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Scrubbing - Input Junkie
October 19th, 2011
08:11 am

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Scrubbing
When I try to clean something, I've noticed that I don't get it clean on the first try, and I'm not talking about things that need to be soaked. I'm talking about thinking I've cleaned it, and then I notice that I've missed some stuff that needs to be wiped off. So I wipe that off, think I'm done, and then I cycle through the process a few more times.

This sucks away both time and motivation.

So, I'm interested in the strategies that people who are good at cleaning use for mental focus and/or strategizing cleaning an object or area.

I'm especially interested in accounts from people who've learned to be good at cleaning, though if you've been good at it as far back as you can remember and can introspect enough to find your methods, by all means, tell me. Also, if you've taught someone to be good at cleaning by something more sophisticated than "criticize until they figure it out themselves", tell me about it.

This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/505858.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

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From:nancylebov
Date:October 19th, 2011 01:02 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, but could you talk about your process for making sure the area is covered? I can believe that the time limit helps, but what do you actually do in that 30 minutes?
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From:nancylebov
Date:October 19th, 2011 01:48 pm (UTC)
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No, I mean that I have something (those metal things for roasting that have grooves and holes that you cover a foil-covered pan with and put a piece of meat on top of are especially pernicious), and I soak it and then I go after it with soap and water (possibly not hot enough) and one of those curly metal scrubbies. I think I've cleaned it or section of it, and then I look at it again and there are dirty spots in the area I think I've cleaned.

This may be a problem you've never had, so you have trouble assimilating what I've written.

Edited at 2011-10-19 01:50 pm (UTC)
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From:chomiji
Date:October 20th, 2011 04:26 pm (UTC)
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Green scrubbies are good - they get in where the curly metal thing won't. Also, schemingreader mentions Bar Keeper's Friend. I have a similar powder thing, Bon Ami, and I have a moist version with a lemon scent that I got as a stocking-stuffer from my sis-in-law the minister's wife. Put any of that stuff on your green scrubby and it will be even better.

SOS pads are best for really horribly baked-on crud on metal items. You can get the mini-size ones - that way if you don't have enough crud for a full-sized one, you don't have a leftover piece of soapy steel wool going rusty under your sink.

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From:redrose3125
Date:October 21st, 2011 01:00 am (UTC)
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Bon Ami is supposed to be better than things like Comet, because it won't scratch.
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From:subluxate
Date:February 16th, 2012 12:09 pm (UTC)
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Very, very hot water and a soak with lots of dish soap while doing other dishes (soak the rack in the pan). Then dump that out when other dishes are clean, rinse it with more very hot water, and then scrub first with Barkeeper's Friend and a green scrubber, rinse well (and rinse the scrubber, too), and scrub it with hot water and dish soap. I definitely recommend wearing gloves unless you can stand your hands being in very hot water for a long time. Also, I scrub underwater if I'm tackling that kind of thing, just because it tends to show slightly better where I've missed to me--the distortion of the water makes the bumps of stuck-on bits clearer to my eyes.
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From:nellorat
Date:October 19th, 2011 03:40 pm (UTC)
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I actually have thought about this, partly because I seem to do a good job the first time and Supergee doesn't. (By "first time" I mean before I stop; it may involve going back over the same areas repeatedly.)

Some of this is tactile: a smooth surface gives less resistance than a chunky one or even one of smooth particles or grease. Some is visual.

If it's a small thing, I do it all at once; a big thing, like a floor, I do part at a time, mentally marking off the area. For a floor, it's usually a square 18" on each side, for a wall bigger--essentially, a square all within my reach. With pans, I often do the outside first, then the inside. (Note, easier first, but I get it all.)

Then be methodical. Start in one corner or at one end, and work to the other corner, end, not skipping any areas. Then do a visual inspection and go back over it--not necessarily every spot, but in the same order. This is usually good enough, so the second inspection can be the final one, but if not, repeat.

It could be you're doing the same thing, just considering yourself done before the inspection and re-do, so you think you "should" be done when you're not. Also, it would be frustrating to have to g back over a whole wall or floor; it's better, I think, to inspect and re-do a bit at a time.

I agree with Papersky about hot enough water, even if that means using gloves. (I don't like gloves--just realized they interfere with the tactile feedback. My mother was famous for her tolerance of hot water, and I emulated that macho approach.) For pans, the metal wool scrubbers are OK, but I like the soap-plus-steel-wool, like S.O.S., although they rust very quickly.

If you use a sponge, cloth, or mop, be sure to rinse them out very often, or you're just spreading old dirt around. Yes, very, very often.

Has this been helpful?
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From:kalimac
Date:October 19th, 2011 03:48 pm (UTC)
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I have the same problem Nancy does. I think I'm being methodical, like you say, and then I look back and find I haven't gotten everything. WTF? I thought I'd done that.
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From:i_ate_my_crusts
Date:October 19th, 2011 10:12 pm (UTC)
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Tactile feedback. Non-clean areas should feel different to clean ones -- a slight roughness, resistance to a scrubber, etc. I generally go over something once, rinse, and then do a second pass in the opposite direction (for large areas, such as a shower), or work in small areas until I am satisfied, then move to the next small area (eg saucepans, sink cleaning).
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From:chomiji
Date:October 20th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC)
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This. I sometimes can't see the cruddy little bits that will show up when the item is dry, but I can feel them.

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