Friday, 27 February 2009
Cleaning the floors
Ok, today I'll write about cleaning the floors because I just did mine, and I feel fabulous. And tired.
Anyway, my floors are all tile. That's right: our landlord is Italian. So what I do is first run a vacuum over the whole apartment, and then I get to the mopping (Don't you just love the pinoclean scented boiling-hot water?).
My advice for cleaning the floors is this:
-Try to tidy up as much as you can BEFORE you start vacuuming or mopping. This stops you having to do what I just did, which is hold the vacuum cleaner at bay while you one-handedly put toys away and try to tidy your bookshelves.
-Always have the additional spots you vacuum already clear from toys, like the lounge. I like to vacuum my lounge (ok, a lie, I think it is necessary to vacuum my lounge, to get all the crumbs from the baby's biscuits off it) so I try to have all the clutter from the lounge put away before I begin.
-Try to wipe down your coffee tables or benches and even do a little dusting before you begin vacuuming. There's nothing more annoying than cleaning your floors and then realising you haven't dusted for a year and then when you try to dust you get dirt all over your fabulous new tiles or carpet.
-Try to have already changed your bed or put your washing on for the day before you start cleaning the floors. That way you avoid additional dirt spillage (or in our case, hair from my husband) from coming out of the bedding onto your floor, or grass and lint from your washing from littering the way to the laundry room.
And when you are vacuuming, if you're thinking about something that needs to be cleaned but you think you'll just leave it for today (AGAIN) -just clean it!! Pull out that lounge and vacuum behind it. If you see that your skirting boards need dusting, go and get that damp cloth and wipe them. The little extra bits and pieces that you do today will save you thinking about them for weeks, and then in a few day's time you can do a quick once over, knowing that the spot behind the lounge is already bare. I avoided cleaning the chocolate milk off the tiles under our lounge for a few days (I had already wiped the visible lot) and by the time I got to it it was a hard sticky mess, like a candy stuck to my tiles. It took a hell of a lot of hot water to melt it down, and by the time I did I'd ruined my mop. If I'd done it the day it happened it would have been much easier, and I wouldn't have been thinking about it for days. I call this the guilt of cleaning procrastination; It will eat you alive from the inside!
When I mop my rules are just this:
-Only mop what you've already vacuumed or wiped. Otherwise, you get those dreadful wet dusty things all over the place -annoying!
-Mop well, mop quickly
-And make sure your water is boiling hot! If you're mopping wooden floors maybe don't do it too hot, but for tiles the hotter the better. And the hotter the water is, the better it cleans and the faster it dries, so you don't have to tiptoe around hoping you don't skid over for too long.
In conclusion I'll just summarise. Tidy up and clean up before you vacuum or mop. Then vacuum and mop well. Don't avoid things you know need to be cleaned. And if you do do the floors and then realise things need to be dusted or wiped, use a wet cloth to grab at the dirt and put your hand under the edge of your benches to stop extra spills.