How to Deep Clean the Kitchen With Flour

This may come as a surprise to you, but you can deep clean just about anything with flour, and I am about to show you how! It’s very quick to set up and there are a lot of benefits to the method. One of the wonderful things about this method, is that it is done with help! Help, did I say? Yes! You will have help with this! Isn’t that wonderful to hear?

How to clean with flour

 

The effectiveness of deep cleaning with flour is your on-the-spot quick allocating of time for this project. This tutorial is for tile or strong hardwood floor kitchens, but it can work for laminate floors and linoleum, too. This is NOT something you plan for day-of, but you can plan prior-to with the following items…

  • Broom and deep dust pan
  • Mr Clean (lemon fresh is my favorite)
  • Large hard bristle broom or brush
  • Large bowl
  • Warm water
  • Trash bag
  • Lots…. and lots… AND LOTS…. of flour
  • Kids (any amount can achieve a desirable effect)

I wasn’t able to take a during picture for this tutorial, because when I started on the project I KNEW I needed 5 mommy minutes to meditate- eyes closed- and pray…. fervently, as well as guzzle a good, strong cup of coffee. Caffeine really helps. You have to embed yourself fullheartedly into the mindset when your DKFC (Deep Kitchen Flour Cleaning) is arranged. If you meditate and pray, beforehand, you will find yourself prepared fully to commit or otherwise, be committed (to a hospital that is. Yes it is that serious, for some people).

The first thing you need to do is finish washing the floor and counters and cupboards, preferably the night before but any time within the past 24 hours is sufficient.  Know that deep cleaning with flour is the best way to make sure you have reached every missed nook and cranny you ever washed.

Then, make sure you fed the kids and that they are ready for the next project. Get them started on that, and go do something that has to get done. Following is a list of examples:

  • Running out to the car to grab some trash or items you left in there you needed
  • Starting a load of laundry and transferring the wet clothes over to the dryer and a clean load onto a couch or other folding area
  • Checking the news on your laptop
  • Going to the bathroom and wiping the counters briefly down afterwards

Mind you, these are just examples. There are thousands of ways you can jump start, but I’m sure this will be the easiest part.

Next walk into the kitchen. If you are a large family as we are, you probably already know how to deep clean with flour as you have probably already done it at least once. If you are a newer large family and have not yet done this method- don’t worry. You will. It happens to us all.

As you enter into the kitchen you will first notice the music in the air. It’s sounds of giggling. Yes! Your helpers have already started and are almost completely done setting everything up for you! Isn’t this wonderful? They have made sure that every nook and cranny of the kitchen floor, lower cabinets and sometimes the windowsills and counters have been prepared for the deep clean.

Think of flour as a highlighting pen. It shows you all the sticky areas on your floor you didn’t know where there. It gets into all the little spaces you didn’t know existed and forces you to concentrate on those areas. How cool is that?

Pre-deep cleaning

Don’t forget to meditate at this point. Yes- the mountain looks too high to climb and your emotions are at an all time high, but prayer helps. So does throwing your arms in the air and yelling, “OH WELL!” Give into it.

At this point I wash my ‘helpers’ and lock  secure them in a room with suitable toys to distract them. They may have already attempted to start the rest of the project without you with a broom however the rest of the project is done without them, otherwise the quality of the deep clean may be jeopardized.

Whatever you do, do not use a vacuum.

I repeat… DO NOT USE A VACUUM.

You may use the vacuum towards the end of sweeping but it’s undesirable to vacuum large amounts of flour unless you want to gum up the vacuum filters. The same goes for deep cleaning with down feathers (but that will be another article).

Flour

Get out your stiff push broom and pan and start to gently encourage the mounds of flour into a central heap in the middle of the kitchen. Throw away the flour in a garbage bag as well as the sack of flour used for this project. In my case, we only used 1/2 a 25lb bag of flour since I had used the rest already.

Cleaning items

After a majority of it has been swept and thrown in the garbage, you may finish up more of the minute flour with a softer broom. Be sure to get up as much as possible.

