I know some of you have grown weary with my cleaning lessons.  Please do not give up!  It can be easy to throw in the towel instead of using that towel to shine up your kitchen.  You just get sick of cleaning.   

Millions of Ants!
I had an eye opening experience this past weekend.  It was one of those moments I will hold in my heart as a reminder of why I am reaching out to other women.  I had a phone call from a friend that needed me to drop my girls off to clean her home.  My girls actually clean a lot of people's homes in our community.  They have a reputation for being the best cleaning ladies.  Leaving no stone unturned, they cheerfully clean every nook and cranny.  They come home and continue cleaning with me.  Because I had been working alongside them their entire lives, it has become a joy and purpose to their days.  


Back to the ants...
My friend had been away with her husband and hired a young lady to care for her children.  She was a great baby sitter but something was amiss.  When I entered the kitchen area, I saw millions of ants.  Instead of dropping the girls off, I decided to help them kill ants.  There was food caked onto all the dishes that were piled up all over the countertops.  Spilled goo and grime that became feed lots for all the ants.  With thousands of ants in each dish and cup, I sat in wonder.  I actually also sat in awe. 


It was a teaching moment to my heart.  There, as I was rinsing ants down the sink by the thousands and scrubbing the hardened food from days of sitting out, I realized something so beautiful.  I realized that what we did in 30 minutes was a gift to us.  Some people will never see it as a gift.  Some people never were taught.  They can not see how easy and fulfilling it is.  Some how they see that pile of dishes and see WORK.  Dirty, smelly, work.  Work is something they feel takes too long and work that takes them away from the children. 


I see fellowship when I see a pile of dishes.  I see TIME spent with my children.  It is a choice what you see.  You can choose to see WORK or you can choose to see QUALITY TIME.   


Why can one person see dreaded work and another see something beautiful?  I gained 30 minutes of heaven.  30 minutes that I will always treasure.  30 minutes where my daughters and I fellowshipped so sweetly while helping another mother out so she and her husband would not have to come home to an infested ant farm that smelled horrible.  I do not blame that young lady.  She just did not know what kind of gift she left for my girls and I.  I guess, I just choose to see it that way.  


The Moral of the Story...
Get busy cleaning together with your kids.  You are getting two great things in one pretty package!  While cleaning and making your home beautiful, you are also having such sweet fellowship together.  It is all a matter of perspective.  Now I understand you all have choices.  You can read this and get offended by it.  That is your choice.  Just never expect to be happy if you are easily hurt and offended.  Happiness is a choice whether you like it or not.  


I did not always choose happiness.  I made my life a miserable one.  I looked at the dishes and the dirt and brushed it under the rug, I chose to ignore it.  I chose to say it was not important.  As I grew in my love for God I realized something along the journey.  Here it is...I realized God is a God of order and beauty whether we believe it or not.  I choose to have a home that reflects that and a heart that is filled with joy.  What a great combination.  They go hand in hand~Balance is key.   

Okay, lets get back to work!  Enough of the pep talk...


Cleaning The Kitchen Floor...
There are a few different floor types for the kitchen.  There is linoleum, hardwood, laminate, tile, carpet, painted wood, or marble.  There may even be more.  I have even seen painted concrete.  What ever floor type you have, you need to make sure you consult your manufacturer's guide before doing anything.  Some people spend a lot of money on flooring and you want to be sure you do not cause any damage to that flooring.  I am renting a home that has linoleum in the kitchen.  

First things first...
Sweeping.  Well, this seems like a no brainer, BUT some people do not understand that there is a way to sweep that is more effective.  I have seen people just sweep the crumbs or trash that is in the middle of the room and never look under the table.  Really, it is true.  I have seen it all from cereal, to hot dogs, to old buns, and chips that collect under people's tables.  Not that it is the most important thing to have no crumbs or food under your table in the grand scheme of life, it will add no more points to your end game, but unless you like rodents and bugs, you need to get rid of food and crumbs that fall on the floor.  I personally do not like attracting pests into my living area.  You need to move out the furniture and sweep out all the corners and under everything, making your way around the entire perimeter of the room.  All dirt is swept in towards the center of the room into one pile.  Sweep the little dust bunnies and critter crumbs into a dust pan and dump it into the trash. 

Mopping.  
Get a mop you like and that is compatible with your floor type.  If you have carpet, well, get a vacuum cleaner.  There are several types of mops on the market.  My mom is a no mop lady.  She believes the only way to properly clean your floor is on your hands and knees with a bucket of water and an old rag.  I do not do well on the floor, so I use mops.  There are hair mops, sponge mops, and spray mops.  I love my spray mops because I can use them on hard wood flooring, tile, and linoleum with ease.  I have a wet jet mop that I jimmy rigged so I can reuse and reuse again.  They try to get you hooked.  You buy their $20 mop and then you have to pay $5 for the refill bottles and $10 for the disposable pads.  Ah, no thanks!  I have my dear husband crank off the fool proof top and I use 1/2 cup vinegar and fill the rest with water.  Perfectly cheap and easy!  

