Tag Archive: liquid


floors

When cleaning your home the ‘natural’ way it can become confusing as to what to use, when to use it and how…in this article I will give really simple ways to clean various types of floors from tile, natural stone, laminate, wood/bamboo and vinyl. Each type of floor has its own quirks and as always, if in doubt about something, try in a small spot first before doing the whole floor.

First up the basics that you will need:

Liquid Castile Soap (how to make)
Hot/Warm Water
Mop (your choice of type)
Optional: Spray bottle if you use the micro cloth type ‘mop’
Essential Oils (tea tree, lavender, lemon, eucalyptus)
Recipes for Natural Spray Cleaner (floors, counters, etc.)

OF NOTE: if you use citrus essential oils it is essential that you do NOT use them on any type of vinyl flooring as citrus oils will eventually break down the petroleum based flooring. Also, please note that I do NOT include orange essential oil, this seems to really break down any type of petroleum based flooring very quickly.

OF NOTE: do not use Castile soap on waxed wood flooring unless you intend on ‘waxing’ them again in the future. Safe to use on ‘sealed’ floors.

To start, ALWAYS sweep/dust mop your floor well to eliminate as much dust, dirt, etc. on the floor to make cleaning it easier.

On all TYPES of flooring (except for waxed wood floors) simply put 1/8 of a cup per gallon of water of the liquid castile soap (made from my recipe which is very concentrated). If desired, add 40 drops of tea tree, lavender, lemon or eucalyptus essential oil. Stir this well in your kitchen sink or bucket. Damp mop only especially with wood, laminate or bamboo flooring. A wet floor of any type can be a hazard so use wring that mop out well…but with wood, laminate and bamboo too much water left to ‘dry’ will eventually cause problems. If you really want to be extra careful use an old towel to dry the floor.
This will work on tile, marble and natural stone floors…just remember to follow manufactures instructions on properly SEALING your natural stone floors as needed to keep them looking new!

If you have a micro mop/swifter type mop use as you would normally use but instead of using the commercial brand sprays see this Liquid Castile Spray recipe for direction on making your cleaner. You will use a damp pad or towel (I have been know to use those cheapie wash rags you can get from Walmart for use with my ‘swifter’. Be sure to change out as needed. I typically change ‘pads’ out after using one for about a 50 square foot area just to keep from spreading dirt around .

Alternatively I found this on Mamatron for laminate, tile and vinyl flooring:
(DO NOT USE ON WOOD, BAMBOO or STONE FLOORS)
How to Make Your Own Homemade (DIY) ‘Pergo’ Laminate Flooring Cleaner
To a measuring cup or jar, add the following:
• 1 part Water
• 1 part White Vinegar
• 1 part 70% Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol
• Few drops of liquid dish detergent
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a fine mist spray bottle.
How to Use Homemade (DIY) ‘Pergo’ Laminate Flooring Cleaner
1. Sweep or vacuum your floors first
2. Spray the cleaner in a fine mist, low over the surface area to be cleaned
3. Allow to set for a few minutes, then use a microfiber mop or towel to wipe it up.
You’ll notice right away that this mixture cleans effectively and with ease, dries quickly, and it is so simple to use. NO BUCKET REQUIRED!
When you have finished mopping, just toss the microfiber mop head or towel into the laundry until next time. Do not use fabric softners with your microfiber mop heads…stops them from absorbing water!
I also found this on TipNut for harwood floors and have used on my own natural stone floors. REMEMBER when using vinegar on natural flooring to always follow up with damp mop clear water just in case. I have edited amounts based upon previous experience with vinegar on natural flooring. BE SURE TO DRY THE FLOOR (WOOD).
Here are several different recipes for mixing up your own cleaners for hardwood flooring, just a few simple ingredients are all that’s needed. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way, you just need enough liquid to dampen the mop (or cloth) and scrub away.

If you’re happy to damp mop with straight water, try adding about 10 drops of essential oil per gallon of water for extra cleaning muscle. Some suggestions: lavender, tea tree oil, pine or eucalyptus oil will add antiseptic qualities.
You’ll also find tips on this page for removing scuff marks, how to test for wax (and remove it), a few DIY polish recipes and a scratch repair method that may surprise you.

Getting Started: Sweep or vacuum surface to remove as much dirt and dust as possible.
Directions:
• When using one of the recipes below, damp mop only. Saturating the floor with liquid may cause spotting or warping of the surface. You can either lightly spray one section at a time or lightly spray the mop head.
• Scrub in the direction of the grain of the wood to grab and remove as much of the dirt as possible.
• Wipe dry with a soft cloth after washing.
Mix 1 gallon warm water with your choice of the ingredients below…

Solution #1
• 1/8 cup vinegar
• 1 TBS Castile liquid soap

Solution #2
• 1/2 cup white household vinegar (*Is it safe to use? See notes below)

Solution #3
• 1/4 cup borax
• 1/2 teaspoon liquid Castile soap

Solution #4
• 1/2 cup vinegar
• 10 drops essential oil of choice

Solution #5
• 1/8 cup liquid Castile soap
• 1/4 cup vinegar

Solution #6
• 1 TBS liquid Castile soap
• 1/8 cup vinegar
• 1/4 cup brewed black tea

Tea Mixture:
Steep 1 bag of tea in 2 cups of boiling water and leave until it comes to room temperature. Remove tea bag and soak cloth in liquid, wring out then wipe floor clean. Dry with a soft cloth. The tannic acid in the tea will help bring wood to a shine.

