Homemade Floor Cleaners For A Spotless Home
When we were kids we often camped out in the foothills near the town where we were raised. The caves made perfect shelters and the cool dark surroundings made us feel like Indiana Jones on a treasure hunt. Eat your heart out Indy. Anyway, setting up our campsite always included building a campfire, storing our groceries and cleaning the floor so that we could spread out our bedrolls. Can you imagine that? Kids dreaming about being pirates cleaning up a dirt floor!
That was nearly forty years ago – yet today after all that time – we still find ourselves cleaning floors. Only now our cave floor is a bit more sophisticated. Vinyl, hardwood, ceramic tile – you name it. And along with the various surfaces to be cleaned came a need for a variety of floor cleaning and care products. So, we would like to share a few home spun concoctions with you that we hope you will enjoy making and using on your floor. That is, as long as you don’t live in a cave with a dirt floor. Oh yes, and by the way, for a dirt floor we just rake the dirt over the debris. That makes it easier to clean. Who says the Carey Bros. don’t prefer easy!?!
Linoleum is probably the most common of floor coverings. It is comparatively inexpensive and it is durable and long lasting. Not to get off the subject of cleaning floors, but we think that linoleum is one of the best flooring materials – but that’s another column. Anyway, a mild detergent (such as dish soap) is perfect for daily cleaning. A damp mop is all that it takes. For grease spots simply add a few drops of vinegar to the solution. To get rid of dull greasy film on no-wax linoleum use a half-cup of vinegar in a half-gallon of hot water. Oh, we almost forgot. When cleaning – always use hot water. Often, hot water is all that it takes to dissolve most dirt and crud.
Rubber tile isn’t quite as damage resistant as vinyl flooring, so be careful here. Oils, solvents and strong detergents are a no no. They can harm the surface. For best results wash with plain old-fashioned hot water. In some cases a mild detergent might help. Damp mop only.
This one might give you a chuckle. Think salad dressing, not the white kind in the jar, the oil and vinegar type. Got a little left over? Use it to clean and brighten you hardwood floor. Seriously, mix equal parts of vinegar – your favorite type – and vegetable oil. No, don’t add salt and pepper to taste. Use this cleaner sparingly. You don’t want to make a slippery mess out of your family room floor.
Painted Wood Floors
If your wood floors are painted use washing soda. Washing soda is basically sodium carbonate. Sodium carbonate also can be found at the pool supply store in a product called PH increaser. Mix one-teaspoon of sodium carbonate into one gallon of hot water. Scrub with a sponge, a mop or soft bristle brush.
Brick & Stone Floors
Muratic acid (pool acid) is the cleaner of choice when it comes to brick and stone. Unfortunately, muratic acid is wicked stuff. The vapors can cook your lungs and a splash on the skin can cause severe burns. Although we feel that you may have to resort to muratic acid, we think that trying a more mild solution of vinegar makes more sense. Mix one cup of white vinegar into one gallon of hot water. Scrub with a bristle brush and rinse with clear water.
Linoleum, inyl and wood floors also respond well to oil soap or club soda. Read the last sentence again we said or not and. We have never tried mixing them together, but as stand alone cleaners oil soap and club soda are great cleaners that can make your floors glisten.
Nothing makes a floor look less appealing than one that lies beneath a layer of yellowed wax. If you’re having trouble finding the banana that you dropped on your floor recently, then your floor is definitely yellowed beyond reason. To remove yellowed wax from vinyl or asbestos tiles try club soda. There’s that drink again. Hey, it works. Pour some onto the affected area, scrub it in with a bristle brush. Let it stand for a while and then wipe the yellow away. If your luck is anything like ours you may end up being forced to use a heavy-duty wax remover applied with a commercial floor-scrubber instead. Try the club soda first. It’s cheaper and easier.
To remove wax from linoleum use isopropyl alcohol. Mix a solution consisting of one part alcohol to three parts water. Use a mop to scrub the solution in and be sure that the area is adequately ventilated. Which do you think got the cleanest our kitchen or our cave? Enjoy your clean home. And, good luck!
For more home improvement tips and information search our website or call our listener line any time at 1-800-737-2474! All you need to do is leave your name, telephone number and your question.