DIY Natural Hardwood Floor Cleaner

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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!

Ingredients for DIY Natural Hardwood Floor Cleaner with essential oils and citrus.

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.

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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…

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!).

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Ingredients for my DIY Natural Homemade Floor Cleaner with orange and lemon.


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?

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Take a look at some of the most toxic ingredients found in the above floor cleaners:

  • ColorsProven to cause cancer. No thank you.
  • PreservativesThis 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.

RELATED:  Ultimate Guide: The Dangers of Fragrance + Perfume

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.

DIY Natural Hardwood Floor Cleaner glass bottle.


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.

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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).

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DIY Cleaning bottles for bathroom, all-purpose, granite and glass.

If you're looking for more safe and natural DIY cleaning recipes, be sure to check out our FREE eBook!


A DIY Natural Hardwood Floor Cleaner in glass bottle.
Print Recipe
4.72 from 7 votes

DIY Natural Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Looking for the best way to clean your hardwood floors? This DIY natural hardwood floor cleaner is easy to make, affordable and super effective.
Prep Time2 mins
Total Time2 mins
Course: DIY
Cuisine: Cleaning
Servings: 132 oz
Author: Root + Revel Collective



  • 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.

DIY Natural Hardwood Floor Cleaner recipe.

About The Author

24 thoughts on “DIY Natural Hardwood Floor Cleaner”

  1. Hi! Thanks for this article… I believe I have read similar articles before but I’ve never heard of the Sals Suds before. How concentrated is the Sals Suds? The other articles didn’t use essential oils but instead used the peels of lemons and/or oranges soaked in the vinegar for a couple of days… have you tried this way before? Thanks ahead of time. 

    1. Hi, Jasmine! Thanks for reading! Sals Suds is very concentrated – just a tablespoon per gallon of liquid is enough! I have not tried that way before, but citrus essential oils are extracted from the rind of their fruits, so it makes sense! Let me know how it goes if you try it that way!

  2. Hi. Thanks for the article. We have really expensive hardwood floors, and my mother is worried about it taking the “varnish” off, if that’s even possible. We have a huge mold and dust problem in our home, so I’d like something that could actually remove particulates.

    Do you know of any cleaner that’s safe for wood that can remove or disinfect? Would “degreasing” be possibly bad for the wood? Thank you!!

  3. Erynn Williams

    5 stars
    I’m always on the lookout for cleaning supplies without all those harmful chemicals. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  4. Hi! I see what you have noted here about combining vinegar with castile soap. However, earlier today I made your furniture cleaner which called for both of these ingredients. After sitting is this combination going to be a problem?? Thanks!

    1. Hi, Tricia: To be honest, I’ve heard conflicting information about combining vinegar with castile soap. Supposedly it can curdle, but I haven’t had that happen to me in any of my cleaning supplies. I think that when the ratio is more equal, that may happen but when it’s such a small amount of soap it’s not a problem. Let me know if you have any issues with curdling…you can always use sal suds instead if it does. But like I said, I haven’t had any issues myself and I make these cleaners every month. Hope that helps!

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you so much! It’s been a couple days since I made it and haven’t had any issues. I’m loving your recipes. I have 2 kids and our 3rd arriving in a week and a half and I’m always trying to use natural, non toxic products which are very hard to find. I love DIY recipes, that way there are no hidden ingredients. Thank you again!

        1. Exactly, you know just what you’re getting when you DIY and it’s SO MUCH CHEAPER! Hope you’re able to try more of our cleaning recipes 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Kate!

    Just checking in to let you know I tried this recipe and LOVED it! My husband hates the smell of vinegar (and I’m not too fond of it myself), but this didn’t even bother me. Now that my son is almost crawling I’m trying to be even more conscious of the chemicals I use cleaning, and look forward to using more of your natural alternatives. Thanks so much for the great recipes!