For the disposable pads, I just buy some other brand that had their act together by making washable pads.  I could have made the pads with some terry cloth, but I figured for $5 I purchased a washable pad and I could get t
o work right away.  I like to wash my mop pads out after I mop a quarter of my room.  I can see all the dirt that comes out of the pad and then I know I am not just pushing more dirt around if I wash it out frequently.  Then I go around the entire room back and forth until I have the room sparkling clean.  

I have mopped the linoleum hundreds of times but noticed that with all my effort, I still have these dark black pits everywhere.  I scrubbed on it with vinegar spray and a homemade scouring powder (homemade spray=1/2 vinegar + 1/2 H2O + a few drops of essential oil).  Cheap and easy.  (Homemade scouring powder= 1/4 cup borax + 1/4 cup baking soda + a few drops essential oil + 1 Tb sea salt.)  Or you can simply use baking soda and vinegar.  Depending on your sensitivities to the odor of vinegar.  The essential oils help eliminate that sharp odor.  

This is what you do: you spray the vinegar spray and then sprinkle the baking soda over the top of where you sprayed on the linoleum.  Then you spray the vinegar spray over it again.  This time you would take your non abrasive scouring pad and start working over the build up and watch it go away! Here is a photo...

The Base Boards and Trim...
I have white trim and cabinets in my kitchen so yes, I do see the dirt.  And, I like to get rid of the dirt.  The girls and I team up to tackle it with old toothbrushes, tooth picks, cotton swabs, and non abrasive scouring pads.  Just spraying a little of that cleaner over the areas and corners where dirts builds works really well.  What we did was each take a corner and work our way around.  It did not take very long and we had the trim detailed.  Now it will stay nice for a long time.  All we do to keep it up is do a light dusting once a week which takes about 2 minutes.  That keeps it from getting bad.  Little kids would find it fun to brush a toothbrush around the trim.  I am telling you, this is fun when you work as a team.  Or if you want to work alone, just focus on one side or corner of trim per day and you will find it clean in no time at all.  Do not over whelm yourself, just do what you feel you can manage.  If you do not care about clean trim, just leave it.  It is not the most important thing in the world. 

Countertops...
Using the homemade cleaner, spray all the surfaces of your countertops.  Move each item out and wipe those down as well.  Wipe down the back splash and the wall as well and you will have a fresh look to enjoy.  If you have knickknacks, use paintbrushes to clean in all the little crevices.  I hate knickknacks because they are either disgusting looking after years of dust build up, or they are labor intensive if you want to keep them looking fresh.  It is your choice if you like clutter and knickknacks, silk flowers and dust collecting things.  I started taking photos of special things to remember them instead of having them hanging around collecting dust.  

Doors and Windows...
Using your spray vinegar mixture, spray the door, the handles or knobs, and the window thoroughly and wipe dry with paper towel or a dish towel.  Door knobs are usually a good place for germs to hang out so do clean those frequently.  I like to see out of my windows so I do like to have them clean.  Do not forget to clean both sides.  Having a connection with the outdoors is important to me so being able to see out of a window requires a wipe down every now and again.  Some people never wash windows.  I never used to until some Amish women washed all my windows.  It was so amazing I got hooked.  I could not believe what a gorgeous view was waiting for me behind the film on my window panes.  

Light Fixtures...
Bugs love the light.  They flock to it like bees to the hive.  If you look up to your light fixture right now, you will probably see some black dots. Those are dead bugs and your glass light fixture is their resting place.  Make sure you turn the light off so the globe has time to cool before you start messing with it.  You may need to have a step ladder and a screw driver on hand.  Once you have the globe, dump out the bugs, wash with hot soapy water, rinse, and then dry with a dish towel.  Return the fixture and enjoy more light!


Sinks...
The sink is always the last thing I clean in my kitchen.  The only reason why is because I use it while I am cleaning.  Dirty bugs and grime have to be dumped in it before I am ready to call it quits.  I normally use a bleach spray in my porcelain white sink.  I mist it with a mixture of bleach and water.  1 quart water to 1/8 cup of bleach.  I tried using a scouring powder with baking soda and then a vinegar spray and that seemed to also work very well.  If you have tough stains, bleach may be your solution of choice.  Since bleach is very caustic and can ruin your clothing, I tend to recommend people trying the vinegar and soda first.  If you have to use bleach, be careful and do not let the children help.  Bleach is powerful and can be very dangerous especially if it gets in your eyes or if it is mixed with other cleaners.  So please be careful.  

