By choosing to use a homemade floor cleaner, you are more informed about what goes into your cleaning solutions. This is an asset in helping protect your home, pets, and kids from harmful cleaning chemicals. Or maybe you’re just out of your favorite cleaning solution and want to use what you have in your cabinets. Perhaps you’re trying to stretch your spending budget a little bit more this month.
Regardless, this article is a one-stop shop for homemade floor cleaners. You’ve got a floor that needs cleaning, and we have solutions.
Three categories of dirt
Before we showcase some homemade floor cleaners, let’s get the lowdown on dirt. After all, dirt is what we’re up against here.
Most of the dirt that’s tracked in and out of your home falls into this category. It’s normatively easy to deal with. However, it’s important to be on top of regular floor maintenance like sweeping or vacuuming. Left neglected, this dirt can have a sandpaper effect, rubbing against your floor’s finish. Over time, the gritty texture of the soil will scratch up and dull that lovely sheen you’ve got going.
This dirt can be controlled and eliminated on a regular basis with a good broom or vacuum, and a mop. However, if you use a vacuum on dentable flooring, watch out for the beater bar. You want a vacuum that won’t dent up your floor. That would be a downer on all your hard work!
Next up, we have atmospheric soil vying for our cleaning attention. Atmospheric soil comes from pollution, smoke, and anything else that makes grime airborne. It’ll stick to your walls, floors, and ceiling and you don’t normally notice it until it’s built up thick over time. Since it’s oily, it requires a bit of extra effort to clean up.
And lastly, the third type of dirt is spills. Often a great sore to our eyes which hunger for a clean floor, spills can range from coffee to wine. This is wet dirt and the longer you leave it unattended, the harder it is to combat and remove any trace. You don’t want to dilly dally when it comes down to cleaning up wet dirt.
Homemade floor cleaners for general cleaning purposes
Because there are different types of flooring, we’ll break up this section of the article into different flooring categories, and we’ll provide you with a tried-and-true recipe for each flooring material. And for extra peace of mind, we recommend you test the solution on an inconspicuous area of your flooring. You don’t want to risk marring up your beautiful floors.
Sealed Hardwood Floors
Over at Clean Mama, Becky swears by vinegar and water for her hardwood flooring. However, if that’s too simple, she sings the praises of an alternative recipe.
This recipe calls for 2 cups of warm water, 1 – 2 drops of Sal Suds (or castile soap), and 3 to 5 drops of essential oil for a scent. Pour the ingredients into a spray bottle, give it a good shaking to mix it up, and you’re ready to apply your new cleaner.
As an added caution, she insists that the biggest risk you can take is using too much water on your flooring. Your mop should be very damp as moisture can seep into the woods’ pores, warping and damaging your lovely floor. Becky suggests using a spray bottle for your cleaning solution. This will allow you to keep a better handle on the amount of solution you get on the floor.
Crunchy Betty uses a homemade floor cleaner your grandmother would be proud of. After trying numerous market cleaners, nothing gets her laminate floors cleaner and shinier than water and vinegar.
Yes. It’s that shockingly simple. Water and vinegar, equal parts. If you’d like, she says you can add a couple drops of essential oils such as peppermint, lemon, or eucalyptus into the mix. Ah, who wouldn’t love the smell of that clean floor? Take care that the oils you use are safe for children and pets. Lavender is always the safest.
There’s nothing quite like a shiny, clean tile floor. Bobvila.com recommends pulling together a mixture of ¼ cup white vinegar, ¼ cup baking soda, 1 tablespoon dish detergent, and 2 gallons of hot water. Once you’ve mopped the floor with the cleaning solution or applied it with a damp cloth, you’ll want to go over the floor one more time with just water.
When it comes to carpets, the Wellness Mama likes to shy away from vinegar due to its ability to discolor carpet among other issues.
Sometimes, she’s found that hot water alone does the trick. However, for a little more oomph, she has a natural carpet cleaner that is made up of two ingredients. It requires 2 quarts of warm water and a single drop of Sal Suds Liquid. You can use that ratio to increase or decrease your recipe to fit your needs.
As a side note, she explains that Sal Suds is deemed environmentally friendly by the Environmental Working Group. It’s also Green Certified, so you can feel good about using Sal Suds.
Additionally, Sal Suds is a very strong cleaner. As such, it should not be used on skin.
Although you may be tempted to add more Sal Suds to your ratio, a little goes a long way. And if you add too much, it’ll leave an unwanted residue on your carpet. One bottle of Sal Suds can be used over 18,000 times if you’re using her carpet cleaning recipe. Now that’s a win.
Bamboo and cork
Maintaining cork flooring and bamboo is simple. A few small drops of liquid dish detergent in a gallon warm water should do the trick. As with hardwood flooring, we can’t stress enough the importance of using a damp cloth or mop to clean your floor. Moisture is not good for these materials, though cork may be able to better resist moisture than wood can.
According to Hunker.com, cleaning ingredients such as lemon juice and ammonia can damage your beautiful stone floors. Stone flooring is porous in nature, so that makes it a little harder to clean but not impossible. Choose gentle ingredients.
