Hardwood floors are a favorite among homeowners because of their natural colors and beauty. Cleaning hardwood floors using the wrong floor cleaner could be a mistake, however. Our cleaning tips and recipes will provide you with ways to clean hardwood floors with vinegar so that you can protect that wood naturally without using harsh cleaning products.
Hardwood floors are different than your everyday laminate flooring and need different cleaning methods to protect both the wood and its polyurethane protective coating.
This type of flooring is found in just about any room in the home from the kitchen to the living room. Therefore, you need to know how to care for wood flooring properly through everyday cleaning to remove stains.
How to Clean Hardwood Floors with Vinegar
Believe it or not, the best way to clean a hardwood floor is to use vinegar. Vinegar is a mildly acidic liquid that easily breaks down grime and grease. When you make your own wood cleaner in combination with other ingredients, vinegar can clean a floor and restore its natural beauty and shine.
The following steps show you how to clean hardwood floors with vinegar and which components to add to create the perfect cleaning solution for your floor.
Prepare a Hardwood Floor For Cleaning
Take the necessary steps to clean your hardwood floor of loose dirt and debris before you wet mop it. Sand and dirt particles can get rubbed into the wood during the mopping process. Doing this can scratch and lead to future damage to your wood flooring.
Wood Floor Cleaning Prep
Before mopping or wet cleaning the wood floor, use a broom with gentle bristles, a dust mop, or a dry mop to sweep away debris and dirt from along the walls, baseboards, and corners. Finish by sweeping the dirt from one side of the room to the other until all debris is in one area.
Sweep the dirt onto a dustpan and dispose of it in the garbage. You can also clean the floor using a vacuum as long as you have removed the beater bar.
Vacuuming a hardwood floor with the beat bar intact can cause damage to the wood. While cleaning, make sure that you get along the edges of the floor to remove dust and dirt there, as well.
Clean the Entire Floor Using Vinegar
The following process is the easiest way to clean floors made of wood using a fundamental vinegar solution and a wet mop. This cleaner recipe is ideal for weekly maintenance cleaning. You can also use this recipe for cleaning baseboards along the floor by using a microfiber cloth.
For cleaning unfinished hardwood floors, fill the bucket with warm water and white vinegar. Dunk the mop head into the vinegar solution and wring out any excess liquid. Begin mopping at one side of the room using a use a side-to-side motion to clean the floor as you go.
Make sure to rinse, wring, and dunk the mop into the cleaning solution each time it begins to get dirty. Standing water and wood are not friends, so remember to use a dry, soft cloth to dry the floor after you finish cleaning it. Wood floors can be warped and damaged if left wet and result in costly repairs.
Vinegar can also work well on natural wood furniture. Cleaning teak furniture with vinegar is an excellent option to avoid using harsh chemicals or risk warping the wood with water and soap.
Cleaning Old Hardwood Floors Naturally
There are many distilled white vinegar uses, and cleaning old hardwood floors naturally is one of them. The following method works well for cleaning tough stains and extra dirty hardwood floors without using a store-bought cleaner. This cleaning solution can either be used as a spot cleaner or for cleaning large areas.
Pour the soap and water in a spray bottle. You can also add ten drops of your favorite essential oils to the solution to eliminate the vinegar smell and leave the room with a fresh scent. Give the bottle a gentle shake to mix well without creating too many suds.
For large areas that need mop cleaning, combine the solution in a bucket, or use a spray mop. Spray the dirty floor areas with the cleaner and use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth to clean away grime.
Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors
The best way to clean hardwood floors is with a vinegar based cleaning solution. This method uses a combination of vinegar, soap, and water to loosen grime in a small area of the floor for easy spot cleaning. This recipe can also be made ahead of time, labeled, and stored away for future uses.
Mix the water, soap, and vinegar in a spray bottle and give it a gentle shake. If you plan to use the cleaning solution more than once, be sure to label the container for easy and safe storage. Spray the solution onto the dirty or stained area of the wood floor.
Use a soft cloth to work the solution into the grime with a circular motion. Rinse and wring the cloth using clean water, and wipe the remaining soap and dirt residue away. Finish up by drying the area with a clean towel.
Deep Clean a Hardwood Floor
To deep clean hardwood floors, you need something other than vinegar and water to remove dirt. This cleaning recipe utilizes the degreasing action of white vinegar with the deep cleaning action of dish soap. This technique is ideal for cleaning high traffic areas as well as kitchen and bathroom wood floors.
Pour the vinegar in a spray bottle and add the dish soap. Gently shake the bottle to mix without creating too many suds. Spray the vinegar solution onto those extra dirty areas of the floor and use a soft sponge to wipe away dirt and debris.
Rinse and wring out the sponge using cold water and wipe away any soapy residue. You can also use a damp mop to remove cleaning solution in larger areas. Finish up by drying the section with a clean towel.
Clean and Condition Hardwood Flooring
This DIY floor cleaner with vinegar is also a great way to condition your wood floor to prevent the wood from drying out. Since cooking oil can become rancid over time, do not prepare this recipe ahead of time for storage.
Mix the water, oil, and vinegar in a spray bottle and give it a good shake. Begin in one area of the floor and work in sections. Spray the floor with the cleaning solution and use a cloth to wipe away dirt.
The vinegar breaks down the grime, while the oil prevents the wood from drying out. Use a dry, soft cloth to buff the floor using a circular motion to bring out the shine.
Cleaning a Wood Floor with Apple Cider Vinegar
If you like the idea of cleaning wood floors with a natural hardwood floor cleaner but prefer to use something a little different than white vinegar, you can get the same cleaning job done using apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is not as potent as white vinegar, so it can be used regularly to protect your wood floor’s finish.
Mix the water and apple cider vinegar into a bucket and dunk the mop head into the solution. Wring the mop well to remove excess liquid. Begin at on end of the room and work your way to the other by cleaning the floor using a side-to-side motion.
Rinse and wring the mop as needed while cleaning the floor. Once the floor is clean, go back over the wood with a dry towel to wipe away any wet areas.
You could always purchase a Bona cleaning system to clean wood floors, but why do that when you can use natural products that you already have in your home to do the job? While hardwood floors need a little more TLC than a laminate or vinyl floor, it is well worth the extra effort.
Knowing how to clean wood properly is the first step. Caring for a wood floor using the right cleaning methods and know-how go a long way in rewarding you with those rich wood tones, luster, and natural beauty for years to come.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to clean hardwood floors with vinegar to bring it back to its natural beauty, and we hope that you share these floor cleaner tips with your family and friends on Pinterest and Facebook.