Date: 06.03.2023
Author: ian
Category: Care Guide
Wood floor cleaning

The Best Natural Cleaners for Wood Floors

Wooden floors are a big investment, so once they’re installed, you’ll want to ensure they’re in the best condition possible at all times.

By regularly maintaining your flooring, you’re not just keeping your home looking clean, you’re improving the longevity of the floor itself.

“A dirty and dingy floor can detract from the overall appearance of a room, making it look unkempt and uncared for. Regular cleaning not only helps to remove dirt and grime, but it can also bring out the natural beauty of the wood, making it look richer and more vibrant.”

Notes Zoe Dromgoole of Wood Flooring Ireland

“Secondly, clean wooden floors are important for maintaining their durability and longevity. Dirt and grime can act like sandpaper, wearing away the finish of the floor and causing scratches and scuffs. Over time, this can lead to a dull, lackluster appearance and make the floor more susceptible to damage.”

Health & Safety

Did you know that the condition of your flooring can also directly influence your health? Keeping your wooden floors clean is hugely important for maintaining good indoor air quality. Dirt and grime can trap allergens and pollutants, which can be harmful to those with allergies or respiratory issues. Regular cleaning helps to remove these allergens and keep the air in your home or office fresh and clean.

There is also a safety element to consider: grimey buildup on a slick surface, like a wood floor, can make the floor slippery, increasing the risk of falls and injuries. Regular cleaning helps to remove this buildup and keeps the floor free from slip hazards, making it safer for everyone to use.

With this in mind, we asked cleaning and flooring experts from around the world what they thought were the best natural wood floor cleaners.

Experts comment

“Natural is always best when it comes to cleaning your wooden floors. safety is a primary concern. Natural cleaning solutions are made from safe and non-toxic ingredients and are safe to use around children, pets, and people with sensitive skin. Chemical cleaners, on the other hand, can emit fumes and leave residue that can be harmful to people and animals.”

Zoe Dromgoole, Wood Flooring Ireland

Generally speaking, natural cleaning agents are gentler than chemical-based products and won’t strip away the protective finish on a floor, ensuring that the floor stays protected from damage. This is crucial for maintaining the durability and longevity of the floor. There’s also an environmental aspect to consider. Natural products are environmentally friendly, made from renewable resources, and don’t contain harmful chemicals that can harm the environment. Chemical cleaners can release harmful substances into the air and water supply, causing damage to the environment. Moreover, natural cleaning solutions are often less expensive than commercial chemical cleaners, making them a cost-effective solution for cleaning wooden floors.

So what are some of the best natural concoctions you can conjure up at home?

“A gallon of water and two cups of vinegar solution is the all-purpose solution for most types of floors, especially ceramic tile and vinyl floors. Vinegar is pretty much safe and harmless for many different floors, and it’s nice for cleaning and removing dirt from surfaces.
For hardwood floors, I would recommend using the same solution, but this time using 10 – 15 drops of lemon and/or tea tree essential oil (combined would be ideal), and one tablespoon of coconut oil. These ingredients have disinfecting and moisturizing properties, which are key for wooden floors.”

Alex Varela, North Dallas Maids

However, it’s important to not over-saturate the floors –

“Make sure to wring out the mop so the floor is not too wet, as excess moisture can harm certain floor types.” Notes Ben Kuhl, CEO of Shelf Expression, also expresses a degree of caution when it comes to lashing on the vinegar on your floors – “Vinegar can dull the finish on some flooring over time, so it’s best to not use this cleaner too often on your floors.”

These thoughts are echoed by Dr. Tali Ditye, Editor in Chief of Mommyhood 101, who also recommends a water & vinegar solution but adds – “Whichever recipe you choose, be sure to test it in a small area first to ensure that it won’t damage your flooring.”

Homemade Alternative Natural Floor Cleaners

Are there any alternatives? Phi Dang, director of Sidepost, has compiled the best of the rest ;

  • “Create a paste by mixing together baking soda and vinegar until it forms a thick consistency. Spread the paste on problem areas like scuff marks and let it sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing with a damp cloth or mop. This paste is perfect for deep cleaning wood floors!
  • Mix 1/4 cup olive oil with 1/4 cup lemon juice in a spray bottle and shake well before using. Spray the mixture onto your wood flooring, then wipe away with a soft cloth or microfiber mop for an instant shine!
  • Add 10 drops of lemon essential oil into 2 cups of warm water in a bucket or spray bottle, then mix well before using on your wood floors. The lemon essential oil will help freshen up any stale odours while also adding shine to your hardwood floors!
  • Mix 1/4 cup castile soap into 2 gallons of warm water in a bucket or spray bottle, then use as you would any other floor cleaner on hardwood surfaces that need extra attention. The castile soap will help break down tough dirt particles without damaging your wood flooring!”

the round-up

Many experts may advise that the combination of water and vinegar is not to be used on a wooden floor whatsoever as it will damage the flooring. This isn’t necessarily the case.

Water and vinegar can damage some types of wood floors if left to sit on the surface for an extended period of time. The acidic nature of vinegar can cause discolouration and etching on some finishes while standing water can cause swelling and warping in some types of hardwood. Over time, the acidic properties of vinegar can weaken the finish, making it more susceptible to scratches and other types of damage. Additionally, vinegar can cause the wood to dry out, which can lead to cracking and splitting. If you’re concerned your floor will be unable to handle vinegar being applied to the surface or are merely looking for an alternative, you can just use a solution of water and mild soap.

“Vinegar is acidic enough to be an effective cleaner, but it’s non-toxic. I usually recommend adding water to taper some of that acid off, especially when you’re dealing with delicate surfaces like antique wood.

Using this as your primary base solution, there are a lot of options. If you’re cleaning extra grimy surfaces, you can add some dish soap to the equation. You can also top it off with some rubbing alcohol if you’re dealing with some extra filth. 

For grout, a good addition would be baking soda. Leave the solution on the surface and let it sit for about ten minutes before scrubbing it with a brush. “Jack Miller, Founder, How I Get Rid Of

Wondering about the best way to keep your wooden floors in tip-top shape? Our expert team can answer any queries you may have. Drop us a message via the online contact form 

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