Next, fill a large bowl with warm water and Mr Clean. Rinse off the bristle brush (mine is detached from it’s stick) and have some towels ready. Pour some of the cleaner water onto the floor and start scrubbing with both hands. Be sure to run with the grout lines with long scrubbing motions to scrub all the flour from the grout as well as the edges of the moldings and baseboards.

Start at one side of the room and work yourself backward, pushing the dirty water towards you into a pile. As it gets cloudy and dirty mop it up with the towel and finish off drying the areas you just scrubbed.

Flour chair

In situations such as this, where flour has efficiently reached those hard-to-clean areas, you may use a vacuum and then finish off with the brush.

Clean

When you are done, make sure you went over wet spots with a towel and your kitchen should look like this. Be sure to go back over it and check for any flour you might have missed. Chances are, you got most of the flour up… as well as dried-on cheerios, any dust or dirt you didn’t know was in that nook or cranny, sticky spots, and your sliding door tracks are clean as new!

After all this is done, you might just check the refrigerator to see if that needs to be deep cleaned, too, like mine did.

Milk

Now you are ready for the next deep cleaning project your helpers have probably been working on while you finished the kitchen!

*DISCLAIMER*

For those who haven’t caught on- one does not intentionally set out to clean anything with flour, however kids love to play in it and eventually we all walk into a flour disaster at one time or another! This post was meant to make light of the cleanup that occurs afterward because, I will tell you- when you first happen upon the scene one of two things happens:

1.) You fall into a heaped mass of noodly flesh and sob

2.) You reach for the camera and make sure to document

Before pictures did not happen because I was not about my right mind at the time and sent them to someone who was to deal with the 4 and 2 yr old ‘helpers’ so that I could concentrate on the job to come. The cleanup took about an hour to finish and now I have half a gallon of flour milk to make something out of.

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

Jude’s Inguinal Hernia

Happy Tuesday! Today was Jude’s surgery day, and it started off with a bang. Let me explain how this came to be, first.

PRESENTATION AND DIAGNOSIS
I had noticed a month or so ago that Jude had a bulge in his right testicle that didn’t look normal while changing his diaper. He is 2 yrs old. The right side was larger than the left side, slightly darker and the upper part was more swollen.  I figured I would just watch it to see if it went down on it’s own, and it didn’t after a week. I searched online for ‘swollen testicle 2 yr old’ and found a few pictures looking very similar to what we were seeing. I snapped a picture myself and sent it to the Pediatrician at Doernbecher through our online chart application. There was definitely a mass in there that was separate from the testes. He wasn’t in pain but pointed it out as, “Ouch.” only once while changing his diaper, early on.
The doctor’s nurse responded with warning signs to watch for and confirmed it did look very much like it could be a hernia but that many times it will come in and out on it’s own and frequently they let it go unless an emergency arises, such as the bowel being obstructed or cut off by the hole.
I made an appointment with the pediatrician and after manipulating things a little by a few doctors, it was confirmed to be an inguinal hernia with a hole that was large enough for the bowel to fall through. Jude did really well during the exam with the exception of the anal exam to feel the bowel. Yeah, he didn’t like that so much. He was a little backed up apparently and the pediatrician prescribed a stool softener. From there they put in an order for us to see the specialty doctor in the clinic next door to rule out a hydrocele -which is basically a sac of fluid- and we waited for them to contact us.

I passed up the stool softener and gave him a few bottles of milk that night, instead, knowing that it tends to give him looser bowels and it did the trick.

A few days later we got a call from the pediatric surgeon and made an appointment for a consult. Comically, the day before his appointment his testicle went back down to size as the bowel seemingly has receded back up into the abdomen leaving a bit of a sack  of something inside. I’m pretty sure cleaning out his bowels helped to contribute to this but I held back the urge to cancel his appointment knowing that a hernial hole probably isn’t something we want sticking around. They would know what to do.

