When was the last time you faced an honest-to-goodness shocking mess? It happened to me the other day.
We keep our Standard Poodle in our master bathroom when we leave our house for any period of time. Even though he’s 3 years old, he will chew anything fabric if he’s bored. So our large bathroom is the perfect place for him. He can walk around and there’s nothing he can destroy.
I came home from a morning workout at the YMCA and went upstairs to take my shower, expecting Deacon to greet me when I opened the bathroom door. I did not expect the horror I encountered. Deacon had been ill. Not little-puddle-of-vomit-on-the-floor ill. He’d been torn-up-with-diarrhea ill and unleashed a campaign of intestinal shock and awe.He’d been torn-up-with-diarrhea ill and unleashed a campaign of intestinal shock and awe. Click To Tweet
The volume of “biological material” was extraordinary. It was clear there were several episodes judging by epicenters apparent on the tile floor. But from these epicenters radiated tracks, upon tracks, upon tracks of paw prints. There was not a single tile that did not require diarrhea clean up.
The floor was not the only victim of defilement. The walls, vanity, tub, clothes hamper, and doors were clearly marked by direct contact with the dog’s contaminated tail. And there were splatter marks on the walls I cannot account for. Oh, the smell! Induced instant dry heaves which were, to say the least, counter-productive to the task at hand.I’d never, in my lifetime, encountered anything like this. So much diarrhea cleanup. My first instinct was to contain the damage by containing the “damager”. I put Deacon in the shower stall – being very careful not to slip and fall. I had no clue where to start after that; so I went into the bedroom, sat on the bed, and let a few tears roll down my cheeks.
Please understand, I am a take-charge woman. I always do what has to be done and don’t complain. But this beat me. I called my husband at work and relayed the apocalyptic event in our bathroom. And then I said: “Gary, you know in 20+ years I’ve never asked you to come home to help me. But I need you today.” He was home in 10 minutes and devised the clean-up plan.
The Plan Of Attack
- The first thing he did was open the bathroom window to exchange some air.
- Then I handed him wads of paper towels and held a trash bag open to deposit them in. He moved across the whole room, squatting on tiring legs, and wiped it all up – dressed in good, business clothes.
- He gave the dog a bath.
- And I disinfected the walls, vanity, tub, clothes hamper, and doors with a bucket of hot water/Lysol cleaner and paper towels. Don’t use a rag. You don’t want to re-apply what you’ve wiped off. Use lots of paper towels and throw them away. And wear rubber gloves.
That morning I was very grateful for two indispensable things:
The first was, obviously, Gary. He rescued me in a situation where I had come undone. He did the nastiest part of the diarrhea cleanup and was simply happy to be my hero. My husband never uttered the words: “You owe me!” although he could have. He just loved me and made himself my servant. He’s such a good man and I don’t deserve him. I’m keeping him forever.
The second thing I was grateful for was very utilitarian. I was glad I own a good steam mop.
I like clean floors. But the diarrhea cleanup situation Gary and I dealt with required clean and sanitized floors. The steam mop I have, Shark Professional Steam Pocket Mop, comes with two differently-shaped, interchangeable heads. One is rectangle shaped for doing large areas. The other is triangular for getting in smaller spaces and corners. Each head comes with two washable, nubby covers that make contact with the floor and do the actual mopping/scrubbing. That really came in handy. I sprayed disinfectant cleaner on the tile floor and mopped it; threw that cover in the laundry room and got the second one and repeated the process on the floor. With the steam sanitizing, I felt confident enough to walk on the bathroom floor barefoot later that day.
Shocking messes like diarrhea cleanup never schedule themselves on your calendar. Be prepared. Have a good man to help you and a good mop like this one. Or you could burn the house and start over.