Around the House: Create Spotless, Gleaming Floors in Seven Easy Steps
By Yehudit Garmaise
Toddlers unhappy with their lunches, guests who do not remove their shoes, and teenagers taking late-night snacks can all wreak havoc on our efforts to keep our floors clean, but with seven easy steps, floors can look spotless and sanitary every day, or at least once a week.
1. Keep outside shoes for outside: Keep all shoes worn outside at the front of the house in a bin or basket. To prevent germs and grime from city streets from entering your home, ask everyone to leave his or her most-used shoes neatly placed near the front on the floor or in baskets, bins, or closets. Provide special, inexpensive slippers or inside-only shoes for people who like to wear shoes around the house.
2. Launch a clean sweep or vacuum after mostly everyone leaves for the day. If you don’t remove crumbs, dirt, scraps, dust, and dust bunnies, when you mop, you will just be pushing dirty water around your floors. Pick up larger items and toys and put them away. Toss what needs to be thrown away, and take out the garbage to prevent leaks on your floors later.
3. Choose a weapon: While the word “mop” conjures messy strings of cotton spaghetti that were impossible to wring or the sponge mops with levers that wring out excess liquid that we saw our mothers use, newer flat, rectangular mops include changeable microfiber, cotton, or scrubbing cleaning pads that avoid the need for rinsing in buckets. In addition, some of the newer mops helpfully swivel to clean those hard-to-reach corners.
4. Prepare your buckets: Unless you have a mop with changeable pads you need two buckets: one with water and 1/4 cup pine sol, white vinegar, or dish soap, and designate one bucket with fresh, clean water for rinsing your mop to keep it clean.
5. Ready, Set: Mop! To prevent your feet from dirtying your hard work, start mopping from the farthest corner of your home from the front door, and then work toward your front door, section by section. Always mop the perimeter of the room first and then work toward the middle. If you have hardwood floors, always mop in the direction of the grain of the wood.
6. For sections that are extra dirty: Spray a little Lysol or Mrs. Meyers cleaning spray on the area and use a rag to remove the dirt, before using your mop to make small figure-eight motions until every square inch of your floors are clean.
7. Open a few windows to allow your floors to air dry completely before you and your loved ones walk in their socks or inside shoes on your beautifully gleaming floors.