The appointment was quick, some interns came in and looked at his scrotum with a light to check for a hydrocele and then looked up the picture I had taken before in his online chart to see the extent of the swelling to confirm it was, indeed, swollen prior with a mass inside since he was asymptomatic at the appointment. I can’t stress enough how important it is sometimes to document things like this for situations like this. Had I not taken the picture they may have just decided it wasn’t warranted because they couldn’t confirm it with their own eyes.

From there the surgeon came in and looked at him and then said they close hernia holes after diagnosis and that they would schedule a surgery date for November 3rd but not a time- they would call later to give us the time. After his appointment I went over to the pediatrician’s desk to talk to the head nurse about our options to get caught up on some past due immunizations during his surgery or while he was unconscious. And yes, they do things like this.

They called a few days ago with pre-surgery instructions and a check-in time of 6:00am. Cereal and milk items after 10:30pm the night before, only clear fluids like Jello, broth, and sports drinks after 1:30am, and nothing by mouth after 5:30am. Last night the nurse called and confirmed she would meet us there to administer his immunizations before he woke up.

SURGERY DAY
Last night was really tough. I know this is a pretty minor surgery on the list of infant surgeries but any time you put a kiddo under anesthesia anything could happen. I mean, look at the case of the girl who underwent routine oral surgery and died. You really just never know.

imageMy brain was really more or less oatmeal all day. I was trying to figure out what I could do to prepare and I was Googling everything I could to find out information on the procedure. I found a really great blog entry on one woman’s son’s inguinal hernia surgery at Doernbecher that was so helpful! Go check out her blog sometime, called Only a Mama Knows. This is one reason I’m blogging this- I really hope to help another parent going through this, someday, too.
Insomniac JudeI originally had it in my mind to keep Jude up as long as possible the night before so he would be so tired he wouldn’t mind that he hadn’t eaten that morning- but you see, we just had daylight saving’s and everyone’s clock was really thrown off, including mine.

By 8:00pm I was done. I was so tired and so mind blown and nervous, I just took a bath and climbed into bed and grabbed my yarn and crochet hook. Jude, however, was not the least bit ready for bed. He proceeded to jump in his crib like a monkey and tear everything out for the next hour. Jumping up and down and throwing things everywhere, he refused to go to bed.

He finally fell asleep and I fell asleep… and I slept so hard that I didn’t wake up until my husband yelled, “Get up! We’re late!”  It was 5:30am and it takes an HOUR to drive to OHSU. Not only that, but we have one vehicle and my husband had to drive back to take the kids a mile down from the house to their bus stop for school. He had to drop us off and drive back in time to catch the bus.
We’re screwed, you have to reschedule.” he said to me.
I’m calling and letting them know we’re going to be late.” I responded. There was NO WAY on God’s beautiful wonderful earth I was going to go through another night like last night.
HE IS HAVING SURGERY TODAY!
Doernbecher was great, they said, “See you when you get here.” and we were off.

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Jude was in good spirits when we left. He was calm and content. It was a nice drive into the city.

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Doernbecher has free valet parking for those who need it as well as wagons to pull your kids and things in.

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With some time to spare, my husband got us out of the car, Jude buckled in and he was off to head back home to get the kids off.
As we entered the hospital, we checked in at the front desk with reception. She confirmed his name and birth date and thanked me for our pre-registration. She gave me a questionnaire and printed out our name bands double checking the names, again. She also asked what his condition needing surgery was and if it was part of an accident. I explained it wasn’t understanding that sometimes car accidents require separate insurance billing but she continue to dig in and inquire HOW he got the hernia.image
Um… it just happened? I don’t know, I guess these things just happen?” *Awkward silence.*
She stared at me and I stared back… beginning to wonder why she needed to know this detailed information thinking she was somehow an important part of the process and needed to judge how a child would get a hernia on his own. Mind  you- my pediatrician was not surprised at his hernia or inquiring of any injury he may have sustained so really, I think these things sometimes just happen.

She moved on, finally, telling me to go to floor 8. Bypassing Starbucks was really hard at this stage, as I was groggy and craving caffeine but seeing how we were late I continued onto the elevator.