I like to clean out the garbage disposal with a toilet brush.  I buy it just for that purpose and never use it for my toilets.  I spray my homemade cleaner in there and scrub it out really well.  Just make sure to clean out the drains really well, using an old toothbrush if needed.  The faucet is also a dirty spot that collects mineral build up over time.  I tried my vinegar/soda mixture and a tooth brush which seemed to work the best.  

Join me next week when I start showing how to clean your bathroom.  Hopefully you can stay with me.

Just for a reminder…

Tea Time Talk Show Tuesday Upcoming Schedule:

Tuesday, May 1, 2018  at 10 am CST will feature Co-Host Owen Newman

  • The following Tuesday will be featuring Owen Newman from the hills of TN talking about homesteading and the simple life.  He has a lot of wisdom and experience living with less and making the most of each and every resource they are given.  If you have any specific questions, please leave a comment below or send us an email or message on facebook from the keeper of the homestead page.  

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33 thoughts on “Cleaning Your Kitchen Floors, Countertops, and Sink

  1. This may sound like a silly question but how often do you deep clean the entire kitchen? Thank-you so much for the pep talk and encouraging words. I really needed to hear that. You are exactly right it is all about perspective and we can either have a good attitude or we can be a complainer. Thank-you so much for your sweet encouraging words.

    • I usually deep clean my kitchen once a year because I keep it up every day. There is no need to deeply clean for a long time. Thank you for taking the time to write in, it is such a joy to read people’s comments.

  2. Oh, Erin, I just loved this post! I loved when you said, “You can read this and get offended by it. That is your choice. Just never expect to be happy if you are easily hurt and offended. Happiness is a choice whether you like it or not.” So many women get “offended” at what I teach! They choose to be offended, just as you wrote. They forget that love is not easily offended. You are one wise woman.

    • It’s all in how you speak to people. If you speak in a nonjudgmental loving tone, an are not harsh. It goes a long way. You can teach the word, but if it’s not done loving people will be turned off by it. Adding LOVE to it, helps.
      Erin, and most people who are gifted in speaking in writing can do this. They can talk about dirt and how to clean and not offend people. If a lot of people are offended by what you say Lori, I’d look at you, and not the ones who are offended.

  3. Thanks Erin! I wanted to add what we have done for our linoleum floors in the past. When scrubbing, we like to use a scrub brush. It gets into all those pits a whole lot easier. When we moved into this rental, it was previously used as a daycare and the linoleum was terrible!!!! We had to resort to the BIG DOG. My mom had a carpet shampooer with floor attachments. THAT worked like a dream!!! I can’t get down in the floor and scrub anymore, so the machine did the hard work for me. All I had to do was rinse the floor and I did that with a towel under my feet 😉

  4. Erin, thank you for taking the time to prepare this series! I am one of those who were never taught. What I know of cleaning I learned by watching others and trial and error. These concise, uplifting, happy tutorials are not only helping me learn, but preparing me to teach my children, as well. You are a blessing!!

  5. Thank you so much for the post! I cried when I read the part about our God being God of order. This was a lesson I had learned on my own as I started cleaning my house. I told my cleaning buddy that we Christians must be learning the same truth no matter where we are. Thank you so much, and I’m looking forward to your next week’s post!

  6. I want to thank you so much for this cleaning series you are doing! It is really helpful to read the descriptions and to also see you in action on the video.
    One thing I would like to mention is that I always thought the green scrubby pad was ABRASIVE and the blue or white scrubby pads are NON-ABRASIVE. I might be wrong, but please be sure to check the package when you purchase them. The abrasive pad can damage a vinyl floor. (I know from experience). 🙂

  7. Thank you for another great blog post. My mom worked full time and I still had a list of chores to do before play. I am so thankful that my mom loved me enough to train me how to clean and keep house.My husband thanks her too. Your girls are very blessed!! Keep the blog posts and videos coming, You are a blessing 🙂

  8. I do hope your girls get paid a fair wage. Be respectful of their time! They are your blessings, not your workhorses.

    • They are so proud that they have a good paying job. They get $10 an hour, each for cleaning jobs. They are excited about saving up for the things they would like to get.
      As for our house cleaning. You would be shocked that we only spend about 20 minutes a day. When every person, including me works together for 20 minutes, it is amazing how clean the home stays. We do not even have to do big cleanings anymore. It is called team work. Once you map it all out, it is super easy and fun for everyone. You see, I have been working alongside my kids since they were very small, and they learned to enjoy working with mommy. It was never a drudge to either one of us. It is just a part of life. I used to do 90% of the housework and allowed them a little help because they would beg to help me. I have always strived to make work fun and not a burden. When I cook, I never leave my mess of cooking for them. I always clean as I cook. No one should be picking up after me, that is what I think, anyhow. You are right, I am respectful of them, we respect each other and have a very healthy relationship. God is good!

