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    Cleaning tile, hardwood, & vinyl made easy, cheap & green

    No one likes to clean floors, so we’d like this chore to be as easy as possible. Here are some suggestions.


    Always sweep or vacuum first to remove dust, dirt, or grit. A sponge mop will deposit all the dirt into the grout tracks, so always use a micro-fiber mop or rag. Warm water should be enough to clean most tile. If you have areas that require a rag and the on-your-knees approach, use a circular motion. Remember to wipe baseboards and cabinets. Use a brush for really dirty grout.


    Two teabags presoaked in boiling water will produce a tannic-acid cleaning solution that creates a beautiful shine. After steeping for a few minutes, allow the water to cool enough to wring out a soft cloth until it’s just damp so the floor will dry quickly. Wipe and prepare to be impressed by the sheen. If you have scratches, you might use a crayon that matches the color and rub it in the scratch; with a hair dryer on high, heat the crayon mark and buff it with a soft cloth.


    Clean with a mixture of Borax in warm water (yep, it’s that easy).


    >> Hairspray residue on counters and floors can be removed with a solution of one part fabric softener and two parts water.
    >> If you have stains on concrete floors, try soaking for 30 minutes with laundry detergent, pre-treat stain removers, or dishwasher detergent. Then scrub.
    >> Stains on grout can usually be removed with sandpaper. Fold it into a crease, and rub it back and forth in the grout line. A pencil eraser may also work to remove stains. If these do not work, try store-bought grout cleaner or make your own with bleach and water. Apply it to the stain and use a toothbrush to scrub. Wear rubber or latex gloves and be sure the area is ventilated.
    >> For grout stains that do not respond to your cleaning efforts, you may need to remove and replace grout. For this you need a grout-removal hand tool or a rotary tool. New grout should be sealed to reduce the chance of future stains. Reapply grout sealer every two years.


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