Monday, February 3, 2014

Business in the Bathroom

Today I had to take care of some business in the bathroom.  By "business," I mean clean it.  Obviously.  Don't be gross.

I figured this would be a great time to bust out my home ec books and do this right, fifties style.  This book is from 1952, and luckily there was a whole section titled "How shall we care for the bathroom?"  It was exactly what I needed.  I'll walk you through my cleaning experience, with the words from the book in italics.

The bathroom requires thorough cleaning once or twice a week as well as some care each day.  Thorough cleaning consists of wiping down the walls, mopping or scrubbing the floor, washing the woodwork, and cleaning the mirrors, cabinets, tub, stool, and lavatory.

I'm supposed to wipe down the walls and scrub the floor once or twice a week?  Wow, I'm an epic failure.  At least now I know.  I can work on that.  Also, what is the "lavatory"?  I thought that just meant "bathroom," but this lists it as a separate thing.  I am confused. 

*quick Google search*

They say it used to mean "sink."  Oh, okay.   Now I know.  I need to clean the sink.  Got it.

Step 1: Clean the tub and lavatory
1. Scrub with a soft, moist cloth, and a fine nonabrasive cleaner to remove soil and any scum left by hard water.
2. Rinse thoroughly with water.
3. Wash faucets with soap and hot water.
4. Wipe them dry

Wait, that's it?  I don't have to use any of the crazy cleaners and chemicals that I see at the grocery store?  Maybe that's where the "nonabrasive cleaner" comes in.  I decide to use SoftScrub, because it has the word "soft" right there in the title so I figure that must mean "nonabrasive."  NonabrasiveScrub just wasn't as catchy.

Next it tells me to make sure that the "waste water" goes out of the "stool" at a good rate to make sure nothing's clogged.  I toss a piece of Elsie's cat food into the toilet and flush it down.  It goes down.  I figure that means we're good to go onto the next step: cleaning the stool.

Step 2: Cleaning the Stool
1. Use a stool brush or one made from a string dish mop with the strings cut short.

I can use a normal old toilet brush, right?  I think yes.

2. Use soapy hot water and clean thoroughly.
3. Disinfect and cleanse once or twice each week with chorlide of lime or a commercial cleanser prepared especially for stools.

I'm not sure what "chloride of lime" is, but I don't have that.  I used "The Works" cleaner and then sprinkled some lime juice in there instead.  I hope it does something good.  The bathroom smells kind of limey, so that's a nice side effect.

Step 3: Clean the mirror
1. Use soft cloths that are nonlinting.  (How do I know if a cloth is linting?)
2. Moisten the cloth in clear, warm water, and wring moderately dry.
3. Wipe the mirror, taking care that water does not seep under the frame or backing.
4. Dry with a clean, dry, soft cloth.

I was confused here.  No glass cleaner?  Have these people never heard of Windex?  I did a bit of research, and no - they had not.  Windex came out in 1933, but it was so strong that they had to keep it in metal cans because it would erode plastic.  Eeek!  I wouldn't want that in my house either!  Windex as we know it wasn't around until decades later.  So, in honor of the fifties life, no Windex on the mirror today.

Step 4: Clean the floor
1. Sweep up all the dust, lint, and other dirt, and remove it in a dustpan.
2. Make suds of mild soap and warm water in a pail.

I didn't have a pail, so I just made a soapy mixture in the "lavatory."

3. Dip a clean mop in the suds and wring it moderately dry.

Uh oh, I don't have a mop either.  I figure it's a small bathroom, so hands-and-knees with a sponge will have to do.

4. Wipe the floor in parts, dipping and wringing the mop as each part is finished.

How big of a bathroom do these people think I have?  It's like, 5 feet by 4 feet.  Sheesh.

5. Dip the mop and wring it dry, and go over the floor to remove any excess water.

Phewf!  After all of that, my bathroom is sparkly clean.  I didn't even miss the Windex (too much), and the room smells like soap and lime.  Rex is going to be so proud.  Maybe a little confused about the lime, but still proud.