July 2, 2012
How to Wash Hardwood Floors with Vinegar
I don’t mind washing floors, it’s instant gratification in the cleaning department and the biggest annoyance about it is moving furniture and the not walking on it until it’s dry part. But…I’ve been struggling with my hardwoods (I know, not important in the scheme of things, but humor me). When I say struggling, I mean that I feel I’ve tried just about every natural (and sort of natural) cleaning technique and tool known to hardwoods and while my floors look clean, I have never been completely happy with the finished results. But…I’m a busy mom, and I like to clean in a hurry and get it over with and get on with my life, so I just washed them the best I could in the shortest amount of time and moved on. I just felt like I always had some type of residue or something remaining on the floor – I chocked it up to juice, cereal, play-doh, dog slobber…
But the curiosity got the better of me and I tried washing my hardwoods the ‘really old-fashioned way’. On my hands and knees and with hot water and vinegar. First of all, I will tell you that I hate the smell of vinegar and smelling like a pickle, so that is why it has taken me so long to get to the point of actually trying to clean my floors this way. But I gutted it out and guess what? My floors have never looked cleaner and they stay cleaner for longer. I had to change the bucket three times as I was washing my floors. I know that they weren’t that dirty (because I wash them once a week), but I think that there was residue built up from the cleaners that was attracting dirt. Now when I wash them, I don’t need to rinse the bucket more than once or twice.
I would rather not wash my floors on my hands and knees, but the results were so great that it’s hard not to. I used a microfiber cloth, wrung almost dry, a little bucket with warm water and white vinegar (you don’t need to use ‘cleaning’ vinegar, this is just what I grabbed at the store). The correct ratio of water to white vinegar is 1/2 cup white vinegar to 1 gallon of warm/hot water. You could use a mop and bucket or a microfiber mopping pad. I’ll be experimenting with the vinegar and water mixture in my refillable mop with microfiber pad, but for now I really enjoyed washing my hardwoods the old-fashioned way.
Tell me – have you been washing your hardwood floors with vinegar all along? What’s your favorite method and cleaner for your floors?