Thursday, May 12, 2005

Au contraire, Piston-Puss!

According to Jason Kottke:

There's no quick or easy way to clean up a broken bottle of maple syrup.

Well, it depends on what you mean by "quick" or "easy", but maple syrup really isn't hard to clean up. Depending on how thick the stuff is, simply do this:

1. Using a dustpan and something rigid, like a floor squeegee (if you own one) or a wide piece of cardboard (a pizza box works fine), push as much of the mess as possible into the dustpan. Get up all the glass in this manner.

2. Use the same piece of cardboard or squeegee to scrape off the dustpan into the garbage can (you'd damn well better have a bag in there!). Then put the dustpan in the sink.

3. Now, assuming you own a mop and bucket, this is easy. Fill the bucket with the hottest water your faucet will produce, and then mop up the remaining syrup with that. Don't use any soap, because you don't need to. Just make sure that plenty of the hot water gets on the spill, so you won't want to wring out the mop. The idea is to use a good quantity of the hot water to dissolve the syrup that is on the floor.

Remember: maple syrup is basically liquefied sugar, and sugar dissolves in water. It won't take long for the hot water to dissolve the syrup to the point that it mops up pretty easily, assuming that (a) your water is hot enough and (b) you've used enough of it. So don't be stingy: the trick to getting syrup off the floor is to use a lot of water on the spill. Most homemakers probably have trouble with a lot of spills because they simply find it counterintuitive to clean up a pool of liquid by immersing it in even more liquid, but that's how it works.

4. Clean the dustpan by simply rinsing it well under hot tap water and wiping it with a clean sponge or cloth. Again, no soap is needed. Just make sure all the bits of glass are in the garbage before you do this.

(This advice, by the way, is meant for hard floors like tile, linoleum, et cetera. Carpet is a whole different matter. You can still use hot water to get up the topmost surface of the spill, but to get down in there you'll need to use a steam cleaner, in all likelihood.)

Oh, and if you're really accident-prone and tend to have lots of spills in your domicile, look into using this product. Used correctly, it works wonders.

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