Tuesday, May 24, 2011

You're Soaking In It

I have a confession to make: I LIKE TO CLEAN.

There… I said it. I LIKE TO CLEAN. I’m not just talking about the typically male-centric auto detailing or yard work or garage stuff. Oh no, this is far more serious and could jeopardize my standing as a solidly heterosexual male to those who know me on a casual basis. I’m referring to cleaning bathrooms, kitchens, vacuuming (I'm not allowed to dust because I'm clumsy and break things)… the type of cleaning that sends most men running from the house at the very thought of having to actually touch human hairballs or hold a mop or scrub a toilet.

When The Artist started her home-based business, it behooved me to take over some of the cleaning chores so she could spend more time on the weekends with her paint brush in hand. No sweat, it just required some adjustment of my Saturday activities. Here's the thing: now, I actually look forward to cleaning, scrubbing, mopping... all of it. Once I slap on my ipod Shuffle, the chore is no longer a chore, but an excuse to play air guitar with a wet sponge in my paw. Weird.

The crux of the biscuit: cleaning bathrooms. Is any housekeeping chore more despised, more reviled, more avoided? I think it's really about the process, and being responsible. I'd like to submit my procedure to those who shudder at the thought of having to clean a bathroom. This process works for me, and it's my humble offering to the long-suffering mates of the ‘cleanophobes’. You know who I'm talking about

How To Clean A Bathroom

Make sure the bathroom is empty of all living entities. Gather your cleaning materials of choice... my favorites are Comet powder, Soft Scrub, Comet Bathroom Cleaner, Windex, Tilex Mildew Remover, a sponge, a green scrubby pad, a short stack of old cloth hand towels (do not use paper towels!), broom, dustpan. Don your favorite cleaning gear, which for me is shorts, sneaks and my ‘crazy houseboy’ hat, a freebie chef’s hat with the top rubber-banded into a snappy-looking point. This is the best hat I’ve ever worn to clean house with because the wide headband really soaks up the sweat (chefs already know this), and the snappy point on top reeks of ‘weirdo Mexican’. With the hat on, I become a lean mean cleaning machine. Crank up the ipod tunes and let’s clean the bathroom.

1. Empty the bathroom of all non-essential elements and put them in the next room. Rugs, towels, candles, tchotchkes, health and beauty products, combs, brushes, hairdryers, plants, rubber bondage gear… all of it. The only things that should be left in there are the floor, fixtures and counters. Then (and this is the worst part), make a small pad out of toilet paper and wipe down all the surfaces to pick up stray hairs… you know they will be there. Wipe down the toilet tank and rim, the counters, even the shower floor, and pull them suckers out of the drain grill or grate. It might gross you out at first, but since you’re letting the paper do the wiping, your fingers won’t be touching the gross hairs… YOUR hairs! Being bald allows me the satisfaction of knowing that all those long Brown ones ain’t mine. Toss that new hairball in the trash, and now you won't have to worry about catching all those hairs in your cleaning towels. Yuk.

2. Sweep the floor really well, getting in the corners and behind the bowl. Flush the toilet and once it’s refilled, sprinkle a liberal amount of Comet powder all over the inside of the bowl. Rinse out the sink and dust it with Comet too. Run the shower for a few seconds, then dust the shower floor with Comet and squirt a good amount of Soft Scrub all over it. The shower doors will come later, but don’t forget to scrub the shower walls every month or so, depending on how much of a dirty beast you are.

3. Using a wet sponge, scour the sink first, all around and under the rim of the counter and including the drain plug and ring, then rinse it out to a shiny cleanie niceness. I like to also scrub the faucet, handles, countertops and then wipe them down, but we have cheapie countertops, so no biggie. Next… THE TOILET BOWL. You’ll note that I did not list rubber gloves as part of the materials list. That’s because rubber gloves are for PUSSIES. None of the cleaning products you’re using will damage your skin, and all the cleansers and stuff are already disinfecting things, so the gloves just get in the way (only those with expensive manicures are allowed to use rubber gloves). Grab the sponge and begin scouring the inside of the bowl, under the rim and down into the deep-dark outlet hole. Don’t be afraid, nothing in there will hurt you, and don’t be a wuss and use one of those lame scrubbing brushes instead of your awesome arm/hand combo… nothing scrubs as good as what you already have attached to your shoulder. Once done, flush and marvel at your handiwork. That’s right… YOU scrubbed le toilette!

