Saturday, May 11, 2013

Green Home Cleaners

I spent 2+ hours last night on my hands and knees, feeling like Cinderella.

You see, we have Italian tiles covering our entire 1st floor and they used to look really nice and inviting. Of course, over the years, dirt tended to accumulate in between the tiles and resulted in icky, black grout.

Kitchen cleaners do not really work. I wanted to try bleach but we have colored grout that match the tiles so bleach might ruin the color. I didn't really know what to do until someone shared a DIY grout cleaner recipe on Facebook - oo! may silbi pala ang pag share sa FB!

You make a mixture of 50% hot water, 50% vinegar and mix in enough baking soda to make a paste - careful with the baking soda, it will react and bubble when you first put it in the mixture so make sure you're doing this near a sink or in a large container. You slather the paste over the dirty grout, let it stay for 5 minutes or so and then you scrub scrub scrub with a brush that has stiff bristles. I made the mistake of using an old toothbrush and the toothbrush was too soft for the tough job that I was asking it to do.

Without much ado, here's the before and after (see image below), can you distinguish between the area that I've already cleaned and the area I haven't touched ?

and if you're still not convinced, check out these before and after shots:

I've only done half of the kitchen. Nakaka-depress when I think that our 1st floor 3x more the size of the kitchen and I have to do it again ? fortunately, I examined the other areas and found most to be okay. High-traffic lang kasi sa kitchen and tends to have more spills / dirt than other areas of the house.

I got inspired by this and when Swe-cha woke up crying in the middle of the night (not sure if he had a nightmare or if he had gas) and wanted to go down, I decided to clean some more after he calmed down.

This time, I tackled the tile surfaces in the hallway & dining area - they were so dirty, mostly food stains from spills that couldn't be cleaned up by water and some were just dirt tracked in from the recent rain. from all the food spills I mixed up a batch of home-made cleaner ( 50% hot water + 50% vinegar ) and put it in a spray bottle. I sprayed the mixture on the floor and wiped it dry with a paper towel - ang linis! And the best part ? No strong smells nor any sticky residue afterwards. We normally use all purpose cleaners to wipe down the floors but they always had a strong lysol-y or bleach-y smell so we didn't want to do it while swe-cha was awake. This DIY-green-home cleaner just leaves a faint vinegar smell when you spray it but that fades away soon after.

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