blood.”

What’s your one stuck-on-a-dirty-desert-island-can’t-live-without tool?

“The most indispensable tool is the microfiber cloth. It’s the greatest invention because it works simply with water. You don’t need cleansers or anything, and it dries clean and without streaks. It’s called the Mystic Maid Cleaning Cloth, and it costs $12. And it’s a beautiful shade of apple green, so that would look great on the desert island. I don’t know if it will work with the saltwater, though.”

Does vinegar rock or what?

“I am constantly correcting misconceptions about vinegar, because it’s not a true cleaner. It’s an acid first of all, so you don’t want to keep applying that to a varnish. So it should not be used on wood floors. When you do use it, it should be mixed with water. I love a solution of vinegar for cleaning glasses. And I use it for hand washables. It takes out every remaining element of soap.”

How often do you clean your house?

“I live alone, so probably once a week. The biggest job is picking up and getting things in order. And I’m constantly vacuuming because in the Pacific Northwest I’m constantly bringing in the dirt and the needles and the leaves. I probably vacuum twice a week.”

If you find yourself at the store (8235 S.E. 13th Ave., No. 12), also check out the cleaning clinics and GR Scrub newsletter.

By the way, the Goddess is particularly intrigued by a little product called Wine Away. Both handy and dandy.

A horse is a horse, unless of course . . .

it’s a lamp.

Yes, folks, this is a life-size black polyester horse with a lampshade on its head.

Is this a horse just home from the office holiday party drunk with a lampshade on its head? I do not know. I really wanted only to write “no comment” here, but they pay me by the comment, so I’m darned well going to comment.

The horse takes a 100-watt bulb, if you were wondering. So he’d make a right-fine reading lamp. This is a special-order item (dur!) and therefore you may not send Black Beauty back to the lighting-fixture barn. When I called YLighting to ask about Horse Floor Lamp, its official name, the gentleman there said, quite enthusiastically, “I’ve actually petted that lamp before! It’s that scale. It’s big.”

There you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth. OK, I’ll stop.

Really, though, if you’ve got a big room crying for a sense of high-design humor, here it is. Horse Floor Lamp was designed by Front for Moooi and is made in The Netherlands. It stands almost 7 feet tall and 7 ½ feet long.

Price? $4,400, plus $580 to ship. Without the bulb. Must buy own bulb. Mount at your own risk. www.ylighting.com.

If you have this particular lamp or buy one in the near future, you must send the Goddess a picture, because you are a brave and daring interior-designing soul. Or have a thing for horses. Either way. Send the picture.

For those of you who thought you had it all

. . . no, ya don’t.

Unless you do happen to be in possession of a Jentle Pet 200 — the spa tub for dogs. Yes, folks, the literature admonishes, “You might share your bed with your pet, but that doesn’t mean you have to share your bath.”

Well, of course not! What are we, heathens?

Seriously, though, the Jentle Pet by MTI Whirlpools is new, innovative and award-winning, taking home a coveted Design Journal Platinum ADEX Award (Awards for Design Excellence) in 2007. It also has been named one of the top 10 most unusual kitchen and bath products by the Kitchen and Bath Business e-newsletter. No argument there.

The Pet 200, along with the larger-version Pet 300, offers a hand-held shower and whirlpool system of five full-size point-massage jets. They are ergonomically designed for canine family members “to provide a comfortable, therapeutic, safe environment for dog bathing.” The generous bathing well includes shelves for supplies for the canine bathee. A low-profile front caters to comfort for the human bather. Jentle Pet comes in 50 colors of Lucite cast acrylic.

Jentle Pet 200 holds 35 gallons of water and starts at about $1,950 for the soaking tub and $2,950 with the whirlpool. The Jentle Pet 300 has room for 88 gallons and starts at $2,708 without jets and $3,658 with.

See the Pet 200 in action at Seattle Interiors, 3822 Stone Way N., Seattle, 98103. For more information call 800-783-8827 or visit www.mtiwhirlpools.com.


In the doghouse

The communiqué that recently tumbled from the Goddess’ virtual e-mail bag began like so: “A new client of mine, a company called DenHaus, designs and manufactures furniture that fits into upscale homes and doubles as dens for dogs and cats. This allows pets to become part of a family’s lifestyle without the mess or unattractiveness of crates or beds.”

I’m listening.

And then I’m seeing a cocktail table with a golden retriever coming out of it. And then a night stand with some kind of big curly-furred dog inside having a lounge. The Goddess is stamused (startled and amused).

Here’s the deal: DenHaus, the husband-and-wife team of Sarah and Chris Pierce of Bellevue, creates pet dens disguised as décor in two styles, traditional and contemporary, in a variety of colors and sizes. Cushioned beds sized to fit within the furniture are also offered. All designs can be assembled quickly. Prices range from $400 to $565.

This you gotta see at www.denhaus.com.

Got a question for The Goddess? Drop her a line at pacificnw@seattletimes.com. She’d love to hear from you and will exhaust all avenues available to answer your query.