    1. Hey Joy! Ahh yay, that makes me so happy to hear. I totally get what you mean about the smell of vinegar, but the essential oils really help to mask it here and it doesn’t linger. So glad you liked the recipe and hope you’ll try more! 🙂

    1. Hi, Felicia: I wouldn’t recommend doing that, unless your dishwashing liquid is safe and non-toxic. You may have to experiment to make sure it doesn’t curdle… but you could also try castile soap. I know I mentioned that when combined with vinegar it can curdle, but I think because there’s so much water in this recipe, you’re probably okay.

  6. Love all your recipes for cleaning. Been using vinegar for cleaning and love me some EO. I use the spray bottle method as we have laminate floors and also lavender as we also have scorpions. Now I know everyone has an opinion but we usually go all summer without having to Spray chemicals and have been blessed. Thank you for the sal suds. Have not heard of them. Will be going out and getting some. ????

    1. Thanks so much for writing in, Audra! That’s so amazing you haven’t had to spray any chemicals. The power of natural ingredients is amazing, isn’t it? I think people always assume they’ll be less effective, but I’ve found the opposite to be true, and I’m glad you have too! You should check out our DIY Cleaning eBook if you haven’t already: I think you’d love it!

  7. 4 stars
    I make a similar thing, alway with grapefruit; though factoring in the price of essential oils ithe per ounce price is more than 55 cents, though it’s hard to calculate by drops.

    1. Hey Margot! Yum, love the smell of grapefruit essential oils 🙂 I use that sometimes, too. I calculate the cost of essential oils by how measuring exactly how many ounces are used, so 55 cents is exactly the cost for this recipe, using that brand. Happy Cleaning to you 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Thank you, I’ve been using just vinegar and water to damp mop the wood flooring here at home. I add whatever essential oil I feel I need each time I refill the Bona container (bought it without the cleaner for it). Have been wondering what to add to it for the kitchen flooring, however, and will definitely be getting some sals suds now for some extra de-greasing when needed. The more I get into essential oils the more I’ve been looking for recipes like the ones you provide. DR Z and Mama Z are another favorite place for me to go for recipes. In fact I think it was through one of his newsletters that I found you. So thank you to Dr Z, there. I use white vinegar so much, even add to the softener dispenser in the washing machine. Again adding EO’s (love lavender or ylang ylang in sheets and all things related to sleep, Rosemary and a touch of peppermint to outdoor clothing, and usually some citrus here and there as well. Again, thanks for all the useful information here.

    1. Hi, Debra! Thanks so much for reading and writing in 🙂 I’m with you–I love vinegar and use it on everything! Definitely check out sal suds–it’s a powerful product, just don’t use it on your skin. It’s definitely meant for household cleaning 😉 I’ll check out those other sites you mentioned, as I’m not familiar. But that’s so wonderful that Dr. Z brought you to me. I’m so glad to have you here! Have you signed up for our newsletter? You’ll get a FREE copy of our DIY Cleaning eBook when you do 🙂

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Tips for a healthier home

Here are some eco-friendly home care tips for a healthy and green living:
  • Switch your cleaning products to eco-friendly options. You can find many of these in the grocery store and online.
  • Use sustainable materials for furniture, such as wood instead of plastic or metal. This will help create less waste and reduce the amount of natural resources that are used to produce them.
  • Choose lightbulbs with little or no mercury. These not only create less waste but also have an impact on climate change by using less electricity.
  • Plant trees around your property. Trees benefit the environment by providing shade, absorbing carbon dioxide, and purifying the air with their leaves. They also provide fuel for firewood during colder months and a habitat for wildlife. The benefits of planting trees go far beyond what you see right in front of you!

Green cleaning products

One way to make your home more eco-friendly is by switching over to green cleaning products. These products aren’t as harsh on the environment as traditional household cleaners and are less likely to cause allergies or other health issues. Plus, you can find a variety of green cleaning products that work for every type of surface in your home.

