After spending a lot of money on a hardwood floor, a mindful home owner will not allow it to get ruined by a cleaner you know little about. With proper care and maintenance, your worthwhile investment should last a lifetime. An ideal cleaning product or technique should be gentle, safe and environmental friendly.
There are plenty of commercial cleaners on the market but they may not be suitable or safe for home use. Majority contains harsh chemical ingredients that are toxic or produce poisonous fumes when mixed. Touching or breathing them can cause a serious health concern for human beings, animals and plants.
Most commercial cleaners talk the talk and does not walk the walk. Most people have expressed disappointment and dissatisfaction in them. There are many complains about sticky residues, dull surfaces and even a damaged protective seal following the use of a purchased product.
This has prompted people to resort to homemade natural cleaners which in real sense are economical and safe to use in homes. Made from natural ingredients, they are gentle on floor finish and friendly to the environment due to their biodegradability nature. In this guide, we have recipes for the best homemade wood floor cleaners that shines.
1. Warm Water, White Vinegar and Essential Oils
There has been a hotly contested debate on whether to use vinegar on hardwood floors or not. Basically I have done a lot of research and even used white vinegar solution on my hardwood floors a number of times. I came to a conclusion that distilled white vinegar solution is a suitable cleaner for hardwood floors. All you need to do is mix with water in the right ratios and mop they right way.
Most wood flooring experts have also agreed on that, but their main concern is how to use the water based solution on the wood without causing any damage. To correctly use this cleaner, a thoroughly damp mop is used and any excess solution on the floor is dried out completely using a dry towel.
White vinegar is a strong disinfectant that is used to sanitize surfaces in most homes. It kills a great percentage of household germs and bacteria. It is tough on most dirt and grime and can also be used to remove stains on a hardwood floor. Being a natural ingredient, it is safe to use and gentle on floor.
One problem with vinegar is a strong smell that most people find unbearable. Addition of few drops of essential oil of your choice makes your house to smell good and fresh. Commonly used essential oils include; lemon, lavender or orange essential oil.
Using incorrect ratio of white vinegar to water can dull the wood surface or when used over an extended period of time. Before using your homemade natural cleaner, always sweep or dust using a soft bristle broom or a microfiber dust mop. This is to remove dust and dirt particles that can scratch or make your floor look dull.
To make you favorite homemade cleaner, you will need the following:
- ½ cup of white vinegar
- 1 gallon of warm water
- 3 drops of essential oil
Mix the three ingredients in a bucket to form a solution. Saturate your mop or a soft cloth and wring out excess solution. Mop your floor with the grain. If there is any excess solution on the surface, use a dry towel to dry it out. Let the floor surface dry completely to experience a clean shiny sparkling surface.
2. Dish Soap and Warm Water Solution
A dish soap is not meant for cleaning hardwood floors. But if you can master the trick of preparing and using it correctly, you will be amazed. To begin with, not every dish soap in your kitchen should be used to make a DIY cleaner for wood floors. Some soaps can have a damaging effect on your floor finish.
Only dish soap with a neutral pH should be used. Highly acidic or basic soap can strip off the wood finish. Proper use of the soap solution will also determine how your floors will look. You should remember to remove the soap solution film from the floor surface after cleaning.
Just like you rinse your dishes to remove the soap, remember to use a clean cloth dampen with clean water to rinse out the soap. Always dry out any water film or puddles to avoid destroying a wood floor.
How to Prepare and use:
Add about 5 drops of a neutral pH dish washing soap such as Dawn, into a bucket containing one gallon of warm water and stir the mixture. Saturate your mop or a piece of cloth with the solution and wring out excess and mop the floor. Follow with a clean soft cloth dampen with clean water to clean out the soap film.
Alternatively, add two to three drops of dish washing soap into a spray bottle containing warm water and shake. Spray on floor is small segments and immediately clean using a dry piece of cloth. Rinse the soap cleaner using a damp cloth before it dries.
The soap solution will act on tough dirt and grime that is easily removed by a piece of cloth or a mop. This DIY cleaner makes your floors to shine and smell nice.
3. Olive Oil, lemon Juice and warm Water
Lemon being an anti-fungal and antibacterial agent, it effectively disinfect your hardwood floor by killing germs and bacteria. When mixed with warm water, lemon also forms a suitable cleaner that strongly acts on tough dirt and grime.
The scent of a lemon on your floors also gives your home a distinctive smell. Olive oil on the other hand will naturally polish the wood floors to give them a sparkling sheen.
To create your cleaner, you will need the following:
- One gallon hot water
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ½ cup lemon juice
Place the ingredients in a bucket and stir them to form a mixture. Saturate a mop or a cloth with the solution and wring to remove excess. Mop your floor and allow it to dry without rinsing. The floors ought to look new again after using this natural cleaner.
Do not use water based cleaners on unsealed or hardwood floors with damaged protective coat. Always test on small hidden area any new cleaner before using on the rest of the floor. Sweeping or dusting regularly will give you easy time when deep cleaning.