OK Fine, I’ll Do It The Electric Way   1 comment

Sweeping, that is.

When we moved into our new house with its variety of floor coverings (tile, cork, carpet, marmoleum), cleaning the floors became a lot more complicated and it is forcing me to modify some of my cleaning habits. One of the challenges is the tile. From our experience in my mom’s old house, tile can be hard to sweep since the surface elevation changes and debris gets trapped in between the tiles. I couldn’t remember the exact rationale for why we started using the vacuum cleaner to sweep her floors, and the circumstances are a little bit different, so I decided to try doing it manually for a while. One difference is the type of tile and the installation. In our main tile floor the tiles are (almost) set right up against each other, eliminating the grout space. I say almost because some edges have no space, while some have a millimeter or two. The result is an uneven floor with sharp edges. At first I thought that I wouldn’t have to worry about debris getting trapped between the tiles, but the problem is actually worse since the edges of the tile aren’t rounded down to a wide grout space. The second difference is method. I don’t actually sweep with a broom, I use a microfiber dry mop (think reusable Swiffer with loopies around the edge to catch more debris and hair). I find it works infinitely better and faster than a broom. At least ordinarily. On this floor, though, the edges of the tile essentially scrape the bottom of the dry mop, depositing the dirt in the little gaps.

So after several weeks of frustration, I have finally come to the conclusion that I need to use the vacuum cleaner to effectively sweep the tile. Oh well, I tried.

Giving it a try is really the important thing, though. When there are multiple ways to get a job done, I challenge people to not automatically select the method that uses electricity (or gas or water). Try doing it manually and see how that works for you. You may be surprised, and then you’ve reduced your energy consumption. If the manual method doesn’t work, at least you know and you have a defensible reason for the electricity use.

Posted October 3, 2010 by mayakey in cleaning, conscious living, energy use, home

One response to “OK Fine, I’ll Do It The Electric Way

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  1. I forgot to list DISPOSABLES in the last paragraph. I challenge people to not automatically select the method that uses electricity, gas, water, or disposables.

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