Cleaning with vinegar and water is cheap, safe for the environment, and generally does a great job at cleaning many items in your home. Just please don't use them to clean wood floors. Using vinegar and water as a homemade wood floor cleaning solution can have a negative effect on your wood floor.
You can use a commercial wood-cleaning product, like Bona or Murphy Oil Soap. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions. You can also make your own cleaner by mixing one part vinegar to 10 parts warm water. Add a few drops of liquid Castile soap.
Wood Floor Cleaning Method: Castile Soap and Essential Oil
To get started, I filled a bucket with 1/4 cup castile soap, a few drops of lemon essential oil (but you can use whatever you prefer), and one gallon of warm water. Then I dipped my microfiber mop with the solution and cleaned my floor.
But vinegar should not be used as a hardwood floor cleaner because its acidity can lead to etching in the wood's surface. Avoid ammonia – Ammonia will discolor, deteriorate, and dull the finish. Using ammonia to clean a wood floor will take years off of its life.
Dry-mop at least twice a week using a microfiber head, focusing on corners. Avoid using water to clean your hardwoods, and never wet-mop, as the moisture can damage the material. To avoid staining and cracking, blot up spills immediately with a dry, clean cloth.
Mix ½ cup of vinegar with one gallon of hot water to create your mopping solution. Wring out your mop thoroughly so that it is only damp and doesn't saturate wood floors with moisture to avoid damage.
Avoid harsh detergents, vinegar cleaning solutions, and any other abrasive products. Clean hardwood flooring with steam, a small amount of water, or a cleaning agent purpose-made for hardwood. Mild, ph-neutral soaps also work. Remove hardened mounds of dirt with warm water and a putty knife.
For use around the home, combine vinegar with water in a 1:1 solution to clean and freshen many surfaces. Use this solution on glass, windows, walls, cupboards, floors, sinks, stovetops and coffee makers.
Begin by dusting or sweeping your floors well. Then make a cleaning mixture using 4 cups warm water and a few drops of castile soap or dish soap. Do not shake, but gently mix this, then mop or scrub small sections at a time, drying them with a clean cloth or dry mop after."
Water, Vinegar, and Plant-Based Liquid Soap
Similarly, for a vigorous hardwood floor cleaner solution, mix one part plant-based liquid soap and one part white vinegar with 10 parts water.
Now that your floors are clean and dry, applying a coat of polish is a great way to revive your hardwood floor's finish. A coat of hardwood floor polish can even out a floor's look, filling in any micro scratches and adding a new protective layer on top of your floor.
An easy way to fill in microscratches and shine wood floors is to polish your floors after mopping. After dusting and spray mopping, use a designated microfiber mop pad to apply polish to wood floors to add shine. Bona floor polish is easy to use and adds a protection and shine with every application.
Fill a clean bucket with a solution of white vinegar and warm water. Use a half a cup of white vinegar to one gallon of warm water. Immerse a clean mop into the solution and wring it until it is damp-dry. Never use a soaking wet mop on the floor.
Just like hardwood floors, vinegar can eat away at the wax finish on wood furniture, leaving it looking dull and cloudy. But, you'll frequently read that vinegar is ideal for cleaning all types of wood. If you would like to use vinegar on finished or waxed wood furniture, use it extremely infrequently and at your risk.
Cleaning with vinegar is great, but it cannot be and should not be used on certain fragile and vulnerable kinds of floors. Even when properly diluted, vinegar should never be used on granite, marble, stone, and waxed finishes.
Remember: Damp Mop. Damp mopping is a very simple way of cleaning hardwood floors. It also happens to be a tried and true method that many experts believe is the most effective way in cleaning urethane finished wood floors on a day-to-day basis.
With regular wear and tear, the finish on your hardwood floor should last about 7-10 years. Floors in high-traffic areas or that are exposed to a lot of sunlight may need to be refinished more often. So if we do some quick math, your hardwood floors will last up to 60 years with being refinished every ten years!
Hardwood flooring can last a lifetime, but the glossy shine of original wood flooring will fade over the course of its life. You'll notice fading after about 25 years. Hardwood floors, if installed properly, can last 100 years.
How often can I refinish my floors? Depending on a floor's thickness and the experience of the flooring professional, a floor can be sanded around 4-6 times in its entire life. Hardwood floors can be refinished every 7-10 years, making the 4-6 refinishes more than enough.
Only use water and a pH neutral cleaning product that is suitable for timber floors. Avoid using household detergents or methylated spirits as these can remove the varnish that protects the surface of the floors. It's also recommended not to use polish or wax products as these can make the floor surface very slippery.
Olive oil added to your hardwood floor cleaner helps naturally hydrate and polishes without leaving behind any film or sticky residue. Using a homemade cleaner with olive oil, you can get two jobs done at once: cleaning and polishing!
Your wood floor will have either an oiled or lacquered finish, the former requiring care on a more regular basis with a manufacturer-recommended oil to be topped up once a year. Do not use a product such as washing up liquid when cleaning, as this could leave a layer of residue.