Chlorine bleach is awful, throw it away this instant. People tend to use bleach for mopping under the impression it's the best means of tackling stains from shoes and food. Wood floors in the kitchen are commonly mopped with bleach as uneducated home owners fall victim to thinking it's the best way to clear mess while oblivious to the fact it actually poisons the whole kitchen.
The best alternative possible is a lemon. Yes, a lemon. While you might wish to use a couple of lemons in your solution to fill up an entire mop bucket, what is remarkable about lemon steam cleaning is that all the internal goodness of the fruit is transmitted widely upon being exposed to water and heat. To achieve an all natural lemon steam, you can do one of two things:
1 - Slice 1-2 lemons in quarters. Grab a fork and proceed to de-juice all of the quarters, holding your spoon and lemon over your mop bucket and releasing the juice into the bucket. Be sure to get all the pulp out and make certain it all goes into the bucket. Now, fill your normal kettle up entirely with regular tap water. Once it's boiled, pour the water carefully into your mop bucket.
2 - Slice 1-2 lemons in quarters and de-juice them with the fork like in option 1, only this time do so over a regular-size porcelain jar. Be sure all the pulp goodness lands in the jar. Add a quick jolt of tap water before placing the jar in the microwave. Set to the highest function before activating a 5 minute long steam show. If you like, watch how steam forms in your microwave across the 5 minute wait as this where the magic happens.
Technically option 2 takes ever so slightly longer because you need to wait a further 5 minutes after your 5 minute microwave cycle is complete. This is simply to allow your jar to cool long enough before removing it with your fingers. If you're operating with cleaning gloves, it's okay to remove the jar after 2 mins, but wait the full 5 minutes if your gloves are thin since you'll still feel the burn otherwise. For option 2, once you've removed the jar from the microwave, proceed to pour your jar's contents into the bucket. Boil more water in the kettle if you wish to fill the bucket further.
Now, in spite of whether you choose option 1 or 2, you will end up with a wonderfully life affirming whiff of lemon as it rises with the steam. Take a moment to breath the lemon steam in and delight in its general healing properties. With this thought, go about placing your fabric mop head into the solution before mopping as usual.
One of the most rewarding things about using lemon over chlorine bleach is that tough marks and caked on grease stains will benefit more so from being pre-soaked. In other words, the citrus acid from the lemon will work its full magic over time. This may mean waiting 20 minutes or so for those tougher stains to sit in the lemon steam, but at least you can take encouragement from knowing the healing and natural cleaning properties present will both penetrate and loosen the stain. Bleach on the other hand won't do this anywhere near as efficiently. In bridging a quick parallel, home owners have often complained that bleach doesn't work on mold, and it's the same story when used on your fragile wood floors. Look after them, use a lemon.
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