Spring cleaning tips from the pros

It’s that time of the year when carpets need to be beaten and dust bunnies need to be chased away. And who knows how to do spring cleaning better than Penn’s facilities and housekeeping staff? You could learn a thing or two from these pros. At the Current we want only the meanest disinfectant and the best scrubbing techniques, but we don’t want to kill ourselves in the process, so we’re paying heed to those tips on handling chemicals. Hey, it’s is a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it.

Jeff Hoepfl
Sansom Place East
“Throw all the old pizza away. Throw away all unwanted things you’re going to get rid of. Start early. Don’t leave it for us.”

Toby Barlow
King’s Court/English College House

“You have to dust, then you disinfect because there’s lots of germs from nine months. You really have to clean the refrigerator. Ajax. Ovens are real nasty. Tubs have to be scrubbed. It’s a lot of work. Windows, carpets, mopped, waxed, furniture shampooed. A lot of things have to be replaced. Rooms here have to be stripped.”

Cookie Westhoff
Law School

“Wipe doors down in between the jambs. The best way to clean a rug is to use a steamer.”

Ray Bartholomew
Law School

“Don’t ever mix ammonia with bleach.”

Blanche Bartholomew
Law School

“Put some disinfectant in a spray bottle, dilute it with water. Spray in a small area and make sure the paint doesn’t come off. Make sure you read the bottles. And proper ventilation. Always wear gloves because it could eat through your hands. When you’re all done, go get yourself a pizza and beer and relax.”

Cassy Nelson
Tannenbaum Hall

“How bad’s the room? After you spray, close the door and let the chemicals work. Same for ovens. When you’re mopping, start in the farthest corner and mop backwards so that you don’t have to walk over it.”

Pat Rosenzweig
Tannenbaum Hall

“Disinfectant is a real big thing. You have to wear gloves. Never mix chemicals. If there’s a stain in ovens, microwaves, use a substance and let it sit.”

Valerie Darden
Williams Hall

“Get lots of rest the day before. Don’t dress too heavy. Wash your hands all the time. Number one is wear gloves. Gloves and rest and music. If you’re tired already, you might as well not begin. Always have someone to back you up.”

Antoinette Lebrun
Williams Hall

“Drink plenty of water. If you have allergies, wear a mask.”

—Kim Slonaker and Faye Iosotaluno

Originally published on April 11, 2002