In order to mop the kitchen floor, the Right Way to prepare the bucket of cleaning agent is…
fill with water, then pour some soap
pour some soap, then fill with water
fill water only
mopping is unnecessary
only my spouse needs to know this
I pay someone to mop
This post was preceded by an hour long IRC discussion about what English terms to use for where I use “soap” and “cleaning agent” above. There weren't too many good suggestions for “cleaning agent” (there's “solution”), and I'm not really satisfied with that phrase. However, there were more possibilities instead of “soap”: qw“detergent bleach ammonia surfactant”, “pine cleaner”. I tried to defend the statement that the dictionary definition for “soap” is clear enough in that it includes only produces whose main element is an organic substance made from fat and alkali, whereas you usually mop with a product whose main ingredient is hydrogen chloride. We decided this was false, “soap” includes both kind of substances in informal speech. Indeed, most people don't even know the difference, which is why there are home accidents from mixing bleach made of hydrogen chloride with basic chemicals, when a chemical reaction causes poisonous chlorine gas to be released (don't try this at home).
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