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I took a right towards surgery and checked in at the desk there. The surgery receptionist rechecked my name and his name and birth date and made sure we had our bands. Then she gave me a pager and explained how to read the board with the number we were given to check the status of his surgery.  From there Jude promptly noted the toy car and signaled he no longer desired the beautiful red wagon he was in and now wanted the red shiny car across the waiting room.

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After a few minutes we were called back into the pre-op rooms where they weighed him and took his blood pressure and vitals. Everything went quickly because we were already running late.

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The anesthesiologists came in and explained what they were going to do. They explained how they were going to give him medicine to make him relax… a lot…. and that they would administer more anesthesia via a mask that would put him to sleep. Then they would put in his IV line and a tube down his throat to help him breathe. Sometimes the tube can make their  throats sore or lips swollen, and rarely even chip teeth or cut tongues. It’s just a risk.
Then a nurse came with a syringe of yummy orange looking medication and we fed it to him.

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Then they had me take 4 cloths that were medicated and warm and wash him down in certain areas according to a chart. One for his arms and chest, one for his legs, one for his back and one for his groin. After that we put a nice hospital jammy on him.

Within about 5-10 minutes Jude was already looking at people weird. The funniest thing to him was the nurse’s hair net cap. And he pointed at it and giggled. He started getting wiggly and moving around so I picked him up

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At this point he was throwing his whole upper body back going, “Wheeee!” and I knew he was high on happy. I gave him a last hug love and kiss and passed him off to the nurse. He waved bye happy to see the streaming blurred lines as he went. Wheee! this is FUN! No clue what I’m doing here, but I LIKE IT!

Pulling my wagon of things and one of his blankets out alone… was hard. I was shaking. I needed coffee, NOW. I went out through the waiting room and then back to the elevator and downstairs to the lobby where Starbucks was waiting.
Starbucks. I love you. Even if the barista DID spell my name ‘JAYN’ and ask how my day was going as I grasped at words that weren’t really how my day was going so that the next customer could order and I wouldn’t be the poor sop there. She must be new.
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I sat down and drank my venti house coffee (because it’s good, dark, and you get it right there at the counter instead of waiting in the high-maintenance people’s line) and egg and sausage sandwich on the chairs.
Well, I couldn’t really eat right away. I felt like a ghost in a room holding a pager and an empty wagon.

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I pulled out my computer and logged onto the hospital’s free wi-fi- successfully locked myself out of my own website. My security methods are a little too stringent, I think. I’m going to change that.
As time went on and I updated my husband and troubleshooted a few things, I got a page.

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I love the accountability, but the suspense is REALLY unnerving. In a way I just wanted to know he went in, everything was great, and he came out ans was ready for mama. On the other hand, this was sufficient at lighting up my imagination as to WHAT they were doing in the procedure RIGHT NOW.
Yeah, I don’t recommend doing that. My saving grace was the doctor’s conversation to my right that interrupted my own thought process. Seriously, any little thing probably could have ignited a gush of tears at any moment- distractions were good. I decided to eat my breakfast and drink my coffee and focus on what I was doing and not the wagon or anything related to a scalpel touching my son’s virgin abdomen, and 25 minutes later I got a page that he was finished and to come up to waiting.

I sat and waited crocheting more of my project and the waiting room got busier. I got up and inquired on if they had administered the immunizations and a nurse came out to tell me it had been done and taken care of. My husband was on his way back so he greeted me with my 4 yr old, Justus. Then the nurse came out and had me come back as he was waking up.

He was starting to try and pull out his lines and the band-aids on his arms. I bent down and whispered, “Hey bubuh! Shhhh, mama’s here go nigh nigh.” and he stuck his thumb into his mouth and relaxed as we put a warm blanket over him. He rubbed his eye a bit- apparently they put tape over their eyes so they don’t get a corneal abrasion from lines and equipment going over their face.
He started throwing off the blankets and tugging at the lines more so they grabbed me a rocking chair and allowed me to hold him as he drank some apple juice. She took out his IV line and he did great.

