Here at Cleanify HQ we care about all things cleaning, which is why we reached out to author Ruth Bollo to discuss her recently published book. We’ll continue to bring you stories about cleaning experts, so be sure to click the Follow button and never miss a post.
While Ruth Bollo was researching her book, Clean It Right, The Proper Art of Cleaning, she spent six months going to hotels, restaurants, casinos, and food courts to see how things were being cleaned. “The things I saw would surprise you,” Bollo said. She voiced concerns that disinfectant cleaners were rarely used in these high traffic locations. “You’ve got hundreds if not thousands of people passing through these areas. There’s a need to sanitize.”
A lot of the research and knowledge in the book springs from her wealth of experience, from growing up cleaning the house with her cousins, aunts, mother, and grandmother, to running her own cleaning business for over thirty years. Bollo found that this training gave her an awareness of cleaning that most people lack these days. She was surprised when her niece went away to college and wasn’t sure what to do to keep her dorm clean. “I wondered, ‘How can this be?’ We grew up in the same family, but my niece lacked this knowledge. But unless you’re taught, how would you know?” Bollo was prodded by friends and family to share her knowledge and pushed her to write the book, saying that it was important to teach others.
Clean It Right lays out the fundamentals on how to get your home sparkling clean. Bollo identifies “The Awesome Eight” things you should focus on in every room in your house. She then takes you through each room and gives you the basic steps you need to build a strong cleaning practice. We loved the illustrations that accompany the tips, especially the image of a guy scrubbing the bathtub while hearts flutter from a woman behind him.
In the years since she spent her childhood weekends cleaning, talking, and laughing with her extended Italian-American family, things have changed. Bollo finds that housework is now something people look down on, but stresses that it’s still very important to know how to keep a home that is safe and clean for your family.
Changes in the world extend beyond attitudes about housework. “Proper cleaning is a lost art. I grew up in a world where these apps [we have today] weren’t available. There’s an app to do everything now, but is it really good that you don’t have to know how to do anything anymore? A lot of that personal touch has been taken away. While the technology is good, we’ve become a nation of people who can’t do anything ourselves,” Bollo said.
She still reminisces about the old days with her cousins and mother, laughing that they were trapped inside while everyone else was outside playing, but realizing she was learning something valuable at the time. “It taught us not just how to clean, but how to be self-sufficient.”
Even people who utilize cleaning services need to have a basic understanding of how to clean, whether to tidy up between visits from the professionals, or in order to give instructions to the cleaning crew. “I spoke with a lot of people, asking them how their cleaning service was, and no one was really happy. But they don’t know how to tell their cleaning service to clean properly,” Bollo said, which is another reason her book is important.
When asked what was the worst room in the house to clean, Bollo said, “I love to clean, period. But I would say that the most hated room in the house is the bathroom. Hardly anyone likes to clean the toilet.”
Ruth’s top 5 tips for cleaning:
- Clean from the top of the room to bottom
- Use a soft bristle paintbrush to remove dust from hard to reach areas & delicate objects.
- Always use white rags when cleaning so there’s no threat of dye staining a surface.
- Set the vacuum height to the appropriate level for your carpeting or flooring.
- Check mirrors after cleaning, and not just at eye level!
Ruth’s top 5 cleaning tools:
- Ostrich feather duster
- Mr. Clean magic erasers
- Eureka upright vacuum
- Good old fashioned string mop
- Pledge multi-service spray