Looking for the best way to clean your hardwood floors? This DIY natural hardwood floor cleaner is easy to make, affordable and super effective. It’s made with vinegar and Sals Suds to safely and effectively clean wood floors, as well as tile, vinyl, and laminate. And all for just $0.55 a bottle!
UPDATE: This post was originally published in September 2016 and has been updated to reflect new information and supportive content.
We’re back with another DIY Natural Cleaning Recipe!
Today we're making a safe, natural and effective floor cleaner that will put those toxic store-bought cleaners to shame!
If you're not sure why making your own wood floor cleaner is the way to go, this story I wrote for The TODAY Show about why DIY Homemade cleaning products are infinitely better than toxic, expensive store-bought cleaners should do the trick.
Why make your own DIY Natural Hardwood Floor Cleaner?
The quick and dirty of it: store-bought cleaners are loaded with toxins and harmful chemicals that pollute not only our homes and our bodies, but also the environment.
But perhaps the easiest reason to get on board with making your own cleaners is the ridonkulous SAVINGS!!!
My recipe for…
- Homemade Bathroom Cleaner costs just $1.29 to make;
- Granite/Marble Countertop Cleaner only $1.27;
- Natural Dryer Sheets are just $.018/load; and
- DIY Glass + Window Cleaner is only $0.74!
Are you kidding? Couple those prices (which are many dollars cheaper than even the most basic store-bought cleaners!) with the fact that DIY-ing your own cleaning products is beyond easy (seriously…pour some ingredients into a bowl, stir and you're done!) and it just doesn't make sense to buy cleaning products anymore, regardless of how you feel about toxins.
This DIY Natural Homemade Floor Cleaner is no different! The entire bottle cost me a whopping $0.55 to make, compared to store-bought cleaners, which average around $10 per bottle. Take a look:
- water = FREE (my favorite price!)
- white vinegar (I paid $11.67 for 128 ounces, but I only used 4 ounces = $0.36)
- sal suds (I paid $48.99 for 132 ounces, but I only used .5 ounce = $0.19)
Total cost = $0.55
Come on! This is just too good!! Less than a dollar?!?!
Have carpet in your home too? Definitely check out our DIY Homemade Carpet Cleaner (you can use with or without a machine!).
THE TRUTH: TOXIC WOODFLOOR CLEANERS
If those savings weren't enough to convince you, I could bet that once you learn what's really lurking in the store-bought floor cleaners you've been using, you'll be persuaded.
If you pay attention to the food you eat, then you should also care about the products you use.
Health isn't just about what we put in our bodies, it's also affected by what we put on our bodies.
And household cleaning products are not exempt. It makes sense if you think about it–we’re spraying these cleaners all over our homes, inhaling whatever’s in the mixture as we spray it and long after it’s been applied to every surface. And then we’re touching those surfaces and doing things like eating, touching our skin, and if you’ve got kids, you can bet they're putting those contaminated hands in their mouths!
The truth is, most popular store-bought floor cleaners on the market (that would be Bona, Swiffer, Pledge, Quick Shine, and Method, which many people mistakenly think to be a safe, natural brand) are rated an F (the most dangerous score) by the EWG. (Recently Method and Pledge moved up to a D from an F, which is still a terrible score!)
Or in other words, the cleaners contain significant hazards to health or the environment, and/or companies don’t disclose their full ingredients list, which is a HUGE RED FLAG. What are they trying to hide?
Take a look at some of the most toxic ingredients found in the above floor cleaners:
- Colors: Proven to cause cancer. No thank you.
- Preservatives: This unspecified ingredient may contain carcinogens like formaldehyde, an asthmagen that also causes severe skin burns and eye damage, allergic skin reactions and is harmful to sea life.
- Ammonium Hydroxide: This is that ammonia solution we all thought was such an awesome cleaning agent for so long… as it turns out, ammonia not only harms sea life, it also causes respiratory damage and skin irritation, allergies and even vision problems. If you can't breathe while you're cleaning something, it likely contains ammonia…skip it!
- Dipropylene Glycol Methyl Ether: If you have to think too hard just to figure out how to pronounce something, it's usually a bad sign. In the case of this chemical, expect to find a slew of negative side effects, from central nervous system impairment and skin and respiratory irritation to a link to drowsiness and dizziness and eye irritation. It's also riddled with impurities, including ingredients proven to cause cancer, infertility and genetic defects.
A few other gems that can be found in these toxic floor cleaners include alcohol ethoxylates (which may contain ingredients with potential for cancer, developmental, endocrin and reproductive harm, and damage to DNA), and fragrance, another hormone disruptor and asthmagen with links to skin irritation, allergies, nervous system defects and acute aquatic toxicity.
Fortunately, my DIY Natural Homemade Floor Cleaner recipe will have you cleaning hard floor surfaces just as effectively (if not more!) without any of the negative side effects.
CLEANING TIPS FOR DIY NATURAL HARDWOOD FLOOR CLEANER
Rather than using artificial colors, preservatives, ammonia and other toxic chemicals, this homemade floor cleaner is made with just 3 ingredients (one of which is water…doesn't get much safer than that!) and naturally scented with essential oils.
Now typically, I call for castile soap in my DIY cleaning recipes. But I recently learned the hard way that when combined with vinegar, castile soap becomes unsaponified (meaning it's no longer soap) and it curdles and creates an oily mess.
So this recipe calls for another one of my favorite Dr. Bronner's products, Sal Suds. You can combine this safe soap with vinegar, and it becomes one of the most powerful degreasers there is!
Note: Sal Suds does have the natural scent of fir and spruce, so you may find that you don't even need/want to add essential oils.
But if you do, I recommend using crisp citrus oils or refreshing green oils (tea tree oil would work particularly well here), which all smell super clean and even naturally have antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and germicidal properties, to scent this floor cleaner.
You can use this floor cleaner one of two ways–either add the solution to a spray bottle (I recommend these glass spray bottles, which are the perfect size, pretty to look at and you don’t have to worry about BPA in the plastic) and spray your floor as you go (this is great for spot cleaning) using a microfiber cloth or mop to spread/wipe the cleaner.
Or you can add the solution to a bucket and use a traditional mop the old fashioned way. This is better when you need to clean an entire room's floors, rather than a spot or small area.
Likewise, if you just can't part with your Swiffer, simply dump out the toxic cleaning solution that comes with it and fill the bottle instead with this safe and natural floor cleaner.
If you go the spray bottle method, this recipe will obviously make way more than you can fit into a single bottle. So either make multiple bottles, or reduce the recipe by 9 to make enough for just one bottle (hint: that would be roughly 14 ounces of water + 1/2 ounce vinegar + a dash of Sal Suds + a few drops of essential oils).
If you're looking for more safe and natural DIY cleaning recipes, be sure to check out our FREE eBook!
DIY Natural Hardwood Floor Cleaner
- Combine all ingredients into a bottle fitted with a spray top. Or you can pour all ingredients into a large bucket. Shake/stir to combine.
- If using a spray bottle, spray onto floor, and use a microfiber mop to clean. If using a bucket, soak a regular mop in the mixture and clean floors with it.