Monday, February 25, 2013

Green Clean: Floors

The floors in your home and office see a lot of traffic and activity, so give them the attention they deserve to get the clean you want without the harmful chemicals.

Choosing a Floor Covering
When there is a choice to be made, opt for less carpet. Fabrics absorb toxins, retain dampness and are often made using toxic materials.  Wood, bamboo, tile, cork, stone, vinyl and linoleum flooring are easier to clean and are healthier options in general.

Getting to Gleam
Clean your floor daily or as-needed with a microfiber dry mop and use a spray bottle to slightly dampen the mop to help dust "stick" to your mop. Once a week, use a wet mop; high traffic areas may require twice weekly wet mopping, but the dry mopping should take care of most of your needs. For wet mopping, use a sponge mop with replaceable head and be sure to rinse and clean after each use and replace the head every 8 weeks.  You can also try a refillable spray mop with microfiber pads like the Rubbermaid Reveal Spay Mop.

Cleaning By Surface

Tile, Laminate, Linoleum
Mix equal parts of 1 cup white vinegar into a bucket of hot water and add 5 - 8 drops of essential oil. After vacuuming or dry mopping the floor to remove dust and dirt, use your sponge mop to go over the surface. Replace the water frequently.

Use a solution of 1 tsp mild dishwashing soap to 16 oz of hot water in a spray bottle. Vacuum the floor thoroughly, spritz floor with the solution and dry mop over the surface.   Do not use any oil-based cleaner on treated wood as it will destroy the finish over time.  Every 2 - 3 cleanings, you may want to add 1/2 cup vinegar to your solution, but don't use it every time, as it may strip your floors.

Sprinkle your carpet with baking soda and vacuum once to twice a week.  If you have a bag vacuum, saturate a disposable cloth with essential oils and place in bag to release a lovely smell.  For stains, spray a solution of vinegar, lemon juice and water directly on the soiled area. Use a tooth brush to agitate the stain, blot with a dry cloth and repeat until it disappears.

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