How Do I Keep My Floors Clean with Green Cleaning Methods?
Welcome to Green Cleaning Solutions from Bounce Energy! In this series, we will share our best practices, favorite tips, and homegrown cleaning recipes – all designed to keep your home clean using environmentally friendly products and methods. We’ll help you skip the gadgets and toss the harsh products by embracing cleaning practices that use items you likely have in your possession already. And you might even save money by creating your own cleaning supplies and keeping it simple!
In the first installment of our newest series, we will tackle the part of the home that covers the most square footage besides the walls and windows: the floors. Who doesn’t love a clean floor?!
Unfortunately, staying on top of clean floors is one of my greatest challenges as a homemaker. Your floor sees the most pitter-patter of toes, and it also absorbs all the mud, leaves, dirt and other funk is dragged in via shoes. So, I want to share my simple tips for minimizing the dirt and cleaning various floor surfaces – all while using eco-friendly cleaning concepts!
1) Shoes Off
The soles of shoes are the culprits in dragging mud onto your carpet and into your home, so nip it in the bud, and don’t allow shoes inside. This can be one of the hardest habits to implement in a home, but it works.
Purchase some cute baskets or shoe rack, and place one near every door that leads outside. Follow that by putting up a cute sign at each door that reminds folks to take off their shoes before coming into the home.
2) Sweep Simply
There are as many gadgets on the market as there are brands of cleaning products, and all of them claim to keep your floors swept and dirt-free. But many of these require purchasing (and RE-purchasing) disposable cleaning cloths, which is not environmentally friendly at all. They can be cumbersome and don’t always get dirt out of the corners of a room.
Keep it simple by sweeping linoleum, tile, and wood floors with a broom and dust pan. This method requires no electricity, and if you’re a parent, it’s a great way to get your children involved in helping you with chores, too.
3) Cleaning Carpets
Unplug your vacuum, and pick up a silent sweeper. Again, this is a great chore for any child, and they might love being involved in the housework more than you may realize. You’ll also avoid the roaring sound of a vacuum engine, which can send most children squawking with fear. A silent sweeper doesn’t require disposable bags, uses no electricity, and can do just as good a job as any motorized vacuum.
4) Let Your Linoleum Shine
Start cleaning your linoleum floors by first sweeping up the dirt with a broom and pan. Using a cotton wring mop, mix this solution up in your kitchen sink or a bucket.
- 3 gallons of hot water
- 1/4 cup of baking soda
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
- Few drops of essential oils
Dunk your mop into the solution and wring out before sliding across the floor. Be sure not to dump too much of the liquid onto your floor, as you don’t want to buckle or damage your linoleum. And depending on what essential oil you prefer, those drops can even bring an uplifting aroma to the floor.
5) Clean Your Tiles
Vinegar will be a product we use often when creating the green cleaning solutions you’ll see in this series. It’s non-toxic and deodorizes, cleans, and disinfects surfaces safely. Not only that, vinegar doesn’t contain those harsh fumes that many other cleaners have.
If you have tile floors anywhere in your home, begin by sweeping up loose dirt and dust. Use your cotton wring mop to clean floors using this solution:
- 1/2 cup of vinegar
- 1 gallon of hot water
- A few drops of essential oils.
If you need more liquid than this, increase the amount of water, but still stick to the vinegar ratio in the recipe.
Another great natural cleaner for your tile floors is using hot water and borax. One gallon of hot water to 1/4 cup of borax makes a great and safe cleaner that’s excellent at disinfecting.
6) Area Rugs
I have a lot of area rugs in my home that pick up just as much dirt as the rest of the house. Take them outside, and hang them on a balcony or the back of a chair. Using the back of a broom, whack the carpets to dislodge embedded dirt. Do this for a few minutes, or until you don’t see any dust rise from the rug. Yes this is very pioneer-like, but it works wonders – and it’s great exercise!
If the carpet needs washing, and it’s built from a natural fiber that is water-safe, cleaning it is pretty simple:
- Place it on your driveway on a sunny day and wet it down.
- Using a gentle glycerine based soap like Dr.Bronner’s, take a sponge, and in a circular motion, gently clean your carpet.
- Allow the carpet to dry in the sun. Turn the carpet over every few hours.
- If you need to speed up the drying process, drape the carpet over four chairs, but make sure there are not areas of the rug that could be misshapen by the drying process.
Again, this won’t work for shag carpets, but it’s great for woven carpets made from wool.
7. Wood Floors
Wood floors can really take a beating, and dents in the wood floor caused from high heel shoes, dropping heaving items on the floor, and other mishaps can cause dirt to get lodged into the crevices.
Sweep and remove any debris from floor before you begin mopping. Mix up this floor solution to both cut through dirt, and keep your wood floors polished.
- 1 gallon of hot water
- 3/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
Wring out the mop and firmly push it into floor to remove those stubborn pockets of dirt. There’s no need to add essential oils in this mixture, as the lemon juice will leave a fresh citrus scent.
What are you favorite ways to green clean and keep your floors shining? Share with us in the comments section.
In the next installment of Green Cleaning Solutions, we’ll show you how to clean your windows with ease!