I like to think of myself as a pretty laid-back person. But thinking of yourself as one way and actually BEING that way are two very different things. Truth be told, I've become rather high-strung about a lot of things since the babies came along. I think it's a pretty common thing for new parents: this delicate little being is thrust into your care and all of the sudden you notice everything more. Dirt is somehow dirtier. Dangers are more dangerous. Annoying things are painfully, intolerably annoying (probably due to a severe lack of sleep). You become obsessed with sanitizing sponges and learning how to clean tile grout.
Can you believe this is coming from the girl who once left a Christmas batch of fudge on the counter until Valentine's Day? I do miss college sometimes, but I don't miss the complete lack of general hygiene I had back then. I'm pretty sure “mommy me” wouldn't even recognize “college me.” College me obsessed over stilettos. Mommy me gets giddy over steam machines.
Oh, yes, I was getting to this, wasn't I? One thing that “college me” and “mommy me” have in common is ADD. Anywho…this is my SteamMachine from HomeRight. This thing ROCKS. As I've become increasingly obsessed with keeping a tidy home, I've also become more cautious about using harsh chemicals around here. I try to do everything naturally whenever possible to minimize my family's exposure to all that nasty stuff. The bathroom is one area I really struggled with after we moved in. Particularly the grout. No amount of vinegar would brighten this twenty-year-old tile grout, and I just couldn't stop thinking about the previous owner's stranger germs that were practically caked into my countertops. Yuck. And then it occurred to me: I use a steam mop on the kitchen floor. I steam the stovetop and inside the oven to lift dried-on food with minimal effort. So steam oughtta be a good solution for how to clean tile grout and take my bathroom from grimy to at least passable. Guess what? It worked!
How to Clean Tile Grout
This was my tile grout before. Eww.
Enter my trusty steam machine. It has this cool jet nozzle that I've been using to loosen grime around our baseboards. I initially tried aiming it at the tile grout to lift the dirt, but quickly realized I needed a little more scrubbing power to really whiten the area.
So I attached one of the machine's nylon brushes to let me really scrub at it. The HomeRight SteamMachine also come with a brass brush attachment (great for the stove, as I mentioned earlier), a squeegee, floor mop attachment and wall steamer. Easy cleaning throughout the whole house, no chemicals necessary!
Less than twenty minutes later, the whole thing looked (almost) new again. I still want to overhaul this space eventually and really make it mine, but for now this fit the bill for how to clean tile grout and take away that skeeved-out feeling I used to get when I went to put on my makeup in this area.
I think when you really get down to it, the sudden clean-conscious phase that new parents go through is an attempt to control something. Anything. I can't control what time the baby wakes up to be fed. I can't control the toddler's constant urge to gnaw on random items he picks up off the floor. I can't control Nate's work schedule. But I can control my space. And with helpful, smart purchases like a washing machine, a robotic vacuum or a steam cleaner (did I mention this thing is less than $100?), I can do it simply and safely…totally on MY terms. I can save time, minimize aggravation and make things run just a little more smoothly. I can tie the home life traditions of my parents with the tech advancements of today and – dare I say – do things better. As this blog is aptly titled, I've always known that someday I'll learn. This house is one place where I can noticeably see the learning happening!