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Old 2008-01-03, 03:37 PM
JennMck JennMck is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 86
Default Cleaning product advice

Does anyone have any advice on which cleaning products are best for various surfaces? I used something (I donít remember what, but it was in a spray bottle) on our off white toilet in our rental apartment that bleached white streaks onto the seat. I am terrified of something similar happing in our new home.

Any advice on what to use for:
Floor tile
Hardwood floors
Granite countertops
Off-white shower tiles

I also heard that it is not advised to wash hardwood too regularly (whatever that means ). Any input would be great.
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Old 2008-01-03, 04:05 PM
plg_cp plg_cp is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Ottawa
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For hardwood, you don't want to be putting any liquid on there as some of it will be absorbed between the boards. This can potentially cause the localized area of wood to swell, which can cause problems.

I spent a fair amount of time figuring out what safe cleaner to use on our hardwood flooring and avoided any that directed me to squirt the cleaner directly onto the floor (for above reasons). I ended up purchasing the concentrated Mirage hardwood cleaner sold by the place where I purchased my Mirage flooring. You dilute it with 4 parts water and put it in a spray bottle (adjusted to spray a mist as opposed to a jet), mist it onto an area of the floor and use a washable soft microfiber mop to clean the floor. I think it cost about $26 but is good for at least a gallon of mixture, which I expect will last me several years.

I've used it a few times beyond the regular vacuuming and am quite happy with the results. It gets off any debris the vacuum misses and gives it a nice glow. Best of all, I don't have to worry about the chemicals damaging the finish as I do with multi-purpose cleaners.

For the shower tiles, try using a squeegy after each use, I haven't had to use any cleaner on the tiles yet in 2 months with 2 showers per day.

For toilet and tub, I use a rag and Vim bathroom cleaner, which is a slightly foamy liquid in a spray bottle.

For ceramic floor tiles, I bought Vim floor cleaner, but my vigorous test scrubbing in a concealed area seemed to affect the tile finish, so I'm not taking a chance and am just using warm water with a cloth and nail brush.

Sorry for the long post, hope that helps some.
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Old 2008-01-03, 04:09 PM
fuzzywuzzy fuzzywuzzy is offline
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Location: Fairwinds Phase 1
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I invested in a hald decent steamer (McCulluough) and we steam clean our tiles and hardwood. Works great because very little water actually gets used and the water left on the floors evaporate very quickly so I dont see a proble with hardwood. Great in showers too.

Queencliffe Corner Elevation B
Mattamy Fairwainds Phase One
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Old 2008-01-03, 04:34 PM
GreyingJay GreyingJay is offline
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I am reading this thread with great interest as I may be the dirty one in this group

Here's my routine:

Vacuum all carpets and rugs
Vacuum in bathroom ceramic tiles
Hardwood floors and kitchen ceramic tiles - dry Swiffer and Dustbuster
Vim cleaner for sinks and toilet surfaces
Ajax powder for inside toilet bowls
Plain water or vinegar for bathroom mirrors, windows
Spray and wipe with vinegar for fridge interior and kitchen counters
Dish soap + scrub after cleaning dishes to clean the kitchen sink

I regret my choice of ceramic tile in the foyer because it appears to be a kind that is "always" dusty, if that makes any sense (sort of like how you can always pull more dust off a concrete basement floor). Any ideas?
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Old 2008-01-03, 09:10 PM
Mike&Mandy Mike&Mandy is offline
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Location: Ottawa
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Hatdwood is a hard one because of the cracks. I would say a mild cleaner heavily diluted with water and applied with a very dry mop should be fine, but always test in an out of the way area.
For ceramic floors, diluted Mr. Clean (they make one that is non-sticky) should work (also works on vinyl flooring). Test in a closet first to make sure it won't leave residue.
Ajax powder works well in toilet bowls. Vim, or any non abrasive cream cleanser works on toilets and bathtubs. Try to stay away from special toilet cleaners - they may contain hydrochloric acid (diluted), that can react with any urine left hiding in the bowl to form chlorine gas. Small quantities, but really bad for you, and the acid does a number on your plumbing as well.
The squeegee for the shower works well, but you may want to think about Tilex once a month or so.
Plain dishsoap and water works well on countertops, and is a mild cleanser if diluted (a couple drops per liter of water). If it makes whatever you are cleaning sticky, use less soap.
For windows that are really dirty (exterior especially, but anything with fingerprints), Windex cut with water and some Sunlight added in is typically what the professionals (crazy bastards hanging from highrises) use.
Bleach has it's place occasionally, but is harsh and may cause damage (or bleach something white if too strong (go figure).
Barrhaven Mews, Lot 8-02
Berryhurst, Elevation B1
Moved in: January 7, 2009
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Old 2008-01-03, 11:34 PM
bigbites bigbites is offline
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"Fantastic" works excellently on dirty tiles/grout.
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Old 2008-01-04, 09:01 AM
Sherin Sherin is offline
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Location: Ottawa
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All I can say is do NOT use that automatic shower cleaner that sprays after you get out of the shower. It left bleach streaks in our tub, although it is 35 years old so the enamel is not great. I just use a squeegie now and some Tilex occasionally if something builds up. For the hardwood, we use a soft brush vacuum attachment and very occasionally use Pledge hardwood floor cleaner, especially on the stairs. We haven't had any problems with it.
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Old 2008-01-04, 10:25 AM
gizmo gizmo is offline
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Posts: 980

"Daily Granite" from Method - available at Shoppers Drug Mart - is great (also non-toxic and environmentally friendly) for granite countertops. I have actually used quite a few of the Method cleaning products and am quite pleased with them. A really good hardwood floor cleaner is Allura Hardwood Floor Cleaner - available at Home Depot and Canadian Tire. Just spray it on and mop with microfibre mop (I like Vileda, but there are other similar makes out there). It also doesn't have any toxic fumes like some other cleaners, doesn't streak and dries quickly. I have Mirage hardwood floors throughout the entire house and this stuff works like a charm - I vaccum them weekly and use the cleaner every one in a while, or to wipe up any spots.


Sean & Laurie
Bassett Elev \'B\'
Wheler's Mill
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Old 2008-01-04, 11:15 AM
P&A P&A is offline
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Location: Stittsville, Ontario
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I must second the Allura Hardwood Cleaner - this stuff is awesome! It's also sold at Wal-Mart, and you can get their starter kit that comes with the microfibre mop.

We have also been using a squeegee in the shower.

I also highly recommend microfibre cloths -we have one of these in every bathroom and kitchen - really does "clean with just water" (per the claims); it gets the mirrors/faucets/fridge/countertops sparkling with just water.

Also we have the Dyson - best vacuum cleaner ever.

(I never used to get so excited about cleaning products)
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