Coffee heat rising

The cleaning lady jamboree

Having laid off the two women who landed a cleaning job here at the Funny Farm by leaving their Kwik-Kopied business card on the door, I decided to run the vacuum cleaner and clean the 1,860 square feet of tile that is the floors.

Ah, cleaning ladies. How quickly one forgets (after only 15 years or so) why it’s sometimes (usually) better to do it yourself.

In a pinch, a wire tie substitutes for a bolt.

So I grab the vacuum cleaner…and the handle falls off.

Ah hah! That’s where that bolt on the floor came from…a month and a half ago. After searching around for a couple of weeks, I couldn’t figure out what it fell out of. Eventually I either put it away where I could never find it again or threw it out.

Wired the handle to the vacuum cleaner. Swept all the tile. Then dust-mopped, preparatory to steam-cleaning. Last time the ladies were here, they announced that they didn’t like the steam-cleaner and instead wanted to use a good old-fashioned string mop. That was when they applied something like a gallon of Simple Green to my floors.

No wonder they didn’t want to use a steamer. One of the cleaners, the old one that worked the best, was clogged to nonfunctionality: looked like they’d left water sitting in its tank, where it evaporated and filled all the vents with calcium deposits. Poured some vinegar in there to soak and used the other unit, which I’d purchased as a back-up.

A microfiber cloth jury-rigged to the steamer works better than the steamer's wimpy pad.

Normally a steamer floats over a ceramic tile floor like a planchette on a ouija board. But with a gallon of detergent smeared on the floor, it was like pushing the thing over a rubber mat: tacky and gummy. The microfiber rag I’d wrapped around the cleaner came up black and gooey after running it over just one room—normally, one rag will do for the entire house. A second go-over saturated another rag with black, gooey gunk.

Six blackened rags later… Now I figure swabbing the floor with vinegar may cut some of the dried-on detergent. Pour some white vinegar into a bucket and dilute, 50-50, with water. Wrap another microfiber rag around the Swiffer gadget and apply the stuff to the tiles. Steam.

Eight blackened rags later… Well, I doubt if the floors are free of gunk. Gray stuff was still coming up on the fourth steam-scrubbing. But at least the streaks are gone. My guess is that over the next few weeks, if I clean the floors once or twice a week, eventually the stuff will come up.

After all that floor scrubbing, tomorrow it’s supposed to rain.

The wages of stupidity! This adventure is the result of having forgotten one of Funny’s Ten Money Principles:
Do It Yourself!

1 thought on “The cleaning lady jamboree”

  1. I can relate! In one house I had a cleaning lady who used so much oil on my hardwood flours that you could literally see footprints in the shine. My last cleaning lady wet mopped my floors with a rag mop every week. I couldn’t convince her that you shouldn’t use that much water on hardwood floors. I do my own cleaning now and, although my house is frequently messier, when it is clean, it’s clean the way I want it to be!

Comments are closed.