My grandmother would hum while she swept.
“You are my *swish*shine … my only *swish*shine …”
Her fragile alto voice would tremble a little at the high notes, but she always managed to cover it perfectly with a swish. She was fluid peacefulness with a broom was in her hand.
I love to sweep.
I love to sweep and hum and pretend that, somewhere, somehow, she smiles down and infuses her bouts of cleaning tranquility to me when I hit the high note on “*swish*shine.”
Much to her chagrin, I’m sure (looking down or around or however she looks at me now), instead of becoming a nurse or a teacher or some other respectable woman-laborer, I chose the jagged path full of odd jobs – sometimes fancy, sometimes not.
Like, for instance, I used to clean puke off of bathroom floors.
By that, I mean I was a bartender.
Briefly. 6 months.
I still bet I’ve cleaned more strangers’ puke than all of you put together.
After the last last call was called (yes, I mean that), I faced a huge bucket full of bleach, a hose, and a mop head the size of a poodle (not miniature). Also squeegees. And more bleach. And a face mask.
I hate to mop.
Even my laminate floors that need it so very often. Even in a zen-like state after sweeping. I hate to mop.
PTVLRSACD (Post-traumatic vodka-laced regurgitated spaghetti and cherries disorder).
But I do it anyway. Every so often. And when I do, I’m always amazed at how little I suffer from it and how beautifully shiny and clean laminate floors can be with just two ingredients.
DIY Laminate Floor Cleaner
For a super long time, I thought you couldn’t clean floors without buying something in a bottle that said “for laminate!” or “for wood!” or “for Grecian tiling in front of an infinity pool!”
OMG, can I tell you people just how incredibly fooled these cleaning companies have us? Like … completely, utterly hoodwinked.
I’ve tried everything on laminate. Everything. From decidedly dangerous chemical-laden discount store cleaners to Method to Bona to anything in between.
And nothing – NOTHING – gets my laminate floors cleaner, more streak-free, and shinier than water and vinegar!
To make my point today, I pulled out a bottle of Method that the previous tenant here had left behind (thinking I was too lazy to mix together water and vinegar). I mopped the floor with it and was left with residue. And then, in two hours, noticeable footprints.
So I pulled out my spray bottle, filled it half-and-half with hot water and vinegar, rinsed my handy Bona mophead (I still like that part) and went to town on the floor again.
Result? Clean floor. Shiny. Glinty, even.
No footprints thus far.
How to Clean Your Laminate Floors with Vinegar and Water
You have two options. My way
or the highway involving a bottle and a couple of trips to the sink, or the old-fashioned way with a mop and a bucket.
Either way, all you do is:
- Mix together equal parts hot water and vinegar
- Mop your floors (make sure you’ve swept well first)
I’ve seen recipes in the past recommend putting a few drops of dish soap in there with the mix, but I’ve never felt the need for that (and think it may contribute to residue, honestly). When there’s a patch of gunky dirt, I just use more elbow grease – and it comes off easily. No problems.
Like I said, you can either use the bucket method (where you tote it around with you), or use a spray bottle to spray some vinegar/water solution ahead of your mop and then rinse the mop head a few times in the sink when it gets dirty.
If you hate the smell of vinegar (as a few of you have mentioned over the months), there’s not much I can offer to completely rid yourself of it at first, but the smell goes away within minutes and the shine lasts for weeks. However, you could try putting a few drops of peppermint, lemon, or eucalyptus essential oil in the mixture and see if that helps cut the early vinegar smell.
And that’s it. Really.
It doesn’t take your sunshine away (see above picture).
How Do You Clean Your Floors?
I know what you’re thinking!
“How do I clean my hardwood floors?” To that, I say, “You must buff it to a blinding shine with the hair from a bunny’s tail on the day after a new moon when the wind is from the SSW and Dan Rather is asleep.”
Honestly, I don’t have any first-hand experience cleaning hardwood floors the crunchy way. I can give you second-hand recommendations, but I’d rather leave the tip-giving to those of you who have experience with cleaning hardwood floors in a crunchy fashion.
So what DO you use?
On hardwood? On laminate? On carpet stains, even?
How do you clean your floors (especially the crunchy way)?