Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday 411 on Cleaning: Tile Floors….and My Magical Discovery

When I walk into the kitchen of my Tuesday house, this is what I see.

Why am I here?  I ask myself that question almost every week.  Not only in this house, but often, in the others as well. The families I work for keep things tidy. I’ve had one of them tell me that it is not always an easy chore. My coming to clean often helps them keep things in order.

The biggest problem they have in common is that they all have Labrador Retrievers who spend a lot of time inside.  Dog hair.  It doesn’t bother me because we were lab owners for years.  I know where the hair hides.  It hides well in this house.  Why? Because of the color of the floor.  Looking at the house, you’d think they didn’t need help, but this is what this floor had on it:

Dirt, dog hair and food, crumbs, etc. Doesn't include what was shaken off of the rugs.

This was only after mopping less than 1/3 of the kitchen.

The dusting rags look pretty rough when I am done also.  The bathrooms clearly need cleaning.  But the floors, they look fine to me.  Good thing I don't have this color in my kitchen or I would revert to my earlier ways. I need white tile floors. Speaking of my white floor, this week I made a magical discovery!  Since the day we moved into the house, the tiles had scuff and scratch marks in several places.  I could never get them to look completely clean.  I thought they were the result of the finish rubbing off.

Last week, while taking a photograph of my dishwasher for the blog, I noticed the floor was a little nasty underneath.  So, before taking another photo, I grabbed the closest thing I had on hand, a damp Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (Kitchen). I wiped down the spot, not to get grime up but to sweep away some crumbs and dirt.  Where I wiped….something magical happened.  The dark color disappeared!  I moved over to the refrigerator, where the stains were the worst.  I started wiping and it started coming off!  

stains on floor 

The first thing I thought was maybe I haven’t been doing a very good job with the mop.  So I took a wet paper towel and scrubbed the area.  Nothing came off.  Next, I sprayed Windex and wiped.  Still nothing.  

A little better, but they are still there.

The magic eraser got it all off with hardly any effort!  It did leave a little residue, but I followed up with a mop, water and a splash of ammonia which is what I normally use.

It's coming off like magic

In other homes, I use whatever they have on hand to clean the tile floors.  Usually, that is Armstrong floor cleaner or Fabulosa.  Do not use Mop and Glo.  It leaves a residue that even Ajax won’t rub off. My step-dad used to say that expression a lot.  “I’ll put something on you even Ajax won’t rub off!”  That meant straighten up or you’re going to get it.  We never took him seriously.

Well, now you know that the trick to having floors that look clean is to pick the right color.  To clean them, simply sweep or vacuum and mop, and for some MAGIC on spots, use Mr Clean’s kitchen eraser.  But don’t use the eraser on wood floors.  Bad idea…I know from first-hand experience.  That was the flip side of the “magical discovery”. Yeah.  It said so right on the box, but I told you, I’m simply not good at following directions.  Cooking sometimes is disastrous.

I haven’t tried it yet, but I found this tip on how to clean tile grout.  I hope to try it soon. When I do, I’ll keep you posted.

Next week’s Tuesday 411: Wood floors

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