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09 February 2014 @ 03:01 pm
Hardwood floor cleaner & mildew  
So I've got 2 questions.

1) My shower curtain liner is gross because it's all full of mildew and I'm tired of having to go out and buy a new one every few months. I have a window in my bathroom, but it's currently frozen shut because Ohio weather sucks and I don't want it open right now anyways since it's freezing outside. Other than that, there's no real ventilation in that bathroom. I always pull the curtain shut after using the shower so it'll at least dry faster. I'm buying another liner today, but just for future reference, is there anything that I can do to prevent the growth of mildew on it? I'm sure there's probably a simple solution like "put bleach and water into a spray bottle and spray it down after every use."

2) I have hardwood floors which need to be wet mopped badly. A Swiffer won't cut it. I've tried. The floors also need to be re-lacquered/sealed in some spots and there are gaps in between some of the slats (I live in a really old building, and the floors are the original ones that were built back in like 1930) which need to be filled in. I've tried filling them with wood putty myself and resealing them, but realised rather quickly that this was a task best left to my apartment maintenance people. lol The floors aren't like caked with dirt or whatever; they just need a good washing. What's a good cleaner for hardwood floors that, Idk, won't warp the wood or make it feel all sticky? Not sure that mopping hardwood with water is an especially good idea, but meh.

Also, kind of a helpful aside since I didn't even know these things existed: countertop dishwashers. For all of you living in studio apartments, efficiencies, or small 1 bedrooms that don't have a dishwasher hookup and hate washing dishes by hand or just let them pile up in your sink for a week because you don't want to deal with them--these things are just frelling amazing. Since I've lived out here for the past 6 years, none of my apartments have been set up to have a dishwasher, so I started googling "small dishwashers" or something and found these really awesome 6 place setting dishwashers which are ideal for a single person or a couple of people to use. I was pretty good about keeping all the plates/pots washed after I used them, but, yeah, I was really missing my dishwasher. I ended up buying a Danby model off Amazon that had some pretty decent reviews and I think it ran me about $200. Large-ish investment for me, but TOTALLY worth it. You might be able to find one cheaper on craigslist or elsewhere. There are also portable dishwashers which hook up the same way (to the kitchen tap) which have a larger capacity and can be stowed in a closet.
lapenn: book teaselapenn on February 9th, 2014 08:11 pm (UTC)
Is your house fairly dry? Run a fan after you shower that points the shower air into the house. That helps us dry out the shower curtain. Also, how often do you shower? There's two of us, but we only usually use the shower once a day, so the curtain is able to dry out. Shake your curtain off after the shower too.
Tin cup for a chalice.: Thumbcat.koshkabegemot on February 9th, 2014 09:00 pm (UTC)
I usually shower daily--I've got a fan I can use, but my electrical outlet is in a weird spot (above my medicine cabinet on the light fixture there). But that's what extension cords are for.
rainarana: lucyrainarana on February 9th, 2014 08:29 pm (UTC)
First off, get a microfiber mop, as it leaves a lot less water on the floor that other types. Then mop with water and white vinegar, which is all I use on our floors.
Tin cup for a chalice.: Thumbcat.koshkabegemot on February 9th, 2014 09:02 pm (UTC)
How long does the vinegar smell usually stick around for after? Just until it dries?
rainarana: lucyrainarana on February 9th, 2014 09:23 pm (UTC)
I never really smell it at all. You don't use that much, really. About 1/2 cup vinegar to a gallon of water, but I never really measure.
I'm nobody, who are you?: heroreptiliancandy on February 9th, 2014 08:45 pm (UTC)
You can wash your shower curtain liner instead of tossing it. I just throw mine in the washing machine, usually with a load of rags I use for cleaning. Comes out looking brand new!
Tin cup for a chalice.: Thumbcat.koshkabegemot on February 9th, 2014 09:01 pm (UTC)
. . . no idea why that didn't occur to me. lol
I'm nobody, who are you?: heroreptiliancandy on February 9th, 2014 10:22 pm (UTC)
It didn't occur to me for a long time either until someone mentioned it to me. It was definitely a "duh" moment. :)
Dea: sleepydeafelis on February 9th, 2014 09:02 pm (UTC)
I second this. My mom had clear plastic shower curtains for a while, and she would always wash them in the washer and then hang them back up to dry. I need to do this with ours, too, now that I think of it. Thanks. :)
Nikki: notesxnikki118x on February 9th, 2014 10:04 pm (UTC)
Yep, you can definitely wash those! I throw mine in with towels on a gentle cycle.
Laura: duckyeightydollsyell on February 10th, 2014 05:46 pm (UTC)
Just don't put it through the dryer like my husband did "to get the wrinkles out"...
m0rbidm00n: school1m0rbidm00n on February 10th, 2014 07:37 pm (UTC)
okay this made me LOL.. hahaha
Ennazus Mirandaennazusmiranda on February 10th, 2014 06:39 pm (UTC)
You can also soak the liner in your bathtub with vinegar or bleach to get the mildew out. Some liners wear out faster if put through a wash cycle.
Dea: sleepydeafelis on February 9th, 2014 09:01 pm (UTC)
We have newer hardwood floors (imperfectly installed by the previous owner), and we knew they came from Lumber Liquidators. I called them about how to wash it, and they were pretty adamant that water is bad for hardwoods because it can warp the wood. They said they always recommend using a product that has an alcohol base, rather than a water base. They also said that a cleaner with detergents in it can make the floor look hazy, which lined up with my experience with the cleaners we were using before.

