Photo: Paul Hanaoka (Unsplash)
SqualorJolie Kerr is a cleaning expert and advice columnist. She’ll be here every week helping to answer your filthiest questions. Are you dirty? [Email her.](mailto:joliekerr@gmail.com)  

A reader has cats … and a typical cat problem <whispers> cat pee.

So I have two of those crystal litter automatic cat boxes for my two middle-aged cats in a basement room on concrete. I change the litter as often as I can. There’s a big plastic tray under the boxes. However, because my cats are dicks they like to go in the corner of the basement and pee on the concrete, or on the side of the boxes or basically wherever in that area. So I end up pouring (regular) cat litter on top to let it absorb the urine, then sweeping that up and throwing it away. I’ll spray enzyme cleaner on top of it afterwards as well.

But I need to actually scrub the floors to get rid of all the crap (literal and figurative) that has built up over time. Do you have a recommendation for this? I want to know what kind of mop/scrub brush to get (preferably something with a head I can throw out every time I clean up or something durable enough to reuse a few times at least) and what kind of bucket I should get for dirty mop water. Also, what cleaning product do you recommend? (I’ve already almost killed myself one time by forgetting that bleach + ammonia is a chemical weapon.)

A few years ago I got an email from a friend who does product testing, she was all excited because she’d discovered The Stuff For Cat Pee. But also, she was leaving her job and wouldn’t be able to do much with this discovery, other than to tell me so that I may tell you. Which is what I’ll do today!

Advertisement

The Stuff For Cat Pee is Biokleen Bac-Out. In addition to, you know, just working really well, Bac-Out can be used to clean a variety of materials, including carpet and upholstery, as well as hard surfaces like concrete, tile, linoleum and wood; it can also be used for laundry.

With that said, you could certainly use the enzymatic cleaning solution you already have — I’m guessing it’s Nature’s Miracle, which is very good stuff indeed — on the floors. Just dilute it in water the same way you would a standard issue mopping solution.

Speaking of standard issue mopping solutions! You could certainly use one of those; Mr. Clean makes a good one, as does Lysol. In my own life, I use Fabuloso.

But also, you asked what kind of cleaning tool is best for the job, and I can help with that too! A scrub brush is the best choice for concrete flooring, as well as for tile and natural stone (the bristles, also, will help to scour away dried on cat poop). However, you should absolutely go for a long-handled scrub brush rather than the more standard short-handled style because otherwise your knees are going to hate you.

I like this long-handled scrub brush because the handle’s height can be adjusted, which is a nice feature for people who are very short or very tall. Also, the brush head screws off so it can be easily cleaned — I don’t think a disposable mop is the way to go here. But yeah, since you’ll be using this to scrub up cat shit, being able to easily clean the thing you used to clean the thing is a pretty important feature.

Advertisement

The only drawback the scrub brush has is that its shape doesn’t lend itself to working well with a bucket. But! I have a solution to that as well: Use a paint tray to hold the cleaning solution. You’re welcome.