All right friends – the most controversial topic in cleaning just got a little more controversial. You guys know that I clean my sealed hardwood floors with an itty bitty amount of white vinegar in a whole lot of warm water, right? If not, go to this post and then head on back here for some new insight. I will still stand by my original statements that washing hardwood floors with just the right amount of white vinegar is still a-okay but for those of you who doubt or just want a different solution, this post is for you!

I still believe that the largest risk a floor washer can take is to use too much water or liquid when washing hardwood floors. Regardless of what you clean your floors with, make sure that you aren’t leaving standing liquid on the floors – the liquid will warp them and destroy the finish. Use a barely damp application and make sure no water is left on each section before you leave it. You’ll see that I prefer spray mops or spray bottles when washing floors – this allows me to control the application and the amount of liquid I’m using. If you want to use the traditional wet-mop method, you’ll up the ratio of water and cleaner.

On to the non-vinegar method….

You’ll see that I recommend 2 different products/concentrates for cleaning your hardwood floors – one is a soap (Dr. Bronner’s) and one is a cleaning concentrate (Sal Suds). Both work and both are from the same company – Dr. Bronner’s. If you have castile soap on hand, try it and see what you think. If you’re looking for something new, Sal Suds is a natural cleaning concentrate that can clean just about anything.

Here’s what you need:

  • choose either castile soap or Sal Suds (both of the solutions I’m referencing are made by Dr. Bronner’s, but there are other brands of castile soap) – you’ll need 1-2 drops of the soap or cleaning concentrate (adjust as necessary – you want a little bit of bubbles, but you won’t be rinsing it, so you aren’t looking for a ’soapy’ solution).


  • 2 cups warm water
  • 16 oz. spray bottle (here’s my favorite glass spray bottle)
  • 1-2 drops of Sal Suds or castile soap
  • 3-5 drops essential oils if you’d like a little scent – some of my favorites are lemon + clove for the Castile and pine + lemon for the Sal Suds (it has a pine-y scent already)
  • microfiber mop or spray mop (you can see my favorites here) – if you’d rather hand wash your floors, simply pour the solution into a small bucket and use a microfiber cloth for the application

Here’s what you need to do…

Pour the water into your spray bottle.


Add a drop or two of soap or cleaning concentrate.


Add essential oil if you’d like a custom scent.


Put your sprayer on the spray bottle and shake vigorously.


Grab your mop. I always recommend using a microfiber mopping pad and making sure it’s damp before getting started. You can spray it with your cleaner or dampen with water before putting it on your mop head. Work in small sections and get started – spray, mop, let dry. There shouldn’t be any standing water – wipe up any excess water as you go.


How about you? What do you use to wash your hardwood floors? Are you going to try this non-vinegar method?