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After this we transferred to a room a few steps down so my husband and son could come out and hang with us. At this point we were waiting on a wet diaper to show his bowels were working again.

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My husband was able to hold him and he was relaxed most of the time with 0 pain. A nurse came in and brought Jude another cup of juice as well as juice for my 4 yr old. I handed my coffee to my husband and it was a great Kodak moment.

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They also have a handy little television that moves all over for the kids to watch. Interestingly, there are 3 ESPN channels but only 2 kid’s channels. image

Jude would go in and out of sleep as the anesthesia wore off. Still waiting on pee.

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Eventually it was all over. He wanted down, and he wanted in the wagon NOW. He was instantly temperamental. He didn’t want the gown on, didn’t want the blanket, but he wanted in the wagon and for Justus to NOT touch the wagon and he wanted to GO!

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He also, apparently, wanted my coffee and gladly took a nice big gulp. Oh well, I guess it wont hurt our need for him to pee.

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We finally got some gassy pops and some pee and got him dressed into his PJs. The nurse came over to check his vitals again and let us go.

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Time to go!

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On the way out were were told to pick out a hat. There was a pink and a purple available and he picked purple.

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As soon as we got downstairs it was apparent he was SUPER sensitive.

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Everything set him off.
Getting him into the car was very difficult. He didn’t want to be there.
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We decided to stop off and get some lunch since none of us had eaten very much. So pretty much the rest of this evening is consisting of him being totally fine but easy to anger with a LOT of stomping. We are administering Tylenol on a schedule to control pain, but otherwise he is normal! Doesn’t even seem to have noticed his bandage however his legs where he got shots DO hurt.

One of them was a tetanus so I can understand. Still it’s something we REALLY need, living on a farm. So for now our biggest feat will be keeping him calm! Haha!

 

 

Quick Tip: Extendable Painting Rods for Brooms

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I don’t know how I stumbled onto this idea- I think it was when the handle to the broom broke for the umpteenth time and I grabbed the first pole out of our collection of handles/poles to use, instead. I have found out that I really, REALLY love this! This pole is something you can buy from Lowes or Home Depot, and it’s an extendable painter’s pole. There is USUALLY foam at the top (Jude has lovingly taken that off for me, thank you Jude) for easier handling, but midway there is a button which allows the pole to collapse into itself to make it shorter or longer. this is REALLY great for reaching under the table, or for accommodating littler kids so they can help out!
This has proven to be invaluable for the younger kids, as a long broom is tedious to maneuver. It’s also SO MUCH easier to store! You can put this in a space that doesn’t require a lot of headroom. The metallic structure allows it to be more durable and disinfected.
I might just do this for our mops, too!

Anger Management

Gracie RaspberriesWhen my 14 yr old was a baby she would do the funniest thing when she was angry. The only thing I could relate it to, was a sitting sumo wrestler flexing their arms down towards the ground- face turning red as she growled. She would do this and we would laugh, it was comical!

As she got older, she dealt with her frustrations pretty well- but when she would get overwhelmed all of a sudden this little tongue would come out, her cheeks would puff out and she would blow… a raspberry. This wasn’t any wet raspberry- it was a very forced tongue blow and it was a signature ‘Gracie ‘move!
Now, some people might get offended if their child was to blow raspberries at them. This wasn’t one of ‘those’ raspberries. She wasn’t foo-fooing us or telling us off. This was a genuine move of anger management that my daughter taught herself. She didn’t hit, she didn’t bite or yell or scream, and it only happened when she was was overwhelmed with frustration she didn’t know what to do.

As she got older, she has learned to make jokes with her wit in frustrating situations- and she is pretty fast on her feet with it. But recently after reminiscing of her tongue- blowing days, something occurred to me. Blowing a hard raspberry is a REALLY great way to blow off steam! It takes a lot of force, is fairly quiet and is non-aggressive. You could excuse yourself to the bathroom and even do it into a napkin where people would assume you are blowing your nose. You could do it into your pillow. It’s actually MORE effective than screaming!

As long as this is not done at another person, I think it’s a brilliant way to deal with anger!