My blog post is supposed to go up every Friday. The reason I missed posting the last couple of Fridays was that I was in two minds as to whether or not I should post what I had written about. The piece was titled: “The Dark Side To Hollywood’s Ghosts” and it was centered around the secondary level of abuse in Hollywood: Ghostwriters.

From my experience, the most insidious use of ghostwriters is the film music world. Many moviegoers (and possibly Studio Executives) would be amazed at just how many films list a composer in the main title who wrote less than a third of the music. In some cases, said composer wrote nothing at all.

Do you remember the famous lip-sync duo, “Milli Vanilli” or the case of Martha Wash who sang uncredited vocals for “Black Box” and “C&C Music Factory”? Back in the 90s, these deceptive practices inspired a slew of successful ‘consumer fraud’ and ‘truth in adverting’ lawsuits. At the end of the day, the legal consensus was—the public has a right to know who really performed the music.

Apply such sentiment to what’s happening in the film scoring world—uncredited composers—and one could argue that the public has a right to know who really composed the soundtrack that they purchased.

“So,” I hear you ask, “if this deception is happening on a daily basis, why is nothing done about it?” In order for change, those affected need to speak up; however, fear, financial obligations, and confidentiality agreements prevent ghostwriter composers from saying anything.

Rather than tackling this topic in-depth, I decided instead to tell you about the time my brain was in such a fog that I accidentally placed a Tide Pod in my dishwasher.

Please, for the love of all that’s good: DON’T PUT A TIDE POD INTO A DISHWASHER. The smell is grievously wretched.

I hadn’t intended doing such. I wasn’t trying a new Tide Pod Challenge. I simply wasn’t thinking because my mind was in a “Story Fog”. A story fog is when our body is going through the motions of an action, but our mind is deeply invested in hashing out new story plots or resolving a complex plot twist.

At the time of my gargantuan mistake, I remember thinking to myself, “Huh, this dishwashing pod feels very squishy.” Had I not been in my fog, I may have taken the liberty to double-check the package. Instead, I shrugged and popped the ball of odorous, floral stench into its compartment coffin and pressed: Start.

Things I am grateful for: My stainless steel lined KitchenAid dishwasher and glass Tupperware.

If you ever find yourself doing the same ridiculous thing as me and your dishwasher has a plastic interior—you are, as they say, up shit creek without a paddle. Whatever pungent chemical Tide puts in their pods, it seems to have a binding love for plastic and silicon. Good luck getting that smell out of the walls, floor, and sides of your dishwasher. Thankfully, my KitchenAid dishwasher has limited internal plastics.

The casualties of my stupidity include:
– A couple of wooden spoons
– A plastic spoon
– The grills of my Cuisinart Griddler

Of the three times a month my griddler’s grills are placed in the dishwasher, I had managed to include them in my one-off Tide Pod disaster. I tried, really I did, to get the stench out, but it came back with a vengeance whenever the grills heated up.

For anyone who accidently attempts this Tide Pod Challenge, first and foremost know:
– Ceramics and glass only temporarily hold the smell, so don’t throw them out. Simply hand wash in regular dishwashing detergents.
– Plastics will hold the odor longer, so you may have to toss things like plastic spoons. I have knives with plastic handles, which I kept because the blade is the only part exposed to food.
– I invested in expensive glass Tupperware, so no way was I going to throw out the plastic lids. I soaked them in bleach and they are fine. Be warned though, if you place plastic in the dishwasher when the smell is not 80-90% gone, those nasty little stench molecules will latch on. After your wash, your glasses & ceramics won’t stink, but your plastics will.
– Silicon is HIGHLY attractive to Tide Pod pheromones. To this day, the silicon lids for the cat food still have a nose-curling, zesty aroma, as do the non-slip edges of my cutting boards. The boards themselves are fine. So long as I don’t cut food on the silicon edges, I figure there’s no need to toss them.

Steps on how to deodorize dishwasher:
1. Remove the filter and flush the dishwasher with a rinse cycle. Do this until all the suds are gone in the filter trap. I made the mistake of keeping the filter in whilst flushing. However, the filter’s fine mesh traps the suds, prolonging the process.
2. If you have a plastic-lined dishwasher, consider stopping the insanity and buying yourself a well deserved, new, stainless steel washer. I highly recommend KitchenAid’s KDTE234GPS – it’s quieter than a church mouse and has a third shelve for large knives and flat objects.
3. Remove the shelves and wash them with diluted bleach and/or vinegar.
4. With diluted bleach and/or vinegar, squirt every nook and cranny inside your dishwasher, and I mean every. During the drying cycle, the suds bake and form a type of crusty, stinky, delight that will never wash away.
5. Clean the cutlery basket the best you can. Soak it in bleach if possible as it has many hiding spots for the baked delight.
6. Remove and clean any other baskets or hinge-type removable shelves, such as wine glass holders, as the crusty stuff gets caught in attachment hinges.
7. Do a wash with the Affresh deodorizing pods.
8. Keep plastics & silicon out of the next 5 or cycles. Your glasses & ceramics may smell a little when you first remove them, but the odor dissipates after a few seconds.
9. After every wash, remove the filter and soak in bleach. Keep doing this until it no longer smells. Of course, make sure you put it back before a wash.
10. After every wash, squirt the trays and any other plastic element with diluted bleach. I found the diluted bleach was better than vinegar. For the health conscious though, good ‘ol white vinegar will still do the job.
11. Expect the smell to take two weeks with daily washing and cleaning to dissipate.
12. I’m at about the 3-week mark, and all in all, it’s only a minor odor.

Good luck! Happy writing!

Don’t do the accidental Tide Pod Challenge and never allow yourself to become anyone else’s ghost.