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

Quick Tip: Extendable Painting Rods for Brooms

extendablebroompic

 

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!

The Hen House

I’ve talked a little about our hen house. It originally was built to be attached to the barn but has since moved a foot away and down the hill. When we first moved in, we actually never even knew it was there. The blackberry vines were busy shielding the horror with their own horror- and our poor eyes could not get past the thorny foliage to see the structure behind them.

My husband’s first thought was, “Tear it down- it needs to be sneezed over.” Okay, so that reference was towards the whole barn- but I can assure you he meant the same for the chicken coop.

Chicken Coop

This was the chicken coop after we cleared some berries. It’s muddy and filled with goat berries (no relation to the berry vines outside). The windows were mostly cracked or broken and it looked like an animal had attempted to get in through the chicken wire on the back. Large gaping holes were left. Here is where J is assessing the floor and, really, where to begin. Note the support beams leaning where the structure was moving downhill.

Hen house floor

He took out most of the rotten floor and then dug out the bottom beams adding more support structure to it. You could still sneeze it over at this point if you tried really hard.

coldjyn

Here I am freezing my butt off, staring at J doing his magic. Yes I live in Oregon, but as I am a Californian transplant I still have never quite acclimatised to the cold. Yes, 65 degrees is cold.

henfloor2

This kind of works requires major sledge action. There is probably 2 feet of goat poop under there.

berriescleared

Here is the side of the barn where the coop (excuse me, goat house) was attached. All of that is ex-berry vines. Do you like the Queen-Anne’s Lace strewn about? Those will be so pretty when they pop up again. If something doesn’t eat them first.

worm

You find wonderful things digging in the dirt. This would have made some bird/fish happy. Instead it gets to eat goat poop. For all you bug lovers, we found this attached to the light bulb inside the hen house. I didn’t realize it was there until after the bulb had been on for a few hours.

whitewash

Now the hen house (chicken coop, goat shed- whatever it is until we actually finish it) is almost done. I decided to whitewash the inside and I am letting my painting arm rest, lest it become twice the size of my other one with the burly muscles I’ve been developing with Mr. Miyagi’s ‘brush up- brush down‘ technique we all learned in Karate Kid.

whitewash2

You can see here the back wall that one was a gaping opening, now enclosed. J filled in that wall and added a door to where the broken window once was. The boards that are darker are ones that are wet still because they’re old and gross. The white wash will help wick up the moisture- but we really probably need a good couple of summer days to fully dry them opaque.

henhousedoor

The hen house door is made complete with steps down. I still have a lot of whitewashing to do.

smellysoap

When you white wash properly, you are basicly taking hydrated lime and adding water (some people add salt, flour, powdered milk, other things) to make a clear wash. I am not watering down white paint- so this is harmless for animals. It goes on thin and dries white. Which is why it isnt a paint- it’s a white wash. Get it? White. Wash.

I know, I’m brilliant.

But as you paint it on it does smell quite chalky, so my brilliant self decided that I would experiment and add something to make it smell fresher. Maybe something that would release over time, but not stink out the chickens or people who happen to be in the hen house.

smellysoap

What I did was take this soap, grate it, then boil it in some hot water and add it to my hydrated lime and then the bluing. The bluing will be fine- people have done it for centuries. I have no clue if the lye in the soap it- or anything else in it for that matter- is going to interfere with the curing or reliability of my white wash, but that is why I call it experimenting. I’m sure I will find out soon enough. Or you rocket scientists can tell me and put me out of my misery.

All this dirt and work has made me hungry.

abjustushotdog

Here’s a picture of Abbie and Justus sharing a hotdog last summer .

The Barn

BARN

When we moved into our Gaston house, we had high hopes for turning around the existing barn and making it workable. It was basicly a run-down storage shed that had once been used (although improperly) as a barn. It was poorly made, leaning, wiring was Jerry-rigged into something hazardous, and the owners who once used it for livestock never cleaned out the manure. Okay they may have… at one point… but we wouldn’t know from looking at the 3 feet of it stored in the back stall. It was not only gross, but it was eating away at the walls and beams so we had to replace those. The tractor had to go away for servicing and we knew we had to start on fixing things up to prepare for our own livestock if we were going to have anything this year.

jayfixbarn

My husband got to work prying off the boards that were rotten on the side so that we could fix up one of the stalls to use, at least. The rubber mats were covered in dirt, too.

barn3

We worked until sunset- and things started coming together! We still have a lot of work to do to tackle the berry vines on the back and side as well as de-mossing the roof and fixing the leaks (probably from the moss). We haven’t had a break in the weather and from sickness long enough to do this yet, but I’ll post pictures when we do!

Bigger & Better

Parting with a good thing is always such a bitter sweet sorrow, but sometimes we have to let go of the sides of the pool in order to swim across to the other side. In January I was helping a friend move thinking how fortunate it was we weren’t moving (haha, joke’s on me). Literally the next day we were told our landlord had to sell our home and we had 30 days to move. Oh boy.
30 days to pack a 3200sf home.
30 days to find a new, suitable home for 10 people.
30 days to save the money and get the help to physically move a home our size.
And then there is cleaning the house to turnover to the landlord- we weren’t prepared financially or physically- or emotionally. I loved my home!!! I was heartbroken.

20140325-182658.jpg

The owner needed to have a builder and her agent walk through the house as soon as possible to discuss improvements needed to make the house as profitable as they could. We had to get the house into showroom status. We were discussing lots of gameplans- helping to renovate, staying there while it was done, but ultimately it all came down to, “Finda  new place as soon as possible so we can renovate and sell”.20140325-182852.jpg

So much had to be done. Most of the floors were hardwood and the upstairs needed to have the carpets cleaned badly. It was the end of January- smack in the middle of winter still. Everything was muddy and cold. It was a very bad time to try and get stuff sold in preparation to move. I started going through things as soon as I could…

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