My Cinderella Story

I was Cinderella today. How exciting right?

Well, before you jump for joy, it wasn’t the prince-swept-me-off-my-feet Cinderella. No, no, I was the Cinderella before she was swept off her feet. You know, when she was like, scrubbing floors and cleaning non-stop.

Yup. That was me today. Except without the smile.

Who does that anyway? Smile while they are on their hands and knees scrubbing the floor? Not I!

The past couple months I’ve been helping my mom clean homes for extra cash (not my favorite, by the way) and I’ve gained a few “regulars” that I clean by myself.

Well, I got a phone call a week or so ago from a woman whose house I clean – she’s real sweet – and told me she noticed a wax build up on her floor and couldn’t figure out how to remove it.

Ruh roh.

Luckily because she’s sweet, she wasn’t upset and just asked that I take care of it next time I’m there.

Well, fast forward to yesterday and I arrived to her house to clean. I took care of everything else and saved the best for last. Can you hear my excitement?

Before I proceeded to do anything, I asked my hubby – who was in the flooring business for 15 years – what I could use to help get the wax build up off. Can you guess what he said?

Good ol’ fashioned water and white vinegar.

Who woulda thunk.

In addition, he gave me a short 101 lesson on taking care of floors. Basically there are two things you need to know: 1) don’t use store-bought products on your floor because they all create a build up of soap scum. It may not be instantaneously but over time, there will inevitably be a buildup. In that case, you’ll need someone to come and professionally steam clean your floor so you can start from square one again 2) Use only white vinegar and water for cleaning your floor.

Simple enough, right?

Too bad it wasn’t that simple when it came time for me to remove the wax build up. Even more, the wax build up was not spread out evenly. Nope, the wax build up was in little spray droplets all over the tile. I wish I would have taken a photo but I was concentrating so hard about not spending the rest of the night trying to get soap build up off the floor, it totally blew over my mind.

I hope you forgive me.

Oh! Oh! To make matters even more fun, it was like typhooning outside and the lighting was terrible! And wouldn’t you know, the area that I needed the light had no light. Nope, not even when I turned on surrounding lights. I had to do my due diligence and look at each tile from about 1/2″ off the ground. If the floor wasn’t clean when I started, it was really clean after my face laid across each tile.

Well, I don’t know. Maybe my face became more clean after rubbing off on the tile. Eeeesh. I don’t wanna think about it.


First I saturated the floor with a concentrated mixture of vinegar and water (about half and half). I let it sit for a while then mopped it. That didn’t work.

Then I took a scrub brush and scrubbed the soap scum spots. Nothing.


That left only one thing—razorblades. I rummaged through a drawer in the kitchen to find a razor blade, got on my belly, and scraped soap scum spots off nearly fifty ceramic 12×12 tiles. When I say scraped, I literally scraped each water spot off. An hour and a forty-five minutes later, the floors were gleaming and my hand was cramped.

And THAT is my Cinderella story. Not what you were expecting right? Me neither.

So the lesson learned here, my friends? DO NOT use store-bought products to clean your floor.


Use a ¼ part vinegar to ¾ cup part water for daily/weekly-ish cleaning. If you need a clean that is a little deeper (because you know, you haven’t mopped your floors in 6 months. Ssssh, I won’t tell as long as you won’t tell that I probably haven’t mopped my own floor for 8 months) I would recommend making something a bit more strong. Adding essential oils would help cut back on the dirt and grime.

To learn more about natural cleaning products that actually work and how to make them, I recommend buying this DIY Cleaning Recipes book from Mommypotamus or this Cleaning Recipe book from DIY Natural.

I’ve used cleaning recipes from both of them and can personally vouch that they work.

Don’t be like me and be Cinderella for the day. Okay, well, if you do become Cinderella for a day, do me a favor and make sure it is the being-swept-off-your-feet Cinderella. But don’t tell me, because I’ll be really jealous.

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  1. Welcome back! I too scrub floors on mys hands and knees. Mops are useless! I think I have one hanging in my furnace room that has been there over 20 years, having been used only once. I am new to essential oils, but after reading your post I think I will drum up the courage to use some. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Ann Marie! Yeah, if you really want to get the floor clean, getting on your hands and knees is the way to go. The mop I use is similar to a swifter but the pads are reusable and you can use whatever solution you want in it. It’s kinda nice compared to an old school mop.

      It’s amazing the power of an essential oil when mixed with vinegar. Good luck!

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