Friday, May 20, 2011

Old-fashioned cleaning.

When we bought our home a little over a year ago, it was in DIRE condition. Actually, I don't even think dire is an accurate description -- it was worse than that. It was more like in "never maintained in 5 years" condition. It was just ... tragic.

The worst part about it was the main room, which was entirely carpeted. As you can imagine, the lightest-gray carpet was completely stained, soiled, peed-on and thrashed. Oh yes, peed-on. Did you catch that part? It was.

The first thing I KNEW we needed to do was put a nice hard floor in where the carpet had been. Carpet is entirely impractical in that room because it gets so much traffic. Not to mention it's also where the dining table goes. So we promptly ripped it out (even before the house closed!) and put in a sharp-looking wood laminate, like this.

Oh yes, this is my beautiful home.

Of course, I immediately started to worry about how to care for this floor. I had all these nightmares about it fading, peeling up, and twisting. So I decided to consult with the all-knowing Google about how to clean wood laminate flooring. And Google told me it was super-easy -- vinegar, water and a microfiber mop. Vinegar is a natural, gentle cleanser. Your grandmother probably used it to clean. Nothing like good the good old-fashioned way of getting things done.

Here's what you need. A squirt bottle, like this:

(I got mine in the mop section at Wal-Mart)

And a flat mop with a removable microfiber pad, like this:

Aren't they so cute together? Look out, Kate and Prince William!
I am not sure where to get the mop since mine was a gift from my mom. But I can tell you it was made by Vileda. And I do believe I saw those pads at Wal-Mart the last time I was there. You'll probably want to buy two pads because they get dirty fast.

In the squirt bottle, mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar with about 4 cups of water. My bottle is pretty large so I just fill it up with water. Then I gently mist the floor with the squirt bottle and mop it right up! It's that easy. Your floor will shine (as you can see by my picture). When the mop pad gets dirty, flip it over and use the clean side. And when BOTH sides are dirty, throw it in the wash with your other cleaning rags, etc. It will come out perfectly (unless you wash it with a bright red, hand-dyed rug. Then it will turn pink. First-hand experience right here). As for the bottle, I just store it in my closet with my mops and brooms.

Some people don't like the smell of vinegar. Personally, I love it -- it reminds me of Easter and coloring eggs. But if it makes you ill, you are going to have to find another method. This site has some other good suggestions.

Also, I sometimes use this method on my tile floors, but not for deep cleaning. Tile and grout are porous and I prefer to use a regular mop, bucket and Pine-Sol on those to get them super-shiny and clean.

So there you have it. How to clean your floors with vinegar and water. My little sister cleans homes and she swears by this method, too. Give it a try -- it's cheap, easy, and if you hate it? No skin off your nose.


  1. My whole life my mom has always cleaned her wood floors with vinegar and they are always looked great. So i agree its the best way to go.

  2. Thanks for posting this :) I will have to try it soon!

  3. I love your hardwood floors! They look amazing!

  4. Hiya! Just stopped by your blog and thought I'd leave a little note! :) I find it so funny how we don't have a tradition for carpeted floors whatsoever in Norway. I've never seen a carpeted floor ever in a house in Norway and yet when I go abroad they're everywhere! I think it could be convenient in a bedroom, but it must be so much work keeping it clean? Like a hundred times more than just normal wooden floors? Aaaanyways, fun post :) ^^

  5. I LOVE the smell of vinegar now, it smells like a clean house to me since I use it to clean so much!

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