I have to admit, housework is not my favorite thing to do. As a matter of fact, I will do practically anything to get out of it. Clean the stalls, clean the chicken coop, pull weeds and oh, I think the bees need to be checked on. And of course, there are always recipes to try out, chopping herbs, vegetables and so on…. You get the picture, but eventually I can put it off no longer. The floors, in particular the tile grout needs to be cleaned. Sigh!
We live on a farm. Farms have dirt and if you live on a farm you wear boots and at some point boots get dirty. Boots track in dirt. Dogs track in dirt and shed hair. But hey, this is the country and I wouldn’t trade it for all the clean sidewalks of suburbia.
If you live in the country, chances are you have a mud room. The mud room is a designated entry point from the outside. It is usually closed off from the rest of the house and becomes a place to hang up your outerwear or some days even your underwear(depending on the weather) and remove your muddy boots.
At my house the mud room is the area of the house our Labrador Retrievers are restricted too. I know it seems cruel, not to allow a 120 pound male Lab and his 80 pound sister access to the rest of my small ranch house, but we’ve discovered long ago that Hondo’s (male Lab) lethal weapon of a tail and my antiques are not compatible. So, the nicely tiled mud room will have to do.
Vacuuming the floors is a frequent occurrence. Lets face it, anybody who has ever had a Lab, knows the handle end of the vacuum well. I’m a great advocate of the Swiffer Wet mop too. It’s convenient and easy to use. But there comes a time, usually the change of seasons or the impending arrival of guests, that spurs me into a deep cleaning frenzy.
Just such an occurrence happened yesterday. So, while I was scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees (no sarcastic or dirty comments, please), I knew I had to write this post.
Over the years, I’ve used a lot of cleaning products on tile. As I’ve gotten older and I trust a bit wiser, I’m less inclined to use a lot of chemicals. I’m a big advocate of vinegar as an all-around cleaning product. Diluted in water, I use it to clean glass surfaces, stainless steel appliances, and tile. The following is a great recipe for an all natural grout cleaner.
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup baking soda
That’s it! Simple, natural, and effective. Of course if you’re like me, the fizzing sound of the baking soda hitting the liquid is a bonus, reminiscent of all those Science Fair projects oh so long ago.
Bee Queen tip: For persistent stains, after scrubbing with prepared liquid. Sprinkle on a dusting of baking soda in heavily stained area, scrub, making a paste. Allow to set for about 5-10 minutes and then return to clean with damp clean rag. A slight film may result, so you will have to take a clean, damp towel to clean off surfaces. Pay special attention to grout lines where baking soda collects.
A Bee Queen tip to clean the interior of the microwave. Wet a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out excess water, fold in half, apply 2-3 squirts of lemon juice to top of folded towel. Place in microwave and heat on high for 60 seconds. Wipe down interior(check temperature before picking up towel) and exterior of microwave until sparkling clean.
You may feel a bit like Cinderella while scrubbing the floor but you will feel like a Queen once your done!