Bet My Kitchen Floor is Cleaner Than Your Kitchen Floor

Mine’s so clean you can eat off it!
But please, don’t eat off it, okay? I just mopped. (Use a table why don’t you?)

The other day a coworker and I were discussing kitchen floors, as you do, and I told her something I’ve never told anyone before. That being, my method for cleaning said kitchen floor:

  • As I move out chairs and sweep the floor in preparation for mopping, water is boiled. Actually boiled (five minutes in microwave)
  • Big heavy duty gloves are donned (as though I’m refinishing furniture)
  • I grab my special microfiber cloth (Professional quality for everyday cleaning!)
  • I take in hand a spray bottle of cleaning solution (scented with lemongrass and ginger)
  • Hands and knees, people, hands and knees! (Better to get all the corners)
  • Finally, although my kitchen is small, I change the water midway through (Because who cleans their floor with dirty water? Not this gal!)

The entire operation takes slightly more than 10 minutes. I know this because of my five minute boiling sessions, you see?

The reason I’ve kept my method quiet for so long is that I knew it was a bit neurotic. Bordering on nutzo. But here’s the thing: this coworker of mine, this coworker whom I love, she looked at me with admiration. I believe she took notes.

She even agreed with me when I told her my theory. That being, if my husband were to mop the floor and see the dirty water that resulteth, he would think to himself, “Huh. Guess the floor was dirty. Good thing I cleaned it.”

While as I look at the dirty water and think, “Oh gawwwd! How did I let the floor get so dirty?! I’m a terrible housekeeper! *sob*

I’ve given some thought as to what causes this difference between the sexes and I think I know the answer: I blame the commercials.

There are certain ads from my childhood I can visualize perfectly. There’s the mom standing in her kitchen. A young boy races in, the family dog bounds in behind him, the muddy prints on the floor.

Mom shakes her head with a slight scowl on her face. In a flash the mop is out — because what else would she be doing with her life? — and in one swoosh the floor sparkles. Literally.

The mom smiles, joy fills her heart.

Or how about that Pinesol commercial where the young mom is worried what the neighbors will think if her house isn’t clean enough?

The message being: Your neighbors and friends will judge you. The women you have lunch with, the mothers of your children’s playmates, they see your filth and they judge.

I saw commercials like this over and over again.

Speaking of Pinesol, does anyone else remember the commercial where the Pinesol lady (or was it Lysol?) enters a home saying, “This house looks clean, but it doesn’t smell clean!”

What kind of woman goes into another woman’s house and says that? Why was she not stabbed in the first commercial? Her bloodied corpse carefully bagged and disposed of in the woods… the floor cleaned until it sparkled… the woman of the house smiling.


That was the highlight of every cleaning commercial — the payoff. It came at the end when the woman stood in her now glimmering  kitchen or bath, her hand stroking the shiny surface, the look on her face — ah yes, the look. No orgasm can produce that look, my friends. This was all joy and peace and everlasting fulfillment. “My floor is clean,” the look said. “My life is complete.”

This is what was being sold to us and we bought it. Well, most of us bought it. Some missed the memo.

My daughter, for instance. Daughter missed the memo.

It’s probably my fault; I believe I misplaced her memo. Probably when I limited her daytime television viewing to one half-hour noncommercial show.

In spite of this, somehow, life goes on. Her place is a mess, but somehow life goes on.

But for those of you who share my cleaning neuroses, I want to leave you with three thoughts:

One: While a clean home is nice, it is not a measure of who you are. You are more than your kitchen floor. Remember that.

Two: When you meet a woman with a messy house or apartment, don’t judge. You don’t know her story, you don’t know her abilities, you don’t know her priorities. Contrary to what you may have heard, cleanliness is NOT next to godliness. Especially if it makes you smug.

Three: There are downsides to neurotic cleaning. For one, it limits your time for more creative pursuits. For another… well, I’ll let Carol Burnett explain:

32 thoughts on “Bet My Kitchen Floor is Cleaner Than Your Kitchen Floor

  1. Thanks, I had a good laugh at that Carol Burnett show. 😊.
    Cleanliness is not next time godliness, you are right, a saying I also heard. We were lucky in not having any commercials in Sweden when I grew up….there was of course ads in papers but not the same impact. Mind you, I still go down on my knees and wash the floor but not as often. Grin.

    1. Carol Burnett was a genius!
      Must say, I’m envious of you having grown up with no TV commercials. I can just imagine all the free brain space I’d have if it wasn’t for those stupid commercial jingles!

