This has got to be my biggest cleaning challenge – each and every day! I have boys, dogs and a husband with too many hobbies. Guess what comes tracking in on my floors? Hmm.. pretty much EVERYTHING! To top it off, we live on land that is made up primarily of clay – the red kind! Our house, of course, had a brilliant builder who thought white tile, light grout and tan carpet was the cat’s meow. Dummy! I wish we had been in on that decision making process. So now I’m faced with the task of finding the most effective means of cleaning my tile, grout, carpet and hardwoods.
Over the years I’m sure I’ve tried everything that is marketed to clean every type of surface out there. Here’s what I’ve found works for me…
GROUT: Just in the past year, I did find my one-and-only for grout.. And it happens to be a toilet bowl cleaner! I use the blue kind with bleach that comes in the container with the funny looking neck. I’m able to run in quickly over the grout, let it sit for 20-30 mins and then remove it with a wet rag, gloves and water that is changed quite often. The first time I tried this, I used a small scrub brush right before I swabbed it up. A-MA-ZING!!
HARDWOODS & TILE: I have found that regular maintenance on hardwoods and tile need only a steamer machine and clean cotton pads. I own the purple Shark steamer and love it for it’s light weight and ease of use. A steamer is just using steamed water to clean so, not only is it cost effective, it’s health too – great for the family and pets! The pads are machine washable and it comes with 2 of them. This method is great most of the time, but your hardwoods will start to look dull over time. This month I’m using my trusted Murphy’s Oil Soap on them (and repeat every 3-4 months as needed). My home wish list includes sanding the hardwoods and restaining to a darker finish, maybe even black! …someday…
CARPET: Ugh! I hate them! But I have them, so I need to find a way to live with them.. clean! To deep clean this month, I use my wonderful carpet shampooer. (Pretty sure I spelled that wrong.) I used to rent a commericial machine every 6 months or so, when I finally had that ‘ah-ha’ moment. Yep, I broke down and bought one. Probably the best clean-house decision I ever made! In years past I felt that I needed to use a bunch of shampoo in it, but I don’t anymore. Yes, some shampoo (I like the ones that say “Oxy” in the name), but the key is to pre-treat spots (let them sit), and to spend most of my time sucking up the water the machine just laid down. And, no walking on the wet carpets! Repeat in another 6 months.
Next month.. Bathrooms. The floors are done. This should be a cinch!
“Deep Clean Your Home – One Month at a Time” is an on-going series of articles helping homeowners with the daunting task of cleaning and organizing for a happier, healthier home. Be sure to look back at the months you’ve missed and look forward to those yet to come!