Indian Housekeeping

Indian Housekeeping

Indian Housekeeping

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

Washing Dishes

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:

dish wash bar

Sweeping

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.

broom broom bristles

maid sweeping

Here’s an example of sweeping with the Indian broom

 

Mopping

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!

squeegee

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!

Doing Laundry

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:

washing

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.

scrub brush

See this scrub brush?

scrubbing

It’s used for stains or anything that needs to get extra clean.

rinsing

Afterwards, you rinse your clothes in the multipurpose bucket – twice – and ring them out.

 

clothesline

…And hang them to dry!

clothesline 2
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. ♥

 

3 Comments

  • Cyn

    That handwashing method kills your clothes in no time, I know from experience. It is pretty much an how to ruin a salwaar suit in 10 washes method. If you hand wash the best is to soak your clothes in lukewarm water with wash powder, all laundry detergents work for handwashing unless stated as washing machine specific. Then gently dunk the soaked soapy clothes in the water and scrub the stains if needed, then rinse under running water and squeeze. This is the reason why you see laundry hanging on windos daily in India, people do small batches because the handwashing is time consuming. My advice however is to get yourself a washing machine pronto, you’ll learn to hate handwashing as soon as the Delhi cold winter points its nose. Front load machines are not that expensive, and you could even get a good deal buying one second hand on OLX or the Yellow pages. If you can hunt a scotch Brite mop too, big supermarkets have them, they are on the pricey side at over 1000 rupees but the microfibres pad will lift a lot of dust and crap off the floor effortlessly and with far less water than the squeegee. 🙂

    • Rani

      Thank you Cyn! I’m honored you stopped by! I’m actually really glad you chimed in to give me some advice. It’s been a learning experience for me. I improvise a lot. Haha 😀
      I’m hungry for advice and more efficient ways to accomplish things. Thank youu ♥

  • Cindy

    All of it seems close enough to how many cultures do things. I’m not sure about that stooping though – I’d have to find another method for that one.
    I love hearing about the similarities and differences. After all, we are all just humans. ♡

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