Shop Girl Diary: February 22, 2011

Shop Girl Diary: February 22, 2011

So, it all started three years ago when I moved my store into a new space in Suttons Bay.  I inherited a black and white vinyl floor.  The first question I should have asked myself was “how should I take care of this floor?”, but in reality, the first (and second and third) questions I asked myself had nothing to do with the floor.  They had to do with cute.  “How cute would this display be right over here?”  And so on.  So, when it came time to open and I had done nothing to the floor, I just chose to ignore it.  I knew the previous tenant had left a half full bottle of floor polish lurking in the bathroom.  Its existence sent shivers up my spine.  Floor wax?  Like I know how to use that.

The second year, I decided to call in the big gun of cleaning, my mom.  She told me to clean the floor, rinse it about 1000 times, strip the wax, rinse it again, put about 5 coats of wax on it, and buff it.  I chose to clean it once, rinse it once, and put wax on top of the wax that was already there.  No buffing.

Can you see where this story is heading?  At the end of last season, the floor was a disgrace.  It was dirty and dull and just about every other adjective you can think of to describe a disgusting floor.  I knew my days of ignoring it were over.

So, with high hopes and two bottles of Floor Cleaner/Stripper and two bottles of Floor Polish, I headed to Suttons Bay last week to begin my project.  I was going to Do. It. Right. This time.  When I read the instructions on the stripper, they talked about putting brush pads on the cleaning machine and….wha???  Only one little problem.  No cleaning machine.  Undaunted, I found a scrub brush in the back room, poured some of the goop on the floor, waited 5 minutes and proceeded to scrub off the wax.  It took me 15 minutes to do one tile and as I surveyed the room, I counted about ten million tiles.  15 X ten million…the math was discouraging, to say the least.

S.O.S. to Mom!  Cleaning machine needed, came the response (and this from a woman who is no stranger to cleaning floors on her hands and knees.)  If she was telling me to buy one, then I had darn well better buy one.  So, the cleaning machine arrived on Monday and yesterday, I put it to work.

Goop on the floor.  Check.  Wait 5 minutes.  Check.  Turn on cleaning machine.  Check.  Have right shoulder yanked out of socket by wildly churning cleaning machine.  Check.  Get cleaning machine under control.  Check.  Spray floor debris all over walls and ceiling.  Well….not the ceiling.  Check.  At one point, I have to say, it looked like Pulp Fiction in there.

To make a long and somewhat pointless story just a little bit shorter:  I got the hang of it.  It took me a really long time, but it turned out beautifully.  And now?  Well, now I get to do the other half.