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GREEN CLEANING TIPS

Where do you turn when the dirt you are cleaning refuses to budge, promises made by TV infomercials break, the kids need attention and time is short?

Twelve years professionally cleaning homes taught me three things. Remember the tricks you learned from your grandmother, persistence coupled with patience is a blessing and be more stubborn than the dirt you are cleaning.

Let's debug a few of the commercials airing right now. A new shower spray used daily eliminates the weekly chore of cleaning bathroom showers. Spray once a day and never clean again. You now spend ten minutes a day spraying rather than fifteen minutes a week cleaning.

The talc in bar soap causes the buildup in showers. Switch to liquid soap or the natural soaps without talc and eliminate the buildup. Clean your shower once a week with a good orange based cleaner to keep water spots at bay and your shower sparkling.

The new dust towels wipe away dust you never knew was there. Use once and toss. They are costly to you and Mother Earth, but wonderful for bottom line profits for the company. Lightly spray your favorite cotton dust mop with cup vinegar in a spray bottle of water. Cotton dust mops are the only safe way to dust hardwood floors. The long cotton threads pull any grit away from the floor preventing scratches.

To dust walls, cut off one leg of an old pair of panty hose. Pull the leg over the dust mop and your walls become cobweb and dust free. Machine wash the panty hose.

Panty hose are marvelous for many uses. Cut off a leg and slide your soap slivers into the toe. Tie that around your outside faucet making an easy way to clean hands. Slide the other leg over your hand to wipe down TV and computer screens or venetian blinds.

Misinformation abounds concerning floor care. Stores sell expensive cleaners guaranteed to put a sparkle on your floor. TV mop commercials persuade you not to dirty your hands touching mops and their mop provides the perfect solution. Ever clean without getting your hands dirty?

Grab a terry cloth towel, bottle of vinegar and water, Ivory Liquid dish soap and let the truth be known. Why towels? Terry towels leave your floor cleaner. Self wringing mops do not rinse clean leaving behind layers of dirt. No storing wet, smelly mops which is mold, no thank you. Cleaning time dwindles without buckets to fill and mops to rinse.

Linoleum floors: Dampen a towel under the faucet with warm water. Ivory dish soap is an excellent cleaner if needed. It degreases and rinses clean without leaving a residue behind. Most products sold for cleaning floors leave a sticky residue causing dirt buildup on your floors.

Spray the corner of the towel that has the tag with a little WD40. The tag locates which corner was sprayed. When you come across a black heel mark, rub it right off using that corner and rinse.

Marble and wood floors: Dampen a towel using a solution of cup vinegar to 1 gallon of water. In areas with hard water, increase the vinegar to cup. Wring all the moisture out of the towel until just barely damp. Excess water from self wringing mops works down between the boards eventually warping the boards at the edges. Towels are the only safe way to damp mop a hardwood floor.

Ceramic tile floors: Clean any spills immediately. The grout between tiles is difficult at best to clean once a stain has set. Clean the floor with a damp terry towel. Vinegar is safe for tile floors.

To clean stains in grout, fill a bottle with a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Thoroughly spray the stain. Let that set 10 minutes and retreat if needed. Grout is porous and may need retreating several times. After the third try, mix a paste using baking soda and peroxide. Let that set on the stain several hours, respraying with the peroxide and water solution. Vacuum the baking soda.

Written by: Mary M


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