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Make Your Own Hardwood Floor Cleaner

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With this all-natural formula and top-notch method, you may safely remove dirt and filth from your excellent flooring.

Hardwood floors, whether recently placed or over a century old, are a striking feature in many houses. Wood is a naturally robust material, and hardwood flooring coated with a urethane finish may withstand even the most rigorous use for many years before needing to be refinished or, in rare circumstances, replaced. While wood floors are on many people’s “needs to have” lists because of their classic beauty underfoot, they do require more messy care and upkeep than materials like laminate, vinyl, or tile, which resist scuffs and are easier to clean.

While there are several commercial hardwood floor cleaners on the market, there are numerous good reasons to manufacture your own. Some commercial goods include chemicals that can irritate the eyes, skin, or respiratory system, as well as be hazardous if consumed. If you have small children or dogs that frequently play on (or eat off) the floor, or if you just value the health and environmental benefits of a “green” house, you may want to skip commercial cleaners in favor of an all-natural approach. Furthermore, store-bought treatments designed particularly for hardwood floors might be costly.

However, not all-natural cleaning solutions are suitable for hardwood floors. Harsh acidic substances, such as vinegar or lemon, will remove the urethane surface, leaving flooring hazy and drab. Scrubbing too vigorously, either with a cleaning instrument or by adding an abrasive substance, such as baking soda, to a cleaning solution, can also harm the finish. The finest DIY hardwood floor cleaner will remove filth without causing damage to the finish of the flooring beneath. To clean gently, I use castile soap, an eco-friendly alternative to dish detergent or other cleaners, and a microfiber pad.

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Make Your Own Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Warm water, vinegar, and essential oils are your preferred methods for cleaning your hardwood floors. (In this post, you can see how I utilize this approach needing a bucket and microfiber cloths in greater detail.) The water and vinegar provide the cleaning power, but I add a couple of drops of aromatic oils to keep the house smelling less pickle-y. I’ve done a lot of study on this approach, and it’s what hardwood floor fitters and refinishers suggest. However, because vinegar is acidic, it is critical to ensure that the water-to-vinegar ratio is proper, as too much vinegar will degrade the sheen of your flooring.

The simple components are as follows:

  • a half cup of white vinegar
  • 1 gallon hot water
  • 1-2 drops OILS ESSENTIALS (I love lemon or lemon and clove for your hardwood floors)

I use the same proportions as in your floor cleaner to make this:

  • three tablespoons white vinegar
  • 16 oz. of warm water
  • 2–2 drops OILS ESSENTIALS (I love lemon or lemon and clove for your hardwood floors)

How To Wash Your Floors With Your New Floor cleaner

Sweep or clean the flooring well before applying the solution to eliminate any loose dirt or debris. Then just mix, mop, and behold your lovely hardwood!

Mix Ingredients

In a spray bottle, combine the vinegar, water, and—for a mild scent—essential oil (such as peppermint, citrus, or lavender). Screw the lid on firmly and shake vigorously to combine.


Before applying any new cleaner on your whole floor, including this one, try it in an inconspicuous location, such as beneath a piece of furniture. Apply according to the instructions below, rinse, and then inspect for any signs of damage before continuing with the remainder of the floor.


Spray the cleaning solution over the floor in tiny sections (approximately three square feet at a time).

To avoid water remaining on the surface for too long, don’t spray too much of the homemade hardwood floor cleaner at once. Excess moisture can seep into the wood and cause significant damage to the boards, such as swelling, cupping, warping, and even splitting.

Dry Floor

Mop the hardwood floor by working in the cleaning solution with a dry microfiber mop in back and forth strokes along the grain of the wood. (Avoid needing pre-dampened pads; the spray has enough moisture.) Continue working in tiny patches, rinsing and wringing extra water from your mop as it becomes dirty until the entire floor has been cleaned.

Need More On DIY Cleaners?

More On Cleaning Wood Floors

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Check out the planner!

You can also grab a copy of my cleaning planner, The Get It Clean Cleaning Planner here on the site. It’s packed full of extremely practical tips and tricks and checklists that can help you get your house clean, and keep it clean once and for all.

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