They sell a hardwood floor cleaner made by Bellawood, which works reasonably well, though I think any alcohol based cleaner would work as well. Not straight rubbing alcohol, but an actual floor cleaner. The other nice thing about the alcohol based cleaner is that because it evaporates so quickly, you don't have to worry about getting it between the boards.

I don't have any suggestions for resealing your floors though, sorry. :)
Tin cup for a chalice.: Thumbcat.koshkabegemot on February 9th, 2014 09:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, awesome. I never knew that. Thanks!

As far as resealing my floor goes--once I clean it, I'm just gonna call maintenance and ask them to fix it.
rainarana: lucyrainarana on February 9th, 2014 09:26 pm (UTC)
I think it's because most people use standard mops, which you absolutely shouldn't, but a well wrung microfiber leaves very little water on the floor.
mmhm: eep!supermelanie on February 9th, 2014 09:06 pm (UTC)
You CAN wash the plastic ones, but mine would shred about half the time I did that. I finally invested in one of the cloth liners like they have at hotels. IMO it doesn't mildew as much/quickly and it holds up to loads of washing. Also, if you have the space in your bathroom & budget, you might consider a dehumidifier. It was a game-changer for the fan-less basement apartment I used to inhabit.

Also, I LOVED my counter top dishwasher! It made my life more worth living. Srsly.
Tin cup for a chalice.: Thumbcat.koshkabegemot on February 9th, 2014 11:57 pm (UTC)
I had a dehumidifier in my last (also basement) apartment, but I sold it. It's actually a lot drier in this one, and the mildew wouldn't be an issue if I could get that damn window open. -.-
Sarcasticia Nitpickerson: personal bloggingtisiphone on February 9th, 2014 10:08 pm (UTC)
The Method no-rinse floor cleaners are actually pretty good. They don't use much water and don't leave a residue at all.
Tin cup for a chalice.: Thumbcat.koshkabegemot on February 9th, 2014 11:57 pm (UTC)
Awesome! And I love all of Method's stuff.
LMF-AOredfield79 on February 9th, 2014 10:26 pm (UTC)
SWIffers damage hardwood floors, i believe. What i was told at least.
Comedic Tragedy: dolldrama_ on February 9th, 2014 11:12 pm (UTC)
Murphy's Oil Soap for your floors. It works wonders.
Laura: duckyeightydollsyell on February 10th, 2014 05:48 pm (UTC)
Yup. That's what we always used growing up on all our floors. It has a little bit of a scent but it smells fresh and if you accidentally mix too much in it doesn't leave the floor sticky.
lection: what up corbin bernsen?lection on February 10th, 2014 06:53 am (UTC)
What I have done with shower curtain liner mildew (before I invested in a cloth liner, which has made a big difference!) is to keep a cheapy scrub brush with a handle near the tub, and when I see ithe liner getting a bit yucky at the bottom, take the first couple of minutes of my own shower (I KNOW, BEAR WITH ME) to scrub the mildew off. It is super easy and fast (way faster and less unpleasant than bleach!) and even if you're squicked out by mildew (which I am!) it washes right down the drain and you spend the next 10 minutes washing the memory of the experience away. :)

rhyme_writerrhyme_writer on February 13th, 2014 12:55 am (UTC)
For hardwood floors, nothing beats Bona. It's the best! Even the guy who did our decorative hardwood floor gave us a Bona starter kit as a gift so we wouldn't ruin his floor, but was relieved to hear we already use it. Best. I use it for spot cleaning and for whole floor cleaning.
Coilette: hailroboniastr8_edge_4ever on February 13th, 2014 04:12 pm (UTC)
My little dishwasher is so nice. I'm pretty sure it's 18 inches wide (I'm not at the house right now). Our kitchen is horrifically designed, but the one wall is arranged thus: doorway, range, drawer-sized counter, large sink, drawer-sized counter on which our dish drainer sits. Luckily, the dishwasher is narrow enough to be stored in front of that end counter without getting in the way of the sink!