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Monday, February 24, 2014

DIY Household Tip: Cleaning Grout, OxiClean vs. Woolite

So here's that gross story I promised a week or two ago.  I accidently discovered that the grout in my kitchen and dining IS NOT DARK BROWN.  It's actually a light creamy beige!  Disgusting, no?!  And in our three years of living here, I've had two crawling babies all over that floor!!!!

Clearly something had to be done.  So based on things I'd seen on Pinterest in the past (but never pinned!), I decided to give Woolite and OxiClean a whirl.  Here's my thoughts:

Convenient and Easy to Use
Requires a lot of hard scrubbing still

Really effective
Requires less scrubbing
Leaves a white residue

My overall winner, hands down, was OxiClean.  I thought it got my tile and grout much cleaner with less effort.  I ended up doing my entire floor with it, even over the areas I'd already done with the Woolite.

Here's my method:
You need gloves, a bucket, something to stir with, OxiClean, a scrub brush, an old toothbrush, old towels, a mop (not a steam mop), and the hottest water you can get from your faucet.

Step One: Run the water in your sink until it reaches its hottest point.  Meanwhile, put a scoop of OxiClean into your bucket.
(Why yes that is my lens cap in my hand....)
Then cover the OxiClean with about an inch to an inch and a half of hot water.  STIR AND STIR AND STIR until it is mostly dissolved (that grainy sound you hear as you stir will be gone).

Step Two:  If you haven't already, put your gloves on.  Then slowly pour out the water/OxiClean mixture over your tile (about a 4-5 foot square area), and smooth it around with your gloved hands, making sure to spread it evenly (and not too thin, hence the 4-5 foot square area).

Step Three:  Let it sit for 30 minutes.

Step Four:  Fill your bucket with clean hot water.  Come back to your OxiClean spot with your gloves, bucket, old toothbrush and scrub brush.  Start scrubbing!  My experience was (with this much gross dirt!) that it almost flaked off as I scrubbed.  (I also scrubbed every inch of my tile because it is textured and dirt had settled into the crevices.)  Rinse your brushes out in the clean hot water as needed, and replace that water as needed as well.  Once you've scrubbed it all up, wipe up all that dirty water residue with the old towels.
Step Five:  Fill your bucket with clean hot water again.  Get your (hopefully) clean mop, and mop that area with the clean hot water.  (I did try a steam mop first, and it didn't work well at all.)  This will hopefully remove most of the white residue the OxiClean leaves behind.

Step Six: Dry with an old towel.

Step Seven: Move to another 4-5 foot square area.  Repeat and repeat until your floor is clean.
One last dirty patch
Step Eight: Just for good measure, to make sure that white residue is gone, I did another all over hot water mop job, and then followed it up with the towel dry.

And now my floor is gloriously clean!!!!  It was A LOT of work, but definitely worth it.

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