This post is part of a paid campaign.
Do you remember how old you were when your mother began teaching you how to clean? Or did she? I can’t really remember exactly how old I was when I began to learn. I do, however, have memories of being 8 or 9 years old and coming home after school to a list of chores that included tasks such as sweeping, vacuuming, and cleaning the bathroom.
It used to irk me to no end that I was expected to help with such chores, while my 16 year old brother was not. By that age we were no longer living in Puerto Rico, and being influenced by my new peers and their way of thinking, I would sometimes question why I had to clean and he did not. “Porque tú tienes que aprender como limpiar y cocinar para que cuando tengas tu propia casa y marido sepas mantenerla.” (Because you need to learn how to clean and cook so that when you have your own home and husband, you’ll know how to maintain it.) That was the answer I would receive from my mother and yes, I am very much aware how antiquated it was. Even then, it seemed odd to me.
Yet, for all the complaining I did and the old-fashioned thinking my mom had at the time, I now find myself saying things like, “I’m glad my mom taught me how to properly clean and cook.” The husband appreciates it too and will often boast to his friends and family when they compare notes on “the wives.”
So, it seems, that learning cleaning rituals and tips from your mother, is a big part of many Latinas’ childhood, as is true for me. So much so, that a recent study conducted by Garcia Research, found that “93% of Latinas helped their mothers clean as a child with sweeping, mopping and washing dishes.” That’s a lot of little girls complaining about chores, much like I did.
But, even more interesting were some other findings of this study that resonated with me. It’s almost as if they came to my house and observed my own cleaning habits.
- More than half of Latinas prefer certain elements of old-fashioned cleaning, such as washing dishes by hand instead of dishwasher (83 percent), mopping the floors with a regular mop or by hand (73 percent). Most preferred this old fashioned approach because it’s what they are used to and plus it was “a better clean.”
Yes! I almost always wash dishes by hand. It’s only been in the past few months that we’ve begun to use the dishwasher more. My mother doesn’t even use hers at all and uses it instead for storage. I’m not sure what the other 27% of people are doing for their floors if they’re not mopping with a regular mop. I always tell my husband, “This is how my mom taught me. It’s the only way I know how to do it and it works!” So, yeah. It seems the majority of Latinas are in agreement with me regarding cleaning rituals we learned from our mamis.
- Music is an integral part of the cleaning routine with Spanish pop being the favorite playlist among 53 percent.
Ok, this one is a little different for me. While music is a big part of my cleaning routine – I always blast the radio to get me going while I clean – I don’t listen to Spanish pop. Well, I guess it actually depends on what this study considers to be Spanish pop. I tend to listen to more upbeat music, including merengue, salsa, and English dance music, in order to keep my energy going. But, still. The fact that research confirms that most of us clean while listening to music amazes me.
It’s pretty amazing to see that so many Latinas have so much in common – even down to something as simple as cleaning. The study also found that “43% of Latinas report their significant others as helping with household cleaning – a surprising find, considering the long-standing myth that cleaning is a role predominantly performed by women.” How great is that? The myths are being debunked, even for Latino households. At first I thought that this finding was reflective of the newer generation of Latinas, such as myself. However, the participants in the study were Spanish-dominant (59%), Hispanic females between 25 to 54 years old living in the U.S.
Because the holiday season is upon us and many of us are preparing our homes for family gatherings and guests, it’s a high season for cleaning. Why not have some fun with it and join Clorox in a Holiday celebration? Clorox is currently hosting the Holiday Health Twitter Sweepstakes, where they’ll be giving away a weekly prize of a $50 American Express gift card for 5 weeks, plus a grand prize of a $100 American Express gift card at the end of the sweepstakes. To enter, just tweet how you’re helping to keep your family healthier during the holiday season, using the hashtag #cloroxfiestas. You can tweet in either English or Spanish. Official sweepstakes rules can be found both in English and Spanish. Good luck if you enter!
What cleaning ritual did you learn from your mom, aunt, grandmother, etc.? Will you teach the same traditions/rituals to your children?
Disclosure: This post was written in conjunction with a paid campaign on behalf of The Clorox Company, but all experiences, thoughts, and opinions are original.