My mom and I have a little joke between us. We say, "there's a time for vinegar, and there's a time for bleach." We both love to use natural cleaning products around the house, but there are some germy messes that can't be fixed with anything less than good old-fashioned bleach.
But sometimes a natural choice actually works better than a more expensive un-natural choice. And there is one natural product that works better than anything on the market for getting out scuff marks.
In our kitchen, we have what Donnie calls the "school cafeteria floor." It's a 60s-era light-colored vinyl tile designed to hide dirt--but instead it just never quite looks clean. Of course, the kitchen floor is on the list of things to upgrade around here, but it's a long list, and we're going to be living with it for a while. If you've ever had vinyl tiles in your home, you know that they pick up scuff marks like nothing else.
Here's a shot of the floor under the kitchen table, right after it was mopped.
Yikes. No amount of mopping, bleach, or magic erasing will get those out. The only thing I've found to work on plastic or rubbery surfaces like this...is baking soda.
Get your rag really wet. The water will work with the baking soda to get into all the little crevices and grab the dirt. Next, sprinkle a little baking soda directly onto the floor, and lightly rub it in with your wet cloth.
You will be amazed at how quickly those scuff start un-gunking. It forms a paste that gets darker and dirtier as it works. It takes very little elbow grease. Actually, repetition is more effective than force.
After about 30 seconds of gently scrubbing the spot I showed above, it looked like this:
Amazing how little effort that took. Keep wetting your wash cloth and adding more baking soda until you are satisfied. If your floor feels gritty when you're done, drizzle some vinegar over it and mop that up. This is a time for vinegar. It dissolves the baking soda just like it did in your science fair volcano.
This is one of the household chores that I actually look forward to. It's like magic! Used in the exact same way, I've gotten rid of soap scum in the tub, a rust stain in the kitchen sink, unbleachable stains in the plastic part of my fridge shelves, dirt stains on Little Tykes plastic toys, scuff marks on patent leather, and more. Don't you love when a natural solution actually out-performs a chemical one? And baking soda is a fraction of the price. What have you used it for--other than baking?