Thursday, September 8, 2016

Floor Care

She still brought her lunch in Rosemary's old school lunch box, a thermos of hot tea (which she said kept her warm in winter and cool in summer), and her own table-model radio, which she carried under her arm and plugged into the wall sockets of the different upstairs rooms as she went about her work.  Starting with the kitchen, she did the downstairs rooms in the morning.  She didn't like to be talked to when she was scrubbing the kitchen floor because she said being on her knees and the rhythm of the arm motions made it the ideal time for going over her life.

(excerpt from "Flora" by Gail Godwin)

That idea of going over my life while scrubbing the floors on my hands and knees seemed like such a good one after reading about the sensible way Mrs. Jones tackled the housework in the book Flora (by Gail Godwin).
With Brett out of town and a good steady rain tapping on the windows, the atmosphere seemed just right for tackling the job.
Nobody would be trying to talk to me and the floors were in need of a good scrub.

What was I thinking?
A bad lower back and many rooms with hardwood flooring are not a match made in heaven.
The pain crème was soon called into action.

 However, I persevered and was pleased with the results.
I wouldn't even want to admit how many hours it took to get the job done or how long it took to straighten up again after standing :/.
The thing I like about washing the floors on my hands and knees is that when I'm down there I can see all of the dust on the baseboards and the drips on the white kitchen cupboards.  I wash them too as I make my way through the rooms.   It's a great sense of accomplishment once the job is done.
With that being said, I think I have just retired from the job.
Mrs. Jones is a bigger woman than I.
Either that or she hasn't got back problems.

Not long after the great floor wash, my son came over with his new Roomba.  It was great entertainment to watch it move from room to room picking up the dust and dog hair as it went. 

Although the dog wasn't too sure about it.
I was especially pleased to hear it humming away under my bed as I laid there watching tv and relaxing.
Too bad I can't figure out a way to attach a mop to the thing.

If you have a good method for floor washing that doesn't require being on your hands and knees, would you care to share?
I was told to only use vinegar and water on the hardwoods.
In the past I've tried the following methods:

1)  I originally used a sponge mop like my mom always did.
But, it seemed like no matter how well I wrung out the sponge, there were water marks unless I followed along with a towel.

2)  I reluctantly joined the Swiffer Wet Jet craze.  I say reluctantly because I dislike all of the waste they create, not to mention the expense of keeping stocked up on pads and solutions.

3)  I most recently was going to try a steamer that my in-laws gave to us.  I really liked the idea that it had washable pads and required no chemicals.  When I plugged it in it was soon evident that it no longer created steam.  Seems it was one of those "as seen on tv" products that has since been recalled.

If you have any recommendations, my back and I will thank you.



  1. It's pretty amazing what cleaning on your hands and knees shows you. I've been doing more of that lately since our house is for sale. When I put on my glasses and get down there..I'm kind of grossed out...and I clean all the time!

    I use a flat mop on our floors. You put a terry cloth cover over it. I have a bunch of the covers so they can be switched and rinsed as they get dirty. This way (theoretically) I'm not pushing dirty water around. I buy them at Home Depot.

  2. A quick mop once in awhile is good for fast cleanups, but I don't think there's any substitute for getting down on one's knees. As you (and Stacey) have said, it's really the only way to see what's down there (and it's scary sometimes!) Your floors look BEAUTIFUL!

  3. I've always done my floors on my hands and knees--let's me get all the baseboards and spills.

    And I have "lusted" after one of those steam mops forever, but when I saw one in the store, it seemed rather "flimsy", so I passed on it.

  4. I'm a get down on my hands and knees type of cleaner. For me it's the only way.
    Your floors look beautiful.

  5. We have a son and a son in law in the hardwood floor biz. My favorite way is Spic and Span and a mop but since we just had our son refinish our floors I've been obeying him. I use a diluted special cleaner and a long handled mop with a towel-y cover (damp) and then spray/mop/spray/mop. It looks good. I hope you are feeling better tomorrow, Kim!

  6. Oh boy...this post just reminded me that it is time to get serious about housecleaning around here! Your floors look great.

  7. There is no way that I would be willing to get down on my hands and knees so I'd call in a younger person to do it. I like my steamer, but I am not sure that it is good for hard wood floors. I remember years ago Bob Barker's wife responding to this question: What is the best gift that Bob ever gave you? She said, "knee pads because I always clean my floors on my hands and knees."

  8. It really looks nice and you won't have to do them again for a long time! I love the Libman mop I use on my tile floors. It's lightweight and if I want to do a quick job, I just dampen it and it will pick up all the lint and dust. I can work and work at something like that but then the next day is when I suffer. Hope you don't hurt later on. Take care! Hugs, Diane

  9. I simply can't do the floors on my knees any longer so I have to make do with my Swiffer wet jet but I just refill my "tank" with water and one tiny squirt of dish detergent. I tried vinegar but it seemed to leave a haze on the hardwood so I quit using that. It's very disconcerting to think your house is clean and then discover that it isn't quite as clean as you'd wish.

  10. I use 'Method' floor cleaner - it smells wonderful and leaves the floors shining.


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