Easy Home Cleaning Tips – How to Clean Hardwood Floors with Vinegar?

crteam November 9, 2020 Do It Yourself , Floor Cleaning
Hardwood Floor

Not in favour of toxic, chemical products for home cleaning? Vinegar can be a powerful substitute. 

When it comes to floor or window cleaning, vinegar makes a great chemical-free cleaner. The acidic nature of vinegar is strong enough to disinfect the space and kill the harmful bacteria. The buildup of dust, dirt and debris can effortlessly be wiped-off with vinegar. 

To retain the luster and shine of hardwood floors, extra care is needed. Will vinegar be effective in keeping the hardwood floor as gorgeous as always? Fortunately, the answer is yes. We know you must be wondering whether the acidic nature of vinegar would harm the floor. Well, if you mix vinegar with water, its acidity will be lowered and work best for cleaning hardwood floors. It will naturally clean the floor by removing all the filth and grime. 

Which vinegar to choose for hardwood floor cleaning?

The best vinegar to clean wood floors is white vinegar. It is less acidic and highly effective. Cleaning vinegar is also readily available in the market. However, keep in mind that cleaning vinegar contains more acid as compared to other regular vinegar. 

If both types of vinegar are not available, then you can go for another safe bet, apple cider vinegar. Balsamic or red wine vinegar should be avoided for cleaning wood floors. 

How to clean the hardwood floors with vinegar?

Start with vacuum

Before you start cleaning the floors with vinegar, it is highly recommended to vacuum or clean the floor with a dry mop. This will remove the dry dust, lint, hair and debris that daily gets settled on the surfaces. This will potentially make your cleaning process easy. 

3 ways to clean your hardwood floor with vinegar 

#Method 1 – The traditional way 

Follow the age-old way of cleaning floors by homemakers, using a bucket, cloth and wiping the floor with hand. Trust, this will not only clean the floor but can be a great exercise too. 

What you need:

  • A bucket
  • Clean floor cleaning cloth
  • Warm water – 1 gallon 
  • White vinegar – ½ cup
  • Lemon and clove essential oil (3 to 4 drops each)

It’s simple, you just need to mix all the ingredients (water, vinegar and essential oils) in a bucket. Swirl well. Dip the cloth in the bucket. Squeeze the excess water into the bucket itself and start wiping the floor with your hands. 

You will get close and personal with your floor, so you can clean much better. Even the baseboards can be cleaned. Regular or weekly cleaning will work well and keep wood floors spick and span. 

#Method 2 – With bucket and mop

It’s almost similar to the first method. The only major difference is instead of hand you need to use a mop.  

What you need:

  • A bucket
  • Mop
  • Warm water – 16 ounces 
  • White vinegar – 3 teaspoons 
  • Clove and lemon essential oils – 2 to 3 drops 

It’s a super convenient way for regular floor cleaning. What you need to do is fill a clean bucket with the above ingredients (water, vinegar and essential oils). Mix it well. Now immerse a clean mop into the filled bucket. Wring it well till it’s damp (it should not be fully wet). Then start mopping the floor. 

Rinse the mop head frequently after certain wipes. If you see the water mixture has become very dirty then spill it and change the solution. 

#Method 3 – With spray bottle and microfiber mop

Now comes the third method of cleaning hardwood floors. It’s simple and works great. With one spray bottle, you can clean around 4 to 6 foot of floor section. 

What you need:

  • A spray bottle
  • Microfiber mop
  • Warm water – 16 ounces 
  • White vinegar – 3 teaspoons 
  • Clove and lemon essential oils – 2 to 3 drops 

You just need to mix all the ingredients, create a solution and fill the refillable spray bottle. Now wet the mop head with the solution and wring it if needed and wipe the floor. You can prepare a solution again as per the floor space needed. 

Do not let the floor remain wet for long as water can affect the finish of the hardwood floor and potentially cause damage. After any of the above methods, if the floor appears very wet or if extra water drips on the floor, use a clean and soft cloth to dry the floor. Let it air dry. 

So which method of cleaning would you like to choose?

When to avoid using vinegar

Though it’s a natural cleanser, non-toxic and very effective, vinegar is ultimately acidic in nature. The acidic properties may damage fabrics and some of the surfaces. Do not use too concentrated vinegar directly on fabrics. Avoid using vinegar for cleaning of floors or items made up of natural stones like marble or granite as it can cause scratches. Even keep aluminium items away from vinegar. 

Use of vinegar in other home cleaning purposes

Not just for cleaning hardwood floors, the powerful cleaner, vinegar can also be used to clean windows, tiles, mirrors. Mix vinegar with water and simply wipe the spaces where you want with newspaper.

Vinegar can also be used for extra clean and shine of wood-panelled cabinets and no-wax floors. To get rid of stubborn red wine stains, pet urine or poop stains from carpet, use the paste of baking soda and vinegar. The stains will vanish without much effort.   

Even silver items can be shined and the oven can be cleaned with the blend of baking soda and vinegar. 

Other natural alternatives to vinegar 

Adding essential oils to vinegar acts as a great disinfectant and at the same time cuts the bad odour and spreads fresh smell. 

Apart from vinegar, you can clean the natural wood floor with Castile soap too. It can be used on any dirt floor space. Mix castile soap with water or warm water and mop the floor the usual way. This soap comes in different aromatic scents like lavender, green tea, cherry blossom and peppermint. 

Hope the tips help you in easy home cleaning. Get the cleaning job done but make sure you do it safely. In case of doubt, it is always wise to use the diluted form of vinegar for cleaning.