Monday, July 29, 2013
Green Cleaning - Cleaning wood and tile floors
We recently had company and so I gave our home a thorough cleaning. I washed the floors, carpets, walls, etc. Probably cleaning more than I would do for myself this time of year. The floors were the hardest to clean, as we have cats and I have been tracking in some dirt from the garden these past couple months.
That put me on a tangent of thought. What is good to clean the floors that will not harm them, me or the cats. Here was what I came up with:
In our old house we had wood floors, real wood floors, not pergola. These were finished with varnish and tung oil, so as a result I used mineral spirits or Murphy’s oil soap with water. I infused the water with herbs for disinfecting. I like to use thyme water as thyme is a natural germ fighter (thymol -essence of thyme- is the main ingredient in items like Lysol). Herbal waters are herbs steeped in warm water for a long period, like a concentrated tea.
Here is the recipe I use to make a Murphy’s oil soap cleaner.
Versatile Cleaner Concentrate –
This concentrate can be mixed with herbal waters or vinegars for more powerful cleaning.
1 Tablespoon essential oil (you can use your favorite scent or a combination of scents)
1/2 cup concentrated oil soap paste
Mix the soap paste (like Murphy's Concentrate available at the hardware store) with the essential oil in a glass container with a metal or plastic spoon. Blend until the oil stops separating (sometimes a bit more paste is needed to get a good consistency and no separation). I use lemon oil as a first choice, but a combination with thyme oil, grapefruit or other citrus oils will also work well.
TO USE -- Dilute by adding 1 to 3 teaspoons of concentrate to 4 cups of plain or herbal water.
I also make vinegar cleaners, but you should never use vinegar on a wood floor, as this will discolor the finish or sealant. Murphy’s Oil Soap will work with vinegar too. I like a thyme or lemon herb vinegar using the recipe above on my tile floors (vinyl and ceramic) in the bathroom and kitchen.