  2. Love it! I’ll admit that I like a clean floor, but rarely want it bad enough to do the actual work myself. In my teens I worked as a kitchen helper in a hospital where I was taught to do an industrial clean/sanitization of a kitchen floor. I can do it, but these days I take a more managerial attitude – I’ve hired a house cleaner who does the work while I write a check. Personally I like the arrangement and the clean floor …

    1. Oh man, you’re living the dream!
      I once met a woman who said before she agreed to marry her husband, she made him swear they would always have a maid.
      Dang! Why didn’t I think of that?!

      1. I’m telling you – managerial approach, always negotiate before you agree to anything. When my wife and I were married, I agreed to vacuum the rugs and mop the floors … maybe I left that part out in my first comment. 😉

  3. I was interviewing for an engineering job and the guy handed me a broom and asked me to sweep the floor. He must have thought my sweeping technique would tell him what kind of employee I would be. I didn’t get the job, and he didn’t get a very clean floor.

    1. I have a hunch you wouldn’t have enjoyed working for that guy, but in case it happens again: start at the far corner of the room and work your way to the other side. 😉

        1. Only if you must. If you want to show off your resourcefulness, pick up a chair with one hand as you sweep underneath it. This is an advanced skill, so you may want to practice at home before trying it in competitions.

  4. I do love a clean floor, but these days I actually prefer to enjoy doing something creative. A balance has been struck, i that I get to enjoy my pursuits and wait until guilt has built up nicely before I clean the floor. Works for me!

  5. I dream of a life with a maid … in the meantime, being of an OCD tendency and suffering with consuming Catholic guilt despite not being Catholic (I think they call it motherhood?) I get extremely anxious if my whole house doesn’t sparkle and shine. That said, I am very good at lecturing others (including all my daughters) in the art of not letting it get to you, in the art of allowing others to help and in the art of achieving a relaxed and balanced approach to housework. It also helps that nearly 6 years ago I met a man who takes genuine joy in helping and cleans a mean floor … I married him 😉

    1. I believe they inject us with guilt immediately following childbirth. It’s the only explanation.

      Now, just so we’re clear, are you recommending a change in husbands or the hiring of a cleaning service? Please consider this carefully, keeping in mind current husband’s excellent medical insurance and pension. 😉

  6. Admission: Whilst I am one of those folks who will NOT allow visitors to enter my house if it isn’t spotless, I do tend to get a little negligent with the spotlessness in the interim between social engagements. Nothing outrageous, mind you, but you would probably not approve. Trivia: During my first year of college, I made a little spending money by cleaning the common areas and hallways of my wing in an all-male dorm. I only did this on the weekends, but can you imagine what I encountered on a Sunday morning following a rowdy Saturday night? Yep, it was that bad.

    1. Oy! A job like that should shave a couple years off purgatory, if there is such a thing.
      I’ve often thought that were I a more sociable person, my house would stay much cleaner. I’m certain it’s true. But does it make me more sociable?
      Excuse me while I lock the door. 😉

  7. Not to be left out, I happen to like a clean kitchen floor also. At one time I tried the 2 hands, the 2-foot method on the floor, cleaning away like a spider after a good joint or two but I had to retire that method as I couldn’t get myself up from the floor from all the laughter. So now I use my two feet, a heavy towel under each foot and mop away. I also dry by the same method all with a little David Bowie for musical accompaniment… jc

    1. Your method reminds me of the mother in the French film, Amelie, though it came with a different soundtrack. (Their loss)
      Speaking of drying, you may want to give my boiled water a try. I initially did it for water conservation (less wasted water letting it run until it got hot), then discovered because it was so hot, it dried super fast! About five minutes after I’m finished, I can move in the table and chairs. 👍🏼

      1. Gee, thanks for the tip on drying the floor faster. My dog will love it too, no more trying to keep her out of the kitchen until it dries.

  8. The dog ate my memo, I fear.
    Right after she created that artistic pattern of paw prints, but before she shed fluffy black fur all over the house.

    I tried. I did. When I was single, when I was married, as a young mother. One more spin in the hamster wheel and it would all be well, I’d finally achieve perfection. Finally be recognized for my tireless efforts. All would be in awe of my skills. Mother, soldier, wife, undisputed “Doer of All The Things”.

    Actually, I gave that damn memo to the dog about ten years ago. With a bite of cheese, so she’d swallow it whole.

    Now, there’s a handwritten note near the door, a fair warning to all who enter. Right above the riding boots, with the sand and mud still on them.

    “This house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy.”

    1. To be perfectly honest, my kitchen floor is cleaner than your floor only for the first hour after it’s cleaned. But that’s not nearly as good of a headline and we simply must consider SEO, whatever that is.

      So your dog sheds black, eh? My dog sheds white. Sadly, I mostly wear black. I need to rethink my life choices.

      1. That’s an excellent point! 😊

        And yes, she does. Add the horse hair (2 black, 1 red) and the frequent guest-dogs … this is why I need a new vacuum cleaner every year.

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