Having gathered together various materials, including gloves, de-ionised water, cotton wool, and non-stick scourers, the first day of cleaning began. There were two other people cleaning the floor with me, Sara and Linda.
The cleaning method is as follows:
· Take a small amount of cotton wool, and dampen it in the bowl of de-ionised water only (do not use the bowl with the non-ionic detergent at this point)
· Use the wet cotton wool to clean the surface of the tile
· If there are is any stubborn dirt (eg. chewing gum) just wet it at this stage
· Concentrate on the tile itself and try to avoid the mortar at the edges
· Do not put the used cotton wool back into either of the water bowls
· Discard dirty cotton wool
· Take another clean cotton wool ball and dip it in the bowl with the non-ionic detergent in
· Clean the tile surface again
· Check how dirty the cotton wool is getting and use another if need be
· Use the non-stick scourer if required
· Use the edge of a plastic ruler to prise off any stubborn dirt
· Take another cotton wool ball and dip in the non-detergent water and clean the face of the tile to remove any more dirt and the detergent itself
· Allow the tile to dry
· Take another cotton wool ball, dry this time, and gently buff the surface of the tile
We started at the 'window' end of the Hall. This window is in the snicket - which was originally the screens passage of the Hall, but at some point in its history it became a public right of way. So one end of the Hall is a clear window, and people walking by can look in. Normally, they see the Hall laid out with tables, settles, benches, and pottery. But at present all that is piled up. Instead they could watch three people carefully hand cleaning the Hall's tiles. One old lady banged on the window and said: 'Put some Cillit-Bang on it!' I agreed, but carried on regardless.
The main hazard in this section of the floor is candle wax from the large candlesticks often placed at the end of the Hall. There is also some chewing gum, and that is spread all round the the floor. And of course there is a large amount of dirt. Sara was surprised to find a green tile, up against the window, which constrasted with the other yellow and brown tiles. Why it was in the floor is uncertain. Perhaps they ran out of tiles? But there are plenty of spares to be had. So that's a bit of a mystery.
Cleaning hours clocked up today: 9 hours (total of person hours)