For everyday maintenance, use 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 gallon of hot water. You can also use a mild liquid detergent diluted in water to get the job done.
Power washing is always a quick and easy way to get that outdoor concrete floor looking spick and span. Scrub it down with a stiff brush and detergent, then blast all that dirt away.
For polished indoor concrete floors, blasting away the grime is extreme. DIY Network recommends Castile soap or liquid dish detergent mixed with water. Stay away from ammonia and bleach as they are too acidic and will harm your concrete’s luxurious finish.
Homemade floor cleaner for stains, odors, etc.
Be it coffee or oil, here are some different recipes you can whip up in a minute to pull up that grime. You’ll be surprised at how everyday home ingredients can lift up some of the most stubborn stains. We even have homemade floor cleaner recipes for eliminating pet odor, and making your own non-toxic carpet powder. Remember, as we mentioned above, if you’re not sure about what the cleaner will do to your flooring’s finish, you can test it on a small inconspicuous area. If you see there’s no harm done to the flooring, then you’re ready to move forward with your cleaning method.
Carpet stain removal
Megan from Sisters Shopping on a Shoe String saw a recipe for carpet stain removal floating around social media. With kids running around the house, she knew this recipe would come in handy. And sure enough, it did. To clean up some grape juice stains on her tan carpet, she mixed a ¾ cup of hydrogen peroxide with a couple teaspoons of baking soda and about a teaspoon of Dawn liquid dish soap.
She scrubbed it into the carpet and it worked like a charm. She even tried it on a mattress with good success.
Carpet odor removal
Over at GeniusKitchen.com, reviewers are amazed by a contributor’s Pet Stain and Odor Remover recipe. It calls for 16oz hydrogen peroxide, 1 tsp joy dishwashing liquid soap, and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Mix it up, and generously apply where needed. The contributor recommends vacuuming it up after a day or two.
One reviewer even went so far as to apply it to her tent’s floor where the family cat left the half-eaten remains of its kill. She thought a new tent was in order until she tried it out. The results simply amazed her.
As a word of warning, the contributor says you should not store the leftover mixture. The ingredients react to one another and will build up, possibly exploding all over the place.
Most degreasers on the market carry acid in the ingredient list. For a less toxic approach, doityourself.com says you can make use of kitty litter, dishwasher detergent, WD-40, and baking soda.
If your oil spill is new, distribute a generous amount of kitty litter over it. Leave it there overnight so the oil can be absorbed. Sweep it up and repeat if needed.
Next option is to pull out the WD-40 and generously spray it on the oil spill. Mop it up right away and throw away the rag. Repeat if needed.
Their last suggestion is where the baking soda or dishwasher detergent comes in. Wet the problem area with a little water. Sprinkle the problem area with a good amount of baking soda or dishwasher detergent. Let it sit for several minutes, and get a pot of water boiling in the meantime.
Next, carefully pour that hot water over the area. Once it’s cool enough to work with, take a stiff bristle brush to your flooring and scrub that floor. Again, repeat as necessary.
Homemade odor remover for hardwood floors
Well, as much as you love your dog, you can’t say as much for the smell of dog urine on your flooring. Accidents happen, even with the most reliable of man’s best friend.
Dogsized.com offers three different homemade solutions to get the job done. As the other suggestions may wear on your wood’s finish, our favorite is the white vinegar and water solution. Vinegar’s acidity is the perfect combatant again the urine’s mineral salt deposits. It’s recommended that you dilute the white vinegar with equal parts water.
Homemade flea busting carpet powder
Dealing with fleas is not circus fun, that’s for sure. With eight furry friends to share her home, Mrs. Happy Homemaker is keen on keeping the pests away. She makes her own carpet powder with baking soda and a few drops of essential oil for added scent. Put that in a shaker and mix it up. Next, sprinkle it onto your carpet and let it sit for fifteen minutes. Vacuum the floor and you’re done!
Homemade polishing solution for hardwood floors
Home Guides of SFGate.com highly recommends the hydrating and polishing power of olive oil. An added benefit of olive oil is that it’ll buff out any scuffs on your flooring, and it doesn’t leave a filmy residue.
With a wooden spoon, stir a gallon of hot water, ¾ cup of olive oil, ½ cup of white vinegar into a bucket. Dunk your mop into the solution and wring it out thoroughly. Remember, hardwood flooring does not do well with moisture. You want a very very damp mop. Clean your floor with the solution and let the floor dry.
If the floor seems slippery, you can buff excess oil off the floor with a rag. You can always cut the amount of olive oil next time you do this.
Spotless floors are just a homemade solution away!
With an arsenal of recipes in hand, you’re ready to get to it! A good homemade floor cleaner won’t leave streaks and residue. And it’ll definitely be safe for your kids and pets! We hope you find that these recipes fit perfectly for your cleaning needs.
Sometimes, you’re just too busy or the dirt is too stubborn. Perhaps it’s only time for a deep cleaning routine. If you think you’ll need to call in the professionals to provide a deeper level of cleaning action, it’s good to know what you should expect from them.