Special notes: Whatever your cleaning style, DO NOT get on your knees to do any of this work unless you wear knee pads. Your knees are the most complex joint in your organic superstructure, so be nice to them!

Also, it it totally acceptable and appropriate to break into a short dance any time during the cleaning session, especially if 'that song' comes on and you are overcome with bliss. Waving arms, snapping fingers and twirling is also recommended... just don't be flinging cleaning products all over the place. Dancing is GOOD.

4. Now for the shower floor, sometimes a worse grime and gunk location than the toilet bowl. Using the green scrubby, scour the floor really well, especially if yours has drainage channels. Don’t forget the upper edges of the shower floor where it meets the wall… if you have a tub instead of a shower enclosure, the process doesn’t change. I usually scrub the shower floor twice as long as I think it needs, because it gets a lot nastier than you might realize. When you’ve scrubbed yourself silly, crank on the water and rinse the whole place out, spray the edges and corners with the Tilex Mildew Remover, then admire your handiwork. I recommend either opening the window or running the exhaust fan during this step.

5. After completing the serious scrubbing and scouring, time for the general cleaning. I like Comet Bathroom Cleaner because it works really well and leaves a nice aroma, not too pungent. Use whatever you wish, just as long as it doesn’t leave a nasty after-smell... The Artist absolutely HATES the smell of Pine-Sol and Mr. Clean. Spray the cleaner on the counters and wipe down with a cloth towel… didn’t I tell you NOT to use paper towels?!?! Do the same with the toilet tank and outside of the bowl, remembering to clean ‘back there’. Now is when you’ll be glad you swept really well, otherwise you’ll come up with a towel filled with, well… you know. Spray and wipe down the outside of the shower enclosure and all the baseboards, and don't forget to wipe down the vanity cabinet and adjacent walls. Then give the floor a quick wipe to grab any leftover hairies. Ew.

6. Some people mop their bathrooms, but mine has vinyl flooring so I like to use the Comet Bathroom Cleaner instead... I spray the floor and use a fresh towel to wipe it down squeaky-clean. Then hit the mirrors and any glass with Windex and the cloth towel and you’re ready to reset the room. As you bring in each beloved bathroom accessory, wipe it down and then place lovingly just so in its place of honor. Don’t forget to drain out that nasty toilet bowl brush holder… a good idea is to run the brush and holder through a dishwasher cycle every so often to keep it free of germies.

7. For the inside of the shower door, the easiest way is to clean it while taking a shower. Squirt a little Soft Scrub on the doors and scour them down with the scrubby, then rinse with the sponge, all while the water is running and you’re standing in there all nekkid and wet, heh heh heh. Avoid the urge to invite your better half to join in the fun. I mean, you ARE cleaning, right? Best not to get distracted from the job at hand, unless you are all done and ready for distraction. Then again, perhaps you like to be sexy and covered in Comet and Soft Scrub... who am I to judge?

OH… MY… GOSH. Look at what you’ve done! YOU CLEANED THE BATHROOM, and it wasn’t scary or nasty or anything like you’d thought it would be. Naturally, if you have expensive fixtures, floors and countertops, you'll want to use cleaning products that won't scratch or otherwise damage anything. This whole process might sound like a lot to do, but it really does get automatic after a few times. You’ll find yourself thinking about the music or what you want for dinner or having Comet-covered sex or lots of other things, all while you’re cleaning a very important part of your home.

Did I mention that I also enjoy ironing clothes and grocery shopping? Never mind... that's a subject for another posting.

'Rose Royce 'Car Wash' video, Gracias de YouTube, hideous bathroom image gracias de spencerneal.blogspot.com. Orale'.

1 comment:

  1. You need to visit my house. What do you charge an hour? I spent more time reading this than I do cleaning the bathroom. I've got a spray bottle of Clorox cleaner and bleach. Everything gets the once over every once in awhile. Or if I notice something that looks like it needs a squirt.