Thursday, February 3, 2011

Don't try this at home: Vacuuming...

Every once in a while at work a funny thing happens that really underlines the importance of certain cleaning techniques.  In this situation I learned the importance of not vacuuming up moist, really noxious substances.

There I was!  Bright and early in the morning.  My client was upstairs taking care of her young baby so I decided to start my cleaning shift with a quick vacuum of the kitchen floor and dining room.  I pull the vacuum out, plug it in and start sucking away.  As I am vacuuming the smell of cat pee becomes quite strong.  It seems to be following me around and I am not sure why.
I don't know about you but there is nothing I hate as much as the smell of cat pee.

All of a sudden, charging down the stairs, my client's husband - the scent had meandered its way upstairs and in effect had filled the house.  It turns out that the previous night he had vacuumed up pee filled kitty litter.  Not a good idea.

In the vacuum there is an exhaust fan blowing out the air that is sucked through the air hose and vacuum bag.  When you suck up moist, really noxious substances, the noxiousness will be blown out the other end.  What is especially problematic about moist substances is they stick to the air hose.  This means that changing the bag helps the problem but doesn't eradicate it.  The only thing that works is not sucking up noxious, moist substances in the first place.  This includes in the middle of the night when the cat has made a mess and all you want to do is go back to bed as quickly as possible.

In reverse when you have sweet, delicious smells in the vacuum bag, sweet, delicious smells will pour out of the exhaust fan.  This is by far preferable for obvious reasons.  To take advantage of this effect put a couple of drops of essential oil in the vacuum bag and enjoy the sweet smell.