Mop (or cloth if you prefer to get down on hands and knees)
Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Put 1/4 c baking soda in bucket.
Add 1/4 c white vinegar (and wait a moment to watch it fizz - your kids should love that part!).
Add 1/2 t eucalyptus oil (or if you're like me - a dash!).
Half fill with hot water (the hotter the better!).
Yup, you still have to do some hard work folks!
Baking soda is a scourer, and vinegar a disinfectant. They work well apart, but even better together. In fact, baking soda and vinegar form the basis for most of my cleaning. They are very gentle on our waterways, don't hurt animals, don't sting my eyes or affect my breathing. And they are super cheap. Our vinegar is $3.49 for 2litres (Homebrand from Countdown). That's about 1.5c per 1/4c. Baking soda is around $3.50/kg at Bin Inn in bulk. Eucalyptus oil can be found at PakNSave or New World for about $4 a bottle (MedCo brand).
You don't need the eucalyptus oil, but it's a good disinfectant and also leaves things with a really 'clean' smell. (adding it to your washing apparently helps kill of dust mites too!). The smell of vinegar does dissipate once it dries, but if you don't like it, try adding some essential oil (lavender or orange are other lovely clean smelling fragrances). I have even cleaned floors with just hot water and eucalyptus oil. That's how I first came across it - on request by a cleaning client. Works just fine. I did however, sneak a little baking soda in to help lift dried food and mud from time to time.
Dry with an old towel straight away - this stops any streaks drying, although it is of course completely unnecessary in terms of hygiene provided you're happy to blockade your nicely cleaned floor from people in muddy boots!
Happy cleaning! I hope you are inspired to try some green cleaning. It's easy, good for you, the environment, and your wallet! Let me know how you get on.