Monday, July 31, 2017

Floor Cleaning Discovery

I hate my kitchen flooring.  That is no secret.  It is Armstrong Congoleum, and it simulates grouted tile, but it has tons of tiny grooves and lots of texture in  it.  In other words, it is a dirt and stain magnet.  I hate it.  It's designed to be a hard wearing, dirt hiding floor. It isn't. I love that it isn't actual tile and grout (the only thing I hate worse - grout is impossible to keep nice!) but it shows the dirt horribly, and it is so hard to clean with all those microscopic crevices. Gosh, how I wish I had good old fashioned linoleum! That nice, smooth surface you could actually mop clean! Whatever happened to it? Now, if you want a smooth surface, it's wood that requires special care and isn't always great for rooms like the kitchen, where water and liquids abound.  Sigh....

Anyway, I have tried EVERYTHING to clean this stinkin' floor.  I've used every floor cleaner on the market.  Every soap, detergent, mop, device.  You name it.  Nothing got it clean.  I've bought the expensive steam mops, the Hoover Floor Mate (don't bother -it's junk), and have even used a bristle brush on my hands and knees.  NOTHING worked. I even called the flooring manufacturer.  Know what they told me?  Use the Swiffer Wet Jet! Yeah, right....  I gave it a go.  What a joke! It didn't even get the surface dirt!  It works great on my hallway where there's wood flooring, but it's a smooth surface that doesn't have little craters filled with maple syrup and bread crumbs.  Thanks for that, kids. 

So today I had enough.  I filled a bucket with hot water and a generous amount of Borax and stirred it in to dissolve.  Borax is pretty basic in ph (as in alkaline).  It will cut even the worst grease and dirt in other yucky jobs, so I thought, why not give it a go?  I added in a few drops of dish detergent and about a 1/4 cup of ammonia.  And....

PRAISE THE LORD! Wanna see the difference between Borax and Swiffer Wet Jet?  Here's the photo:


On the left is where I simply wiped over it with the Borax solution with a rag.  To the right is where I was almost breaking the darn Swiffer Wet Jet apparatus by pushing down so hard and scrubbing with all my might when I mopped earlier in the day.  You have to click on the photo to open it in a larger view to really appreciate it.  I wish I were an actual photographer who could take a decent photo to really appreciate it.  I was so excited, I kept right on going.  I put on my daughter's volleyball knee pads and grabbed a scrub brush for good measure.  I finally have a clean floor!

So the old school, cheaper version won out.  I am going to save so much money on cleaning products from now on! As it is, I use baking soda and vinegar for most of my cleaning, along with a few products from some Eco lines to supplement for laundry.  But I always have Borax on hand as a laundry booster and a toilet cleaner/dishwasher detergent ingredient.  So yay! Win-win for me! For the daily clean up, I will continue to use my Shark Pocket Steam Mop.  It does great for that job, but eventually I will need to get the ground in dirt out of the crevices again.  And this cleaning solution, scrub brush and some knee pads will do the trick!  But I still hate this flooring.... 

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