Using Vinegar to Clean Hardwood Floors - How to Make Your Own Simple Wood Flooring Cleanser
Cleaning Hardwood Flooring With Vinegar and Water
Through all the years in the hardwood flooring business, the question I am most asked is, "How do I clean my hardwood floors?" Whether it's a new floor, old floor, solid hardwood floor, engineered hardwood floor, laminate floor, or if it's the first or fifth home someone has owned with hardwood floors, they still want to know how to clean them.
A lot of people have heard (usually from grandma) that warm water and vinegar is a great solution for cleaning, and it's true. It's inexpensive, simple, and quick. It breaks down dirt and grime without damaging the finish and if done properly is virtually streak-free.
There is a problem though that I come across a lot. People that use a water and vinegar solution or even just straight water, typically use way too much on their floors! One of the worst enemies of your hardwood floor is water.
Too much water will cause the floor to swell and warp causing a ripple effect in the wood. But by following these simple guidelines, you will have the results you are looking for.
Mixing the Proper Vinegar and Water Ratio - Wood Floors
In a bucket, you will want to mix approximately 1/2 cup of white vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water. It's the acetic acid in the vinegar that helps to cut the grease and grime but it won't leave any residue that may cause problems down the road when you're ready to have your floors refinished.
I've found the best way to clean is to use a sponge mop. An inexpensive one is fine, just be sure it's the kind that has a spring type wringer on it. There are some that have a semi-abrasive pad on one side which will come in handy if there are dry, sticky spills.
DO NOT use one of those commercial "swab the deck" type cotton mops. You can never get enough water out of those and will definitely damage your floor.
The key is to get as much water out of the mop as possible. If you notice any puddles at all while you're cleaning, your mop has too much water in it. If that happens, be sure to use a clean absorbent cloth or towel and wipe the floor dry. If you keep the mop just slightly damp, the floor will dry very quickly and there is no need to dry it off.
If it's only a small area you need to clean, you can get on your hands and knees and use a sponge or cloth with the same solution. But again, be sure to wring the sponge out well so you're not putting a lot of water on the floor.
Extra Tip for Keeping Hardwood Floors Clean
Another good idea is to keep an inexpensive spray bottle filled with the same 1/2 cup:1gallon solution with your cleaning supplies. This is great for spills in the kitchen or spot cleaning the floors around the house. Just shake it up, spray some on a cloth or even a paper towel to clean up grease splatters around the stove or the dogs muddy footprints at the door.
There are a lot of good products on the market you can buy to clean your hardwood floors, but grandma's time tested solution of warm water and vinegar is probably the simplest and most economical way to keep your hardwood floors clean and beautiful for years.
Contact Alpine Flooring in Boulder or Denver Colorado, for your home's wood floor installing and/or refinishing needs.
Or give us a call at your convenience: 303-884-8020