May 14, 2010

Vinegar vs. Mr. Clean

Anyone who knows me well understands that I really enjoy a clean floor. The work to get it clean is lost in the euphoria of shining wood and vacuum lines. The state of my floor is a good indication of my state of mind. And with house showings five or six times a week, I mop and vacuum almost daily. For all the tumult in my brain lately, I'm very glad for clean floors.

A few weeks ago, I was in a panic for a last-minute showing. I called my friend, Melanie, who came immediately to help me prepare. She swept and mopped while I cleared clutter and prepared kids to leave the house. As we were leaving, she said, "Your broom gets an F."

"What?" I said, surprised. I didn't think there was anything wrong with my broom.

"It's terrible!" she cried. Melanie then offered a highly entertaining animation of my broom with her fingers, which curled like claws ineptly grabbing at elusive floor crumbs. I laughed and laughed.

"Really. I'm telling you," Melanie said, "Your broom gets an F. I'm getting you a new one TODAY. And don't get me started on your mop." I kept laughing.

That night, Melanie showed up on my doorstep with a new broom. I have to say, I like it a lot better. The bristles are nice and stiff, and they span an area twice as wide as my old broom. Sweeping is accomplished much more quickly. I'd give the new broom an A+! Kudos to Melanie, dear friend and broom expert.

There still remains an issue with my mop, and with mopping in general. For the size of floor I have, my mop is really small. It's pretty good at scrubbing out crusty stuff on the floor, but it's not terrific. I have tried a Swiffer and a dry mop and a sponge mop, but I keep coming back to my tried-and-true (but small) friend.

I have long been dissatisfied with my wood floor cleaner, too. I have asked for recommendations and tried a dozen different brands and styles over the last two years, but nothing is super fantastic for the lady who needs to mop up yucky messes four or five times a week. So, I figured that if I'm going to be less than thrilled, I might as well not spend a lot on floor cleaner. I have been using vinegar and water for a month or two. It gets the job done, and an industrial-sized bottle is three bucks.

But, of course, there is the smell of vinegar. I don't love it. Garry hates it. He thinks it's a big, ugly turn-off to potential buyers. I always mop just before leaving the house, and no candle or air freshener eradicates vinegar in five minutes. So, at Garry's insistence, I picked up some wood-safe PineSol. A small bottle was three bucks, but maybe the lemony-fresh scent will seduce the right buyers at our next showing.

Even more than a clean floor, that would bring peace to my soul.
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