All-Natural Homemade Floor Cleaner397
When we moved into our new house a couple months ago, I was so excited to not see one single inch of carpet in the whole place! Not the living room, not the bedrooms, nothing – woohoo! I hate carpet. It stains easily, it holds on to dust and hair, and it’s just a pain to clean. So the new laminate wood floors at the new place made me very happy!
But with my new-found excitement, came some new-found stress as well, since our dark-coloured floors now showed EVERYTHING. From the dust, to the hair, to the little areas of smeared, dried up baby drool (yes, nasty…I know), to the fingerprints…ughh, I was going crazy!
I initially tried my all-purpose cleaner, which is just a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water with some essential oils – seriously, it’s a great all-purpose spray for everyday, quick clean-ups and wipe-downs. But unfortunately, it didn’t give me the results I wanted; although it did clean the floors, it left a lot of streaks, which wasn’t so pretty.
Then I found this recipe which mixes equal parts water, vinegar, and alcohol, with a few drops of dish soap. Ahh, Eureka! The alcohol helps create that streak-free shine because it evaporates so quickly, and the dish soap gives it some extra grime-fighting oomph! After testing out a small area, I was in love. I proceeded to clean the ENTIRE house in one go – yep, that’s how happy I was. I was so proud of my gleaming laminate floors, I literally couldn’t stop smiling Even the hubby noticed how clean and shiny they were, and he never notices that stuff – so I took that as a huge compliment!
Where can I buy the cleaning equipment?
I use my old Swiffer mop, which works just fine. You could also use something like the Libman mop or the Rubbermaid Reveal mop, which come with a refillable compartment for your own homemade cleaner, and reusable microfiber pads! Whatever you choose, just make sure to use microfiber cloths (instead of the pads that come with it) so you get a nice, streak-free shine. Lots of readers have also tried this cleaner in their Shark steam mop with great results!
This cleaner worked so well on my laminate floors, I also started using it on the tile floor in my kitchen, and the windows and mirrors… Then I tackled all the stainless steel appliances. Seriously, this stuff is awesome! It’s like All-Purpose Cleaner 2.0!
The only thing I didn’t like about the recipe was that the vinegar smell was overpowering (although it disappears eventually). So for the next batch, I added about 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil and it did help a little. Bonus: Lavender has anti-bacterial properties! Next time, I will probably try lowering the ratio a bit; maybe instead of 1 cup of each, I will do 1 cup water, and 3/4 cup each of vinegar and alcohol, and see how that works.
EDIT 09/12: I’ve finally found a winning combination of essential oils which helps mask the vinegar smell, and also adds some beneficial properties! Adding orange and peppermint essential oils really helped perfect this amazing cleaner, and the recipe below has been updated to reflect these changes.
Will this work for real hardwood floors?
I have only used this on laminate and tile floors. I wouldn’t recommend this on hardwoods as the vinegar may be too harsh on the finish. For a great list of hardwood floor cleaners, check out this post from TipNut, including 6 different recipes to try, one of which is made with strong brewed tea!
Can the recipe be adapted for a mop and bucket?
Several people have asked this question, and although I haven’t tried it myself, I did find a recipe online that seems like it would be comparable to this one. So if you want to use a mop and bucket, try this recipe: For a gallon of water, you could try 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1/3 cup of alcohol, plus a few drops of dish soap.
A note on fabric softeners and microfiber:
Never use fabric softeners or dryer sheets when washing your microfiber cloths because they’ll affect their ability to absorb liquids properly. I don’t use either of these products on any of our laundry anyways; instead, I just use some vinegar in the rinse cycle to keep our laundry fresh and soft.
Where can you buy essential oils?
You can find them at any health food store that sells natural and organic products. If you can’t find a store near you, you can always purchase them online from my Amazon Store or Mountain Rose Herbs.
|Homemade Floor Cleaner|
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 cup alcohol
- 2-3 drops dish soap (Castile, Dawn, etc.)
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
- 5 drops orange essential oil
- 3 drops peppermint essential oil
- Fine-mist spray bottle – 24oz
- Add all ingredients to spray bottle and shake to combine.
- Sweep/vacuum the floor.
- Spray cleaner on the floor.
- Wipe up with a microfiber cloth.
- As with all cleaners, please do a spot test to make sure this will work on your floors!
NOTE: Some readers have asked for a modified version to use with a mop and bucket. After some research, here’s what I found: For a gallon of water, you could try 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1/3 cup of alcohol, plus a few drops of dish soap.
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