Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Magic of Mopping!

MOPPING PART 3:  But Before We Start......

As an organised and efficient Home Care worker, you'll know that there are important pre-show matters you'll need to attend to BEFORE you commence any mopping procedure in your elderly client's homes.

Completing these first will ensure the job gets done in a more professional and superbly slick manner leaving an outstanding result which ultimately means your fussy elderly client has less to grumble about.  Or in some cases - absolutely nothing to grumble about .... PHEW!

So just a couple of pointers:

1.  Ensure the floor to be mopped is clear of clutter, wondering pets and/or grand-children – not to mention your nosey non-trusting client.  You need to be able to manoeuvre yourself, the mop and your trusty bucket safely, without worrying about where Jumping Jasper the annoying Jack Russell has got to.  You also don’t want to be having to continually push ‘n’ pull objects or furniture around to reach obscure floor areas.

2.  Rugs.  These need a special mention because quite frankly, they are a pain in the bum.  Old people seem to LOVE rugs and the majority of homes I mop are covered in the dam things.  Supposedly to add more texture to potential slippery surfaces when in actual fact rugs (and their pesky curled-up edges) create more of a tripping hazard than a bare blimmen floor! So do your best, roll the not-so-huge rugs up and flick the piddly teensy ones onto a chair so you can at least operate.  Or burn them?  Up to you.

Vaccy first.
(then destroy all rugs!)

3.  Generally you should thoroughly sweep or vacuum the floor to be mopped first, so as to remove any food particles, lose grit or dust clumps (also a chance for locating your client’s long lost hearing aid batteries). This should then prevent the whole kitchen turning into a gunky boggy mess once the water hits.


Also of note, dust and small clusters of dirt, when they are pushed around by an unsuspecting mop, can actually cause tiny scratches on some flooring surfaces.  Most of your elderly clients wouldn’t notice (or care) about this, but then you will always get one old dear who would most definitely DIE if she found you’d damaged her beloved linoleum!

4.  Before you launch operation Mighty Mop, give any stubborn looking super-sticky splodges a personalised squirt of detergent or dab of water first so as to get them soaking and moistened up for when your mop attacks.  It will save time and energy wasted on excess scrubbing down the track.

Scrubbing is bad by the way.

Don’t scrub.

MOPPING:  It's all in the Technique

1.   Start in one corner and slowly work backwards (making sure your bucket moves gracefully back with you at a safe enough distance) – so that way you aren’t clomping all over the nice clean area you’ve just mopped. 

2.   Use a nifty figure-eight movement or a slick side-to-side motion but make sure you hug that mop handle firmly, stay controlled and resist the urge for any major reaching action. 

3.   Think of your mop as a dance partner… together you want to maintain good healthy contact so things don’t start to get sloppy and out of hand.  If there’s awkwardness between you, it’s only going to end in tears and next thing you know it - one of you will end up hurt.

4.   Remember, whenever it starts to talk dirty, always show your mop head you care by re-dunking and then wringing out as much of the excess as you can.  It is imperative that there is minimal water left on the floor as possible – a wet floor is a bad, bad slippery floor. 

Note:  do NOT wring by hand!  Your bucket should have a handy wringer thingy built into it.  In this modern era no employer should expect you to be putting your hands on a mop-head that’s just been rubbed all over someone else’s floor.  Ugh, no way!  Gloves on or not!

5.   Feel free to change the water in your bucket if it becomes too yuk.  There doesn’t seem much point in pushing increasingly filthy water over a surface but it will depend on the state of your Client’s floor to begin with as to how many water replenishments you’ll need to do.

I’ve got one fairly sprightly client in particular who keeps her entire home spotless (because she can) – I feel like the mopping I do, is actually dirtying her floor up! Most frustrating.

Correct mopping technique for HACC clients
You get what you give

At the other end of the spectrum I have a lovely elderly gent, Mr Wilfred Cottonbud whose health is not flash; he’s very slow and shuffles rather than walks.  Poor old Wilf struggles greatly with his housework – being recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease I know that the state of his flooring is the least of his troubles. So by the time his fortnightly Home Care service is due, I find his kitchen tiles are so encrusted with caked-on cornflakes (Wilf's fave) and other mystery food bits that sometimes I think a chisel might be more effective than a mere mop.

But he’s such a nice polite chap that I dare not tell him - he would be mortified to think he was creating all this hard work for me!  Instead, while I spray the cemented on food and stab at his tiles repeatedly with the mop (without trying to look like I’m sweating), he writes me poems about trees and flowers and we discuss his life and how he used to work “on the trains”. 

And I get there… in… the… end… < wipes dripping brow >

6.  Keep going until you’ve mopped yourself up to, and out of, the entrance of the room leaving it to dry all alone and unhindered.   




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