Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Your Floors are so Fabuloso!

Sweeping and moping are my favorite chores because they don’t take much time and I like to walk on a floor that isn’t sticky or laced with crumbs. This job is simple yet important because it reduces the visitation/invasion of unwanted guests like mice, ants and cockroaches and makes it easier to slide around and practice those sweet dance moves you learned.

The kitchen and bathroom floors should be cleaned weekly, and even daily, depending on your lifestyle. The key to effective and efficient floor cleaning is meticulous preparation.


1. Move as much off the floor as possible. This includes: garbage cans, rugs, chairs, even your table if you can.

2. Sweep the floor thoroughly with a broom. If you don’t sweep, mopping will just make those crumbs from yesterday’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich soggy. Start in the far corner of the floor and work back out. Don’t forget to sweep behind the door, under the heating element, and in the corners. Sweep debris into the dust pan and discard.

3. Prepare a cleaning mixture. For most mopping, I use ¼ cup of Fabuloso Multi-Use Cleaner (I like the name and its smell) in one gallon of hot water.


3. Spot clean the corners and extra grimy areas with a little cleaner and cleaning brush or sponge.

4. Get the mop wet with the cleaning mixture and ring it out. (This will be done frequently to keep the mop clean.) Then thoroughly clean the whole floor in the same pattern as you swept.

5. After a few minutes mopping, rinse out the mop in the sink or tub (if you don’t do this, you begin to spread the dirty mop water solution across the whole floor).

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have covered the whole floor twice.

Note: The tile on our bathroom floor has very deep grout lines that get quite dirty and discolored.

Periodically I use ¼ cup of bleach per gallon of water. I do the same routine, but I don’t ring out the mop before passing it over the floor. This leaves the floor quite wet. I let the bleach water sit on the floor for an hour (or more), and then I finish the mopping as usual.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Get some work done on those cabinets

Call me superficial, but I dare say the way a cabinet looks on the outside is just as important as what’s on the inside. And it wouldn’t hurt to have a little work done on those cabinets. But this work will be a lot cheaper and easier than an episode of “Extreme Makeover”.

I like to use Simple Green all purpose cleaner because it’s nontoxic, biodegradable, and smells nice in either original or lemon scent. Simple Green works wonders on all sorts of kitchen, bathroom, and household items. For cabinets, Simple Green should be diluted 1:20 with hot water in a spray bottle or bucket.
  1. Take everything out of the cabinet including the shelves.
  2. Wipe down the cabinet with a dry cloth, to get dust and debris out of the way, so you can focus on more important things like grease and gunk.
  3. Start at the top and evenly cover with Simple Green. Let it set for a couple of minutes.
  4. With a clean hot wet sponge, cloth or brush start at the top and work those arm muscles and scrub the cabinet. If you’re worried it’s not clean enough, there is no harm in scrubbing it again.
  5. With a different hot clean damp cloth, wipe down the cabinet with water.
  6. Then using a clean dry cloth or paper towel, wipe down the freshly cleaned cabinet.
  7. Use steps 2-6 on the shelves before putting them back into your beautifully clean cabinet.

Want to know if you need to do a little more work on those cabinets. You’ll know by just feeling them. Run your hand over them.(if they’re sticky, that’s a bad thing.) Unlike plastic surgery, (think Joan Rivers) it’s unlikely that you will go overboard with the work you have done on your cabinets. If you frequently fry your freakin’ food, have fondue food fights, or have kids that climb on the counters to get bowls with their honey-covered hands, you might want to clean more often.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shower Power

With daily maintenance, and periodic cleaning, your shower and tub can be clean enough that, if needed, your medical resident neighbor could perform emergency surgery in your tub.

Daily Maintenance

Just like flossing daily prevents more painful dental problems, two daily practices after bathing will prevent you from having to work as hard to avoid mold and mildew, which grow in warm and damp locations. First, wipe down water on the shower walls with a squeegee, the top of the tub, and the shower curtain. Second, keep the door open to the bathroom and leave the over head fan on for 30 minutes.

Weekly/Monthly tub and shower cleaning

1. Wipe down the shower walls and tub with hot water.

2. Generously spray all the grout (the lines in between the tiles) with a good cleanser. I use Lysol Mold & Mildew remover (or Tilex) with bleach.

3. Sprinkle Comet disinfectant powder (with bleach - you can use liquid as well) evenly over the tub.

4. Wait at least 30 minutes (let the cleanser do the work while you fill out your NCAA bracket).

5. Use a wet sponge to clean off the cleanser from the wall.

5. With a scouring pad or cleaning brush, start at the top of the tube and work your way down to the drain and scrub that tub hard. I often enjoy this part because I look at this as an arm muscle building exercise. Think of (the original) Karate Kid; “Wax on. Wax off.”

4. Rinse off with hot water and admire the sparkle.

Note: The bleach really kills the germs, but avoid breathing the vapors. Make sure to keep the bathroom door open and the fan on to keep sufficient ventilation.