(That category is a little bit dramatic, I realize.  Sorry.  I mean, “Super useful things”.  I don’t have too many of them, so when I do, I share.)

A few weeks ago, when we still had a subfloor and not a real floor, we spilled about half a gallon of Tide [liquid] laundry detergent all over the floor.  It was kind of a pain, but since it was a subfloor, we weren’t super concerned about cleaning it up in the best way possible.  We quickly realized that water wasn’t going to cut it, and I started to look on the interwebs for better suggestions.

Oatmeal:  No, clumpy mess.

Baking soda:  Glue.

Cat litter:  Gross, sandy glue.

Vinegar:  I don’t know why I thought this was going to work, because it’s essentially like making a volcano (remember the volcano?  When you were a kid?  With red food coloring?  Acid + base = volcano?)

We mopped it up as best we could, and moved on.

Well, then that washing machine died, and we got a new, high-efficiency washing machine, and we finally, finally, finally installed our floor.  (Yay!)  Which meant, of course, that we had this huge container of non-HE detergent left, and we decided to use it as a weight to train an unruly corner of carpet protecting the new hardwood floor from the cat’s litter box.  It worked perfectly.

Until, of course, it didn’t.  A few days ago, Little detected something outside the house, and he did not approve.  He went ballistic.

I have no idea what it was, but apparently s/he/it was sufficiently terrified not to come any closer.  I suppose that’s good.

What wasn’t so good was that Little obliterated the litter box, the door, and the Costco-sized container of Tide (non-HE) in his mission to protect our humble, humble, HUMBLE abode, and this time, the Tide that spilled wasn’t on a subfloor.

So I created my own method of cleaning it up.  I wanted to wait for a few days to make sure it really *did* work before I contributed to the folklore of the interwebs.  I’m telling you, the internet methods DO NOT WORK.  Try *this* internet method, instead.  I have had two opportunities to refine it, and it takes less than an hour.  (There is another solution, requiring a mop and hot water and a tub and a ringer, that takes about 2-3 hours.  Good luck with that.)

Here is what you need:

-Paper towels/large towels
-Vegetable oil
-Method all-purpose cleaner,
or another cleaner that is safe for your floor.  It doesn’t REALLY matter what you use, but I used Method.  I am not paid to mention them, but while I’m at it I LOVE Method stuff.  I have yet to use something they make and not love it.  (The important thing is that it cuts grease, but not TOO much.  I don’t know much about other all-purpose cleaners because I love Method so much.)
-NO WATER.  Critical.

1)  Grab paper towels or several large towels.  Only get large towels if you spilled the kind of detergent that can go into your washing machine.  I could not do this, since I spilled non-HE detergent and we now have an HE washing machine.  I feel guilty about this, but I really couldn’t do much about it.

2)  Pick up as much of the liquid as you can with DRY paper towels.

3)  Dispose of said towels.  If you use real towels, put them in plastic bags to be washed.  Refrain from adding more detergent to the load.  🙂

4)  Place new towel/paper towel on top of spill, to absorb extra.

5)  Walk away for 10-15 minutes.  Surf the internet and read how other people made mini-volcanos on their floor with vinegar and detergent.

6)  Repeat Step 3.

7)  Rub some vegetable oil all over the spill.  Don’t go TOO crazy, but cover the area.  Be careful not to slip.

8)  Wait a few minutes.

9)  Take Method/other all-purpose cleaner.  Spray on oil/detergent mixture.

10)  Wipe clean.  May require 2-3 passes.

11)  Add paper towels to your grocery list, since you just killed a roll or two.

12)  You’re done!  Seriously!  Isn’t that amazing?

Good luck!