15 March 2010

Homemade Wood Floor Cleaner

I am a bit anal about cleanliness. On top of that I'm extremely organized. It makes for a perfectly run house. If I was a wife and mother, I'd get an award for House Manager of the Year! :)

One of my favorite things about my last three apartments has been the wood floors. If I don't own the place, carpet scares me. Therefore I have been lucky enough to have wood floors.

Let me tell you my method of cleaning my floors.

First I sweep the floor.
Second, I sweep the floor. Again.
Third, I dry swiffer it. (Yes, swiffers are not eco friendly, but if you know a none-gross alternative, let me know. I've asked Eco Mama and she's looking into it too!) I dry swiffer after two floor sweeps because the broom doesn't pick up everything.
Fourth, I wet swiffer.
Fifth, I use a wood cleaner.

Yea. That's how I "sweep" my floors once a week. And even still, I feel like there's crude on the floor or something. I need to stop wearing shoes in my apartment completely!

With this method, you can easily see how un-sustainable that is. Right now, I'm not willing to change the whole swiffer section. Finding a cloth type thing and touching it and washing it grosses me out. Plus I'd need a whole load of cloths to wash to justify washing one. I could never mix it with my regular laundry. Yuck!

The part I'm willing to change, if the wood cleaner. I want a homemade recipe. And seeing as to how anal I am, you do know, it has to be exceptional.

On Ehow, they had a simple recipe for Wood Cleaner.

  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • 1 gallon of water
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oil (I threw that in there)

  •  Mix ingredients together
  • Dip sponge mop in cleaning solution
  • Squeeze until mop is almost dry
  • Rinse mop out frequently (while cleaning)

 Another recipe on EHow, explains a Tea Wood Cleaner.

  • 10 tea bags
  • 1/2 gallon of water.

  • Same as the vinegar and water mixture, except let the tea steep until very strong.
This tea wood cleaner would be great, if I didn't love my tea. Seriously, the tea i drink is an investment. It would make the light of heart faint. I don't want to use it to clean my floors. Its a great idea to use one thing for many different purposes. I currently use my conditioner as my shaving cream. No, its not the luxurious men's brand that I used to use from The Body Shop. But its effective and moisturizing. But the idea of putting my high quality tea on my floors. That's just not going to work.

After a couple searches, I think I'm going to use some sort of combo of vinegar, water, lemon juice, castille soap and essential oil to create my perfect wood floor cleaner. We will see what happens.What I love about this mix is that all the ingredients are already in my pantry. I don't have to purchase a single thing. Don't you just love that.

A simple google search yields tons of recipes. As I often do, I'll find something, mix it up a bit and put my own spin on it. I'll let you know how it turns out. How do you clean your wood floors? What essential oil should I add to the mix so my apartment doesn't smell like vinegar? Or is the vinegar so powerful, that adding essential oils would be fruitless?


Shelagh said...

I love that you do it that many times. I totally get it. :)

I can't wait to hear how it turns out - we don't have wood floors right now, but I was always wary of using the cleaner and having my daughter crawl all over the floor afterwards. A friend of mine actually had to stop using swiffers because it was making her dog sick.

As for the shoes thing - it makes a huge difference. In Canada, pretty much no one wears their shoes in the house (at least my part of Canada)... I didn't know about it until we moved to the states, and the floor is A LOT dirtier, even just from having guests do it - we still don't wear shoes in the house, just habit, really.

Good luck. Can't wait to hear your own spin on the recipe. Some day I am actually going to get around to trying it.

heina said...

Highly recommend the no shoes in the house thing.

What you want to start looking for is a good bench. There are a million options, but the right height and cushion-ness-ness for you is personal preference.

Usually people try to get something that doubles for shoe storage, but I find that I prefer having a bench to sit on and then store the shoes off in a proper [shoe] closet. Otherwise, you will quickly find you have an explosion of shoes at the front door, as if they were rabbit shoes breeding and it becomes a mess.

But when you have friends over and you insist they take off their shoes, make sure you have a place for them all to throw them.

Jantira K said...

I third the no shoes idea. In Asian cultures we never wear shoes in the house. It wasn't until college that I realized this wasn't the norm. Def keeps your floors a lot cleaner and is much easier to clean when they do get a bit dirty.

SLY said...

@Shelagh. I've heard arguments for and against Swiffer and its harmful effects of babies and animals and I still can't figure out which is true. It's so much better to take your shoes off and I don't know why I don't always follow that. It's especially better if you have pets or babies because they are down there on the floor too and shoes bring all kinds of craziness into your house.

@Heina, having a place for people to properly put their shoes is key. I am having a memory of the episode from Sex and the City where Carrie went to a friend's party in her Minolo's and they made her take her shoes off and eventually they came up missing. Also, if you have people take their shoes off, you have to make sure your floors are clean. I HATE going to someone's house and they ask me to take my shoes off and I can immediately see how dirty their floor is. YUCK!

@Jantira. I CLEARLY remember your project for Theater and Culture and there was a section in the monologue about your roommates putting their feet at the head of your bed and not knowing how they were stripping your culture away and then you took a rag and wiped more of your face mask off. God, that project was painful, effective and beautiful.