Sunday, December 28, 2008

Help for Ceramic Tile Floors

Q - I have white ceramic tile floors with a shiny surface. To clean them I have to vacuum and then mop, but when I mop it leaves loose dirt, so then I have to revacuum. I need something fast that will leave them clean. Vinegar is o.k. but doesn't work too well on greasy spots such as food spills. Any suggestions?

A - Yikes, I hear white tile and I get a headache. No wonder you're going crazy--white anything is just asking for trouble. Anyway, the next time you clean the floors, try this:

First, you're doing the right thing by vacuuming before you mop.

Second, when you mop, use one bucket of plain water if the floor's not too dirty or two buckets if it is. In that case, the first bucket should have warm water, a drop of vinegar, and a drop of dish soap (for the greasy messes). The other bucket is your rinse bucket and should just have warm water. If the floor is really dirty, you may have to dump and refill those buckets before you're done.

After you have mopped (or mopped and rinsed) your floor, instead of that second vacuum, it would be better for you to dry the floor with some old towels. (If you've got good balance, do your knees a favor and "skate" around on them with your feet.) The towels will pick up the dirt that's left behind plus prevent any water spots from dulling the shiny surface.

Of course, make sure you've got good floor mats inside and outside of every single exterior door in your house, because that will prevent a lot of dirt from getting tracked inside in the first place. Also, you might want to put a nice basket beside each door and encourage family members to take their shoes off when they come inside. Good luck!

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