Using Vinegar to Clean Hardwood Floors
Reach to your kitchen cabinets to clean your hardwood floors!
What you may not realize is that you can use vinegar to clean hardwood floors and many times, it will do a better job than most store bought chemical products.
Not only that, but you can save some money on the process, too. Vinegar is a great tool for cleaning many surfaces and if you have not found its benefit just yet, now is a great time to do just that.
Why Use Vinegar:
Who thought to pour vinegar on the floor to find out if it worked as a cleaning tool? Although the answer to that is impossible to know, the right solution can cleanse your hardwood floors almost as good as hiring a professional to do it.
Of course, a bottle of vinegar is usually far less expensive than paying a pro to do your floors.
Besides being a very inexpensive cleaning agent, vinegar is also a good option because it is non toxic. Even if you are not in the "go green" movement, the fact is that chemicals designed to clean floors are very toxic.
You should not have these in your home, especially if you have children, asthma or other health conditions.
A Secret of Professional House Cleaning Companies:
Mrs Clean is a professional house cleaning company. (how'd you think we knew so much about cleaning anyway?). Guess what we use to clean hardwoods? You're right, we use vinegar.
Vinegar is not just cheap- it deodorizes, it is antiseptic (it kills bacteria) and it's a "clean" cleaning solution- That is, it doesn't leave a residue like soap does, so you don't need to rinse the floors after using it.
There's not a downside to using vinegar, unless you strongly object to the smell, but even that dissipates as it dries.
It goes without saying that we HAVE to use cleaning products that do a very good job. Trying to skimp on a cleaner just to save a few bucks will cost us more in the end as we'd have to go back out and redo the floors.
The simple truth is that vinegar is the best product to use for all hard floors, with the exception being stone floors like marble, slate or granite, etc. because it's acidic. Also the very old unvarnished wood floors that have the dark gray appearance can use vinegar but are probably better cleaned with murphy oil soap because those poor things need some help with their shine.
All modern hardwood floors are covered with a varnish that makes the grain impervious to soil, so you really need to clean the varnish. That's why vinegar is the best way to clean these floors.
The Cleaning Process:
- Sweep or vacuum the floor to remove dirt and grime.
- Use 1 capful (1 TBL) of white vinegar to one gallon of warm water.
- Submerge a mop into the cleaning solution.
- Wring the mop completely so it is just damp. Contrary to popular belief, slopping water all over the place does not do a better job cleaning and could damage the floor too.
- Go over the entire floor rinsing the mop in the vinegar solution often.
- Use a towel to dry the floor when finished to avoid water spots.
When it comes to the types of vinegar to use, be sure to use plain white vinegar. Obviously avoid specialty vinegars such apple cider, red wine and similar products. Use fancy vinegar for your salad and stick to plain, white vinegar for cleaning.
Most hardwood floors, regardless of the type of wood don't take well to moisture. It's advisable to use as little of the cleaning solution as possible as the point to mopping is not to saturate the floor with dirty water, but wipe the floor clean with the mop. You can also clean the floor by hand using a clean rag dipped in the same vinegar and water solution.
Because most floors are varnished these days, towel drying the floor is helpful for extra shine. It will also help avoid spotting and get any dirt left on the floor off.
Overall, use vinegar to clean your hardwood floors frequently. As long as you keep them fairly dry, most wood floors will respond well to this type of cleansing process. Of course, the chemical based cleaners out there are less likely to be beneficial to you in the same way. Many are toxic not only for you but also for the floor.