Confinement Homesteading Project: Wash the Floors on Your Hands and Knees

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Haha nope, I’m not kidding! I mean, you’ve taken up bread baking and sewing already, why not hitch up your pantaloons and try out some olde tyme-y cleaning methods too? Allow me to evangelize.

Cleaning the floors had, historically, not been one of my favorite chores. I fucking HATE mops, you guys. It’s weird! But right, I just hate mopping and one day, I mentioned my hatred of floorcare to my best friend. “I do mine once a week on my hands and knees,” he told me. And then I slapped his mouth because seriously.

But then I tried it, and I had to admit that my floors had never been cleaner … and that it was not nearly as gruesome a task as I’d thought it would be. A decade later I’m still down on my hands and knees (shush you over there with the dirty mind!)(please never shush I love a dirty joke) washing my floors on my handsies & kneesies, which is the cutsie name I use for it and that you’re just going to have to accept because, well, this is my column!

You may also refer to this method as “H&K” which is the shorthand I use on Twitter when I list out my weekend chore plans and ask everyone to tell me what they’re cleaning. I dunno, it’s a weird little thing but there’s a whole community around it and you know what’s nice right now? Community.


So maybe you’re ready to give H&K a whirl! Why not — listen, if you hate it you never have to do it again! Here’s what you need to do the thing:

  1. Identify a cleaning solution that’s appropriate for your flooring type: I’ve got products to recommend that will work on most flooring types (tile, hardwood, laminate, linoleum) but you should ALWAYS check the manufacturer’s directions and usage to confirm that the product is safe to use on your floors.
  2. A place to mix the cleaning solution: When I’m washing my kitchen floors, I plug the sink and mix my cleaning solution right in there, but for jobs in rooms that don’t have sinks, you’ll need a bucket. For people in smaller spaces, a collapsible bucket is a great choice because it takes up so much less storage room. But any sturdy bucket will dolook for one with a handle and a spout to make carrying it and pouring out the dirty cleaning solution easier. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper dilution.
  3. A rag or sponge: I prefer a microfiber cloth for the job, but a sponge or a rag (an old dish towel, an old washcloth, an old t-shirt, etc) is fine too.
  4. Optional: Knee pads :)

Here’s how to do this thing:

  1. Start by sweeping or vacuuming the area before you begin the washing to get up crumbs, hair and loose dirt.
  2. Saturate your rag with the cleaning solution and wring it out so that it’s wet but not dripping.
  3. Working in sections, wash the floor using a Karate Kid-style wax-on/wax-off circular motion. If there are stubborn spots where food or drinks or bodily fluids (IT HAPPENS, OKAY) have spilled, you may need to get a bit more cleaning solution on the rag and put some elbow grease into scrubbing at that area.
  4. Depending on how dirty the floors are, you may need to dump the cleaning solution and make a fresh batchwhen the wash water starts to get really murky looking, it’s time to dump and restart, otherwise you’ll just be washing your floors with dirty water and that’s no good.

Okay, here come a bunch of options for cleaning solutions!


The last one to mention is Lysol Multi-Surface Cleanerstock is low because it’s one of the disinfectant that meet’s the EPA’s criteria for use on coronavirus (full list here)