  9. God certainly is good! What a beautiful introduction- who would have thought there was something so beautiful to be found in something so simple and overlooked as cleaning! But you are right: the sweetness is in the fellowship ^_^ “I see fellowship when I see a pile of dishes.” WOW. Wise woman. How many hours I have spent with my girl, washing dishes, doing laundry, cooking and baking, in our own home and for others- and all those blessed hours together, laughing, learning, singing, working…. Ah, it just makes me look forward to tomorrow ^_^ (as I try not to think of all the mothers and children missing out on these moments because they’re told not to ‘take advantage’ of young children, ‘over-work’ them, etc… Now that makes me cry!). Yes, God is perfect in his ways.

  10. I’m loving the series. I just made my vinegar and water solution. (I did add some orange essential oil, but it’s not as strong as I had hoped). And I cleaned my kitchen counters, appliances, and canisters. And I’m AMAZED at how clean they feel!
    Looking forward to more on the series!

  11. I’m loving the series. I just made my vinegar and water solution. (I did add some orange essential oil, but it’s not as strong as I had hoped). And I cleaned my kitchen counters, appliances, and canisters. And I’m AMAZED at how clean they feel!
    Looking forward to more on the series!

  12. I’m loving the series. I just made my vinegar and water solution. (I did add some orange essential oil, but it’s not as strong as I had hoped). And I cleaned my kitchen counters, appliances, and canisters. And I’m AMAZED at how clean they feel!
    Looking forward to more on the series!

  13. I’m loving the series. I just made my vinegar and water solution. (I did add some orange essential oil, but it’s not as strong as I had hoped). And I cleaned my kitchen counters, appliances, and canisters. And I’m AMAZED at how clean they feel!
    Looking forward to more on the series!

  14. I’m loving the series. I just made my vinegar and water solution. (I did add some orange essential oil, but it’s not as strong as I had hoped). And I cleaned my kitchen counters, appliances, and canisters. And I’m AMAZED at how clean they feel!
    Looking forward to more on the series!

  15. I’m loving the series. I just made my vinegar and water solution. (I did add some orange essential oil, but it’s not as strong as I had hoped). And I cleaned my kitchen counters, appliances, and canisters. And I’m AMAZED at how clean they feel!
    Looking forward to more on the series!

  16. I’m loving the series. I just made my vinegar and water solution. (I did add some orange essential oil, but it’s not as strong as I had hoped). And I cleaned my kitchen counters, appliances, and canisters. And I’m AMAZED at how clean they feel!
    Looking forward to more on the series!

  17. I’m loving the series. I just made my vinegar and water solution. (I did add some orange essential oil, but it’s not as strong as I had hoped). And I cleaned my kitchen counters, appliances, and canisters. And I’m AMAZED at how clean they feel!
    Looking forward to more on the series!

  18. I’m loving the series. I just made my vinegar and water solution. (I did add some orange essential oil, but it’s not as strong as I had hoped). And I cleaned my kitchen counters, appliances, and canisters. And I’m AMAZED at how clean they feel!
    Looking forward to more on the series!

  19. Hey Sweet Erin, 🙂 I use the exact same cleaning items as you do. You probably already know this but I thought I’d share – if you need something a little acidic – add a few drops of lemon juice. When I do my bath tubs, I use the lemon juice in there because it seems to help cut the soap scum a little better. MY BIG QUESTION IS THIS: I have always been told to use “essential oils” with my cleaners but I have no idea what kind, how much they cost or where to buy them. Can you help me with that? Thanks so much! 🙂 Blessings!!

  20. By the way, I loved seeing your video. I was honestly amazed at how much we clean alike but never thought of using the wooden skuer (spell?) to dig into the corners. That would give my fingernails a nice break 😉 I’m from Texas – grew up on a horse ranch so hearing your accent truly made me smile! You are a dear lady and you make my heart smile as I read your precious blog and get to know you. What a blessing you are in my life already! God is amazing and I see Him using you in so many ways. Stay encouraged! Big smiles, 🙂

  21. Thank you for this post! All the tips are very helpful just now before the holidays. I’m almost done with the cleaning before the holidays and needed some good tips on cleaning the kitchen floors because this is the place which gets dirty very fast in this time of the year. Really thank you for sharing this great information.Greets!

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