UPDATE: We now have a new dedicated page with all of the tips, tricks, and frequently asked questions about this homemade floor cleaner! Check it out here: Homemade Floor Cleaner – Tips, Tricks and FAQs
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’m not a big fan of carpet. It stains easily, it holds on to dust and hair, and it’s just a pain to clean. So the shiny 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, in my search for a homemade floor cleaner, 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 power!
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! 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 the 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!
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Update: After a few years of tweaking this recipe, I’ve now settled on 1 cup water, 3/4 cup vinegar, 3/4 cup alcohol, a few drops of dish soap, and 5-7 drops each of lavender, tea tree, orange, and peppermint essential oils (you can buy essential oils here or here). This combination of oils not only smells fantastic, it also provides a level of antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, and antimicrobial protection.
Is this safe to use around pets?
The base of the recipe (water, alcohol, vinegar) is perfectly fine for use around pets, but there is concern that essential oils may be harmful if ingested by pets, especially cats. Although essential oils, when used properly, have been used to treat many ailments in pets and humans alike, you should take precaution when using them around your furry friends, especially if they have compromised immune systems or other health issues.
As always, please do your own research and consult with your pet’s veterinarian or a licensed aromatherapist, if you have any concerns.
Got more questions, but don’t feel like reading through the comments?
We’ve created a new page with all of the most frequently asked questions about this homemade floor cleaner, as well as some extra tips and tricks to help you get the most out of this cleaner! Check it out here: Homemade Floor Cleaner – Tips, Tricks and FAQs
Some of the questions/tips you’ll find there include:
- Can this cleaner be used on hardwood floors?
- Can the recipe be adapted for a mop and bucket?
- Can this work on other surfaces besides floors?
- Do you have to use essential oils in the recipe?
- …and more!
- Add all ingredients to spray bottle and shake to combine.
- Sweep/vacuum the floor.
- Spray cleaner on the floor (or other surface).
- Wipe up with a microfiber cloth.
- As with all cleaners, please do a spot test to make sure this will work on your floors!
- For a mop and bucket version, try this: 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.
Where to Buy Essential OilsMy absolute favorite place to purchase essential oils is through Mountain Rose Herbs. They’re very high quality oils and very affordable. I’ve also purchased them locally at my nearest health foods store, or online at Amazon. Just make sure that whatever you buy is labeled as essential oils, and NOT fragrance oils. *NOTE: Essential oils are very potent and should be used with caution. If you are pregnant, nursing, or have any health issues, please consult your health care provider prior to using essential oils. If possible, seek the professional help of a licensed aromatherapist.
Want more recipes like this to help you detoxify your food, home, body, and medicine cabinet?My friends and I got together and published a step-by-step guide to help you Detoxify Your Life! Click here to get your copy and be on your way to a healthier you today!
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