Mavis can wash a table.  Does it merit a blog post?  No.  But I was just thinking about it this morning as i did it for the bazillionth time.  I was wondering how many women have developed their own peculiar little systems and routines.  (You should tell me yours by the way.)  But I do the same thing – every day – twice a day.

First, I load a washrag with dish soap.  I get half  the table covered before I have to go dump my rag in the sink, on account of the crummage.  (Serious crummage we’re talking here.)  Then I do the second half of the table.  By now the table is a nice soapy mess and I leave it to soak while I rinse out my washrag.  Then it’s on to the high chairs..  I go over each high chair once, leaving them to soak like the table.  Next I do the dining chairs.  I have to do the backs, the seats, and the chrome on these guys, but I can usually get in two chairs per trip to the sink.  Since I used up the majority of the soap on the table top and high chairs I can let these seats air dry while I go back and rinse the high chairs.  The table itself still needs quite a few more rinses since it has the majority of the soap.  Then, before the table has had a chance to dry, I whip out a table cloth and smooth it on to dry form fitted.  *Geeze Louise.*

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Of course, this is an entirely different scenario than when you’re cleaning up after just your husband and yourself.  In which case, you put the bowls in the sink, push the chairs back in, and say, “Oh.”

Once, I remember the older children were gone for a stay at their Grammy’s house.  I washed the table and then stopped, dripping rag in hand, to stare at the still clean chairs.  It was a revelation.  Do some people not have to wash all their dining chairs after every meal?  Amazing!  Then, on visits to people’s houses who have wood tables, I’m always shocked to finish the table and then not suffer the urge to wash the sides, legs, and chair backs.  That’s it, really?

Now I’m pretty sure there have to be all kinds of circumstance that create all different kinds of table cleaning systems.  It probably helps if you don’t have five children who all eat like little piggies.  Some people even use place mats.  How those do any actual good in the real world, I cannot fathom.  But they exist.  Anyways, while there may be many different systems for cleaning a table it does not prevent me from saying that there are wrong ones.  I know this, because after Judith was born and I re-entered the kitchen scene for the first time in three days, my “washed” table was hardly that.  The sticky residue on the chrome was mounting.  The vinyl was approaching fly trap status.  It was obvious men were involved.  For the good of all, Daddy Boy has been banned from washing tables.  Not that such extreme measures were actually necessary, but the precaution was taken.  Same goes for my father.  Both of whom find soap an extravagant measure in the matter of cleanliness, when water works just as well.  (It doesn’t.)  It makes for this nice “smeared” effect.  While you might get away with this with a wood table, melamine isn’t going to put up with it.  Yeah.

The other thing I can’t abide is when people scrape things (nasty things) off the table into their hands.  This is disgusting.  I can understand doing it if it were absolutely necessary, but it’s not.  Look, I’ve survived all these years without resorting to such desperate measures, and I’m fine.  A little insane maybe, but I don’t fondle soggy table scraps.  I actually had someone try and wash my table with a plastic bag once.  Something spilled so she grabbed an adjacent plastic bag and went to town.  While she was at it she up and did the whole table, scraped the castings into her hand, and dumped it in the sink.  What sad depravity is this?  I do not know.  Nor do I want to.


9 thoughts on “Technique

  1. I cannot believe I read this WHOLE thing, you must obviously have some writing talents my dear. Now put them to good use by publishing a string of children’s books and send me the proceeds.

  2. Christina, I’m afraid my zealousness ends at washing things by hand. 😉 Those bibs are hand wash only, right? Or can I put them in my dishwasher? As for my floor technique, why yes I do have one! How did you know? I sweep twice a day and wash the floor every night with a refillable spray mop:

    I use 1/8th cup of this cleaner diluted in the tank:

    The nice thing is that the cleaner is not supposed to leave residue and works just as well on wood floors. So when I’m done with the kitchen i can spot clean the living room on my way out. 😉


  3. We have wood everything, and only one disgusting high chair to wash. I use a sponge in 4 passes: dry to remove crummage, then wet & soapy to loosen up gunk, then the same on the high chair. Then rinse the sponge and go over table and chair again, rinse and repeat.
    The floor I do separately: sweep, wash on hands and knees with wet, slightly soapy rag, then sweep again when dry. I sweep daily but only wash it every other. I swear I have tried every mop system know to womankind and I always end up scraping something off the floor with my fingernails. If I’m going to end up on my knees anyway, why not just start there?

    PS – I concur on hand-washing clothes. I do all the dishes by hand, but refuse to buy clothes that can’t handle a good machine-wash-tumble-dry.

    • Ahha, I knew there was another crazy lady in the house. 😉 Yet I remain skeptical of the sponge. I forgot all about the sponge/anti-sponge camps. Although I do keep one for cleaning the flat top stove and Cometing out the sink. And cleaning the floor on your hands and knees is the right way to do it. It puts you on eye level with the business and reminds you about the sad state of the baseboards and table legs. Unfortunately, I am not at the point in my life where I can process this extra information. 😉

      • I have a rotation system for rags and sponges both. But try explaining that to someone with a Y chromasome. Found one of my bread towel outside covered in hydraulic fluid the other day 😦 grrr….

  4. The bibs in question,, technically say you have to hand wash, which I do most days. After each meal, I hold it under the edge of the table and swipe all the other kids’ crumbs into it, then I plop it onto the high chair tray and douse both in the sink and hang the bib up to dry for the next meal. I’m a bit of a laundry consolidator, so I tend to just toss it in the clothes washer once or twice a week. I have never tried the dishwasher, but now I’m thinking I might have to experiment and let you know the results!
    On the sponge note, I am in the no-sponge camp. I do buy the 3M green scrubbing pads that have no nasty yellow bacteria breeding ground attached; I let those dry thoroughly every night and toss them in the dishwasher pretty frequently.
    I used to be a hands and knees floor washer when I cleaned houses for a living, but stopped when I was pregnant the first time, and never went back. I also found that my knees were getting some pretty gnarly callouses even though I used a gardeners kneeling pad, and I just couldn’t have that!

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