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Most commercial cleaners we normally use at home contain a mixture of different chemicals that can be harmful to our health if we are exposed to them for a long time. This is why a lot of homeowners are now switching to natural cleaners that not only are safe to the environment, they are also safe for people as well.
There are several commercially available natural cleaners for hardwood floors in the market you can buy today. But why buy if you can make your own homemade cleaners yourself.
I’m sharing with you 13 of the best homemade cleaners you can use to clean your hardwood floors. Below is the list of the mixtures that I’ll discuss more in detail later.
- Natural Liquid Soap, and Warm Water
- Natural Liquid Soap, Vinegar, and Warm Water
- Natural Liquid Soap, Glycerin, and Warm Water
- Natural Liquid Soap, Washing Soda, and Warm Water
- Vinegar, Peppermint Essential Oil, and Warm Water
- Linseed Oil, Lemon Juice, Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Lemon Essential Oil, Orange Essential Oil
- Almond Oil, Walnut Oil, Vanilla Extract
- Linseed Oil, Carnauba Wax, Beeswax, Lemon Juice, Patchouli Essential Oil, Cedar Essential Oil
- Warm Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Water, Liquid Castille Soap, Essential Oil
- Warm Water, Vinegar, Lemon or Orange Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil
- Warm Water, Vinegar, Lemon Essential Oil, Clove Essential Oil
- Baking Soda, Warm Water
- Warm Water, Essential Oil
Use any of these mixtures to clean, disinfect, add shine and protection, and a little fragrance to your hardwood floors afterwards. Before you do the whole floor, try using it first in an inconspicuous area of your floor. Each mixture has a different effect so it’s better to try them in a small area of your floor first before doing a bigger area.
The best way to apply and use any of these mixture is using a damp mop. The mixtures can either be applied via a bucket and mop, or in a spray bottle and mop.
If you’re using the bucket approach, soak your mop with the mixture and then wring it dry. Make sure the mop is just a bit damp to the touch before you use it on the hardwood floor.
If you’re in a spray bottle route, just spray on small sections of your floor at a time, then wipe with your mop.
For both bucket or spray bottle applications always follow with wiping the floor with a dry mop. You don’t want to wet the floor too much, or let the liquid mixtures stand too long as too much moisture can damage your hardwood floors. Excess liquid may get absorbed by the wood and could cause warping, or buckling. So make sure to just use a little at a time by controlling the amount of cleaner you’re using.
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So here are the details of the cleaner mixtures with the specific amounts of each ingredient.
1. Castile Soap, and Warm Water
This is actually the most basic mixture you can do. In most cases, a mixture of soap and warm water is enough to clean your hardwood floors and make them shine.
Combine 1/4 cup of Castile soap or any natural liquid soap to two gallons of warm water.
2. Castile Soap, Vinegar, and Warm Water
This is an upgraded version of the first mixture.
Combine 1/4 cup of Castile soap or any natural liquid soap, 1/2 cup distilled vinegar, and two gallons of warm water.
The vinegar will help clean and disinfect the hardwood floors at the same time.
You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil if you want some fragrance.
3. Castile Soap, Glycerin, and Warm Water
A similar mixture to no. 2, you can replace vinegar with glycerin if you want to use a less acidic component to the mix. Use the same 1/2 cup measurement for the glycerin.
4. Castile Soap, Washing Soda, and Warm Water
Also a similar mixture to no. 2, replace the 1/2 cup vinegar with 1/4 cup of washing soda.
This mixture is good for removing tough soils or greasy areas. Just be aware though that washing soda will remove wax from your hardwood floors. This can be good if you plan to reapply your finish, or wax, with a clean start.
5. Vinegar, Peppermint Essential oil, Warm Water
Combine 1-1/2 cups of warm water, 1-1/2 cups of vinegar, and 20 drops of peppermint essential oil into a spray bottle.
6. Linseed Oil, Lemon Juice, Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Lemon Essential Oil, Orange Essential Oil
This mixture is actually a natural floor wax you can use after cleaning your hardwood floors using any of the cleaner mixtures on this list and to make your floors shine.
Mix 1 cup linseed oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons grated beeswax,2 tablespoons carnauba wax in a double boiler over low heat. You should stir constantly until all the wax have completely melted and the mixture becomes smooth. Afterward, add 6 drops lemon essential oil, and 2 drops sweet orange essential oil and then blend well.
Remove the mixture from the heat and then pour it into a clean coffee can. Allow it to cool and harden.
To apply the homemade wax, start by soaking a clean cloth with lemon juice and then wringing it dry. Using the cloth with lemon juice, rub the homemade wax into the floor. Buff the hardwood floor with a clean and dry cloth afterwards.
7. Almond Oil, Walnut Oil, Vanilla Extract
This mixture makes a good natural wood polisher that smells good.
Combine 1/4 cup almond oil, 1/8 cup walnut oil, and 4 drops pure vanilla extract into a bowl.
To apply, just apply a light layer of this homemade wood polish to your wood floor with a clean cloth. Then rub it into the wood using circular motions. Wipe the area again using a dry and clean cloth.
8. Linseed Oil, Carnauba Wax, Beeswax, Lemon Juice, Patchouli Essential Oil, Cedar Essential Oil
This mixture is another natural floor wax that leaves a nice shine to your floor with an earthy scent.
Combine 2 cups of linseed oil, 1/4 cup carnauba wax, 2 tablespoons of beeswax, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice in a double boiler over low heat. Stir constantly until all the wax has melted and the mixture is smooth. Add 8 drops of patchouli essential oil, and 10 drops of cedar essential oil. Blend everything well.
Remove the mixture from the heat and then pour it into a clean coffee can. Allow it to cool and to harden.
