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Make your own DIY Floor Cleaner

Cleaning Hacks

Inside: How to clean wood floors naturally; plus avoiding water stains on wood, cleaning with vinegar and baking soda, and natural ways to clean hardwood.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I figure out that I can make my own cleaning products that are not only cheaper, but also SAFER, I’m all in! So many store-bought wood floor cleaners claim to be the bees knees, but they are chock-full of pesky chemicals. Homemade cleaning products can be just as effective as their commercial counterparts, and are free of harsh toxins that can be dangerous for people, kiddos, pets, not to mention our environment!

We all want to do what’s healthiest, but let’s be real, we also want CHEAP AND EASY. Luckily, it’s super simple to make your own DIY wood floor cleaner, and only requires ingredients that you probably already have at home – making it significantly less expensive than the store-bought options!

First, let’s run through some handy-dandy tips on hardwood floor cleaning.

Does water ruin hardwood floors?

Did you know that no hardwood floor is completely waterproof, no matter how many layers of coating have been applied? Cleaning hardwood floors with excessive water can cause water stains, mold, or blackened, warped wood. Of course, water can be used, but it will be absorbed through the pores in the wood, and therefore should be used sparingly and removed quickly. It’s recommended to use a microfiber mop rather than string or sponge mops, which can over-saturate the wood. Try to avoid using water altogether on waxed wood floors!

Can I use vinegar on my wood floors?

Many people are aware that vinegar is handy for cleaning bathrooms and kitchen counters, but did you know that it can also cut through grimey build-up on your wood floors? However, it’s important not to overdo it. Vinegar is an acid, so it can actually break down the finish. Overuse can reduce the wood’s shine and leave a dull appearance over time. 

I’m a big fan of using vinegar when there are tough stains and residue, take my hack for cleaning my stainless steel sink – it definitely uses the power of vinegar. I also use it to clean grime in the bathroom with my DIY Shower Cleaner too. 

Can you put baking soda on hardwood floors?

Baking Soda, another common DIY cleaning hack, is abrasive and can scratch the beautiful finish on your hardwood floors. It does help to cut through heavy grime when scrubbing is required, but it must be diligently removed after use.

If you are going to use it, try mixing it into a bit of a paste and allowing it to sit under a slightly damp towel to bring up the residue before scrubbing with a mop. I use this technique when cleaning the baked on grime off my glass cook top and it works really well. 

How do you clean hardwood floors without residue?

Streaks and residue can be left behind when mopping if too much solution is used, or if the floors are made very wet and left to air dry. To get sparkling wood floors, give them a good sweep or dust before mopping, then do small sections at a time, drying them as you go with a clean cloth or dry mop. By the way, if you want to get all the dust and debris off the baseboards, you might want to give the room a quick once over with a lint brush!

What natural products can I use to clean wood?

Many common household items are safe to use on your hardwood floors, and will do a great job of cleaning! The most common natural products used are:

  • Hot/warm water – A good base for the other ingredients, and rinses the floor
  • White vinegar – Disinfects and cuts through grime
  • Baking soda – Scrubs away tough guck
  • Essential oils – Safe for wood floors, and adds a nice fragrance to your cleaning solution
  • Vegetable oil & olive oil – Leaves a rich sheen behind
  • Plant-based liquid soap, castile soap, or dish soap – A good choice if your floor is especially grimy
  • Brewed tea – Cleans well, while adding shine and lustre
  • Lemon juice – Deep cleans and freshens

So, what is the BEST homemade cleaner for wood floors?

There are so many great combinations! Personally, I like to keep it simple. A bit of hot water and vinegar, and some delicious essential oil. If I have a particularly grimy situation, I’ll add in some liquid soap. For restoring wood or polishing, vinegar and olive oil.

Make your own DIY Floor Cleaner
Yield: 1 bucket of cleaner

Make your own DIY Floor Cleaner

Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Estimated Cost: $2

Make your own DIY wood floor cleaner with natural home ingredients.


  • Standard DIY Wood Floor Cleaner Recipe
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 gallon warm water
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil (or another scent of your choice)
  • Heavy-Duty DIY Wood Floor Cleaner Recipe
  • ⅛ cup white vinegar
  • ⅛ cup plant-based liquid soap
  • 1 gallon warm water
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil (or another scent of your choice)


  1. Vacuum wood floors or dust/dry mop with your microfiber mop.
  2. Dampen the microfiber pad in your cleaning solution, and wring it out very well.
  3. Mop the floor with the damp - not saturated mop. Rinse, replace, and continue each time the pad gets dirty.
  4. Allow to air dry, or mop and buff with a dry cloth in sections to prevent streaks.
  5. Wash the microfiber pad in the washing machine on sanitary wash between floor cleanings.


BONUS - To prevent my wood floors from looking dull, I like to polish them every 3 months or so. For a quick and easy restorative shine, try this:

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