mopping

Thinking about all the dirt, grime and other unmentionable substances (I’ll let your imagination run wild with that one) that shoes and pets’ paws track into your home can leave you feeling a tad squeamish. Maybe even so grossed out that you’d consider coating bleach across every non-carpeted floor in your home just to get rid of whatever gunk may lurk underfoot. No, you green cleaning lovers wouldn’t stoop that eco-low, right?

Get ready to break out the mop and put down that bottle of bleach. Naturally cleaning the hardwood floors in your living room, the tile in your bathroom or the laminate kitchen flooring that came with your apartment requires little more than some energy (there’s a lot of scrubbing action ahead) and a few natural ingredients. Discover these easy methods to get your home’s floors naturally spick and span.

Hardwood floors

These tips will keep your classic hardwood floors in top shape.

  • Before mopping, sweep away all dirt and dust with a soft broom. So old fashioned, I know. A vacuum will work, but it could leave scuffmarks on the rich grains of your floor. Removing grit regularly will prevent scuffing and damage and prolong the life of your hardwood floors.
  • Use a combination of warm water, a few drops of a mild soap and the juice of half a lemon to mop floors.
  • Get scrubbing! When mopping, be sure to wring out your mop well after each dunk in the water. Because water causes wood to expand, excessive water from mopping can make the boards crack or splinter. You shouldn’t have pools of water dotting your floor as you clean, just a damp coating.
  • Immediately buff the floor dry with a towel after mopping.
  • Polish away surface scuff marks by scrubbing the problem area with a bit of baking soda.

Tile floors

Keep your tile floors shined up and scum-free with these steps.

  • Use a broom to remove dirt or dust before mopping. You don’t want any annoying grime clumps sticking to your mop once you get the floor wet.
  • Next, wet the floor with warm water.
  • Mop the floor with a concoction of two parts hot water and one part vinegar. The vinegar will disinfect the surface and eat away soap scum and hard water stains.
  • Mop side to side and up and down to get in between the grout.
  • Finally, rinse the floor with warm water. It may seem like a lot of steps, but rinsing will remove any remaining residue and leave floors super shiny.

Laminate floors

Laminate flooring is made of thin layers. Harsh chemicals from conventional cleaners can strip away the layers and ruin these floors. Give them a green clean with these tips.

  • Clear away dust and dirt on laminate floors regularly with a soft broom or a dry mop.
  • Always clean up spills immediately.  
  • Like with hardwood floors, it’s important to remove as much liquid from the floor as possible. Too much liquid can cause laminate floors to warp.
  • Mop the floor with a solution of two parts warm water and one part vinegar. Be sure to tightly wring out the mop after each use.
  • You might even consider going Cinderella-style. Get on your knees and scrub only the grubby trouble spots with the water-vinegar solution. This will prevent excess water from damaging the floor.
  • Use a dry towel to soak up any leftover water after cleaning.

image: reallyboring