For Oil-Finish: Damp mop with straight water after first cleaning with the recipe below.
• 1 TBS rubbing alcohol
• 2/3 cup hot water

*Is vinegar safe to use? Isn’t it too acidic for hardwood?
If you poured a bottle of vinegar directly on the floor and allowed it to sit, it would most likely damage the surface. However, in the mixtures above it is well diluted and only used as a damp mop (meaning excess liquid is squeezed out). Vinegar is an excellent household cleaner and brings a lot of muscle to the job. If you’re concerned about the effects it may have on the finish over the long-term, consider doing a clear water rinse after wiping floor with a mixture that has vinegar as an ingredient (then wipe dry as usual).

Removing Scuff Marks
• Keep a spray bottle with a mixture of 50/50 vinegar, water and about 15 drops of essential oil of your choosing.
• Sprinkle scuffs with baking soda then spray solution, let fizz for a few seconds.
• Scrub marks until they are removed then dry with a soft towel.

Wax Testing & Removal
• Wet your fingers with water then flick into a corner of the floor where there’s not much traffic. If there’s wax on the surface, the floor will turn white under the water beads (may take a half hour or so to turn white).

To Remove Wax:
• Scrub the surface with mineral spirits using a household sponge with a nylon scrubby side. Wipe dry with a soft cloth as wax is dissolved. Repeat process a second time if needed.
DIY Polish

Wash surface as usual and dry thoroughly. Using one of the mixes below, apply polish to surface then wipe dry with a soft cotton towel.

Recipe #1
• Mix equal parts olive oil and white household vinegar.

Recipe #2
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or olive oil)
• 2 TBS cider vinegar
• 3 TBS vodka

Recipe #3
• 1 TBS olive oil mixed with 1 tsp lemon juice. Apply to a clean, dry mop and treat floors after cleaning.
Quick Tip: You can also spray commercial furniture polish onto the mop head and then wipe over surface.

Scratch Repair
• Rub a crayon that is the same color as the flooring into the scratch, filling the space as full of the wax as you can.
• To seal in place, heat with a hair dryer to soften the wax, allow to cool for a few seconds then buff with a soft cloth.

Lots of different ways to get the job done and many can be used to clean walls, cabinets and other items in your house…have fun!

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castile spray

Castile Soap Multipurpose Spray:
Floors and Everything Else!

What you will need:
Spray bottle
Essential Oil of tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, etc. (optional)
Liquid Castile Soap (how to make)

This has been adapted from:

This castile soap spray is great because you can easily clean multiple surfaces with it from fabric to fixtures! Also, because it’s so easily biodegradable, it’s great for not only cleaning indoors, but outdoors, too! You can easily rinse away the soap without worrying about harming plants or waterways. It’s also very safe and gentle on the skin, so no worries about harmful chemicals.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:
• 1 cup distilled water
• 1/2 tbsp. unscented castile soap
• 5-10 drops of essential oil (1/3 ml. approximately)

Preparation:

This recipe makes 8 ounces, so multiply the ingredient amounts as needed to fit the size of your spray bottle. If you don’t wish to customize the spray with your own essential oils, simply omit the essential oils.
1. Choose one or a combination of essential oils. (See more information below.)
2. Using a measuring cup and funnel, pour the water into a spray bottle and then add the castile soap.
3. Add the essential oils directly to your spray bottle. Note: A range is given because the size of drops depends on the essential oil dispenser cap.
4. Shake the bottle to incorporate the essential oils and soap.
5. Label with a permanent marker.
6. Store the bottle out of direct sunlight or heat, which can change the chemical constituents in the essential oils.
7. To use, spray any areas that need to be cleaned and wipe with a damp cloth. For tougher cleaning jobs, like grout, use a toothbrush or scrub brush.

IMPORTANT!!! Remember to come back after you spray and use a DAMP Rag to wipe with otherwise you wind up with soap build up . I do NOT recommend using the below on real wood or bamboo flooring as many of the ingredients are drying to wood fibers. If you choose to use this on real wood flooring remember to come back with a damp mop and then dry.

