View Full Version : scrubbing floors

Stephen Tashiro
12-02-2014, 2:54 AM
In what era was routine cleaning of floors done by scrubbing them on one's hands and knees? Why was that necessary?

In old films, a typical portrayal of menial, hard work is to to show a woman scrubbing floors. I don't recall ever seeing a person actually clean a large floor by scrubbing it on their hands and knees. In what era was routine cleaning of floors actually done by scrubbing them? Why where they scrubbed instead of mopped? Was it the type of surface on the floors that made scrubbing necessary? -or was it what was tracked on to them ? - or was it the lack of modern mopping equipment?

Jerome Stanek
12-02-2014, 6:58 AM
My mom would scrub our floors to remove the old wax. My wife still will scrub our floors when she wants it really clean. She says mopping just moves the dirt around and doesn't get the deep dirt

Pat Barry
12-02-2014, 7:48 AM
I still do it

David Weaver
12-02-2014, 8:02 AM
No clue on the history. I've gone to using a deck brush for a lot of things I used to use a power washer for (small things like covers for outdoor furniture). If I were going to scrub a kitchen floor, that's what I'd use.

(in my area, which was mostly PA dutch non-amish germans, it wasn't uncommon for someone to clean the entire house daily, and do things like washing walls and scrubbing floors on a regular basis - even after the family was out of the house and the men had retired to staying inside the house most of the time. Mopping, like real mopping, was done weekly - it always pinned you somewhere inside or outside the house when you wanted to transit here or there. My personal guess about why so much cleaning has to do with thrift and keeping things as nice as possible for as long as possible. Dirt scuffs floors and abrades carpet.).

Mike Ontko
12-02-2014, 8:26 AM
My time in the Navy comes to mind (c. 1981-86), and up to the present. Scrubbing the decks on hands and knees goes way back to the earliest times of sea faring on wooden tall ships as far as I know. A bucket and a sturdy sponge are all that's needed, and a greenie (Scotch-Brite) pad for any marks or stickies. We have a 2-person shower that we scrub with a long handled deck brush--floors and walls. Arr...

Matt Marsh
12-02-2014, 8:43 AM
I have a house keeper come in two or three times a month to do a few of the deep cleaning tasks. She scrubs the floors on her hands and knees every time. I have an electric hard surface floor scrubber, but she does it the hard way by choice, because she prefers the end results. I have laminate flooring everywhere in my house. The floors look amazing when she is done!

Steve Rozmiarek
12-02-2014, 9:29 AM
In my short Army career, we did lots of wax removal like this. Miles of hallways in vacant barracks, once a month or so all got the wax stripped and reapplied. Went through lots of razor blades scraping the "old" wax out between the tiles too. A completely pointless way to keep us busy while we waited for AIT. If you have 8 hours to kill, and 100 foot of floor to spend it with, it's not so bad. Ah, the good old days...