“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, August 30, 2013

Mop To It!

Scrub, scrub, scrub ... the chore of cleaning hard surface floors, ugh!

Twice a year I get down on hands and knees with a bucket of hot soapy water and a scrub brush to get the nitty-gritty, corners and baseboards super clean.  We have quite a bit of surface to scrub by hand, so most weeks I sweep, vacuum, spot clean.  Every other week I get out my steam mop.

My kitchen floor gets abused during the summer with canning and preserving.  Berry parts drop and splash, tomato skins and anything else I run through my Sauce Master Food Strainer dribble here and there.  The rug attracts crumbs galore.  The steam mop does an OK job, but it's hard to get along the edges with much success.  And from the looks of the cleaning bucket's water yesterday, I'd say too much time has gone by since the last good cleaning .. and how can that much dirt be on the floor?

I use the same homemade cleaner for our no-wax vinyl, sealed wood and linoleum.  For the wood I don't use a scrub brush, but a cleaning rag wrung out followed by a soft dry rag.

Homemade floor cleaner:

1-1/2 to 2  gallons hot water
1 teaspoon borax (softens water/sanitizes)
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar (softens water/sanitizes)
1-2 teaspoons liquid dish soap (to help as a de-greaser)
2-3 drops lemon essential oil (optional)

Swish and mix the ingredients.  I have had no problems with this leaving any type of film.

Be sure to mix up a new batch when the water gets too dirty.  Most floors come clean from elbow grease when hand washing.  Do not let soapy water 'sit' on a wood floor, wash and wipe in small sections.  Next time I'm going to use my squishy gardener's kneeling pad.

Kiss those expensive floor cleaners goodbye.  

What's your best floor care tip?


Sue said...

How do you like your steam mop? I've been wanting one forever...just haven't decided on a model yet. It would seem that they should do a good job.

Mrs. Mac said...

Sue, the steam mop is great for spit spotting the floors. Be sure to use distilled water or mineral deposits will clog the mop head. I prefer it to a sponge mop 100%.

Sandy said...

Mrs. Mac,

I like your blog header. I use http://www.picmonkey.com/ to help me with creating my new headers. The program is free unless you want to use the real fancy designs then you pay a small fee. I stick to the budget friendly free stuff.

As for cleaning, I get on my hands and knees to deep clean my floor 1 to 3 times a year. And then once to twice a week, I clean my wood floors and tile after vacuuming with either a hand made cleaning soap (similar to yours, with vinegar) or I will use this stuff called Citrasolv. It's made with all natural products and it leaves a great smell of fresh oranges in your house. This product works great on just about everything.

As for my bathroom linoleum tile, I get on the floor every other day to clean it. That's because it's the only bathroom in the house and I have 3 adults using it.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I don't have a steam mop but I do have all wood or tile floors, no carpet. We tried another homemade recipe that wasn't so helpful (or we're really way too dirty). I'll try this one, ours didn't call for borax. thanks.

Mrs. Mac said...

Sandy .. thanks for the link to the 'header' program. I clean my son's bathroom floor several times a week by hand. I forgot to mention I add a few drops of lemon essential oil to the floor cleaner.

Kathy, I hope this cleaner works for your tile (I hate cleaning grout). Borax helps whiten/degrease/sanitize clothes in the washer. Maybe if your grout is super dirty, you could use a little more in the mix when washing your tile.