You might think that special products are required to keep the Inn at Little Washington’s kitchen gleaming. But, in fact, most of them can be found in the cleaning aisle of your local supermarket.
Midnight custodian Jack Judd relies on a solution of Dawn dishwashing liquid and hot water for washing pots and pans, stainless-steel surfaces and even the inside of the enormous hood over the range. “It’s a wonderful grease-cutter,” he says. He uses Dawn, hot water and bleach for mopping the tile floor. Occasionally, staff members try to trick Judd by replacing it with a different brand, but they have yet to fool him.
Weiman polish is used to polish the brass railing around the range and brass fixtures. The copper pots and pans get more of a spa treatment to return their luster: They are sprinkled with coarse salt and rubbed with half a lemon.
Windex is used to clean the large bay windows in the kitchen.
Grease Strip Plus, a heavy-duty commercial product, is used to deep-clean the four ovens in the range. Judd always dons a rubber apron, heavy gloves and a mask for the task. “There are lots of splatters in those ovens, especially the meat oven,” he says. (At home he uses Easy-Off.)
Murphy’s Oil Soap is used to clean wood floors and surfaces and is a favorite product of inn proprietor Patrick O’Connell. “A house that’s just been Murphied is a heavenly place,” he says.
— Domenica Marchetti