I was maybe in my thirties or forties before I realized two things about cleaning that make our work more efficient. I was going to post it with the fifteen things about work on the ALK3R reblog, back a few posts, but this theme can justify its own blog, and I do not have much to say today. So, it is not smart to dip our dirty cleaning rag back into the soap water bucket. If we keep the wash water separate it lasts like ten times longer. So after one dips the rag in the soapy water, and washes the ditty surface, then you squeeze out the dirty water before dipping into the soapy water again. Then the rag takes on soapy water rather than gets dirt in the soupy water. Then you have a separate system for rinse, like a separate bucket and rag, and do the same with the rinse water, squeezing the dirty out into the drain and taking on only clean rinse water. Then, if one just lets the surface dry, the water leaves a residue, cause its only like 97% clean, So you have a third separate dry rag, and the surface is shiny. Wash, rinse, dry. After a while, the dry rag becomes the rinse rag, and the rinse rag becomes the washrag. I know this stuff is right, ’cause Mrs. Emrick would let me clean her bathroom, and would say I did it the best. She was 94, and maybe 91 when she said that.
Another great tip for cleaning is the painter’s five-in one (now they have like the seven in one). To wrap a rag around a five in one gives you a soft but sharp edge for cleaning cracks and lines that others have not got to. In painting, this system is great for wiping an error along a sharp lined edge. With errors, the rag is dry-wet-dry: First wipe wet paint with a dry rag, then a wet rag then a dry rag (I’ll just keep a rag that’s half wet and half dry, or a dry rag and a cup of water to dip it in). It is the same with spilled paint: first with a dustpan get the bulk, moving it toward the center of the spill instead of smearing it, then its dry-wet-dry, keeping the paint moving off the surface. This is to consider how the stuff your cleaning up flows. It may seem simple, but I figured this stuff out in my thirties, I think. So if the rag around the five in one is first dry, then damp, then dry, any errors can be made to vanish. Drier spots, ya just let em soak wet for fifteen minutes, then they come off, same as dirt when cleaning.
We used to joke that the test for applicant to a painting labor job is “What are the five uses of the five -in -one! Then for a raise, you gotta answer the seven uses of the seven-in-one!