You apply it to your hardwood floors the same way you apply the wax mixture in no. 6 of this list.
9. Warm Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Water, Liquid Castille Soap, Essential Oil
Use this mixture if you want to remove wax from your floor.
Combine 2 cups of warm vinegar, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup water, 1 capful of castile soap, and 10 drops of any essential oil of your choice.
To apply this mixture, dampen a clean cloth with it and then apply it to the hardwood floors in small sections, using short strokes. Wipe the floor section dry before moving on to the next areas of the floor.
10. Warm Water, Vinegar, Lemon or Orange Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil
This mixture leaves your floor clean with a citrus and minty fragrance.
Combine 1 gallon of warm water, 1/2 cup distilled vinegar, 3 drops lemon or orange essential oil, and 2 drops peppermint essential oil into a bucket.
Apply with a dampen mop.
11. Warm Water, Vinegar, Lemon Essential Oil, Clove Essential Oil
Combine 16 ounces of warm water, 3 teaspoons of distilled vinegar, 1 drop lemon essential oil, and 1 drop clove essential oil into a spray bottle.
Spray in small sections of your hardwood floor at a time, then wipe with a mop.
12. Baking Soda, Warm Water
You can use this formula to remove any sticky substance build-up from your hardwood floors. This mixture creates a pasty consistency which you rub onto your floor.
All you need to do is to combine an equal amount of baking soda and warm water. And that’s it.
Apply it to your floor using a clean cloth.
13. Warm Water, Essential Oil
The other mixtures, although some of them have vinegar in them, has a very low acidity level that will not damage your floors, Just make sure to follow the exact amounts and properly applying the formula to the floor.
This last one on the list is the simplest formula you can do. If you’re worried about the pH levels of the other mixtures having a mixture of vinegar in them, you can use this as a pH neutral cleaner instead.
Just combine warm water, and 2 drops of your favorite essential oil.
Apply this formula using a bucket or the spray bottle approach.
Creating Your Own Mixture of Homemade Hardwood Floor Cleaners
You can actually mix and match your own homemade cleaners using items that are commonly found in your cupboard. The list I shared is just some of the mixtures that have worked best with other people.
Creating your own cleaning mixture is actually easy and you just have to experiment and be creative.
Homemade hardwood cleaning mixtures usually contain these 4 general components which are:
- Base – A pH neutral component that dilutes and helps mix all the other components together. It’s also the vehicle used to spread the whole mixture to your hardwood floor. Normally water is used for this. Water is preferably boiled first before adding to the mixture just to make sure that it will be free from contamination.
- Cleanser or Disinfectant – This component is added to help in cutting through grease, dirt, and grime. It also acts as a mild disinfectant. Some of these components are on the acidic side so just a little portion of these are added. If you make your mixture too acidic, you might damage or peel off the finish of the hardwood. Examples of cleanser components that you could add to your mixture are white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and liquid castile soap.
- Fragrance – This basically adds fragrance to your hardwood. Some people like them, while some don’t. So you don’t have to add this component if having fragrant hardwood floors isn’t your thing. Different Essential Oils are usually used for adding fragrance and examples of these are lemon, orange, lime, lemongrass, grapefruit, lavender, and almond.
- Protection – This component provides shine and helps moisturize the hardwood floor. You could opt not to add this if you’re polishing the floor using a different mixture or product. Examples of these are olive oil, coconut oil, linseed oil, jojoba oil, and tung oil. If you plan to refinish or resealing your hardwood floors in the future, better not add this component at all since compounds used for finishing might not adhere well with the wood if oil is present.
You can have fun making your own mixtures and experiment. It is best to try the mixtures you’ve done on a small area first to make sure that it does not damage the floor.
Other Tips for Naturally Fixing Some Hardwood Floor Problems
Removing Black Heel Marks from hardwood Floors
Rub in cedar or eucalyptus essential oil over the heel marks with a soft cloth until it’s gone.
Removing Burns on wood Surface from Hardwood Floors
Burns that have not penetrated the wood can be removed using a paste made out of the combination of rottenstone or cigarette ashes, linseed oil, and 2 to 3 drops of peppermint or tea tree essential oil.
Removing Crayon Marks From Hardwood Floors
Mix a few drops of cedar, peppermint or tea tree essential oil with a dab of toothpaste. Wipe the mixture to the crayon marks on you hardwood floors and then wipe it clean with a cloth moistened with vinegar. Make note though the tea tree oil is not recommended for dark wood so don’t add this if you have dark wood.
Removing Grease from your Hardwood Floors
If you accidentally spilled grease on to your hardwood floors, immediately place ice cubes on top of the spill to harden the grease and preventing it from seeping deeper into the wood. You can then scrape it off with a blunt object once it hardens.
If you have unfinished hardwood floors, squirt some vegetable oil and a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil over the spill. Then blot the stain repeatedly with a clean paper. This will help reduce the staining of the grease.
Cleaning Painted Wood Floors
Painted wood floors can be cleaned using a solution of 2 tablespoons washing soda, 1 cup of strained and cooled rosemary or sage tea, and a gallon of warm water.
Removing scratches from hardwood Floors
For light-colored woods, wet a soft clean cloth with equal amounts of lemon juice, and olive oil or vegetable oil and gently rub it into the wood.
For scratches on walnut wood, just rub a freshly shelled raw walnut.
For darker wood like mahogany, wet a soft cloth with equal amounts of warm water and vinegar and gently rub into the wood.
If scratches still remain after applying the solutions, fill the scratches with crayon or oil pastel pencil with a similar shade as the wood.
Recommended Books for Cleaning your Homes Using Natural Cleaners You Can Make at Home
If you’re into natural homemade cleaners, then you might like to get these books. Some of the mixtures on the list above came from these books.
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