Tips for Cleaning Hardwood Floors with Vinegar

March 11th, 2014
By Brandon Boyewsky

Typically, hardwood floors are protected by a coating of urethane. Hence, cleaning the floor basically means cleaning the finish. In order to keep the look and feel of hardwood floors, it is imperative you clean them regularly. Removing the dirt and debris, and thereafter mopping, is the most commonly used cleaning method. However, cleaning hardwood floors with vinegar is also an extremely effective cleaning method.

The Ideal Vinegar for Cleaning Hardwood Floors

While there are different types of vinegar, you do not have to invest too much in buying the ideal vinegar for your hardwood floor. The next time you are out grocery shopping, look for white vinegar. It is inexpensive and because it is clear in color, it will not stain your hardwood flooring.

Vinegar’s primary ingredient is acetic acid. The acidic nature of vinegar makes it ideal for cleaning hardwood floors without causing any damage to the finish or wood. Cleaning hardwood floors with vinegar will not only give the floor a shine, it also will sanitize it and kill bacteria and odors.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors with Vinegar: 6 Easy Steps

Here is how to do it. The actual process is simple and easy.

  • Step 1: Remove furniture, rugs and carpets from the floor, so that they do not get in your way or prevent you from cleaning.
  • Step 2: Ensure kids and pets do not walk across the floor. Create some sort of barricade to keep the room blocked. While vinegar is a non-toxic and environmentally-friendly cleaning agent.  You do not want footprints and paw prints marring your floor after you have cleaned it.
  • Step 3: Use a dry mop to remove dirt and debris from the floor surface. You also can use a vacuum cleaner for this purpose.
  • Step 4: Fill a bucket with warm water and pour some vinegar into it. The ratio is one gallon of warm water to half a cup of vinegar.
  • Step 5: Immerse the mop into the vinegar solution. Wring out excess solution and mop the floor. Do not use a dripping mop, as the water will ruin your hardwood flooring. Start from one side of the room and work towards the other end. Always mop in the same direction as the floorboards.
  • Step 6: Be sure to keep rinsing the mop in the vinegar water to mop the floor. If the water in the bucket gets dirty, discard and make a fresh vinegar solution.

Once you have finished mopping the floor with the vinegar solution, it is time to dry the hardwood flooring. You can let it air dry or use a soft, lint-free towel to rub it dry. Once the floor is dry, you can put back the furniture and rugs and let kids and pets access the room.

You do not have to rinse the vinegar from the floorboards, as it is completely non-toxic.

Cleaning hardwood floors with vinegar will give the flooring a lovely shine after you finish mopping and drying it. In addition, you will have the pleasure of having a fresh-smelling room that is odor- and germ-free. Why waste your money on expensive cleaning products that can be toxic to your family when you have access to a much easier and cheaper cleaning product?

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