I did some deep cleaning during this Navratri, and mostly because it was still so dusty after moving in. The last time I had a room for rent in India, when I lived in Jhansi, I had a maid to clean for me. It was an interesting experience, but this time I am very much self-reliant. I had to familiarize myself with these cleaning tools – and fast!
Cleaning Your Home In India
When washing dishes, there is a choice between solid soap and liquid soap. I guess I have never seen solid dish soap. It comes in a box or a small tub, with a green scrub pad. Much like this:
There are several kinds of Indian brooms with several purposes, or so I read. The broom I have is used for sweeping dust, debris, and anything else I would normally sweep up with a broom. It’s also used for dusting door frames, trimming, windows, ceiling fans, etc. It has a short handle and long bristles. You have to crouch when using it to sweep the floor. It’s called a flower broom.
There are many ways to go about cleaning the floor. My maid back in Jhansi simply dumped a bucket of water over the floor and manually scrubbed the entire surface with a rag. At the PG, the security guard (who also did the cleaning) would either mop or use a wiper. (Let’s be honest, it’s a squeegee.) Well, all I have at my disposal is a squeegee and a rag. So squeegee it is!
I use this wiper / squeegee by tossing some soapy water on the floor and wiping it up! Imaging cleaning your car’s windshield, but with your entire floor. After it’s all wiped up, I follow up with water to rinse. It’s hard work!
I used to wash my clothes by hand, when I lived in my room in Jhansi. At the PG, I had the luxury of a washing machine, but still had to hang my clothes to dry. At my apartment, I again wash my clothes by hand. I have my own method, but I asked DN to show me how he washes his clothes. To my relief, his method is much more efficient than mine – so I adopted it. Here’s how it goes:
Start by getting your clothes (or whatever you are washing – in my case a hand towel) wet. Then you give them a thorough rub-down with this solid bar of laundry soap.
Alternate method: If you have powder or liquid laundry soap, you can mix it in a bucket of water to wash your clothes.
See this scrub brush?
It’s used for stains or anything that needs to get extra clean.
Afterwards, you rinse your clothes in the multipurpose bucket – twice – and ring them out.
…And hang them to dry!
Just take care not to send them to their death below, or let the wind carry them away!
Anyway, learning cleaning is not just about taking care of my home, it’s also about learning culture. What? Indian housewife in training? Yes. ♥