November 1, 2011

How to Clean Hardwood Floors Naturally

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

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

Needless to say, we were more than excited for the hardwoodfloors. 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 BonaHardwood Floor Cleaner. After sustaining a wicked hand cramp from sprayingfloor cleaner over the large surface area I abandoned the overpriced stuff.
  • Wet Swiffer mops were not only tiny and took ahundred to accomplish anything, they also left the floors streaky.
  •   Someone recommended Mop ‘n Glo, which seemed towork pretty well so I settled for the pungent chemical smells for awhile. Itleft the floors greasy and smelled for days. And why is it fluorescent?

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

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 myfloors were even dirty before cleaning with vinegar. Seeing how clean theyshould 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 smelllike vinegar. This isn’t the best smell in the world but beats the headachethat comes from the chemical cleaners and it doesn’t linger.
  • I use an oversizedmicrofiber mop (Costco, Walmart, Target) that I dip it into a bucket full of the mixture. Wearingdish gloves I take the mop and squeeze the excess moisture out. I alwaysimagine a regular mop would make things a little easier but like how I canthrow the microfiber part into the washer in between cleanings.  
  • I eyeballed the mixture a couple of times and noticed thefloors were streaky when I did it, so if you can, be sure to measure. I’vefound that milk jugs can’t handle the heat of the water and collapse. The largevinegar 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.  

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