The Maid and Her Mop

Posted in Hiring A Maid at 2:02 pm

The mop of choice for many maids is a string mop. It allows them to wet all surfaces and pick up any pieces they may have missed when sweeping. It doesn’t really clean your floors. If she doesn’t express a preference, try getting her to use a sponge mop. If she says she prefers a string mop, give up and let her use it.

In one or two selected rooms, like the dining room or kitchen you may also request that she dry the floor afterwards with a rag. This should take care of the mystery stains that may or may not be dried milk. Again, you don’t want to know what it is, you just want it gone – without rewashing the floor after the maid leaves. This will not work throughout the house.

What you can do (if using a string mop really bothers you) is to check the floor after she’s finished mopping a room by wiping a slightly damp white rag over it. (This may work best on the third or fourth visit.) If it is visibly dirty, repeat as she is finishing the next room in front of her. Encourage her to mop, change the water and mop again.

This must be done with respect. Remember that the maid is not trying to make your floors turn black over time – she just wants to do a reasonably good job quickly. She has not thought about the effectiveness of one mop over another (other than on speed of use). If you are not very careful, she will think you are trying to tell her she is doing a bad job instead of telling her that her tool is not the best. If she feels demeaned (should I have said a more modern dissed?), she will be stewing over the conversation while cleaning the 18th centuary porcelain or 17th centuary cut glass. When it breaks, try to keep in mind that it had too many crevises to be dusted well anyway.

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