Clean Person Jolie Kerr’s Cleaning Advice to Pop Culture Icons

For years, when I’ve found myself in sticky domestic situations — clogged toilets, red wine spills, and, well, red wine vomit — I’ve turned to my friend Jolie Kerr. She’s always given me the best advice on how to clean up after myself and feel like a real grownup — and done so without shaming me (I mean, who hasn’t thrown up red wine?). She began to put her handy advice to good use at The Hairpin, in her column “Ask a Clean Person,” which now runs on Jezebel and Deadspin under the moniker “Squalor.” Her columns have proved the need for a friendly, down-to-earth, judgement-free advice-giver, and today sees the publication of her ultimate cleaning manual: My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag… and Other Questions You Can’t Ask Martha. A charming reference for anyone needing some basic facts on cleaning (or, in some cases, quick fixes for embarrassing mishaps), Kerr’s book is a must-read. To celebrate the book’s publication, I sat down with Jolie to speculate on celebrities’ dirty habits and get her advice on how they might clean up after themselves.


Flavorwire: Let’s start with Stevie Nicks. What do you think her problem would be? 

Jolie Kerr: Well she’s got all those floaty chiffon clothes, and keeping them floaty, and not crumply, is probably a problem for her. I would say she probably needs a clothes steamer. An iron would be way too harsh for all that chiffon.

What about all her dreamcatchers?

You know, feather duster is probably the best way. Not the actual feathers on the dream catcher.

A standalone feather duster.

That’s probably the best way to keep dreamcatchers clean.

Do you think there would be any odors she would need to get rid of?

I mean, I bet she smells like incense, but that’s on purpose.

So you would not recommend a bowl of vinegar for her.

If she wanted to get rid of the smell and start fresh, then a bowl of white vinegar, for sure. Oh, and then a suede brush for her scrunchy boots. It brushes out the nap. And then there’s a suede eraser for stains. I imagine Stevie doesn’t really get a lot of stains on her… maybe she does get stains on her boots. I don’t know. We should ask her about that. One day I’ll have the opportunity.