My flatmate and i usually use washing powder for washing our kitchen and bathroom floors (gets those whites whiter and those brights brighter!). Surf Micro™ and Bio Classic™ have been experimentally determined to be effective in this regard.
Today, as chance would have it, we took a new, experimental approach to confirming the hypothesis that “It is possible to wash clothes and floors simultaneously and automatically”. The method is as follows:
- Take dirty clothes from weekend’s fieldtrip.
- Convey said articles of attire to Mavis (our feisty, very vocal washing machine tossed out by Ryan’s neighbours back in Viliersdorp on account of her noisy habits and occasional belching, and ensconced in the kitchen of our upstairs flat by four huffing, puffing passers-by for the princely sum of R40).
- Offer Mavis two or three spoons of appropriate concentrated powder flavouring to go with her breakfast, lunch, or dinner (see above, as Mavis is very particular about her meals and condiments).
- Prepare various tubes, mixtures, etc. so that the kitchen sink area begins to look something like a cross between the controlled setting of a laboratory, and Medusa, the Gorgon monster of Greek mythology, who had snakes for hair. But that is all by the way.
At this point our experimentation deviates crucially from the traditional mode of washing clothes and cleaning floors. In order to accomplish both chores simultaneously, the experimenter should omit the traditional placement of the outflow pipe in the sink, and rather leave it dangling over the back of Mavis, where it can tickle her and incite her to wash the floors, too.
After several protracted moans and groans emanate from Mavis (probably in protest against the grimy garb offered to her for breakfast), she will begin also to wash the floors with the aid of her strategically placed outflow pipe. Ideally, this process should be observed very closely and carefully, and fluctuations noted concerning the colour and depth of the floor-washing water; the degree of effervescence of the foam; and other indicators vital to canonical experimentation.
The present experimenter must sadly report that the essential tasks of observation and monitoring were not properly conducted, and the experiment thus did not produce satisfactory results. Nevertheless, we were careful to control external variables; so it is likely that our experiment will be repeatable and verifiable. Perhaps it is the allusion to Medusa which made us reluctant to observe as carefully as we should have, for those who gazed upon Medusa were turned to stone.
Despite the lack of adequate observation, several important lessons were learned from this pioneering research:
- It is probably desirable to begin with clean clothes, rather than grubby garments, when first experimenting. Since the presence of impurities in the articles of clothing was not specified or adequately controlled for, this oversight in experimentation suggests that the original hypothesis should be refined.
- It is advisable to switch off and disconnect any nearby electrical appliances which may interfere with the floor-washing process in particular. The experimenter should ideally wear thick rubber-soled safety boots throughout the experiment.
- The amount of water used for the floor-washing stage of the experiment needs to be very carefully controlled. This can be precisely controlled by the eco-friendly “Water saver” knob provided for this very purpose, specifically by turning it from “Regular” to “Medium”, “Small” or “Minimum” (depending on the size of the laboratory floor and the amount of dirt present thereon). The forethought of the designers of Mavis in providing such a carefully calibrated knob, ideally suited to such experimentation, is celebrated.
- The laboratory area floor should be cleared of all objects (in particular those of a porous or water-soluble nature) which may occlude its surface and prevent satisfactory cleaning.
- Other suggested safety materials and equipment include:
- a collection of towels with a high factor of absorbency;
- a very large beaker into which the by-products of the experiment may be poured for analysis;
- a pair of thick sheets of porous material, connected to a lever system operated by a long rod, by means of which these by-products may be efficiently collected and dispatched to the large beaker;
- a mild solution of 3.5% sodium hypochlorite (available as “Bleach”) in water may be necessary if dark-coloured impurities were present in the articles of clothing used in the clothes-washing stage. (Warning: “Bleach” is for external use only. Avoid contact with skin and eyes.);
- an electric rotary device for directing air towards the laboratory area for increased evaporative effect.
- It is further suggested that this experiment not be conducted under conditions of low atmospheric pressure (indicative of cold temperatures and impending precipitation) or of high affective pressure (indicative of impending stressful outbursts). While these conditions are only tangential to the method of experimentation, they may have a bearing on the success of recovery from a failed experiment.
We will report on any further experiments as time and resources permit.