November 1, 2011

How to Clean Hardwood Floors Naturally

One of the features we were stoked about our house having were the hardwood floors. The entire first story is wall-to-wall hardwood.

We have a pet rabbit who live inside our home and eat hay. Have you ever experienced hay inside your home? It’s a downright disaster, especially on carpet.

Needless to say, we were more than excited for the hardwood floors. Then we lived with them for a year and discovered that they're not all that simple to maintain.
  •  The previous owners left us a bottle of Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner. After sustaining a wicked hand cramp from spraying floor cleaner over the large surface area I abandoned the overpriced stuff.
  • Wet Swiffer mops were not only tiny and took a hundred to accomplish anything, they also left the floors streaky.
  •   Someone recommended Mop ‘n Glo, which seemed to work pretty well so I settled for the pungent chemical smells for awhile. It left the floors greasy and smelled for days. And why is it fluorescent?

While researching natural cleaning methods I came across vinegar and hot water as a floor cleaner. I used this mixture to clean my baseboards back when I was nesting before the baby shower and loved the results. So I whipped out my microfiber mop and hit the floors with the vinegar mixture:

1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon hot (boiling) water

I will never go back.

They’ve never been cleaner. Truth be told I had no idea my floors were even dirty before cleaning with vinegar. Seeing how clean they should be made me 1.) a little embarrassed and 2.) a die hard fan of vinegar.

  • The hotter the water the better. But if you don't have time to boil it, just use hot water from the tap, it does the job. 
  • If you’re wondering about the smell, it certainly does smell like vinegar. This isn’t the best smell in the world but beats the headache that comes from the chemical cleaners and it doesn’t linger.
  • I use an oversized microfiber mop (Costco, Walmart, Target) that I dip it into a bucket full of the mixture. Wearing dish gloves I take the mop and squeeze the excess moisture out. I always imagine a regular mop would make things a little easier but like how I can throw the microfiber part into the washer in between cleanings.  
  • I eyeballed the mixture a couple of times and noticed the floors were streaky when I did it, so if you can, be sure to measure. I’ve found that milk jugs can’t handle the heat of the water and collapse. The large vinegar bottles are actually a gallon and quite sturdy.

So there you have it. Vinegar and hot water, it’s cheap, it's effective and you should use it immediately.  


Lisa said...

Vinegar is my cure-all! Smelly sink? Baking soda and vinegar. Pet accident? Vinegar and water that I keep in a spray bottle. Towels sour in the wash becuase I forgot they were in there? Re-wash with vinegar.

Love that you have a pet rabbit inside - I had one that was my baby. I even held him like one.

Marie said...

I have been wanting to find something to clean our hardwood floors! Everything I've tried just doesn't do the job! Can't wait to try this...I mopping the floor is on the list for tomorrow :) Thanks for linking up with us at Show & Share!


Cindy said...

I saw your link at the Idea Room Linky and came to visit. My hardwood floors really need a good cleaning, and I'm looking forward to giving this a try.


Donya said...

Ditto on what Cindy commented. Thanks!

Bodaat said...

the house we're moving in to has salcito tile so i'll see if it works on that too!

TheRealisticIdealist said...

I mix water and vinegar in a spray bottle, spray the floor, and mop that way with microfiber cloths. Sometimes I add a few drops of lavender essential oil; the lavender smell remains after the smell of vinegar dissipates (about fifteen minutes or so).

Anonymous said...

I love how vinegar makes the place smell like a salad.