Alternatively:
1. 1 cup water
2. 1 cup vinegar
3. 1 cup isopropyl alcohol
4. ¼ Tbsp. Liquid Castile Soap
5. 5 drops lavender essential oil
6. 5 drops orange essential oil
7. 3 drops tea tree essential oil
8. Fine-mist spray bottle – 24oz

Instructions
1. Add all ingredients to spray bottle and shake to combine.
2. Sweep/vacuum the floor.
3. Spray cleaner on the floor (or other surface).
4. Wipe up with a microfiber cloth or damp rag


Softwater Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent
3 ingredients!!

Ever wonder about all those homemade laundry detergent soap recipes that you see around? Many of them are made for places with ‘hard’ water, but lucky me! I have soft well water and have come up with this particular recipe that can be made for pennies per load that works well for those with soft water. If you have softwater you do not need all that soap to get things clean. And if you use too much soap in the laundry and you have softwater you can wind up with dingy looking clothing that actually HOLDS THE DIRT since normal rinse cycles are not enough to get the soap out.

I like to pre-make a lot of the soap ‘ingredients’ at one time so I have plastic containers that I keep them in ready at hand whenever I need to make laundry detergent or whatever out of the ingredients.
I prefer to make the liquid over using the powdered version since soap doesn’t easily ‘melt’ in cold water.

Note: the harder your water (and if you are on city water you have very hard water) the more ‘soap’ you need in the ‘soap’ and I will list an alternative reciepe to compensate for this.

What you will need:
Fels Napa or some other soap such as castile or even homemade soap
Borax
Washing Soda (not BAKING SODA)
5 Gallon Bucket with lid
Long Wooden Spoon
Metal Pan
Containers for finished soap- gallon milk jugs, old laundry detergent jugs, etc.
Grater
Funnel
Measuring Cup
Plastic Containers (if you want to make up more than one 5 gallon batch to set aside for future use, recommend!)

Gather the required items, the soap, borax and washing soda can typically be found in almost any grocery store or big box store, but you may have to check around for the washing soda.

Using a grater (I have a big dedicated ‘soap grater’ that I picked up on ebay for next to nothing which is actually an old cheese grater) grind up the Fels Napa Soap Bar or whatever soap bar you choose to use (just avoid ‘commercial’ bath soap…will NOT WORK). You will wind up with quite a bit from one bar…set aside.

In a metal pot, put 4 cups of hot water (from the tap is fine) and place ½ cup of grated soap (do not pack it) into the water. Put pot on stove and set your settings to medium-low…Stir this continually with wooden spoon until soap is dissolved/melted.

DO NOT LET IT BOIL

It will be slightly foamy. You are not done melting the soap until you have no chunks or flakes left.

Get your 5 gallon bucket with the lid.
Fill the bucket half full with hot water (the hottest water you can get from the tap will work just fine!) and put on the floor.

Take your melted soap water and add to the bucket
Next add ½ cup borax and ½ cup of washing soda to the bucket
The measuring cup shows 1 cup of the washing soda/borax mixture (1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup is 1 cup)

Stir WELL until all powder is dissolved.

At this point, finish filling your bucket with more hot water to about 1 inch from the top.

Stir WELL again…be sure to get down to the bottom of the bucket while stirring…this soap mixture will NOT hurt your skin at all and easily rinses off.

Cover and let sit for 24 hrs.

After this cooling off and waiting time take the lid off, you will find that it has thickened on the top and bottom into a ‘gel’ like substance….it may look runny or separated…or with chunks of goo through out the bucket…this is OKAY and NORMAL….STIR AGAIN WELL!

Get your containers and funnel and measuring cup now. I recommend putting down towels on the floor just in case of an opps so you don’t spend a lot of time cleaning the floor (trust me on this!)

Fill your containers now…I like to use the measuring cup to scoop out the liquid detergent from the bucket and then pour through the funnel into the containers…at this point if you would like to add essential oils then add 5mls per gallon and shake well…All done…no fabric softener needed.

OF NOTE: Shake well in the smaller containers before use each time, it will separate again.

Since I use laundry detergent containers I just use the same amount that I would as if it was store bought. So use the ‘normal’ amount that you would use of liquid laundry detergent. This is for softwater ONLY.

HARDWATER

If you have hardwater/city water you will need to INCREASE the amount of soap, borax and washing soda, but the directions on how to make are the same.
If you are making up a lot of soap at one time for future ‘making’ just be sure to grate one bar at a time and place what you get from ONE BAR into a baggie. Alternatively you may weigh out 4.5 ounces of grated soap bar.

Hardwater Recipe:

1 Full Bar of Fels Napa (or other soap) Grated or 4.5 ounces
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing

Follow the same directions for making softwater liquid laundry detergent.
When you are using this homemade liquid laundry detergent you will want to use ½ cup per load (about 160 loads or so) and slightly more for heavily soiled clothing.

Enjoy!

UPDATE 8/23/2013
I have been using this batch of homemade soap for softwater for the past 2 weeks…EXCELLENT!!! no pre treating of light stains, clothes are brighter, softer and best of all, they smell CLEAN and not soapy!
If you try this, let me know how it turns out for you!