Switching to eco-friendly cleaning products

There are many cleaning products that you can use in your home that are environmentally friendly. One of the best ways to start is by switching to eco-friendly cleaning products. Many people don’t know that there are many types of eco-friendly cleaning products on the market today, including laundry detergent and dishwasher soap. A switch to green cleaners can be a simple way to create an environmentally friendly living environment.

Safer and more environmentally friendly ways to clean your home

If you want to make your home safer and more environmentally friendly, then you can switch from using toxic cleaning products to using eco-friendly alternatives. For example, if you want to clean your toilet, then you could use vinegar instead of bleach or other harsh chemicals. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer, so it will do the job without harming the environment. You can also use baking soda as a healthy alternative to many household cleaners. Baking soda is an abrasive cleaner that breaks down dirt and grime; it’s also non-toxic, so it won’t harm people or the environment. It’s also inexpensive, so you can use it liberally without worrying about running out of supply too quickly.

Sustainable living

Most people are more aware of the environment these days and want to do their part to make it a better place. Homeowners and renters alike are doing everything from switching to environmentally friendly cleaning products, to using sustainable materials for furniture. Here are some tips for living an eco-friendly lifestyle in your home:
    • Clean with white vinegar – You can use this as a natural disinfectant that is also eco-friendly. It is also inexpensive and easy on your pipes because you won’t be putting harsh chemicals down the drain.
    • Avoid aerosol cans – Aerosol cans contain harmful chemicals that will release into the air when sprayed. Try switching to an eco-friendly product or find another way to clean.
    • Use reusable napkins – Napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, even facial tissue all come wrapped in paper (or other packaging). Reusable napkins or dish towels will give you one less thing you need to throw away every day!
    • Put up a clothesline – Even if you live in an apartment or condo where putting up a clothesline isn’t possible, there are many ways you can still dry your clothes without using electricity or gas. For example, hang them outside on a sunny day or turn your oven on low heat and hang them from the top rack.

Living with less waste in your home

One of the best ways to reduce your ecological footprint is by reducing the amount of waste that your household produces. Take a look at what you’re throwing away and try to find alternatives.
For example, instead of buying disposable napkins, use cloth napkins that you can throw into the wash. If you need face wipes for removing makeup, consider making them yourself from reusable materials like cotton rounds. And if you want to stop using plastic bags, use canvas bags or have bags made from recycled material. There are many other ideas for eco-friendly alternatives in your home as well.

Sustainable materials for furniture

Did you know that the average American generates over 4 pounds of waste every day? This means that we are throwing away a lot of furniture and other items in our homes. To stop contributing to this problem, it is best to use sustainable materials for furniture. Sustainable materials are made from recycled materials which can be up-cycled into new products. Not only are these items better for the environment, but they also save money because the items will last longer.
Sustainable materials for furniture include:
      • Recycled plastic
      • MDF
      • Plywood
      • Timber reclaimed from old buildings or driftwood
      • Bamboo
      • Faux leather (made from cotton)
The pursuit of a healthy, green and sustainable home is achievable for anyone. It will require more time and effort, but the payoff will be worth it.
Start with the small things. Make a conscious effort to recycle, turn off appliances and lights when you’re not using them, and check your thermostat. It’s easy to get into a routine of living without giving it much thought, but the more you make an effort, the easier it will be to live sustainably.
After you’ve made changes in your everyday life, look for furniture that is made with sustainable materials. You can also buy an eco-friendly houseplant for your home that requires little care.
    1. Tips for a healthier home:
      • Turn off appliances and lights when you’re not using them
      • Check your thermostat
      • Make a conscious effort to recycle
    2. Green cleaning products:
      • Switching to eco-friendly cleaning products
      • Safer and more environmentally friendly ways to clean
      • Sustainable living:
      • Living with less waste in your home
      • Sustainable materials for furniture
  • Sustainable materials for furniture:
    • Consider buying furniture made with sustainable