The kids and I spent Friday afternoon washing the kitchen together in our bathing suits. Well, they were in their bathing suits. I’m a delicate flower and wore jeans and a long-sleeve T-shirt and a sweater and wool socks and a bemused expression.
I’ve washed my floor with a wide variety of mops and gadgets, but the one I keep coming back to is this: a cloth diaper. Or, when the kids are helping, a stack of cloth diapers. We get a bucket half full of warm soapy water and a bunch of clean old diapers that have been repurposed as cleaning rags.
Then we get down on our hands and knees and scrub everything up, Cinderella style. Dirt, you’d better watch out. My kids are coming for you.
This isn’t the most efficient or cleanest way to clean a floor by any stretch of the imagination. But I still have it filed in my head as a “simple, frugal, green” living technique. Maybe that’s because its so alive, and requires so few outside resources. The Murphy’s Oil Soap we use is so concentrated one bottle lasts about a year, and the diapers are just leftover from baby days. There’s no buying in my floor-washing scheme.
And the floor does, eventually, get clean. Typically when I got through at the end and mop up the sea of dirty water the kids have created as they carefully scrub each and every cabinet door, stretch of wall, appliance, table leg, and door jamb. Anything within reach.
There’s a ridiculous amount of giggling that goes into the floorwashing, and I just think that makes the floor shinier. Or as shiny as this cracked old linoleum is ever gonna get.
Probably when I’m old and creaky and my girls no longer think sliding all over the floor on their soapy butts is more fun than money could every buy I’ll appreciate owning a mop. But I bet I’ll miss the way we do things now, mess, inconvenience and all.