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: