This homemade floor cleaner also works as an all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant! Clean nearly every surface in your home with just 5 simple ingredients.
NOTE: This post started as a very simple recipe for a homemade floor cleaner. Over the years I’ve experimented and refined it to it’s current form. Today, it’s not just a floor cleaner; it also doubles as a great all-purpose cleaner. It does use alcohol and vinegar, so if you’re looking for a cleaner without these ingredients, you can check out this other post for a simple all-purpose cleaner.
When I was growing up, the only thing we used for cleaning our tile floors was a certain pine-scented concoction with a mop and bucket. In fact, I’ll bet if you grew up in North America, you probably just got flashbacks of that overwhelming fake “pine” scent just as you’re reading this!
And although that pine cleaner is still around today, we’ve also become much more conscious of the products we bring into our homes.
We want to know exactly what’s in those products. How they’ll affect our health and the environment. What kind of longterm effects we can expect down the road.
So what exactly is in Pine-Sol®?
To be honest, I didn’t expect to find a complete list of the ingredients in this product, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that their website actually has what looks like the full list here!
I’m fairly certain that this is something new, so bravo to the Clorox Company (creators of Pine Sol) for listening to their customers and being more transparent with their product labeling!
That being said, there are a few ingredients on that list that are on my personal list of chemicals to avoid in cleaning products:
Can be contaminated with the hidden ingredients, ethylene oxide and/or 1,4 dioxane, during the manufacturing process. Both of these have been classified as “carcinogenic to humans” (can cause cancer) by the EPA. Read more about the ethoxylation process here.
This term is very ambiguous; manufacturers can put it on a label to describe any number of the more than 3,000 different chemicals that are known to be used in fragrance compounds. I do appreciate that The Clorox Company is now transparent in their labeling and provide a complete list of the common fragrance ingredients used in their products.
That being said, I do try to avoid artificial fragrances when possible since they’re well known now for being linked to a long list of health problems like allergies, chemical sensitivities, and reproductive and developmental issues. (source)
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So how do we clean our homes without worrying about bringing toxic chemicals near our families?
By going back to the basics and using simple, trusted, time-tested ingredients.
Vinegar is probably as old as civilization itself (seriously – it’s even been found in Ancient Egyptian pots and referenced in Babylonian scrolls!), and people have been cleaning their homes with water and vinegar for years.
But when I tried a simple 50/50 solution as a simple homemade floor cleaner, I was left wanting more.
More grime-fighting power. More “streak-free shine.” And let’s face it, more nice scent (vinegar can be quite strong and overpowering, although the scent does dissipate once it dries).
In my search for something stronger, I found a recipe which mixes equal parts water, vinegar, and alcohol, with a few drops of dish soap.
After testing out a small area, I was in love. I finally found something that really cleaned my floors and didn’t leave any streaks on my dark colored wood!
Oh God, the smell… It was so strong. Like “hurry and crack a window before you get light headed and possibly pass out” strong.
So my work wasn’t done yet.
After changing the ratios a bit and adding some essential oils, I’m now very happy with this homemade floor cleaner.
And you know what? What started out as an amazing homemade floor cleaner, is now a pretty good all-purpose cleaner as well!
How to Make This Homemade Floor Cleaner
Homemade Floor & All-Purpose Cleaner
- 1 cup distilled water ( (distilled is best, but filtered tap water is fine for short term storage))
- 1/2 cup vinegar ( (white distilled vinegar))
- 1/2 cup isopropyl alcohol ( (aka rubbing alcohol or surgical spirits))
- 2-3 drops dish soap
- 25-30 drops essential oil ( (my recipe uses 7 drops lavender, 7 drops orange or lemon, 10 drops tea tree oil, and 5 drops peppermint))
- Fine-mist spray bottle (at least 16 oz capacity)
- Add all ingredients to spray bottle and shake to combine.
- Sweep/vacuum the floor, or remove stray crumbs from your surface.
- Spray the cleaner on the floor (or other surface).
- Wipe up with a microfibre cloth or microfibre mop.
Visit the full FAQ section for tips, tricks, and most asked questions about this recipe.
And it really is more than just a homemade floor cleaner!
It cleans way more than just floors, and can be used on nearly every surface in your home (excpet for natural stone and other porous surfaces). Sometimes I’ll use it along with a good sprinkle of baking soda (great for scrubbing!), but mostly I use it on its own to clean things like:
- Floors – laminate, tile, linoleum
- Glass – Windows, mirrors, tables, etc.
- Cabinets and countertops (vinegar is too acidic for granite, so use this homemade granite cleaner instead)
- Stainless steel – appliances, faucets, sinks, etc.
- Walls, baseboards, window sills
- Porcelain and acrylic – toilets and sinks
- Basically anything that needs to be wiped down.
Why do these ingredients work so well?
Even though I knew vinegar and water have been used to clean homes since time immemorial, I still needed to know exactly how and why the ingredients in this all-purpose cleaner work so well to clean surfaces, cut grease and grime, and disinfect areas by keeping bacteria at bay.
With a very low pH level of 2 and a high acid content, vinegar is a very unpleasant environment for the growth of microorganisms. In fact, a study from 2014 found that acetic acid (the active component in vinegar) is “an effective mycobactericidal disinfectant that should also be active against most other bacteria;” however it will not kill dangerous bacteria like staphylococcus. (source)
Vinegar is also a great degreaser and buildup fighter. It cuts through mildew and soap scum, and can kill mold in the bathroom.
For household cleaning, you want to use distilled white vinegar that you can pick up at the grocery store. It will look something like this.
We’re using isopropyl alcohol here. In some countries it’s called surgical spirits or rubbing alcohol, and can be picked up at any pharmacy or chemist. Whatever you call it, it’s the clear stuff that’s used to clean and sterilize minor cuts. 70% alcohol is what I use, but you can also find 91% (although the higher concentration will have a stronger smell). It will look something like this.
Alcohol is a wonderful disinfectant, which is why it’s our first line of defence in cleaning wounds and preventing infection. Alcohol is also a solvent, so it’s great at dissolving dirt and oils. It’s also very volatile and will evaporate quickly, leaving your surfaces with no residue or streaks left behind.
Caution: Alcohol’s fumes can be very strong (though they’re nowhere near as bad as bleach), so make sure you’re using it in a well-ventilated area. Alcohol is also flammable, so keep it far away from any flames or heat sources.
Essential oils are amazing little powerhouses of therapeutic and antimicrobial properties. Their use in this recipe is not just for the nice scent (they do a great job of covering up the strong smell of the vinegar and alcohol); I specifically chose these oils (lavender, lemon or orange, tea tree oil, and peppermint) for their ability to kill microbes.
- Lavender is naturally antibacterial, and it has a lovely, relaxing scent.
- Lemon, orange, and most citrus oils are great at cutting grease; lemon specifically is antiviral and helps freshen the air.
- Tea tree oil is the major antibacterial player in this recipe as it fights germs, bacteria, and viruses.
- Peppermint is also antibacterial and has a strong, cool, invigorating scent.
Where to buy essential oils
You can find essential oils at any health food store that sells natural and organic products. My favourite and recommended brands are Plant Therapy and NOW.
If you’re looking for an all-purpose cleaner WITHOUT vinegar or alcohol:
Check out this super simple, natural all-purpose cleaner, made with just two ingredients!
Where can you buy the cleaning equipment for this homemade floor cleaner?
Make sure to use microfibre cloths (like these) so you get a nice, streak-free clean on surfaces that really need it. Sometimes it helps if you dampen the microfiber cloth just a bit before using it to clean.
Microfiber cloths are also great for scrubbing and lifting up dried, stuck on spots from pretty much any surface. Read more on microfiber cloths here.
If you can’t get microfibre cloths (or would rather not use them), you can use any cotton cleaning cloths, like terry cloths or bar mop towels.
For floors, I use a microfiber spray mop like this one, which comes with a refillable compartment for your own homemade cleaner, and washable pads. Make sure to get some extra pads, because you’ll need them!
I just manually spray the cleaner on the floor, then wipe it up with the mop. I found that if I don’t remember to remove the refillable compartment before storing away the mop every time, the spray nozzle gets clogged and it’s a pain to clean out and get it working again.
Lots of readers have also tried this cleaner in their Shark steam mop with great results!
Is this homemade floor cleaner safe to use around pets?
The base of the recipe (water, alcohol, vinegar) is perfectly fine for use around pets, but some have voiced 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.
For a great, comprehensive guide, written and verified by a veterinarian, check out this post: Essential Oils for Dogs: A Beginner’s Guide
As always, please do your own research and consult with your pet’s veterinarian or a licensed aromatherapist, if you have any concerns.
If you’d rather use this homemade floor cleaner with 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, add:
- 1/2 cup of vinegar
- 1/3 cup of alcohol
- 1 teaspoon dish soap
- essential oils, if you’re using them
Have more questions, but don’t feel like reading through the comments?
I’ve created a new page with all of the most frequently asked questions about this all-purpose cleaner, as well as some extra tips and tricks to help you get the most out of it! 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 I use this on other surfaces around the house?
- Do you have to use essential oils in the recipe?
- …and more!
You can absolutely clean real hard wood floors with Vinegar, essential oil and water. That’s what the manufacturers and installers want you to use instead of harsh chemicals. I don’t know about the alcohol.
I’m just running across this blog today (looking for a natural floor cleaner) and noticed you have nice shiny laminate flooring like mine and wondered if your floors still look nice and shiny after using this natural floor cleaning solution 2 years later. I’m new to using more natural cleaning solutions and would love to hear about the long lasting effects of use.
Hi Lori, The laminate in the photos is in a low-traffic area, so it’s got less wear and tear, so to speak. But for the high-traffic areas, they look as good as did when we first moved in. That being said, I don’t use this solution on the floors everyday, so I don’t know how they’d be affected with more frequent use.
Best of luck!
Wow! That really works like magic. Nicely done. I like the outcome. Your floor looks shiny and clean, not to mention the kitchen and bathroom tiles. I am amazed at how well it works with different types of floors. That’s awesome.
I have been using the vinegar, alcohol, water, and Dawn dish detergent method on my hard woods for a while now and I don’t think I will ever use anything else. I make a big batch of it in a bucket using hot water and a mop that I wring out very well. A friend of my husband stopped by one evening and as he started into the house, he stopped and asked if he should take his shoes off before walking on my beautiful floors! It also works on laminate and vinyl flooring. I also keep a spray bottle with the solution in it for doing quick cleanups around the kitchen and bathroom. Spray some on a paper towel and use it to clean the screens on everything electronic. I would not put anything but water in a Shark Steamer. My sister ruined hers by using a disinfecting cleaner in hers.
Awesome, thanks for the review, Carole! 🙂
I have an O Cedar Mop with a 2 cup capacity. How would I modify this recipe? I’d rather not have to use a seperate spray bottle when there is already a place to put the solution. Thank you! 🙂
I would probably just cut the recipe in half, which would leave you with about 1 and 1/2 cups of solution.
I would like to try this mixture on my parquet floors, my question is. which alcohol must I use? Is there a special alcohol? Thank you
I just use regular 70% alcohol from the drug store. As with all new products, I would do a spot test first to see how it does with your specific floors.
Hardwood Floors Calgary
Floor maintenance and cleaning used to be a hassle, but thanks to this post I know what to do now.
I also see that the mixture is put into a Swiffer Wet Jet. Please, don’t use a Swiffer Wet Jet on your Laminate, hardwood, cork, or bamboo floors. The spray can actually go between the seams of the planks an cause a lot of damage, especially to laminate floors. And please don’t use steam mops on these surfaces as well, they can do the same kind of damage as a “Water Broom” because even though it is steam, it can put moisture into the seams. Manufacturers will not warrant the floor due to moisture damage. Please be careful with these types of cleaning tools and cleaners.
Just a side note. Most manufacturers of any laminate, wood, cork, or bamboo floors do not suggest using vinegar to clean the floors with. Vinegar is an acid and is caustic. It will eventually eat away and ruin the finish..
Lisa in NC
Just an FYI: essential oils are NOT toxic to nor harmful to cats when used properly I.e. one wouldn’t dump a bottle of in their mouth or use undiluted (clearly this is a dilute solution). As an individual who uses holistic healthcare for my own babies as well as our rescue organization for many years, I can tell you with complete confidence essential oils are, in fact, commonly used for cats and extremely beneficial. Please do and post reliable information. Great recipe otherwise.
Thanks for the info, Lisa. I’ve been meaning to edit that section for a long time, so you’ve reminded me to do so. Thanks again! 🙂
Both me and my son tried this on our laminate floors and they turned out horrible, worst than it was. Big mistake.
What kind of vinegar is best to use? There are several types: White, salad, malt….
Just regular old white vinegar.
My Pergo floors (laminate)very specifically suggest never using alcohol on the surface. It will eventually take the finish off the laminate. Vinegar is the only recommended cleaner. Vinegar is recommended for hardwoods also.
NEVER use aessential oils since they also have hidden ingredients toxic to humans and animals. It is just like perfume. They are allowed to put in hidden ingredients and not list them. Alcohol is another item I try to stay away from. It is a toxic product. My floors are nomal cleaned with just a small amount of white vinegar and water and if I feel they need a little extra than I add a drop or two of fragrance free dish soap. People need to start thiking about these toxins to safe our health and stop so many cancers and keep our water supply safe. To bad that even the vet now says make sure you use filtered water for the dog. That has to tell you something………………..
I am not suppose to use an oil base floor cleaner on my floor because it will void my warranty. Can this be used without the water?
I’m not sure I understand the question. The only oil-based ingredient in the recipe is the Castile soap – is that what you mean to leave out? If so, yes you can leave it out, although I doubt a few drops will cause any damage. But leaving it out won’t keep the cleaner from cleaning your floors ether.
May I suggest that if a person doesn’t have a swifter or steam mop and wants to use a regular mop that they can take a microfiber cloth and wrap it around a dry clean sponge mop replacement and then attach the sponge to the mop or if your brand of mop doesn’t attach in a manner which would allow wrapping the microfiber around it then you can try wrapping it around the sponge already attached to the mop and wrapping a wide rubber-band over each end. The rubber-bands may cause a little extra work, but it’s worth a try.
Caution should be used around an open flame with that alcohol in it.
Wonderful recipe thanks a million so easy to make and dose the job.
Tried this recipe (was hopeful), but it left streaks. Still on the hunt for one that doesn’t. I have real Bellawood cherry colored flooring.
Do NOT use Tea Tree oil in your solution if you have cats. It is toxic, even in small amounts.
If you have pets, please be aware the essential oils are TOXIC to dogs and cats! If they walked on the floor after using this, it could make them very ill (or even worse)…
Yep, that’s why I made sure to include that info towards the end of the post. 🙂
I use the mop and bucket version of this but without the dish liquid and a “twist and shout” type mop that is virtually dry for my laminate flooring. It works wonderfully. I found that spraying either bona or any other sprayer type cleaner tends to just push the dirt around since the mop head get dirty so quickly. Being able to dunk the mop in a pail of this solution then spin it “dry” really helps get the dirt up and leaves the floor shining. Thanks for the recipe.
Awesome, thanks for sharing!
Thank you ! When I moved in to a no carpet place, my best purchase was a roomba. Keeps the floors swept and now this will keep the floors shiny .
I would love to use environmentally products because it is free from chemicals. I normally agree on this type of cleaning. I’d love to try this and share to my friends.
I see you mentioned castile soap. I found Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap 18 in 1 hemp lavender pure castile soap and I wanted to know could I use this instead of plain castile and the drops of lavender essential oil.
I also used this to clean my computer screen. Works perfectly. 🙂 I spray a little of it on a paper towel and wipe the screen. (This may have already been mentioned in another comment. There are lots, didn’t have time to read them all to check.)
Did not work for me…I scrubbed it twice and it looks worse now than it did before I scrubbed it! How disappointing and frustrating!!
My sincere thanks to you for posting this recipe for floor cleaner!! It works AWESOME on our laminate wood floor. I’ve been trying to find something to replace our regular chemical floor cleaner, and your homemade cleaner certainly delivered. I don’t have any essential oils at the moment, so I just mixed up equal parts of the vinegar, alcohol,and water with a few drops of natural dish soap. It worked absolutely wonderful. Both my husband and I are very happy! Thank you!
My niece is allergic to isopropyls. Any suggestions for a good alternative?
I’m really not sure, I’m sorry. Maybe another kind of alcohol? If you keep it out, it should still work find, but the alcohol helps it dry quicker without any streaks.
Best Janitorial Service in Seattle WA
Vinegar and water (1 cup vinegar to 1 gallon water) is the hands-down best choice for laminate floors. Detergents, polishes and other cleaners will actually leave a film and make your footprint problem appear worse.
Well, I’m sorry you feel that I’m deceiving you with “fake pictures”, but I can assure you that there is nothing photoshopped about any of the photos I use on my blog. This is the most popular post on my blog, with nearly 1 million Pins and almost 500 comments. Before making unfounded comments about the legitimacy of my photos, maybe you would like to actually try the recipe on your floors, and then you can make a meaningful comment on the post about whether or not it worked for you. Thank you. 🙂
Which vinegar, white or apple cider? All my other cleaning recipes say organic apple cider. So I was curious.
Just plain, white vinegar.
One last thing, at times, I do not mist the floor, I mist the microfiber cloth, and then clean. And I am misting, not soaking the floor. Since I am still being careful with my brand new stranded bamboo floors, I go ever so light on wetting them, but the alcohol seems to dry it so quickly!!! And I put the blues on my swiffer. Tuck the fab in the little gripper holes, and away I go. I am sure if I was soaking my floors, this could harm the polyurethane, finish, and whatever else, but since I literally mist it on,…….. sometimes I might try to go back to dry it, thinking it’s too wet, and it’s already dry to a sparkle shine.
And much to my dismay, one elder cat is using a corner to tinkle in, and those boards will now have to be replaced……. But you sure can see the damage cat urine does when it sits. I don’t mean for it to sit, but if I don’t see it/smell it for a day, the damage is already done. Poor girl, her days are numbered…… We put a small box there recently, and hopefully will solve her elderly issue.
Thank you so much! I am using this on my STRANDED BAMBOO Wood floors, and it is working great. I did not ask anyone from the bamboo world if I could, but what I notice is that the alcohol dries it so quickly, it doesn’t have time to sit and possibly damage the finish, if that makes sense. I cannot believe the difference from using the Bona stuff. My floors sparkle! With 2 dogs and 3 cats, it’s really awesome! Also, just because, I change the cloth often. I put the microfiber cloths from the dollar store (blue, come in a 2 pack I think?) and use at least 4 during my cleaning. I then wash them in the machine with just vinegar, no soap, etc., and they are ready to go. Hubs knows, not to use my “blues” for anything else.
Thanks for a great suggestion!
All Floors Inc.
The first step of cleaning laminate flooring is to start with an overall, general clean. You should do this on a daily basis to prevent the material from getting ruined. Sweep up the dirt and debris and run a mop across it. Not only will you protect your flooring, you will also make it easier to do a deep clean when you need to in the long run. You can get the debris from between the tiles by sweeping the way you laid them; you can also use a vacuum cleaner.
Thanks so much for this post on cleaning floors. Recently My Uncle & myself inherited my late Grandmothers Cape Cod cottage, which ofcourse as most Senior citizens homes go…….It’s totally hardwood. Personally I must disagree with your opinion on carpet vs hardwood. I prefer carpet completely, if it’s stain resistant that is 🙂 . Hardwood floors (for me anyway) are a much greater challenge to keep clean due to lack of time to constantly be dust mopping, sweeping or polishing and absolutely everything is visible on the pretty , glossy, shiny floors. May be great for a stay @ home Mom/home maker carpet is deff easier to clean for the full time employed college student with barely enough time between studying, racing to & from school & work and careing for a elderly person all @ the same time (hard wood floors are especially dangerous for seniors who walk with canes due to slipping and babies whom ltl paws slip out from under them and they end up busting their chin/face on the hard floor. Another tremendous challenge to hard wood vs carpet is the dirt and trash my late Grandmothers 8 indoor kitties leave behind them all day, everyday. What would normally require many hours of sweeping, dust mopping, pouring up water into the mop bucket and dumping out and al that extra work I can sum up in no time with the carpet , and amazingly still have ‘SOME” time to get a ltl bit of sleep before starting it all over again. Once again , I love your post and will be using some of your stuff on my kitchen & bathroom floors but as for the rest I think I’ll just go with the softer, easier to clean/maintain, insulating carpet, In the future, I beg you , please post stuff on how to get rid of kitty odors in the kitty box closet and how to remove kitty urine (spray) from furniture. Thanks so much & we all hope you & everyone else here has a very Happy (& clean lol) Holidays :).
Roger, your comment literally put a big ol’ smile on my face, so thank you for that! Have a blessed holiday 🙂
my husband has been doing real wood floors for over a decade and we use vinegar and water to clean our real wood floors, but the vinegar has to be really diluted, like 1/8 of vinegar at the very most with water. he told me that it is the only thing you can use safely on your wood floors. you shouldnt use chemicals or cleaners, just vinegar with mostly water. i put just a bit of white vinegar in the bottom of my spray bottle and then fill the rest up with water and it works just fine for me! no problems! just fyi for those with real wood floors!
I clean houses & use water, vinegar, denatured alcohol & only few drops of Shaklee Basic H (been around 4ever) could use sal suds or castile soap I suppose… I LOVE my all purpose. Thx for scented oil tips. I can tell you denatured alcohol is FINE for stone, granite, marble, & other porous sufaces, BUT VINEGAR is NOT bc the ph…….just water & small amount denatured alcohol works for other surfaces 🙂
My only concern is how drying is the alcohol?
I have both apple cider and white vinegar. Which is best to use for wood floors?
The apple cider vinegar might leave a sticky residue if using too much, so I’d stick with the white vinegar. Though I should mention (as I’ve stated in the post) that I’ve only used this on my laminate floors – NOT hardwood! Depending on the type of finish your floors have, the acidity in the vinegar may affect the finish.
Just whipped up a batch of this – WOW it works so well! It must be the rubbing alcohol, because I’ve made this same thing before without rubbing alcohol with only minimal effects. Thanks for this recipe!
i’m just trying it now. Please work!!!!!
Are essential oils really needed or are they just to make it smell better?
You could totally leave them out if you want. I add them for fragrance, but also for some extra disinfecting properties as well. But the alcohol and vinegar do a pretty good job of that on their own.
These are great tips for cleaning floors. Sometimes I am unable to find the time or energy to keep with cleaning the floors in my home. I entire house is hardwood flooring! I recommend using a cleaning service. I use R&M cleaning service in Ventura County. Check out their website!
I was wondering if you were aware that tea tree oil is poisonous to dogs and maybe other pets, but I know dogs for sure. If you have a dog like mine that is cleaning the floor when you don’t get to it in a while you could have a sick puppy on your hands. Just thought I would let you know.
Yes Lindsay, also essential oils in general shouldn’t be used around cats either. I thought I had added this info to the post when a previous commenter mentioned it, but I guess not. Thanks for bringing it up again so I can go back and add it in! 🙂
Uh. Didn’t mean to hit send. But anyway, I was so disappointed because 1) it doesn’t clean that great, 2) you have to constantly buy cleaner and pads, & 3) it’s not worth it to me. Lol so now, I’m looking for a way to still get use of it, but use my own cleaning solution (yours) & own pads. Help! thank you,
The swiffer I used in the photo was actually my old Swiffer Vac (not a WetJet), so I just pushed the cloth into the little holes in the four corners and then tied the extra fabric around the base. I think the WetJet just has some velcro on the bottom so I’m not sure how I would make it stay on there unless I was able to try it. You might try pulling up the extra fabric on each side and tying them together with a rubber band perhaps? What I mean is I would lay the swiffer right in the center of the cloth. Then on one side, pull up the extra fabric from the 2 corners and tie them together with a rubber band, then do the same on the other side.
Hope that helps!
How do you get your microfiber cloth to stay on your swiffer. I am into natural cleaners for my house, as well. We have an almost 4 year old and a 2.5 year old, so I want to keep it healthy for them, but as you probably can imagine, they are VERY messy, as well as my husband! Lol and since we’ve been married, I’ve only used an actual mop maybe 5 times or less, because I’m a hands and knees on the floor type girl! Lol I would rather fill a sink or bucket with cleaner and go around on my hands and knees on the floor and make sure every inch is completely clean and germ-free. Lol but, once getting pregnant with baby number 3 and not having any energy, I begged for a swiffer wet jet for valentine’s day. My husband bought it for me, but I was completey disappoints
Health & Organic Wellbeing ( H.O.W )
Thanks for sharing this!
Hey, my go to cleaners have either vinegar or baking soda in every one. I love the idea of this floor cleaner. I am so trying this when I clean my floors this week. YaHOO!!! I have just been using water on my floors for years because other cleaners left a sticky feeling. Thanks for all your experimenting and sharing.
Please tell me which vinegar you are using? Cider or Distilled? I Direct a homeless shelter and we are considering some drastic measures to cut our cleaning costs. Someone gave us about 30 gallons of Cider vinegar and we are trying to use it. But boy does it smell!
No, for this you want to use regular white distiller vinegar, not cider vinegar.
Sounds like a great recipe. Be careful if you have a cat. Their kidneys cannot handle essential oils, and since they are constantly licking their paws, it might not be a good idea to use something like this. I wonder if you could make it without the essential oils, and maybe infuse vinegar with some herbs, or citrus peels.
I used this on our tile kitchen/dining floor, although I left out the soap. I also used lemongrass and eucalyptus oil because that is what I had at the house. I loved it smelled so good and the tiles were so cleam. I didn’t have a mop so I sat with washcloths and hand did all the tiles (I went through all the washcloths in the house cause it got that much grime off and I thought it looked pretty clean). Afterwards, I went out and bought the Libman swifer type mop, It will make cleaning the Bathrooms and foyer so much easier… Thanks for his great natural recipe…
I have both laminate and hardwood floors and have tried a number of different cleaners. I keep going back to a recipe that I have had for over 30 years which cleans everything: 1/4 c. Rubbing alcohol, 1T. White vinegar, 1 T. Clear ammonia (non-sudsy), add to 4 c. Hot water. Wipe on with soaked cloth, wipe dry with microfiber or flour sack towel. This cleans mirrors, floors, appliances….just about anything. Ammonia does not react with the vinegar or the alcohol in case this is a concern. There is no residual vinegar or ammonia smell, and no streaking. When I use this on my floors, I apply with a well wrung out sponge mop and dry with an old Swiffer dry mop covered with a microfiber cloth.
Thanks! This stuff is awesome 🙂 it will always be in my arsenal of cleaning solutions.
Laminate Floors Novato
I will have to try adding the oils you mentioned into the water/vinegar mix next time! Thannks for the tips!
My floor did not end up nice and shiny like yours. What am I doing wrong? Also a small bit of streaking was still there, How can I get rid of it?
ooooooh I like the advice about the distilled water. (darn it back to the store I go ha ha)
I also wanted to suggest it might be the type of cloth using or what is being picked up.
I have 3 micro fibers that I switch out on my mop. One is horrible leaves streaks (note to self toss bad cloth) the other two are great.
As far as what is being cleaned up. I have dogs in my house. The area in which always collects the dog hair I have to go over twice because of the oils from the hair leaves the floor dull the first run with the cleaner.
LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff.
I have hardwood floors throughout my house. I was told not to use anything but water to clean them. I use a microfiber mop head with little microfiber loops or fingers all over and the floors come beautifully clean. I was told that anything else could remove the finish over time.
I tried this a while back and it left a nasty residue. Just made a new batch using distilled water and it was fantastic. For those concerned that their floors are not as shiny as the picture, if you notice the dirty floor shown is shiny as well – not all laminates are high gloss and will never shine like that. Thanks for the recipe 🙂
Thanks for the tip about the distilled water! 🙂
Thanks for this info. just cleaned my whole kitchen with this solution and it worked out perfect. No streaks and it smells very clean. I’ll have to check out the oils because the vinegar can be overpowering. I used a regular swiffer dust mop with a terry cotton towel on the floors and it works just as well if not better then the swiffer wet cloths.
Two questions! 1) could i substitute eucalyptus oil? 2) it is ok to use with laminate wood flooring? Thanks!
Yes, you can use whatever oils you like! And regardless of the flooring you have, I would make sure to spot test to make sure it works with your floor and finish. Tile and such should be ok but there’s a lot of variance in wood floors so just do a spot test first.
It works! I have dark glossy laminate floors that have thus far been the bane of my cleaning existence. I tinkered a bit with the ratios of the recipe to find what was most effective for my floors, but the ingredients were the same: water, white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, (cheap) dish soap and (lavender) essential oil. The results are awesome.
I used a microfiber mop thing from walmart. First I used one lightly damp cloth to piick up all the dust & debris. Put on a clean one, put the magic solution in a spray bottle, spray, wipe until it (quickly) evaporated and kept moving through the house. Then I used the same solution to clean my mirrors, bathroom, kitchen tile, sinks, tub etc. LOVE IT and THANK YOU so much for sharing!!!
I just tried this on my tile floors and they look (and feel) brand new!
I thought you could not use water on laminate flooring. Does this recipe work because it’s a mixture? Just wondering because my floor already has bad seams from the previous owners. But the Bona I use always streaks so it would be nice to use something that didn’t!
Thanks for your help,
You can’t use water on laminate if you’re soaking the floor and letting the water sit there. Because this recipe is a “spray and wipe” type recipe, the water doesn’t have time to penetrate through the flooring to cause the kind of damage that you’re noticing in the seams of your floors. Hope that helps! 🙂
The rubbing alcohol in this causes the solution to evaporate quick. Test and see. Just make sure you mist not saturate the floor.
Love this stuff!
Has anyone ever tried Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds? I use this instead of Castile or Dawn soaps. It works great!
You can use vinegar water on hardwood. Won’t hurt it.
Omg!i could see reflection of my doors on a cherry laminate floor. My 5 yr old could see and appreciate the shine and what an amazing job this solution did removing any streaks and buildup. Million thanks
The very best place to buy fragrant and essential oils plus a multitude of other natural cleaning ingredients is http://www.soapgoods.com They have the very best authentic and pure oils and never underestimate the power of a little very cheap citric acid. Essential and fragrant oils also require the sources be well cared for, not destroyed to create the product.
So once the floor is cleaned, what do you use to get that incredible shine? And is the floor a slippery hazard all polished like you have it? It sure looks gorgeous 🙂
Wendy, The only thing I did was use the cleaner and wipe with microfiber cloth. As stated in the post, the area I photographed for this post is a low traffic area so it’s arguably less worn than the rest of my house. But I used it because it was the only place I could get good pics with proper lighting. The rest of my floors aren’t quite that shiny depending on where in the house they are. However, the cleaner promises to clean, not necessarily shine. 🙂
I have to say I am DEVISTATED by the results of my floors. It is full of streaks and now I have a white cloudy film that I cannot get up. I followed everything to perfection and my results are nothing like some people are saying. I am at a loss as to how to fix my floors. I truly hope no one else has this problem although I have seen some people post problems. My question is: HOW DO I FIX THIS??? How do I get the white film off?
I’m so sorry Alicia. As I state in the post, it’s best to do a spot test before trying this on your entire floors because there’s no way that I can guarantee that this cleaner will work on all floors. I have no idea what type of floors you have or the finish that was used on them, so I’m not equipped to help with getting the white film off. But if it were me, I think I’d try a steam cleaning if you have one. Again, I’m sorry the cleaner didn’t work for you and I hope you can get it fixed quickly.
Ok, is this a girl’s club or are bachelors allowed in here as well,,,lol. Just wanted to say thanks for the great recipe and add a little something. Just pulled all of the carpet out of my home and replaced with laminate. I loved the look but hated the streaks. Even with this solution and a microfiber head it was a lot of work to get it streak free. I just picked up the Shark Sonic Duo and between this recipe and that machine it cut my cleaning time in half. The machine actually scrubs the floor with two microfiber pads and this solution leaves my floor squeaky clean and looking great. Much cleaner and easier than the old mop.
LOL, Darrell! (Green, natural, eco-friendly) bachelors are definitely allowed! 🙂
I am in a rental house and was worried the amount of alcohol might be too drying? Have you had any concerns?
been trying to use natural cleaner for the floor, and i found this!! cant wait to try ASAP! thanks.
I don’t know if it’s just coincidence or if it was the cleaner, but my Shark steam mop is now ruined. After reading several ladies success with using this solution in their Shark steam mop I decided to try it too. About two minutes into the cleaning my mop made a loud popping noise and no longer works. Like I said, could be coincdence, but I’d be careful of trying it! I’m not too upset. I really wanted to get a mop with reuseable pads and the cleaner thing that you can refil yourself that doesn’t require plugging in. Now I HAVE to get one. 😉
wow……a steam cleaner (for floors which is small and lightweight) works just as well….faster, more convenient and you just add water and mop! Why the need for several different products when steam is more sanitizing? Been proven over and over and with having a severely chronic pain condition? If I can use one anyone can and it gets right into every little nook and cranny!! Dries even faster!!
A steam mop cannot be used on laminate wood floors. This mixture is for those type floors. The heat and moisture can ruin the laminate. I’m sure the steam mop works wonders for you on the type floors you have.
This sounds great but I would leave out the dish soap considering many of them are toxic. I have yet to find a truly natural dish soap.
I just use castile soap, which is all natural. You can either use that, or just leave it out. 🙂
I was going to say the same thing.
I don’t know how this recipe worked for everyone else but it left my floors streaky and very dull and I followed the recipe to a tee.
When you say alcohol, exactly what did you use?
Just regular rubbing alcohol from the drug store.
Would you please also list this same recipe for mop cleaning? It sounds great, but I don’t know what amounts I should use to mop with a bucket versus this recipe is for a small amount that goes into a bottle. I do not want to squirt my entire tile floor, I would rather use the mop and a bucket. Thank you!
A few people have asked this already, so I need to update the post, but here’s the 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.
Minnesota Commercial Office Cleaning
Love the recipe, will try it soon! Thanks for sharing!
Do you have to use the essential oil scents you used or can you use any scent? What do they do for the floor?
Hey Tamie, as I said in the post, the oils I chose came out of some trial and error. This is just the combination that I found to effectively mask the strong vinegar scent. I also chose oils that have specific antibacterial qualities as well, so it’s not just for scent. Of course, you can omit them altogether and still get the same cleaning results!
Sounds like you get a lot of joy finding great natural cleaners that work well! You may want to check out Norwex’s amazing cleaning products. (full disclosure: I am a consultant.. because I LOVE how much they work and save money/time and help on the environment).. but you don’t have to buy from me at all.. hearing your joy of finding great cleaners – these are definitely products you’ll want to try out! And they last for a very long time.. no more ‘reusable’ things to throw out! 🙂
Sounds like a great floor cleaner but why do you need all 3 essential oils? Why not just one?
Hey Betty, as I said in the post, the oils I chose came out of some trial and error. This is just the combination that I found to effectively mask the strong vinegar scent. I also chose oils that have specific antibacterial qualities as well, so it’s not just for scent. Of course, you can omit them altogether and still get the same cleaning results!
I just don’t particularly like the smell of vinegar and when using this recipe everyone in the living room is holding their nose when I’m moping with this in the kitchen. You can literally smell this in the whole house while mopping the floor. The smell of the vinegar is way too overpowering when used to mop a floor and yes I’m using just regular white distilled vinegar. I don’t care how many drops of essence oil you put in there, it won’t mask the smell of the vinegar. I read all these comments from people saying they love the smell and I ask myself how can that be. How can anyone love their whole house smelling like vinegar each time using this. It’s not just me either. Every time I used it, everyone in the house was commenting, “what the heck are you doing, that stuff smells terrible”. Then after putting up with the smell, I didn’t see any special cleaning results that would make up for what my nose just went through. Sorry but I’m not with the posting majority on this one. I tried it, didn’t like the results and dumped it. The only thing I want from vinegar is to make Italian dressing to put on my salad, that’s it. Using as a cleaner, no way.
I won’t use it on real hardwood. I did and now I have huge white spots all over it.
I was so excited to try this, I ran right out to buy the free & clear dish detergent, spray bottle and alcohol that I didn’t have to try it tonight and I’m sadly disappointed. I couldn’t find essential oil in a pinch so without that, it STINKS. It smells like I’ve just dyed easter eggs. Worst part is that the floor does not look any better than it did before. I have laminate wood floors and was using the Bella Wood cleaner that they sold me with the flooring, it seems very dull, streaked and just not clean. The “after” picture above looked like my floor did while it was wet but it was quickly back to dull yuck. 🙁
Natural Wood Flooring
THank you for the cleansing product .Before this i applied alot product but nothing works.When you will try it surely works. I too have wooden laminated flooring and when i apply this my floor looks so clear and shiny..Thank you 🙂
Minnesota Commercial Office Cleaning
Yes, vinegar is stinky – what an awesome idea to use lavender, and to make use of its anti-bacterial qualities. Thanks for sharing this recipe – we’ll have to try it out and pass the idea along to clients!
I use this combination with only one oil but as many drops. I put it in the swifter bottle not a spray bottle. When I do my floors they are horribly dull. Does anyone have suggestions what’s wrong?
What are you using to wipe up the solution afterwards? If it’s not microfiber cloth, you may have some dull marks and streaking.
I just tried this with my Rubbermaid Reveal and LOVED it!! I didn’t have any lavender oil (forgot I ran out) so instead used a couple drops of geranium and a couple of ylang ylang. The house smells amazing, fresh and clean, and the floors look great!! I will absolutely be keeping this recipe for future use!!!
Do u use the alchol that’s in the plastic bottle that is white?
Yep, just regular old alcohol. I think mine was 70%.
mommy of 2 many
I live in an 80 years old pine a frame home…everything is pine planks the walls the floors…even the built in kitchen table. I use Dr. Bronner’s to clean my family of 5 and my home.
On my floors ….
a little alchol…
and a little squirt of Dr. bronner’s
NO VINIGER!!!!! if you use DB and viniger they have a chemical reaction that renders the soap useless
I put it all in my O’Ceder fill and mop thing with the reuseable cloth… pull the trigger and go.
no streaks…dries fast…super healthy and smells great….
No worries about the kiddies running around or licking the floor haha babies tastes everything…and nothing bad getting to the baby who will make us a family of six….
No chemicals in my home just whats in my Kitchen used to use Viniger for everything but since I switched to Dr. Bronners I get nice smells too and the kids love it…Dulitted to wash with they love it doesn’t hurt there eyes even when the so called tear free stuff whould make them scream…and no more in homepollution ahhhh….i can sleep better at night
Really Really love this stuff. I started using it as an all purpose cleaner as well.
I have noticed now after months and months of use it doesn’t seem as shiney as before. Would there be anything to boost the shine again??
I tried this today and it dried streaky and muddy looking. I’m wondering if its because of the vinegar I used. I had put white distilled vinegar in a jar with orange peel 2 weeks ago and used the vinegar for this cleaning. Could the oils in the orange peels have made this effect? Any ideas for me?
I’ve heard of others trying the orange-vinegar cleaner in this recipe but haven’t tried it myself. I would try to make another smaller batch with just regular white vinegar to see if you get the same result.
I tried this concoction and you are a genius!!! I to have been struggling with my wood flooring and i have a Boxer that drools all over the place, so I tried your recipe and it worked amazing. Not one streak, it looks and smells clean. Thank you! Very happy.
So skeptical but it worked like a DREAM on our laminate floors! I didn’t want to spend too much on the oils because I wasn’t sure how it would work so I purchased one essential oil blend on Amazon.com that basically smells clean and citrusy and it worked amazingly! I just used 13 drops of that oil instead of the 3 different ones mentioned. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! I will never buy harsh chemicals for my floors again!
We have stained concrete floors with radiant heat in our newly built home. It’s very energy efficient, and also very quick clean-up! I have central vac through out, which is great for everyday upkeep. The mopping is where i was running out of ideas for getting it clean AND looking decent…it was either one or the other, until I found this miracle recipe!!! I tweaked a little bit because even though it looked great, and was really truly clean, because the floor is heated it dries right away and this cleaner made it really really slippery. I just cut back on everything except the water and used my Swiffer Wet Jet mop which is more of a mist than a drenching spray. I ‘ll never buy the stuff from the store that’s made for the Swiffer again! Thanks so much for your tip.
Does anyone know if this would work for tile floors as well??
Yep, I use this in my tile floors in the kitchen and bathrooms!
I saw a pin on pinterest that recommends soaking orange peels in your white vinegar to help the smell of vinegar clear up and adds some of the power of orange to the cleaning mix, maybe that would help for those of us who dont get around to the health food store for essential oils. Just a thought.
I just had a couple of questions before I try this for the first time on my vinyl floors, which I am excited to do! It seems like most websites have recipes for vinegar and water floor cleaners and most assume mopping with a gallon or so bucket. So the recipe is usually 1 cup vinegar and 1 gallon of water. So is 1 cup vinegar too strong with just 1 cup of water or does it not make a difference? I like the idea of using a spray bottle to spot clean and mop and not having to make a big bucket of it everytime I mop, but wanted to make sure it wasn’t too much vinegar. Also, everyone seems to be using it on laminate floors, is it safe for vinyl floors as well? Thanks!
Hey Renee, sorry for the late reply! The reason other recipes have a lower dilution is because when you’re mopping with a bucket, you’re really saturating the floors with the cleaner. But since this recipe is meant to be used much less liberally, the vinegar ratio is just fine. You could experiment of course and find a lower dilution that works for you. Also, I’ve used this on laminate, tile, an vinyl floors, all without any problems, but if you’re worried, I’d spot test in a small area just in case. Good luck!
Thanks Sarah for the reply, that makes sense. I can’t wait to try it out!!
You have to be careful with the products you put on your hardwood flooring. This looks awesome! Really brings out the finish of the hardwood flooring. I would recommend to all of my clients. Thanks for sharing.
Wayne@ Palatine Hardwood Flooring
Thank you thank you!! Your cleaner recipe worked like a charm for me. Love the smell too!
I tried this homemade recipe for my wood composite floor and I absolutely hated it. The vinegar is just too overpowering no matter how much essence oil is used. To make matters worse the longer it sits in the container the smell gets even worse. I can’t imagine anyone getting used to stinking up the whole house every time a mopping is needed. I tried the same formula minus the vinegar and it was a better but I’m still not happy with the result. I will have to keep looking and experimenting to find something that gives a good result with this floor.
MLO, did you use regular white distilled vinegar? I’ve been using this recipe for months and while I can smell a vinegar odor a little while I’m mopping, it disappears almost instantly as the floor dries. I still smile each time I mix a new batch. Whatever I don’t use on the floor, I go around spraying on other surfaces to clean them.
Thank you for sharing this with the rest of us who are looking for all natural cleaning solutions! I did read somewhere else that soap and vinegar do not work together because one is an acid and the other one is a base, and therefore, once you mix them you basically cancel each other out, have you heard this? How accurate is this? Because I think then there is no purpose to add either vinegar or soap, right?
I would like to know your input on this.
Hi Karla, thanks for your comment! Yes, I actually have heard this – I think it was actually on the Dr. Bronner’s site maybe. I think it relates more if you’re using a large quantity of both vinegar and soap. Since we’re only using a few drops of soap in this recipe, it may (or may not) still apply. But who knows? But if you want to try, I would take out the dish soap and see how it works for you. 🙂
Ok…I came across this site this morning and since I had the oils to add for the odor from the vinegar I had to try it. Well, let me just tell you that all 10 windows in my first floor are now clean, along with my glass-topped dining room table!!! I love it!! I cannot say whether it truly works on the floors, but it is a nice change from the alcohol and windex routine for the windows!! Thank you so much for the recipe! Happy cleaning! 😉
Please note that you shouldn’t use vinegar on hard-wood floors. A hard wood floor contractor told us that a lot of the new sealants that are used are broken down by vinegar. Good to know since until he told me this I had been using vinegar!
Can you use rubbing alcohol or do you have to get just the basic stuff? Also, should you use just plain white vinegar or is distilled okay?
just installed laminate floors and now researching internet how to clean.. manufacturing web site says to avoid cleaning products that contains vinegar… and all DIY floor cleaner contains vinegar…
***THERE’S A “RECIPE” OF HOW TO REFILL THOSE SWIFFER CONTAINERS ON PINTEREST** Then there would be no need for a spray bottle. I definately will try this!
Does it make the floor slippery?
Nope, not at all. Just makes them clean! 🙂
Do you know if this would work on stained concrete?
Honestly, I have no idea, but I’m going to guess probably not since it’s not nearly strong enough to tackle something like an outdoor, porous surface like concrete. Good luck on finding something that does, though!
HI, wondering if I can use this cleaner with a mop and bucket?
If, so how much cleaner would I put in the bucket?
Someone else recently asked the same question, so I’ll copy my response from there:
Just checked some sources, and 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. Hope that helps and let us know if it works and any adjustments you made!
if i were to use the combo in a mop bucket what would you suggest the variation to be? by the way i just tried this on my floor but i used by cleaning combo of lemon and vinegar not lavender and works just as well i think!
Just checked some sources, and 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. Hope that helps and let us know if it works and any adjustments you made!
okay thank you!! i will give it a try and if i do make adjustments ill be sure to post it up!
I am sorry
It didnt work for me.
it still dull and have streak
WOW!!! In a house of 5 people, 3 dogs and 2 cats I never thought my house would look this clean!!!! Thanks for posting this, my floors are like sparkly new!
Just an FYI, Be cautious if using essential oils around pets as essential oils can be exremely toxic to pets. Cats esspecially. If they walk across the floor and pick up any residue and lick it off of their paws they can go into renal failure. Sometimes the effect is not noticed immiediatly but will build up over time.
Hello, I was so excited to find something without chemicals to clean our new floors! One, I wanted to make sure that vinegar was safe for floors as it’s not with granite. I am a little nervous about trying it but it looks like you have been doing it for a few months. Our contractors and the warrenty says NOT to use a steam mop!!! Which I love for our tile! So I use a store bought spray ( gag!) cleaner and the steamer ( not turned on) I posted a question on FB asking who uses a steam mop and many said they did but a few said they did and after some time it ruined their laminate floors. EKKK! So I was just looking for a little insite on how vinegar is safe. Thanks,
I tried this and it left a horrible film. The minute I stepped it left a footprint 🙁 then I tried 1:1& 1/2 water to alcohol. Better result but still leaves footprint. I’m exhausted and just want them to be film free!!! HELP!!!
I was going to answer your question, and then I noticed that another commenter posted the exact thing I was going to say to you. 🙂 My question is if you (or previous owners/tenants) have ever used other commercial cleaners on your floors before? If so, please have a read here:
“If you have used commercial cleaners on your hardwood prior to using a cleaner containing vinegar the vinegar may react to ingredients (waxes, oils etc.) from the commercial cleaner causing steaks. The good news is, after a few uses of the vinegar cleaner, the film usually disappears. It takes a few uses for the vinegar to cut through whatever has built up on the floor from the commercial cleaner. Using a microfibre cloth also seems to work better than a cotton cloth to further prevent streaking.”
If not, please let me know!
Just got laminate floors and had no idea how to clean them. I have been researching different methods for a while. Tried this for the first time…it’s a keeper! Thanks! Works great!!
Yay! Glad it worked for you! 🙂
The only dishsoap I currently have is Dawn (with Olay, the pink one). I was wondering if I could use that in place of the natural soap? Do you think it would yield the same results – or has anyone else tried it using Dawn dish soap?
Yep! You can use any dish soap. 🙂
Hey Brittany, yeah you can use any dish soap you have. 🙂
can i use dawn soap? (the pink one, i think it is grapefruit)
I have read that essential oils are dangerous for cats. I have a cat and a dog. Any recommendations for smell??
Hi Ashley, yes after a little research, essential oils are definitely not safe for pets (especially cats!) so thanks of bringing this up! I wish I had a suggestion for the smell, but can’t think of anything that is still natural. If I had pets, I would just skip the oils completely and play with the water:alcohol/vinegar ratio until I got it to a smell level that I could stand without being too annoyed. Wish I had more for you, but I don’t want to risk the health and wellbeing of our furry friends 😉 But thanks so much for your comment because I’m going to edit the post now with this info!
I found this regarding essential oils and dogs… http://www.natural-dog-health-remedies.com/essential-oils-for-dogs.html
Dawn @ Small Footprint Family
Hi! Your post has been featured as a reader favorite over at Small Footprint Fridays! We will be pinning, tweeting and posting it this week too. Have an abundant week!
I have a Bissell Steam Mop that I just tried this with and it is AMAZING. I put the mixture right into the mop reservoir and mopped like normal. This left the floors nice and shiny (Both tile and laminate) and brought up so much dirt! I also like that it went through the machine, disinfecting it as I mopped. I will likely never use just vinegar and water again, especially with my baby girl now that she’s mobile! Great for cold and flu season too! Thanks!
I have 100+ year old real wood floors. I tried this thinking it would be great since my home over 3600 sq. ft. is all wood floors. It caused the finish in my kitchen to bubble (the finish was re-done 1 year ago). Then in the laundry room it started to change the finish of the floor (no recent re-finishing there). All I can say is this sounds like a great process but be careful AND MAKE SURE you do SPOT testing. I’m glad it has worked for many of you – jealous even, as for me I’m back to my Pledge, oil & tender loving care.
Frances, my house is 155 years old with pine plank floors. I had the surface of the keeping room floor sanded very lightly (didn’t want to lose all that character). Then I simply use RAW linseed oil. It adds moisture to the wood, protects & looks beautiful. I scrub & renew once/year (well, that’s what I told myself I’d do, but it’s actually more like every second year); simply sweep or vacuum the rest of the time.
Thank you soooo much. We installed laminate wood floors a year ago and I’ve been struglling ever since to find something that didn’t kill the shine, but got rid of the dirt and footprints. I made this mixture without any of the oils – just the water, vinegar, alcohol and dish soap. I couldn’t believe how well it worked. I just kept looking from the front door, and then from the kitchen (other end of my straight through small house) and to see that shine come back just made my day. The fact that it’s natural and easy and inexpensive is a super bonus. I can’t thank you enough.
I have been using the “shine products” and would like to start using your cleaner, do you know how to remove the shine cleaner from the laminate? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you, Helen
Tried this yesterday. Don’t know if I had too much soap in the mix or what, but ended up with dull floors. So I then mixed 1 part water to 1 1/2 parts alcohol and it was PERFECT! Then for fun, I added Rosemary (5 drops), Orange (5 drops) and Lavender (3 drops) essential oils for a clean smell (and Rosemary is supposed to help in disinfecting).
Thanks for getting me going on this! I’m so very happy to finally have something that cleans my floors without leaving a sticky residue that shows every footprint and dog print.
Great, Tonya! Glad you found a mix that worked for you 🙂
I tried this today on my kitchen linoleum and found a shortcut. I had no essential oils, but at the grocery store I found isopropyl alcohol with a wintergreen fragrance. I used it in the formula and it did help mask the odor of the vinegar. It works well; it took the scuff marks off the floor without much effort!
Thank you! I’ve been searching for something that won’t leave my floors streaked like everything else I’ve tried. Will definitely be giving this a go. 🙂
I just mopped my kitchen floor and I have the libman mop. It didn’t leave streaks (which I was glad) but it didn’t put a shine on the floor. Am I doing something wrong?? Thanks for sharing.
Hi Patti, no you didn’t do anything wrong! The cleaner doesn’t claim to put a shine on the floor; just gets it squeaky-clean and streak-free. Glad it worked for you! 🙂
I was wondering if I could use castile soap instead of the dish soap? I have the Dr. Bronner!s almond scented kind. Thanks!
Hey Stephanie, yes of course! Castile soap is the only soap I use, and Bronner’s is my fav!
Nifty tutorial, I’ll be giving it a try! I wanted to let you know that there is a way to get the caps off of the empty swiffer bottles. It involves using boiling water to help loosen the cap so you can refill it with your own solution of choice. I can’t remember how exactly to do it, but thank God for Pintrest, you can find the directions on there! That way you won’t have to use a separate squirt bottle.
Thanks Hannah! Yeah, I tried reusing my swiffer bottle before, and although it was pretty nifty, it did end up leaking eventually 🙁 I’m thinking of investing in a Libman or Vileda mop with the reusable bottle and pads though!
On another note, have ever you tried using Thyme Essential Oil as an antibacterial benefit? I wouldn’t think it would mess up the harmony of your recipe.
Thanks for the tip, Hannah! I love thyme, but never tried the essential oil yet. Will def give it a try in my next batch 🙂
I USE THE STEAM MOP I HAVE AND THE FLOOR LOOKS VERY DULL. BUT WILL TRY AND DO A SOME AREA WITH JUST THE CLOTH AND SEE IF IT WORKS BT IS DULL LOOKING
I love my laminate floors again! I have tried several products but ended up with floors that were streaky, gummy, or still dirty, including the Shark steamer. I did have to open a window and also let the cats out from the smell. Shopping for oils later today!
Today I realized that I am not a bad housekeeper, it’s just that I have been discouraged for so long with products that don’t do what they are supposed to. You have no idea how much better I feel. Can’t wait to keep cleaning till I drop.
There were a some streaks so I just buffed for a few minutes with a clean cloth. That worked great but next time I will just pull on some old socks and buff as I clean – to some old Motown music!
FYI when I was mixing my solution, I found that alcohol took the adhesive right off my reused spray bottle that I had soaked in water unsuccessfully.
I tried this on my laminate floors and it works really well and leaves no streaks as long as the microfiber is DRY. When it gets too damp is when it leaves streaks. I used orange Castile soap because I didn’t have any essential oils. But I can still smell the vinegar or combination of vinegar/ alcohol smell even after its dry. I wanted to find a natural cleaner that not only cleaned but left a nice clean smell. Vinegar isnt a clean smell . I might try the orange peel soaked in vinegar, but that could become a pain in the butt too. I need something easy to throw together and clean with. Is essential oils strong enough to completely over power the vinegar/alcohol smell does anyone know?
Yes, the cloth should stay dry, but honestly, I’ve cleaned my whole house in one go without ever changing the cloth and it worked fine, without getting too damp. So make sure you’re only misting the floor lightly! Also, I’ve finally found a winning combination of essential oils to help mask the vinegar smell, as well as add some beneficial properties to the cleaner! Check out the updated recipe in the post. 🙂
Tried this on my laminate floors this morning before everyone got up and moving. I actually love it! Had a brand new microfiber towel to use but next time I will use a different one. The one I had on hand has a pattern on it. So I did get some streaking. I can see where buying a good quality (mine came from Dollar Tree) microfiber towel would help. The streaking went away with a round of the Swifer Dry Cleaning Cloths. Smell not too bad. Opened some windows, ceiling fans on and a couple of box fans. The fans were not needed but they were within arms reach so I cranked them up plus the sound is soothing to me! This solution immediately removed (without effort) pet drool which is my number one problem. 2 cats and 2 dogs. The dogs have allergies and sneeze a lot (yuck) and one dog is a rescue and is missing most of her teeth (bless her heart) so her tongue hangs out and drips all the time! Yeppers! Welcome to my world! Anyway, I highly recommend. I did not add any essential oils but was thinking about putting some on a piece cloth, putting the cloth into a large container with a lid and adding my microfiber towels in there. Not just the ones for the floors but the ones I use for dusting and such. just a thought. Happy cleaning and have a blessed day!
Glad it worked well for you, Tami! Thanks for the great review! 🙂
So, I woke up a 5am when everyone would be sleeping. I didn’t want them tracking through my freshly cleaned floors. I was so excited to find this because I had been searching for a miracle cleaner. My floors are the exact same dark color and tone. They are gorgeous, but they are tracked with foot prints and dirt. I use my swiffer, it doesn’t work. I use my Libna, it doesn’t work. I’ve used micro fiber cloths and they do not remove foot prints only dust. I made this cleaner to the letter. It DOES NOT WORK! I could just cry…. I need these floors clean! There are water spots that will not come up from where my swiffer originally streaked the floors. Now that I used this, there is a white haze in the spot I tested it. I am going bonkers! I have no idea how to remedy this.
Hi Trenika, I’m so sorry you’re having trouble with your floors 🙁 It seems like nothing you’ve tried has worked. Are you spraying it lightly across the floor and then wiping it up with a dry microfiber cloth (either by hand or by wrapping it around a swiffer/libman)? Are the floors originally yours or were there tenants who lived in your house before you? I ask because sometimes there can be leftover build up from previous tenants’ cleaning products, and now you’re stuck with the aftermath…
I have one of those Rubbermaid Reveal mops. What is great for them, is that you can buy separate bottles (containers) where you put your own cleaner so therefore if you use different cleaners on different floors, you can keep them separate. Now if anyone can tell me a secret to keeping doghair off my floor for more that 10 minutes would love it. Have a black lab.
This floor cleaner is AMAZING on my white vinyl kitchen floor! I loved it from the first swipe! Thank you for posting this!
I am using this recipe for our recently refinished original hardwood floors and it is leaving streaks – HELP! Am I using too much spray? Not using a dry enough microfiber?
Oh no! I’m sorry you’re getting streaks. It could very well be that you may be spraying too much.. I just sort of mist it across the floor, working in small sections. Then, with my microfiber cloth wrapped around my Swiffer sweeper, I go “mop” it up until it’s dry (which shouldn’t take too long). Also, you mention a “dry enough microfiber” – yes, the cloth should be completely dry. Even after you’re mopped up previous sections of the floor, it should not be soaked at all. It will be barely damp to the touch.
Hope that helps!
You may have answered this already but there’s too many comments to read them all. Does this stuff work on linoleum?
Hey Sharon, I personally haven’t tried it on linoleum, but I see no reason why it wouldn’t work. I only have laminate and tile in the house, but I imagine it would work even better on linoleum, so I’d definitely give it a try! If you try it, please let us know how it works out, since I don’t think anyone has commented yet with their experience with linoleum 🙂 Thanks and good luck!
I CAN,T WAIT TO TRY THIS! EVERYTHING ELSE I TRIED LEFT STREAKS.
These are great tips, and I am sure they work quite well. But, I must admit, I am quite surprised that a blog about NATURAL tips advocates laminate flooring. Eight months ago, I had laminate flooring installed in my home. (Incidentally, the color and style looks identical to your, Sarah. It’s such a gorgeous style and design, and I LOVE how it looks in my home. And, like you, I HATE, HATE, HATE carpeting!) The problem is, after installation, I developed eczema, constant nose bleeds, headaches and a nasty cough and chest congestion that–eight months later–still has not subsided.
After many months, my doctor finally asked if I had had any remodeling done to my home when my symptoms began. I informed him about the laminate flooring, and he suggested I test my home for formaldehyde emissions levels. So, I bought kit and, sure enough, the levels were higher than what the EPA says is safe. I was baffled because shortly after installing the floor, my mom visited for two weeks. She had no ill effects. When I mentioned this to my doc, he said that ALL people will EVENTUALLY show symptoms of they are exposed to the formaldehyde long enough–even at low levels–and that formaldehyde is a proven human carcinogen after long-term exposure at low levels. He said the reason I showed symptoms so quickly after installation was probably because I had a high-dose exposure because I was present during installation. But he assured me that even if I had not been present during installation, that I eventually would have had the same ill health effects I have now.
After extensive research (which included speaking with an expert on chemical toxins at Johns Hopkins, multiple conversations with people at the EPA, visits with industrial hygienists who specialize in formaldehyde emissions in newly-remodeled workplaces and homes), I learned that laminate flooring typically off-gasses for AT LEAST ten years after installation, and that levels are higher in warmer climates or in winter when the furnace is running.
So, I am either going to rip out all the laminate flooring (I had it put in my entire house–upstairs and downstairs, except for the kitchen and the three bathrooms) and replace it with real wood flooring–or sell the house. I really don’t want to move, so I likely will be installing wood soon.
In my research I have also spoken with more than three dozen people who have had the same ill health effects after installing laminate flooring. Just be careful if you have laminates. I’m not saying you need to rip them out, but have your homes tested for formaldehyde emissions. The kits are only $39, and you will get a report that explains the results in layman’s terms. (An industrial hygienist who works for FEMA recommended the kit that I used, it was not some commercial scam or ploy.) There are several places you can get the kits; just do a Google search and choose the one you think is best for you.
Again, I LOVE the look and durability of the laminates that I have, and I am just sick that I have to rip them out. But you can’t put a price on health.
Wow, Vicki – this is the first I’ve ever heard of this! We didn’t have the floors installed; we’re renting our house and they were here when we got here, but I will definitely look more into this issue. Thanks for the heads up and for sharing your story with us – I’m so sorry you went through all that. Hope you’re starting to feel better!
I can’t wait to try!! I just moved into a house for the first time with O carpet and laminate, was so excited, but again I’m getting streaking and it just doesn’t look clean in general.
I have a Rubbermaid Reveal mop which is AWESOME and worth the price, its a refillable bottle, you put in the cleaner of your choice, so no buying cleaners, and it has a washable cloth and the trigger doesn’t use batteries.
I’ve been looking for a recipe exactly like this!!
Oh you’re very welcome, Kim 🙂 Congrats on the new house, hope the cleaner works out for you! I think I need to get me one of those Reveal mops!
Tried it — LOVE IT =)
Was excited to try this and it ruined my steam mop :/ It will no longer hold any liquid. So please everyone be careful!
tried this recipe, was a streaky mess. oh well
Does it matter what percent alcohol to use???
No, I’m using 70% and it’s working fine.
Oops!! Forgot to ask…on a little different subject!! Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to keep your furniture from moving around on wood floor?? Rubber stoppers on the bottom of furniture maybe?? Everytime I open the drawers on the dressers it moves!!! Or our bed…nightstand…etc. Thanks!!!!
Ok I can’t wait to try this!! We just moved and have laminate wood floor throughout the house. I am hating it!!! Feel like it is always dirty and our feet are constantly dirty!! I’ve tried everything on it! It’s driving me insane!!! I’ve been searching for what to do to try and get/keep them clean!! I’m headed out to buy the lavendar oil and I’m headed back to get my scrub on!!! I’ll let you all know how it works! P.S. We do have hard well water too so we’ll see how that works out!!
Is it alright to use Concentrated Fragrance Oil in this recipe? I didn’t do my research in my hurry to make this, and purchased fragrance oil instead of essential oil.
Will this kill my floor?
Hmm, I really can’t say. I don’t think so but I would test a small area just to be sure. Also, the essential oil is only there to add a scent. Lavender and others also have some antibacterial properties as well. So if you leave out the oil, it’ll still be ok 🙂
Just use you recipe for a regular mop and basket of water. Works great on my cheap laminate. I add few drops of essential sandal oil. Smell of vinegar is manageable.
Thank you so much for great ideas. Cannot wait to use home made laundry detergent and soap for a dish wash machine.
Long time ago my mum use to make home made dry laundry detergent from cheap soap.
That’s awesome, Mrs Martinez! Thanks so much for sharing your experience and story with us! Isn’t it amazing how simple life was back then, and how we’ve come full-circle and are now struggling to attain that simplicity once again? 🙂
Um I would just like to tell you guys that plan on using these types of cleaners on hard wood floors, that using chemicals and oils, over an extended period of time. will soak into the wood and if they are eventually refinished could screw up the finish. It will make the polyurethane separate after applied during the drying process. The people doing it will not notice it until it is too late and prolly will not resand the entire floor because of something you did. I’ve been sanding/installing floors for 10 years now and have seen it many a time. Murphys oil spic n span n all that stuff is EXTREMELY bad for your floor!!! So what do I suggest? she had it right when she said water n vinegar 3:1. Any questions lmk, your welcome! : )
Thanks, Josh. Yes, at the end of the post I do caution people that I’ve only used this on laminates, and have provided a link for some other homemade cleaners made just for hardwoods, as I know they are more delicate and sensitive to cleaners. Thanks again for your comments!
Josh, If you add a little alcohol is that still going to screw up the finish? I used this for the first time on my floors and am thrilled with the results. I did not put any oils in. I am gonna be bummed if I can’t use this on my hardwoods.
Did you ever cut down the amount of vinegar and alcohol to 3/4cup each? Did it work just as well/smell better? Dying to make this 🙂
Hi Erika, I did cut it down and although it worked just as well, I’m not sure the smell really changed. However, I think I’ve just gotten used to it by now LOL. I would recommend playing around with the recipe, it lends itself very well to alteration. Try different essential oils in different amounts. Also, you may want to try making a citrus enzyme cleaner (a few ppl posted about it in the comments), which should help with the vinegar smell as well. Hope it works out for you!
I could not wait to make it to use as an all purpose spray so I kept the full amounts of vinegar and alcohol! Lol. I don’t particularly mind the smell of vinegar or alcohol, plus it’s gone when dry.
The only thing I changed was I upped the essential oil drops to 30 (sweet orange) and added a tsp of Borax (by accident, confused it with another recipe lol). IT IS MAGIC IN A BOTTLE.
As someone who has recently developed sensitivity to fragrance and chemicals I cannot thank you enough for this recipe… Maybe my boyfriend. I brought a travel size spray for his car and went crazy cleaning. Haha!
Today I finally got the chance to really put this cleaner through it’s paces.
√ My wood, vinyl & tile floors ALL clean & I mean squeaky clean. The vinyl & wood squeak under bare feet. LOL
√ Smudges on walls & doors. All gone & no paint came off with it.
√ Touch up stainless sink & all faucets. Super shiny.
Tubs are next, and my conclusions are that it’s time to make another batch!
Mrs. H.C., you’re the best product tester ever 🙂 I think I should hire you to be my official reviewer LOL 🙂 Thanks for always giving your thorough reports in the comments, as I’m sure they help others readers as well! And I’m so happy the cleaner has worked for you 🙂
Any time. LOL My floors are still squeaky clean. 🙂
The other day I sprayed this on those same glass shower doors & the magic eraser grabbed absolutely nothing on the glass. Went on to clean the kid’s fiberglass tub (circa 1985) & it is the cleanest it’s looked in years. It’s like this cleaner pulled off stuff that other cleaners have been leaving behind.
You’ve made cleaning up so much faster that I could kiss your feet! ROFL
I’m happy to report that this DOES work & the only vinegar smell is what there until the surface dries since dry vinegar has no odor.
After reading the comment about the glass shower doors I tried it on the kid’s shower & their doors have never been cleaner. For years I have scrubbed them with a Magic Eraser & all sorts of cleaners & they looked clean until the glass got good & dry. I cleaned them with this cleaner & a Magic Eraser, then I forgot to look at them again until the next day. They were beautifully clean & the etching from years of hard water was much less noticeable.
Awesome! I’m so glad it worked for you! Thanks for the detailed report back – much appreciated 😉
Forgot to mention that I used lemon verbena drops in mine & it smells lovely.
This does not work!! I was all excited to try it, bought all the stuff and all I got was my house smelling like vinegar!
I bought a Libman freedom mop and was initially diluting Murphy’s Oil Soap. I love the freedom mop because you use your own cleaning solution and it has washable pads that have little scrubbers. I was happy with the oil soap but it did leave a little film, this solution is so much better. My floors look better, feel better under foot & with the lavender oil the house smells good too. Thanks so much!
Thanks for sharing, Stephanie! I’m really considering getting a Libman now – especially since you’ve shared that this solution works well with it 🙂
Wow, this is one of those “slap the forehead” moments – I can’t believe I never thought of spraying cleaner on my floor!! I hate dealing with mops, and they leave too much water on the floor. Thank you so much for this post – I used it on my hardwood floors – no issues, but they have taken quite the beating over their 40 something years, so other than excess water, I really don’t worry about them. 🙂
Hi- I was wondering if it matters what kind of vinegar you use? Regular, white, white distilled…? I’m young and just moved in to a new apartment and I’m trying to gather easy cleaning ideas. Thanks!
Kristin, just regular old white vinegar will work. Just don’t use anything like apple cider or any of the wine vinegars, and you should be fine. And good for you, for trying to use easier and more natural cleaners! Good luck in your new apartment! 🙂
I chose to use your solution in my bathroom. I will NEVER buy another cleaning product for my bathtub/toilet. This solution removed soap scum easier than anything I’ve used before. I had to spray and wipe a few times on the fixtures but they came out sparkling clean. Then I used on the baseboards that get covered in hairspray and dirt….came right off! Also, I figured if it removed soap scum so well, I would try it on the tray underneath the water/ice dispenser on my fridge. I sprayed on and let it sit…..completely removed all of the calcium deposits! I also used on my stainless steel and my kitchen sink fixtures….gorgeous! The smell didn’t bother me and I used Dawn soap instead of the soap you suggested because it’s what I had available.
Love, love you for posting this!
That’s so awesome Wendy! I never even thought to use it in the bathroom; I’ve just been using vinegar/water with some baking soda. I’m so happy it worked for you, and thanks so much for coming back to comment!
Found this on Pinterest last week. I was SOOOO excited to try it out! We have laminate all throughout the house, except the bedrooms and bathrooms. I told my mom about this and she made it as soon as she got off the phone with me. She loves it, says it works great! I just tried it in my kitchen and I’m sad to say it left streaks. 🙁 Oh well, only 8 more months with these floors 😉
Oops forgot to add, my mom has tile floors, I have laminate wood floors.
I think laminated floor would be an excellent choice.I like the look and also its durable.It will also not fade in the sunlight like real wood.
Hi all…after reading all the positive comments, I am dying to try this recipe, BUT in a different type of floor cleaning machine. We have ALOT of laminate floors in our home (and ceramic tile too)…and have a HOOVER Floormate (the hard floor cleaner) it washes, scrubs and dries the floor. It has a tank where you pour the hoover “floor solution” in and then when you start your scrubber, you pull a trigger to dispense the liquid onto the floor, and then little spin brushes, actually scrub the floor with the solution..you then click the machine on to the “dry” setting and then it squeegee’s and sucks up the liquid that remains on the floor, and dries quickly.
Just wondering if anyone has tried this recipe yet in a cleaner like this..rather just a “mist” on and “wipe off” type of setup.
Thanks for any help.
If you have babies, a diaper on the Wet Jet works wonders too. I trim mine to fit – just make sure you don’t cut the actual pad in the diaper or you’re left with little bits of the gel all over your dark wood floors!
Is this good for hardwood floors?
Any thoughts why this would not work??? I was so excited as of course unless I use chemicle cleaners my laminate floor looks streaky and coated. This really did not work and almost was worse?? The only thing slightly changed was a little less water than the ratio cause my container ran outof room,lol. Maybe I’ll try again with exact measurements but my floor looked notihng like yours…streaky, foot prints all over etc. So many great reviews, why i smy floor the stubborn one.
I found a Rubbermaid Reveal mop with microfiber cloth today that is made for you to use your own solution. I tried your solution today with less alcohol on my hardwood floors. Worked great!
I just saw this on Pinterest and ran to make it! I dumped out a spray bottle of cleaner that didn’t work &whipped up the concoction-it worked like a dream. The best my floors have ever looked. I might even consider doing the laminate thru the rest of the house now! (My hubs has been wanting it, I told him only if he cleaned them.)
Yay! Glad it worked for you!
Thanks for the great cleaning concauction Sarah! I’ve thought of doing the refill on my wetjet for awhile but haven’t…yeah I’m a huge procrastinator (: Anyway, my plan to refill was to inject whatever cleaner I chose in that spongy part with a needle….might take FOREVER though…anyway, just a thought (: Thanks again!
You’re very welcome, Pam! Glad it worked for you! And if you ever do end up reusing the wet jet bottle, let us know!
how does this work in preventing future prints, etc.? is there any sort of protective coating it provides, or is it right back to the icky look as soon as the kids/dog hit it? just curious.
Yeah, it’s pretty much right back to the icky look 😉 But you may want to try the citrus enzyme cleaner in place of the vinegar that others have posted about in the comments; I’m thinking the oils in the orange peels may help give the floors a bit if a shine that may hold up to the icky look…at least for a little longer.
I have never seen this subject brought up about laminated flooring. I was told that the final finish on the floors is “bees wax”. I notice after cleaning mine – and if I rub with a cloth or stocking footed that it has a better look. Do you think it would be feasible to use some sort of buffing machine (small of course) to bring out a shine? After grandchildren and dogs – it is in dire need of shine, particularly in the kitchen work area.
PS: here is the 5 star!!!!
THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH!!!! This really works. I have used everything and anything on my floors, even hands and knees for hours trying to get our year old flooring shiny again! This is the only product (homemade or store bought) that has really worked! It has really made a big difference in the flooring! It was back breaking work for us to install the flooring all thru the home, then more backbreaking work trying to get it back to the beautiful shine. Thank you so much again!
That is so great, Lisa! I’m so happy it worked for you!!! 🙂
I am pretty sure your flooring is engineered hardwood, not laminate.
Hello, quick question here! Once you used the solution on the floors, did you still see scuff marks, paw prints, baby drool, and etc??
Thanks! I’m excited to give this a try tomorrow!
Oh! Where would one find essential oils???
Hi Julie! After I used this, I didn’t see any more marks or baby drool, etc. I didn’t have scuff marks though b/c we don’t wear shoes in the house, so I can’t say for sure about that, but I think if you use a microfiber cloth, it should work really well on any stuck on debris, including scuff marks.
For the essential oils, check out my Nature Shop (top menu) page for more info on where you can purchase them!
Thanks Sarah for your reply! I tried your solution today and did see some streaks but I think thats my fault, because the cloth got too wet! I will try it again! Thanks again!
I tried this on my floors and LOVED it. I also discovered that it removes that white film on the glass shower doors!
Glad it worked for you, Jacque! And thanks for sharing about the shower doors!
THANK YOU , THANK YOU, THANK YOU! We just installed 980 sqft of laminate flooring that looks JUST like yours, and i have tried 6 different floor cleaners and NONE worked. This is the first one that left it streak /residue free. I used the Dr. Bronners Lavender soap, and put it in the rubbermaid Reveal refillable swiffer style mop. I love this. A quick tip. Make sure you buy a few extra mop cloth refills. Every time I buy a mop, when I go back to find the cloth/head, they have changed the style. Thanks again for the wonderful recipe.
Yay! I’m so glad it worked well for you, Angela!
Can I use this in a mop bucket for tile floors? If so, do I need to rinse? Also, will it take a sealer off the tile? My tile floors are always filthy and I’m at such a loss. Thanks!
Hi Jen, I’m not sure, as I haven’t tried it. If you do try it, I would make sure the mop is wrung out very well, so it dries quickly, and you won’t have to rinse in that case. I can’t comment on the sealer on your tile since I have no experience with that, but I would check online to see if there’s any adverse affects with using alcohol or vinegar with your specific situation. I do use it on my tiles, but they don’t have a sealer on them. Let us know how it works out for you!
I Love this!!! My mom suffers from chemical sensitivity, and all the smell good stuff I love makes her very sick… Takes her days in bed to recover from a visit… She uses all free products, but I on the other hand have to have some sort of smell… I would love to be able to do natural things like the vinegar in the laundry, but I dont want to smell like vinegar!!! I reciently quit using the fabric softners all together… will try vinegar in the rinse… can i do essential oils in the laudry also?
I’ve been making my own cleaners too but the rubbing alcohol smell was too much, so I switched to cheap VODKA and guess what… same germ killing/cleaning abilities, but no smell! And it dries quickly and leaves no streaks!
For the essential oil, I went to Target and got the best smelling oil in the candle/diffuser aisle…(you know the kind that you stick the reed sticks in) and it smells like Jasmine in my kitchen. Didn’t really like the smell of the essential oils in Whole Foods.
Also, I was able to successfully refill my Swiffer Wet Jet bottle and haven’t noticed any leakage like the other post said. But, I did have to get the plyers to remove the top for the first time, but I like the idea of the hot water.
Thanks for the post!
I too have laminate “wood” flooring that has been a thorn in my side from Day 1 of moving in. Add a baby to the mix and I felt like I was reading my own story by reading this post! I have purchased and tried several cleaners/methods, and everyone would leave streaks/film. I made up a batch of this, busted out my regular ole Swiffer, put one of my hubby’s Microfiber “car buffing” clothes on there, and put it to the test! O. M. GOODNESS! Can we say amazing??!?!!? My floors look so shiny, no streaks, no film, just shine! I even did my travertine tile on my kitchen floor and they FELT so much better! Not a hint of film ! I cleaned my stainless steel appliances and while it did well, it doesn’t do QUITE the job of an actual stainless steel cleaner, IMHO. BUT, I’m totally IN LOVE with it for the floors, and for daily wipe down of my SS appliances! Next batch, I will try soaking the orange peel in the vinegar to see if that can make it smell nice (honestly, though, the vinegar smell doesn’t bother me). So, with all that being said….thank you thank you thank you!! I’m off now to find something else to mop! HA!
Yay! I’m glad it worked out for you! Thanks for sharing your awesome review!
Love this! I have mocha laminate floors that show every mark and this worked like a charm!
Great to hear, April! Glad it worked for you!
THIS FORMULA ALSO WORKS FOR WINDOW CLEANER…JUST ADD A FEW DROPS OF BLUE FOOD COLORING…THE ALCHOHAL IN IT IS WHAT REDUCES THE STREAKS…THE VINEGAR CUTS THE GREASE…THE DISHSOAP IS A GENERAL CLEANING AGENT.
Would you happen to have the info on exactly what kind of floors you have? The one in the picture is beautiful and it sure looks like real wood. When we redo our floors, I would love to know that I am looking at the right stuff in the store to get results like yours. There are so many brands and colors of laminate ‘wood’ flooring out there now. Thanks so much.
Aww Carrie, I’m so sorry but I have absolutely no info on the floors! We’re renting and the owners live overseas so we don’t really have very close contact. The one in the picture was from a pretty low-traffic area though, so it’s a bit shinier than other parts of the house. I’m so sorry I couldn’t be of more help.. Good luck!
Just an FYI…I had to really scrub my tiled linoleum floors to get most of the dirt up with this cleaner, unlike when I use the Swiffer cleaner. Same with using it on the walls, fridge, etc. I don’t know if anyone else ran into that little problem or not, but I thought I’d throw it out there.
And it also left my laminate floors dull and streaky, so I’m going to try the orange peel in the vinegar trick I read above…if that doesn’t work, at least I have two almost full bottles of Swiffer cleaner and whole pack of pads that I’m glad I bought the other day. Haha.
This recipe is my clean everything cleaner! I use it all over the bathroom – the mirrors, composite sinks, tub, and fiberglass shower sparkle – and the vinegar and alcohol will kill most germs. I also use it as a daily shower spray and all over the house as an all-purpose cleaner for everything except wood. I’m been wondering if it would work on laminate floors… This is my first visit to your blog and I will be a regular visitor.
Welcome, Julia! Isn’t it just magical?! It really is an ALL purpose cleaner 🙂
Fantastic Information !! I appreciate your blog.
Be careful using alcohol on windows… it does reduce the streaking, but it can also break down the sealing around the windows. Same goes for using amonia. Works great, but I’d just be very careful not to let it drip down too far or spray it first on the rag or newspaper (or in my case, I use coffee filters) and then wipe the windows down. 🙂 Happy cleaning and thanks for the recipe.
Is this safe for pets? I have two cats. Thanks for any info.
Hi Susan, thanks for your question! Yes, through my research, I’ve found that this cleaner is safe enough to use around children and pets. The alcohol evaporates, and as long as you use an all-natural dish soap, and skip the essential oils, it should be fine. 🙂
You can soak your swiffer bottle top in very hot water when it is empty. It will then remove easily and you can refill it. 🙂
Looks like a great cleaner! Vinegar and water works great on my laminate floors but mine aren’t as shiny as yours.
I use a reveal by Rubbermaid. It has empty bottles you fill with your own cleaner and attach so you don’t have to use a spray bottle. 🙂
Would this work for cleaning wood cabinets? It’s so hard to get the grease off without taking off the stain too.
Yvonne, I would try it with just a simple water and vinegar mix first and see how that works. Spray it on, let it work its magic for a bit, and then wipe off. If there’s still some grime, try sprinkling some baking soda on a sponge and scrubbing them down – the soda is a great non-abrasive scouring agent, and should be safe enough on your cabinets. Let me know what happens!
Do you think you can use this in a Shark steam mop?
I couldn’t say for sure. Something tells me though, that the steam might just burn off the alcohol? Worth a shot, I guess.
I have a shark steam mop too and it leaves a lot of streaks on the laminate floors. 🙁 However, I’ve lost the instructions that came with it originally, but I think I remember it saying NOT to put anything other than water in it.
I can’ wait to try this because the streaking on my floors drive me crazy. Just wanted to post that I have cut up my husband’s old mis-matched socks and put them on my Clorox Ready Mop instead of buying the pads and they work great. Just slide them on and mop away.
Thanks for the tip on the socks, Kim. What a great idea!
Has anyone tried this on tile? Looking for a baby safe cleaner for our kitchen floor. I was also thinking of using lemon juice instead of an essential oil since that’s what I have on hand.
I have tried just about every combo out there (straight up vinegar, vinegar + Dr.Bronners, plain ole’ water) and there are always streaks. I am psyched to try this out. As soon as I saw the alcohol in the recipe, I thought “Duh”. That makes total sense. THanks for posting!!
Keep on writing because this is the kind of stuff we all need..
I used this product today, and was super paranoid to use it because I’m so protective of my floors, so I was making little test spots that would be hidden and then sprayed and wiped then just crawled all over the floor investigating the different spots. My dog was super confused, but I was so happy to see it worked, I cut the vinegar to 3/4 cup and barely noticed a smell to it, bonus it got up all the dog drool and the smell doesn’t seem to bother my dog, who usually runs to the back door when Pinesol bottle comes out!
THIS STUFF IS AAAAMMMMMAAAZING! I’M JUST LOOKING FOR STUFF TO CLEAN! LOL…. ive been buying ” green cleaners” and even the window cleaners always leave streaks! this… NOOOO STREAKS! and i JUST washed my floors by hand( my steam mop(s) just broke- yes two of them …very heard water- and i couldnt stand the feeling of them and then i just sprayed this on them and now they feel and look AMAZING! unless i can get a good deal on another steam mop , ill just stick this this!…. man im still amazed at how clean my sliding door is!! WOW!
Woohoo! I’m happy that you’re happy 🙂
I saw a recipe on Pinterest for household cleaner with vinegar that has you soak orange peels in the vinegar for 2 weeks to help with the smell…. Haven’t tried it yet, but seems like a good idea. Maybe using orange soaked vinegar with this recipe would work 🙂
Hey Denise, yeah I saw that too! And another commenter brought it up as well. I haven’t tried it, but will edit the post and add that info if I do. If you try it in this recipe, and it works, let me know!
I am bummed, this didn’t work for me! It left a white film. I did try it on my stainless steel appliances and it worked well…I’ll keep the batch for that 🙂
Oh no! Bummer 🙁 You could probably try playing around with the recipe in the future. Maybe decrease the alcohol or the soap – remember, just a couple drops of soap is all you need – or you could just eliminate the soap completely. But glad at least you have a new stainless steel cleaner! 🙂
I got the white film on my linoleum kitchen floors, too. 🙁 did you find a better solution that works??
We had the same problem with white cloudy areas appearing when we first used the vinegar solution. The issue was that someone had used an acrylic spray cleaner on it in the past. The acrylic builds up as a film on the laminate flooring. When water hits this it gets cloudy. We used methyl hydrate on a cloth with gloves and good ventilation and it lightly scrubs away. Methyl hydrate is used by painters to remove acrylic paint from spots and I know it well because that was my husband’s trade for years. You can buy it in paint stores and also hardware stores. If it is a factory finished floor like laminate, you can try it in an inconspicuous site. If it is a water based urethane finish on wood, it will actually go cloudy and ruin the wood finish so you need to test it first! We used it on the laminate and it was restored perfectly.
I love this idea! We have laminate wood floors all throughout our apartment and they are such a pain to keep clean (even though they are beautiful!) Does the alcohol cause any damage to the floors or discolor the flooring at all? Just want to double check since I don’t want to accidentally lose our deposit 🙂
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I haven’t found that it causes any damage or discoloration. I’ve only been using it for a couple months though, and I definitely don’t use it everyday…more like once a week at the most.
I am worried that the alcohol could be damaging to the laminate finish over time. Has anyone had experience with this good or bad?
I have bought and used an all natural cleaner for my laminate floors, I just spray lightly on the floor and go over it with a soft cloth. It has alcohol in the cleaner, so it does not harm your floor. Helps it dry faster. I am going to make this and see if it is as good.
We have had dark, glossy laminate floors for 9 months and have streaks from day one. I have tried 1 cup “warm” water and 1 cup vinegar and had streaks. With your recipe does it have to be “warm” water? Can’t wait to try this recipe!
Hi Cindy! No, this recipe does not require warm water. I just make a big batch in the spray bottle and use that over and over, without a problem. I hope it works for you!
Sarah my question about the alcohol being 2%, under the second pic where in blue it says “this recipe” I clicked on and it says this..1 part Water
1 part White Vinegar
1 part 2% Isopropyl Alcohol
Few drops of liquid dish detergent
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a fine mist spray bottle.
Ahh, yes. Totally forgot about that, I ran into the same thing when I saw the recipe and saw that my bottle was 95%. So I tried it anyways and it still worked 😉
thanks! we are doing 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water with lavender oil now. it works great on the hard wood but is streaky on the laminate. love simple solutions with items i already have around the house 🙂 We have the reveal mop. it has microfiber pads and an attached spray bottles that you can fill with just about anything and love, love, love it. we still steam mop to really sanitize, but it is a pain to steam mop everyday (and with a crawling baby and four pets we are mopping our family room everyday if not more than everyday) our swiffer vac died and we replaced it with a bissell floor sweeper (the kind that doesn’t use any power) which actually works better than the swiffer vac did and was cheaper, plus no electricity.
we also cloth diaper. we use borax, then rinse with nothing but water. they are very absorbent and the borax helps brighten them. we set them out in the sun to get the stains periodically.
That’s great, Jess! And thanks for the tips on the mop and sweeper. Will look into those!
We just started cloth diapering a couple weeks ago and I’m still trying to find my way around the laundry aspect of it. When you say you use borax, do you mean only borax? If you don’t mind, can you break down your diaper laundry routine for me? Your detergent recipe and your wash cycles, etc? Thanks 🙂
Are your floors real wood or laminate? You called them both in the post, and the picture looks like real wood. We have real wood in our house, and I want to try this, but want to make sure it’s safe for real wood. Thank you!
Hi Kathy, my floors are laminate – sorry for the confusion! I’ll go fix that in the post 😉 For hardwood floors, TipNut has a great list of hardwood cleaners you can tryout. Hope that helps!
I just tried this on my floor and I am in love! My floors look brand new and I love it! I will never ever buy commercial floor cleaners again. Thanks for the great recipe!
Lavender makes me sneeze, I think I’ll try some Thieve’s Oil in mine.
You don’t have to rinse, with the dish soap in there?
Hey Jema, yeah whatever oil you prefer (and doesn’t make you sneeze 😉 ) would work fine! And no, no need to rinse because it’s such a small amount of soap, just a couple of small drops…you could probably even skip the soap if you want, and see how you like it. It’s only in there to help cut through stuck-on dirt. Let us know how it works, good luck!
Wow! Amazing job. I used strong brewed tea instead of water. I read the tannins in tea are good for hardwood floors. Best job ever, I threw out my commercial floor cleaners!
Awesome! Yes, I’ve heard that about tea as well! Glad to see it actually works! 🙂
Adding essential oils to homemade cleaners is wonderful! But if you’d like something more than a wonderful scent, why not try one that has both antiviral and antibicrobial properties? On Guard has a wonderful cinnamon, citrus smell and has been proven by independant labs to kill both the flu virus and MRSA ~ I’d be happy to send you a sample to try 🙂
Adding essential oils to homemade cleaners is wonderful! But if you’d like something more than a wonderful scent, why not try one that has both antiviral and antibicrobial properties, such as On Guard or Purify by doTerra? On Guard has a wonderful cinnamon, citrus smell and has been proven by independant labs to kill both the flu virus and MRSA ~ I’d be happy to send you a sample to try 🙂
I couldnt wait to do this, just as I clicked on the recipe for the cleaner I noticed it said 2% alcohol, my bottle says 91%, I guess I better get a differnt kind
Hi Rhonda, any kind of isopropyl alcohol should work! So no need to get a different kind. I’m not sure exactly where you spotted the 2% in the recipe. From what I see, it just says isopropyl alcohol – can you let me know exactly where you see it so I can fix it? Thanks 🙂
The 2% was in the link to the recipe. I was confused about this also. Glad to know that I can use any kind!
This is a great idea, but I was wondering can I still use this on laminated wood floors?
Yes, Amanda! My laminate wood floors are what inspired this homemade cleaner! The pictures in the post are from the laminate floors in my living room 🙂
Tried this today on both my kitchen vinyl floor and my laminate floors. Worked well on both however, I had trouble using the microfiber cloth with my Swiffer. The cloth would “stick” and wouldn’t glide very easily so the Swiffer would flip around. I tried both my Swiffer Vac and my regular Swiffer. Any suggestions? Was my cloth too thick? Should I try a dry mop?
I really think the cloth may have been too thick. I sometimes switch back and forth between my thick and thin ones (depending on what’s in the wash), and found the thinner ones (that you get from the dollar store) do tend to glide more easily. Hope that helps!
Thanks for the suggestion. I was so excited to try out this cleaning solution, I actually looked forward to cleaning my floors yesterday!
Instead of using alcohol, do you think vodka would work? My cats go crazy over the smell of rubbing alcohol!
I really can’t say…I have seen floor cleaner recipes that say you can use alcohol or vodka but they weren’t specific to laminate floors so I’m not sure. Sorry! :-/
I just mixed up a batch this morning nd am trying it out with my Mint + Automatic Floor Cleaner. Will let you know how it works.
Great, Wendy! I’ve never heard of the Mint + but just looked it up now. Just make sure if you’re using it on laminate wood, that it doesn’t spray too much and that it’s wiped up right away. Looking forward to hearing if it worked. Good luck!
It works like a charm! I love this stuff. No streaks at all, cheap to make and I already had all of the ingredients on hand. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!
We tried water and vinegar on the laminate floors in our new house and it ended up with white streaks. So I used your solution tonight and I love it. No streaks, but I noticed if I didn’t run over an area several times with the microfiber mop it left faint water marks. Any solution to fix this?
Great! I’m glad it’s working for you! Sometimes, it’s the quality of the microfiber cloth that can make or break it. For some people, a thicker cloth works better, for others it’s a thinner cloth. From what you’ve explained, it seems like your cloths may not be absorbing the water as efficiently as they should be; so I’d probably try a thicker cloth. And make sure NOT to use any fabric softeners or dryer sheets in the wash, as they can really affect the cloth’s absorbability power.
Hope that helps! 🙂
Vinegar will dull the finish over time — on laminate or hardwoods, vinegar will cause etching, or chemical scratching over time. It is never recommended to use on floor — steam mop works well.
Hi Sara, I’ve actually researched this online quite a bit and everything I came across said that vinegar was in fact safe to use on laminate floors. Is there something specific that you read that you can maybe share with us? Thanks 🙂
Vinegar is the only thing my laminate floor says to use to clean and my steam mop says not to use on laminate. So frustrating how many contradicting things there are out there. How do we know which to believe? I’m ready to try this because as you said my floors are dull. Where do you get the natural dish soap?
I know what you mean – in doing my research for this post, I kept running into so many contradictions! My decision to go with this recipe really is after hours of research because I didn’t want to risk not only ruining my own floors, but also the readers of this site! Of course, if you feel uncomfortable with any of the ingredients, you can leave them out and see how it works for you.
The dish soap I used is just Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap because that’s what I usually have on hand, but any dish soap would work really. Dr. Bronner’s can be found at any health food store, but some Walmarts and Walgreens have been known to sell it. As well as online at Amazon 🙂 Hope that helps!
I haven’t been using any soap but I haven’t been 100% happy with how just the vinegar/alcohol/water was doing. I have 5 dogs and the places where they like to lay always look dirty and dingy no matter what. So today I added a few drops of plain Dawn. It’s much better. I’m thinking maybe there is a build up of oil where they lay and hopefully by adding the Dawn I can begin to get that clean. Just wanted to let you know! Thanks again for posting this!
Thanks so much for sharing, Valerie! Yes, I think the dish soap is integral for that extra bit of grease/oil fighting power. Thanks again for coming back to comment 🙂
I read the same thing as Sara D, that over time vinegar will eventually eat at the laminate top layer- The top layer is thin after all and vinegar is strong.
I won’t kill myself finding the exact article. I found more negatives than positives for vinegar on laminate immediately. Our installers also said no way. 🙁 I’m an avid vinegar user too so was naturally bummed.
For the price of these dang floors, I’m going to err on the side of caution and used what’s recommended. (which for us was no steam either)
I’m sure everyone’s floors are looking GREAT now. It would be nice to see long term use with a modern laminate.
I was told to absolutely never use a steam mop on my laminate floors because it would damage them.
I was reading my manufacturer instructions for my laminate floor and it also says not to use a steam mop.
Haven’t tried this yet, but will tomorrow.
You actually wouldn’t be able to use this with a swiffer wet jet. Any cleaning substance you put in there needs to have a bit of thickness to it or it will leak out…. go on, ask me how I know… lol. =)
Ahh, good to know. Thanks, Abby! …and I’m sure you’re not speaking from personal experience or anything like that..lol 😉
If the smell of vinegar is too strong you might want to try making your own citrus scented vinegar, Just fill a bottle with citrus peels, add vinegar to top. cap tightly, let sit for 2 weeks, shaking once in awhile. Strain to remove peels and small bits that will clog spray bottle. Use as you would for any green cleaning, laundry softener ect.
Thanks, granny! 😉
Great post and I really love the fact that you added the print function!!!! Thank-you!
I use a Clorox Ready mop. Instead of buying the mop pads, I’ve taken old towels and cut them the shape of the pads you buy and sewn the edges to prevent fraying. That way, I can just wash them after each use. I think it would work great with microfiber. It would probably glide more easily along the wet floors too. The towels tend to stick a little, but not so much that I’ve given them up.
Also, I use my homemade window cleaner recipe in the mop. It’s very similar to yours: In a gallon container, pour 1 tsp. dish soap, 1 Tbsp. ammonia, 1 bottle isopropyl alchohol. Add water to fill to the top. I add a few drops of blue food coloring so it looks like Windex and kids know not to drink it. (I also keep it out of reach.) I’ve used it on both laminate wood and laminate tile with great results.
Such great tips, Doris! Thanks for sharing!
I found a pin that eliminates the vinegar smell – fill a jar with orange peels and then pour in vinegar to the top and let soak for two weeks. Vinegar then smells like oranges instead.
I think I’ve seen that pin, Chantel! Thanks for posting it here 🙂
I’ve been searching for a good cleaner for my laminate floors, can’t wait to try it tomorrow!!!! Can you use any dish soap??!
Hi Emily, yeah any dish soap will do. Just make sure you’re only using 2-3 drops!
Do you have a recipe for a natural dish soap? I do dishes by hand…no dishwasher 🙁 and mostly I find dishwasher detergent recipes.
Hi Kimberly, this is the ONE thing I’m having trouble finding 🙁 There was a recipe from Frugally Sustainable that I wanted to try but never got around to it. If you go to http://frugallysustainable.com and search for “dish soap” you should find it without a problem.
Good luck and if try it and like it, I’d love to hear about it!
Do you use a DRY microfiber? I used one wet with just water and my floor ended up streaky…maybe I got it too wet???
Hi Jennifer, yeah I used the microfiber cloth completely dry! I just sprayed the cleaner on the floor and wiped it up with the dry cloth. Guess I should clarify that in the post 😉
Does this work on laminate floors?
Yep! Laminate floors are what inspired this post! I’ve used it on my laminate and tile 🙂
Does this work on vinyl and linoleum floors too. Also, you put vinegar in the fabric softener compartment in place of fabric softener? How much do you use?
Yep, I’ve used it on linoleum floors before, and it worked beautifully.
And I just fill my fabric softener compartment with vinegar – it’s probably no more than 1/4 or 1/2 cup.
Hmmm…I’d like to try this, but am a little scared of the alcohol. I just installed black laminate flooring in my bedroom. It is gorgeous but shows dirt and streaks sooo badly, even footprints from bare feet. Would the alcohol harm the black coloring?
Hmmm, I’m really not sure about the black coloring (didn’t even know they made them in black – must be gorgeous!)! If it were me, I would try a test spot in an inconspicuous area first (maybe a closet?) and see what happens. Sorry I couldn’t offer more advice!
I used this on my floors and it made them streaky…so I tried again without the dish soap…voila…perfect! For some reason the soap made it dry streaky. The rubbing alcohol is for helping the floor dry faster and once the floor dries the vinegar smell goes away 🙂
Hey Mandy, great! Glad you got it to work after altering it! You may have put too much soap; I use just a couple of drops, but if it worked even without, that’s great! Thanks for sharing 🙂
I love your idea, I have an issue I can’t seem to solve. I have scuff marks where I have moved furniture , will this recipe get rid of those or do you know of anything that might.
Hi Sharon, you mean actual scuff marks and not scratches, right? For the scuff marks, I found this link that has a few different things you can try; everything from a pencil eraser to alcohol…even toothpaste! Check it out and let me know if any of them work for you:
Hope that helps and good luck!
baking soda made into a paste with a tad bit of water will take up scuff marks.
Thanks for sharing that tip, Bree!
I have Pergo floors and am so paranoid about getting them wet.. You know how moisture can make the edges kind of warp… How do you clean them and how do they dry fast enough for the warping not to happen? Thanks – Julie
Hi Julie, I’m using this cleaner on my laminate and it works perfectly without warping the edges. The key is to use the spray bottle on a fine mist and only spray enough to just cover the surface. Working a small section at a time, I spray, then right after, I go over it with my microfiber cloth (the cloth is wrapped around an old Swiffer sweeper). The floor never really gets “wet” and gets wiped (and dried) right away. I’ve been using it for a couple months and haven’t had any warping issues. Hope that helps!
I have been using this formula on my Laminate floors for three years now and I think it is the best. I have done the same as all of you..searched for something to get rid of the streaks including purchasing steamers too.
I do one step you have not talked about…I put my spray bottle ( sprayer nozzle removed of course) in to the microwave for 1 min….. it gets the solution very hot..I spray in little sections, clean with the microfiber cloths and it looks great. the alcohol dries quick as is…but the added benefit of the heat dries even faster…. Try it and see if you agree.
Look for Libman’s Wonder Mop. It’s like a swiffer wet jet, but has reusable microfiber pads and a tank meant to be filled with your favorite floor cleaner!
I remember seeing a commercial for this about a year ago and wanting to get it, but never got around to it lol :-/ but I’m glad to see a positive review!
I was just going to post about the Libman’s too. I have one and love it. I have one cloth just for it and the rest of the time I use microfiber or rags. I like it because it goes between my hardwoods and nasty old linoleum (sp?) very well. Highly recommend!
Yay, another positive review! I’m seriously considering getting that Libman mop now 🙂
Definitely get the Libman – we tried it after years of using traditional mops or Swiffer mops. Not very expensive to start with, and you can just wash the pad and use your own cleaners instead of buying expensive refills all the time.
Great To Know This:) Thank you!
the product you are talking about is the libman freedon spray mop. the wonder mop is the classic mop. i looked it up cause i want one. thought id share.
Can this be used on manufactured hardwood floors? Because not much can and I hate the way mine look!
I’m not sure because I haven’t used it on hardwood, only laminate. I don’t think at this dilution, it wood be a good idea. There is a great list of DIY hardwood cleaners at this link from TipNut: http://tipnut.com/wood-floors/
Hope that helps! And let us know what worked for you!
can you use this on sealed wood floors?
I’m not sure because I haven’t used it on hardwood, only laminate. I don’t think at this dilution, it wood be a good idea. There is a great list of DIY hardwood cleaners at this link from TipNut: http://tipnut.com/wood-floors/
Hope that helps! And come back and let us know what worked for you!
Being in the cleaning business for almost 30 yrs., I use vinegar on many, many things. I love it! I think it works great on laminate…however, I would be hesitant about using it on wood floors. Vinegar is an acid, and although it may look great the first several times on wood…over time, the ‘acid’ in the vinegar will break down your ‘protective shine’ on wood floors. @Mimi… had your laminate floor ever had a ‘shine’ product applied? If so, the vinegar may have broke down the product, leaving the residue. Many times I have ran across this problem in homes where they have applied a ‘shine’ product to make their floors shinier, which should never be done. It then, becomes a big project to remove it. Same with wood floors. Just to be safe, avoid any laminate/wood floor products that say ‘shine’ on it. Hope this helps.
Thanks for the helpful tips, Patty! Much appreciated 🙂
I have the same problem!!! The streaks drive me bonkers!! As soon as the cleaner out of my wet jet is gone I am trying this!!
I tried this and it left my floors very dull and streaky. Maybe its only for certain laminate flooring?? Anyway, I had to go back and mop them with my regular floor cleaner. While I won’t use it for floors, it did make a great cleaner for appliances and mirrors. They are shining pretty with just a simple spray and wipe.
Oh no 🙁 I wonder what happened… Did you use a microfiber cloth to wipe it clean? Did you spray too much maybe? I’m sorry it didn’t work for you, maybe you’re right about it working for certain type of laminate – but I can’t imagine why :-/ Glad you found it useful for other areas though!
Just wanted to pop back in because I tried something else. I used a citrus enzyme mix (just put your orange peels in a jar, cover with vinegar and shake for 2 weeks) in place of just the vinegar. Not sure why but it worked MUCH better!! Still doesn’t look like yours but they aren’t dull and streaky. Maybe that is because of the oil in the oranges?? The best part is, it smells good lol One added bonus is that I was told this mix will help deter ants and I discovered a few ants tonight grrrr We will see how this works with that.
Thanks for checking back in, Mimi! I’m so glad to hear the orange peels helped! I think you’re right, the natural oils from the oranges probably helped a great deal. Yay! I’m excited to try this now 🙂
I do this with lemon peels! I love the smell, plus because it is just lemons and vinegar if I need a quick salad dressing I just add it to some olive oil. 🙂
Mimi, I had the same problem cleaning laminate floors in a rental. I was using a good eco-friendly base cleaner, but the previous tenant had used a wax/shine product on the floor. My first mopping left the whole floor a gummy mess. My second mopping was only slightly less sticky and streaky. I finally busted out my Shark steamer and got to the bottom of the slimy build-up. From that point on, I haven’t used anything but steam to clean that floor and it never streaks or feels tacky.
Maybe your recent products haven’t gotten you to the bottom of your build-up yet?
I was reading these posts after doing my floors. Found that my floors were also dull after it dried. I was wondering if the essence oils would help instead of the orange peel idea.
i just sat down from trying this and im sad to say that my floors do not shine like yours either. bummer. however they are cleaner than i have been able to get them since i moved in. they are pretty beat up with scratches in what i believe to be the sealant. anyone know if the floors need to be sealed from time to time?
i will continue to use your formula for sure, just wish my floors would gleam.
WARNING DON’T DO THIS! I agree, I felt so duped! I though this might have ruined my laminate floors. I followed the recipe to a “T” and it was horrible! I had to re-mop and then go over it with Pledge Multi-Surface for laminate to bring back some shine but I am still worried because my floors look dull and feel like they are stripped a bit!
Absolutely agree! Tried 3 times and followed everything to a ‘T.’ Just leaves a dull gray film, worse than everything I’ve tried. Back to the drawing board!
ok so I did some research and white spots are from the calcium and misnerals in hard water if you have hard water, so if ever have white spots show up the best thing for it is to soak a hand towel in white vinegar and wipe it down and immediately dry it! oh by the way they also say not to clean your laminate floors too much because it can leave a residue on them but if it does have a residue on it the best thing for it? you guessed it vinegar!!
I haven’t had the white spots issue, but good to know! Thanks for the research and tips 🙂 Vinegar is truly a miracle cleaner, isn’t it?
do have trouble with white stuff showing up on your laminate floors? after even just plain water gets on my wood laminate flooring this white stuff shows up on it its almost like its cloudy…
You probably have hard water and when it dries it is leaving behind the minerals. Try making the cleaner with distilled water and see if that solves the problem. All homemade cleaners work much better with distilled or super purified water.
Do you know if the alcohol is ok to use on real hardwoods with no seal?
Hi Koral, I can only vouch for this cleaner on laminate wood floors. I would be weary of using it on finished hardwoods (I’d just leave out the alcohol) but would definitely NOT use it on unfinished hardwood, since it’s very sensitive to excess moisture. Here’s a link explaining how to clean unfinished floors – I would replace the Murphy’s soap with castile soap. http://www.ehow.com/how_2335771_clean-unfinished-hardwood-floors.html
Hope that helps!
Hi there, after having my baby I am wanting to go green as well as save some money on cleaning supplies. When using vinegar for the rinse, do they come out smelling like it? Also with the floor cleaner im sure you could add a few drops of tyme, lemon, or pine essential oil to mask the vinegar
Hi Desirae, are you talking about vinegar in the rinse for the washing machine? If so, no, they don’t come out smelling like vinegar at all 🙂
I have been using vinegar in my laundry for over a year and they do NOT smell like vinegar at all!!! I was very leary because I’m quite particular about my laundry and how it smells!! 🙂 It is a great money saver and alternative!!
Curious as to why you would replace Murphy’s with castille. Is something wrong with Murphy’s?
Okay, I’m TOTALLY bustin’ this out to try tomorrow. We also have hardwoods throughout, so I’m pretty darned excited to see if they shine like yours! Thanks for sharing – I pinned it.
This is fantastic- you have so many great ideas. I was just saying to myself the other day that when my current bottle of Pinesol runs out I am not going to buy another one but look for a more natural version to clean my laminate floors. I am totally going to try this, thanks so much!
You’re welcome, Nicole 🙂 Glad to see you’re giving Pinesol the boot!
We have a plain old steam mop that works wonders (even on the baby drool!) but my stainless appliances are in serious need of some love, and your right – vinegar just doesn’t cut it. I’ll give this a shot!
Do you cloth nappy? Cause I’m seriously amazed at how using vinegar in their final rinse increases their absorbency. I reckon it would double it, easily. I think it just removes all the soap scum?
Thinking bout it
Try using your dust cloth, after dusting when it’s good and covered with polish or oil, on your stainless. It’s amazing -streaks even less afterwards.
You know what’s funny? We JUST made the switch to cloth, like literally 3 days ago. I’m going to do my first laundry load tonight – wish me luck lol 😉 I’ll be blogging about switching to cloth once I’m a little more comfortable with it. I kinda feel like a fish out of water right now, but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it soon enough 😉 But I’ve been using vinegar in the rinse cycle for our regular laundry for a while now instead of commercial fabric softener – works great! Glad to see it really helps with the cloth diapers too!
I had my first of nine children back in 1977. I used cloth diapers for many years and just loved hanging them outdoors to dry in the sun, weather permitting. I had a plastic diaper pail that I added a few drops of bleach and vinegar and a couple cups of water, after a couple days of collecting soiled diapers, they got washed. Alot of times I would do a load of diapers late at night, get up early to put them on the line before my busy day started. The other day I unexpectedly found an old diaper pin on an old baby blanket my daughter used on her doll, now that I have grandchildren, I am bringing out stored away toys, and it sure brought back nice memories!
Awww, what a sweet memory, Peggy! And thanks for the tips on cloth diapering – I’m getting more and more confident with them each day 🙂
I’m so glad cloth diapering is gaining popularity. I decided to do it before my first monkey was born, and haven’t looked back. They’re SO much cuter than disposables, and it makes me feel like I’m doing what I can to keep garbage out of the landfills.
I’m going to try using a bit of vinegar with the next wash and see if it helps with absorbancy. My guy is 6 months old, and the diapers still look great, but the inserts are looking a little ‘used.’ Thanks for the tips!
In addition to the antibacterial properties in vinegar it does soften the laundry and by the time the laundry has rinsed well the smell has dissipated.
Vinegar works great for nappies – if you don’t have hard water. I have always done the vinegar rinse – until I moved into this house with hard well water – now I can’t let vinegar touch the diapers as it causes a horrible stench in the diapers. Same diapers, same wash method as the previous 7yrs of cloth diapering. Once I took out the vinegar the smell was gone. I have saved so much money along with landfill space by cloth diapering 5 kids!
We just moved to a new house that has hard well water as well. I have been using vinegar in my laundry for over a year. Did you find it made your other clothes smell or just the diapers?? Thanks!! 🙂
Well done to everyone using cloth nappies (diapers). Just be careful using vinegar on cloth diapers. It will damage the elastics and the PUL lining.
If you’re experiencing smelly nappies do a strip wash – put clean nappies into a hot wash with 1/4 teaspooon or bit less of dishwashing detergent, nothing else, and keep putting through a complete wash cycle until no bubbles are visible in the rinse water.. for me with a top loading machine this is about 3 wash cycles. And sun, sun, sun as much as possible. Also make sure that when you do your usual wash you only use about 1/4 recommended amount of an eco-style laundry powder, and make sure there is no softener or enzymes added. Wash on cold for added environmental oomph 🙂
To clean stainless steal appliances, try baby oil. It has saved my life 😀 just pour it directly onto a cloth and wipe it down, it seriously works wonders!!
Does the baby oil leave the surface greasy?
Awesome idea! My wood floors look very similar to yours and the streaks drive me nuts too. Can’t wait to try this out. Thanks!
what a great way to save money. thanks for sharing the idea/
I’ll definitely have to try this since I have the same problem! Instead of putting it in a spray bottle, I may try and put it in the solution container that goes on a Wet Jet.
Oooh, great idea, Jessica! Let us know how it works!
I found a tutorial way back on Pinterest on how to succesfully refill the wetjet bottle.
I’m sorry I took so long to write back. Nursing school world took over and I’ve been so busy! I did make the cleaning cocktail in my Swiffer Wet Jet, using the modified 1 cup and 3/4 cups. It worked like a DREAM! No nagging streaks left on the floor!
Also those who decide to use your WetJet, I strongly suggest using a microfiber like she said. I tried it with a pad first and it left some streaks. 🙁
Thank you so much for easing my cleaning troubles!
Thanks so much for updating us! Glad it worked for you! 🙂
So, now I’m curious…how do you refill the WetJet bottle?
Boil a small pot of water, and once it’s boiling, put the bottle in upside down for a minute and a half. The cap should twist off with some effort… after that, there little prongs on the inside of the bottle top. You can clip those off with fingernail clippers. That’s it!
Jessica, I soak orange peels in a jar of vinegar for 2 weeks to use in cleaners..you might want to try that.
Thank you SO much for this recipe!! It works AWESOME! I’ve tried several homemade and commercial cleaning products on my laminate wood floor they all left either a film or sticky residue or both YUCK! We have 4 kids under 4 so I do a lot of wipe ups and mopping. This is a quick recipe to make and it actually works! Woot woot! 🙂 I have made a lot of homemade house and body products for my family over the last year and also with Aromatherapy. How fun to combine to two, less chemicals in my home and more money in my pocket. Thanks so much! My favorite eo combo for cleaning products is equal parts lemon, lemongrass and tea tree. It smells devine and we can all benefit from the natural cleansing powers of each of the essential oils as well. 🙂 Thanks again!
Glad to hear it, Cheri! 🙂
You modified it with 1 cup of what and 3/4 cups of what? I’m assuming water and vinegar?
The modification was 1 cup water, 3/4 cup vinegar, and 3/4 cup alcohol.
I use the water, vinegar on my Brazilian Cherry Hardwood floors and it works awesome. It is dark as pictured above.. it worked great and didn’t leave a mark or take off the finish.
Now if someone can come up with how to keep the floors looking like that.. because we have two cats (short haired) and it seems like a few hours later, dust shows and some car hair.. I wanted to use pledge but the floors are like a ice skating rink.. and not cool for the family.. I have a 6 year old and I have back problems so it is an issue.. anyone have any ideas for that.. We live in a 4K sq ft house…moping them daily is impossible
A few drops of olive oil in your damp-mopping water will help condition your bare-wood floors. Adding olive oil to white vinegar and applying a thin coat to your wood floor will restore its shine. A minimal amount of olive oil rubbed into your wood floor is all that is needed to maintain the luster of your wood floor. I did this to the cedar floor in our 3 season room and it came out wonderful.
Just wondering what you consider a natural dish soap?
Hi Jaime, castile soap is my natural soap of choice – I like to use Dr. Bronner’s castile soap (which can be found at any health food store).
You can also find it online. I see you’re in Canada (like me!), so if you’d rather buy it online, you can find it at Well.ca. Full disclosure, that’s my affiliate link, but feel free to not use it, if you wish 🙂
Wholefoods will also have the large bottle of Dr. Brommer’s on sale occasionally for $10 (TEN dollars!!).
Hi is alcohol rubbing alcohol? Sorry, not sure what they mean? This sounds amazing but want to make sure I use the correct products. Thanks Nellie
Hey Nellie, I just pick up the regular isopropyl alcohol from the drug store 🙂
In some countries it is called: surgical spirit. Hope that helps!
Be careful – In my attempt to figure out how the Wet Jet works so I could refill it I was fussing with the machine and it bit me! The bottle is pierced with two very large-gauge needles (one to fetch the cleaner and one to let in air, I suppose). My poor finger found out the hard way. When I told my Mom she mentioned that if you hold the empty Wet Jet bottle upside down so the tip is in very hot water you can pry it off – I’ll have to give this a try.
I held mine under hot water until it let air in (you could hear it! I was told boiling water, but my really hot tap water worked!) then I twisted it off with a towel. It holds liquid with no leaks, no problems!!
I have a steam mop do you think I can use this either in the mop or just spray as I mop with it
Hmm, I’m not sure since I don’t have a steam mop. I do know that using the microfiber cloth to wipe it up plays a huge role in the drying factor. If you do try it, let us know how it works out!
I just used it in my Shark Steam Mop and it worked wonderfully! It got the floor cleaner than using just water. I poured it directly into the water container in the mop. Didn’t hurt it at all. Hope that helps!
YAY! I was just going to ask if anyone knew if we could use our Shark Steamers with this… that has been my only complaint with my steamer is that everything streaks.
thank you for that post I was wondering if I could do that with my shark steam mop.
Has anyone tried this solution in the shark?
I have a shark steam mop, too, and was wondering the same thing. I’ve added some vinegar to the water in the shark and it worked ok (very stinky though). I will have to try this solution- it doesn’t sound like it would ruin the shark.
I put the solution on the floor then mop up with my shark. Works fine.
I was wondering if you could add amonia for a disenfectant?
Hi Stacy, I never work with ammonia so I can’t say for sure. I would start by checking to see if the ammonia would react in any way with the other ingredients (alcohol or vinegar) and go from there. However, the alcohol, vinegar, and essential oils are enough of a disinfectant for me.
Hi vinegar is a natural disinfectant
i just tried this mixture on my hardwood floor, using a cotton cloth on my swiffer, but it left a film on the floor. Why? can this be prevented?
If you have used commercial cleaners on your hardwood prior to using a cleaner containing vinegar the vinegar may react to ingredients (waxes, oils etc.) from the commercial cleaner causing steaks. The good news is, after a few uses of the vinegar cleaner, the film usually disappears. It takes a few uses for the vinegar to cut through whatever has built up on the floor from the commercial cleaner. Using a microfibre cloth also seems to work better than a cotton cloth to further prevent streaking.
Thanks, Linda! I’ve just shared your comment with another commenter who was having issues with streaking. Hopefully this helps her! 🙂
I did the same thing when we moved into our house and the vinegar does eventually get rid of the film.. NEVER EVER use Mop and Glow Orange!
Can a person use this in the Shark floor steamer ?
I didn’t have orange EO so I used Grapefruit EO…it worked nice! thanks!