Sunday, June 17, 2012

Operation Scrub Brush

When you live in a home with two teenage boys, a husband and a three year old darling who is still in the throes of potty training it is important to know how to clean a bathroom. Bathrooms can be a literal minefield of unpleasantness if you go in unprepared which is why I have prepared the following plan for those who may come behind me.

First of all, as with any military operation, reconnaissance and planning are the critical first steps. You may want to delegate the fact finding mission of the terrain to a subordinate but I always advise doing this step yourself. Carefully enter the area and survey the surroundings. Make sure to carefully note all escape routes. Should the operation begin to go south you will need a quick exit strategy. Also record the severity of the destruction so that you will bring enough supplies in with you to complete the operation successfully in one try. You never want to have to leave once you have started and come back. It has been well documented that multiple exposures to that kind of horror can cause serious psychological problems later on.

Once you have collected pertinent information and formulated a plan of attack, the next step is to gather all of the needed supplies. This may include but not be limited to: elbow length rubber gloves, Kevlar toilet brush, Clorox Wipes, broom, mop, pressure washer and gas mask. A homemade holster for the wipes is a wonderful tool in quick draw situations. Don all of your gear and prepare yourself for battle.

Before you enter the bathroom I have found that visualization techniques will help to calm any nerves that may begin to surface. Close your eyes and envision a field of beautiful flowers. Inhale the fragrance. You will need this as you enter the war zone. Once you engage the enemy never show fear. It is bad for the troop’s morale to hear you wailing in despair or gagging uncontrollably.

The best course of action is to hit the areas of least resistance first. This will boost your confidence and give you the courage to move into the really stomach turning portions of the operation. The sink is generally the safest area to begin. The mirror and washbasin should go down without a peep. Your quick draw capabilities may be tested here if a stray hair wanders into the arena.

Quickly move from the sink to the bath tub. Remove the hairball from the drain with gloved hands and throw it in the wastebasket. Proceed to wipe the grime off the tub with your trusty wipes and then rinse by turning on the shower. While that is going on now is the time to pick up any laundry that may have been abandoned on the floor. Be careful here, the laundry may look innocuous but there may be a hidden grenade in the form of underwear in the pile. Deftly place the laundry in the hamper and then return and turn off the shower.

You may be feeling pretty good about your odds at this point with half of the operation down, but now is not the time to get cocky. The battle of the bowl is the next stop on your liberation of the bathroom. Move to heavy artillery, the toilet brush will be your best friend here. Carefully wipe the top of the tank with your wipes and then move down the seat. 

As you lift the seat remember to show no fear! 

You may want to close your eyes but it is imperative to keep you eye on the target. Squirt in the toilet cleaner and then scrub the rim of the bowl. Don’t forget to wipe the base of the toilet, you will be surprised at the number of enemy combatants that are hiding there. Finish this portion by whipping out the scrub brush and cleaning the inside of the bowl.

With the main campaign over all you have left before exiting is to sweep, mop and take out the trash. This should be completed without incident. As you leave the battlefield with your trash can full of the spoils of victory you may expect a ticker tape parade and shouts of gratitude from the inhabitants of your home. More than likely you will be greeted by blank stares and the usual “what’s for dinner?” question.

I'll bet the neighbors love these people...
Regardless of your family make up, cleaning the bathroom is one of those important “must do’s” in life. A thankless yet satisfying job if well done and one that you might as well learn how to do well since you will be back again for battle next Saturday.


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