4 easy solutions for sparkling clean floors

Making your home cleaner and better-looking doesn't have to cost a fortune. Here are four easy and inexpensive DIY tips you can use to help keep your floors spic and span.

4 easy solutions for sparkling clean floors

For kitchen and bathroom floors

These materials are practical choices for flooring in kitchens, bathrooms and mudrooms — all of which receive some of the most punishing wear in the house. Keep your frequent cleanups of these areas simple by mopping with a solution of 125 millilitres (1/2 cup) of white vinegar to 3.9 litres (one gallon) of warm water.

Tea leaves for sweeping

Rural Japanese housekeepers traditionally scattered still-damp tea leaves over the floor before sweeping — and some no doubt still do. Dust and dirt cling to leaves and are easier to push into a dust pan. You can then throw the contents into a garden bed or compost pile. (Talk about an eco-friendly cleanser!) Just don't use tea leaves on unbleached wood or carpeting, since tea may stain.

A little elbow grease

These tough flooring materials can stand a larger dose of acidic vinegar, so scrub stone or brick floors with a solution of 250 millilitres (one cup) of vinegar in 3.9 litres (one gallon) of water. The operative word is "scrub," since the most effective way to clean is to get down on your hands and knees and work with a stiff scrub brush.

Peppermint tea cleanser

Clean a hardwood floor with herbal tea? You bet, as long as it's combined with a few other ingredients. The tannic acid in some herbs — in this case, peppermint — attack dirt without damaging the floor finish. As with any mopping, wring the mop several times as you clean; letting the floor get too wet could warp the floorboards.

To make the peppermint tea good and strong, use six tea bags to one litre (four cups) of water and let the tea steep for at least two to three hours. You'll need:

  • One litre (four cups) water
  • Six peppermint tea bags
  • One litre (four cups) white vinegar
  • 30 millilitres (two tablespoons) baby oil
  • Five millilitres (1 tsp) dishwashing liquid

In a large saucepan, boil one litre (four cups) of water, remove from heat and add six peppermint tea bags. Let steep two hours. Pour tea in a mop pail and add vinegar, baby oil and dishwashing liquid. Stir with a large kitchen spoon to mix. Dip a clean mop into the solution, wring or squeeze it out and mop away.

The floors in your home will sparkle when you use these easy-to-make cleaning solutions.

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