Down on My Knees

Every couple of months or so, even I become disgusted with the filthiness of the kitchen floor. The black and white vinyl tiles which we had installed in 1993 just before we moved in have become yellowed and scratched. Dirt is ground into the embossed pattern and near the table the tiles’s protective sheen has been scraped completely away by the chairs sliding back and forth.

First, I move all the furniture out of the kitchen and vacumn. Then I open the windows and pour undiluted ammonia from the bottle onto the dirtiest places. With a stiff nylon brush I scrub and scrub, coming up often for air. With a sponge mop, I mop up the ammonia and rinse the mop under the sink. I mop and rinse until the water runs clean. I don’t use a bucket because after the very first dunk, I believe you’re just spreading dirty water back on the floor. Besides, if I used a bucket, I’d have to find one and fill it up and carry it around and then empty it out.

After the floor is dry, I wax it. The best wax I’ve found is Holloway House Quick Shine. As the back of the bottle says, it “gives your floors an instant mirror-like gloss as nothing else can”. I’m here to tell you (in completely unsolicited and unpaid testimony) that it really does. Even one coat looks pretty good, but you can put up to six coats on. I usually do two. The difference is so startling that a friend of mine who hadn’t been to the house for awhile asked if we had put in a new floor.

Nope. Just washed it.

The downside to all this industry is it makes the rest of the kitchen look even worse. When you live in a 60-year-old house, no matter how you clean, it looks dingy. The kitchen cabinets were handmade of plywood and painted with cheap paint. Many of the doors are slightly askew and most don’t close completely. The tile counters should be regrouted, but even then, the tiles themselves are scratched and chipped. The white porcelain sink is a pale yellow and pitted. There’s a big crack in the ceiling and in some of the walls from the house shifting back and forth on its piers.

Someday we will remodel the entire kitchen. Until then, I suppose I could get out the drywall patch and paint.

Now to put on that second coat of wax…

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The surface and beneath the surface