The 5 Best Homemade Floor Cleaners for DIYers

A common concern about commercial cleaning products is the uncertainty regarding ingredients and chemicals. Did you know that cleaning products aren’t even required to list all their ingredients?

Plus, when listed, reading the label can sometimes cause more confusion than clarity. Who hasn’t felt more unsettled after seeing seven listed chemicals in a row that they couldn’t pronounce?

The good news is that it’s super easy to create your own homemade floor cleaner. And you’ll be using ingredients you might already have! This is the best way to ensure your floors are clean without exposing your family to harmful fumes or chemical residue.

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    Why Use Homemade Floor Cleaners?

    Homemade floor cleaners are an excellent choice for homeowners on a budget. They’re also a good option for families dealing with various health issues. Additionally, using a homemade cleaner is preferable if you want to keep it eco-friendly.

    When we buy commercial products, there’s often uncertainty or doubts about the ingredients. Some harsh chemicals or forms of bleach might be referred to using different names.

    We love to find and try out homemade cleaners for various purposes. Not only can it make cleaning cheaper, but it might even make it a little more fun.

    Here are but a few of the benefits of using homemade floor cleaners:

    1. Allergen-Free

    Families dealing with allergies or asthma are generally advised to clean regularly. This helps to keep dust mites, mold and pollen at bay. However, you should be wary of the products you use (1).

    Certain chemicals used can trigger allergic reactions or asthma attacks. Pungent fumes, such as ammonia, can be harmful when inhaled (2). Even added fragrances could cause trouble.

    A common ingredient found in tile cleaners is hydrochloric acid. This acid is highly corrosive and can cause burns and blisters (3). So if the floors aren’t rinsed thoroughly, it could leave a harmful residue behind.

    Creating your own solution can help to keep any reactions at bay. Because you’re making the cleaner, you’re in control of what goes into the mix.

    2. Inexpensive

    Buying cleaning products isn’t cheap, especially not in the long run. Many commercial products are also designed for specific areas within a home. This can make it even more expensive since you then have to buy multiple cleaners.

    Homemade cleaners can be made using everyday items in your pantry. And because you aren’t using harsh chemicals, your floor cleaner might become a multi-surface and -purpose solution.

    3. Better for the Environment

    As you dump the used cleaning solution in the toilet or down the drain, it will end up in the sewer or the ground. If the chemicals seep into the ground, they could spread to our groundwater. Some chemicals will also evaporate into the air as you clean, reducing air quality (4).

    Homemade cleaners are much safer since you’re most likely using natural ingredients such as vinegar and baking soda. These are safe to use and dispose of.

    4. Safe Around Children

    Cleaning products are a major concern in family homes with young children. Crawling babies will be in close contact with any product you use, thanks to possible residue.

    So by using a homemade cleaner, you can be sure there are no harmful chemicals or ingredients. It will also make it safe for your kids to be around while you clean — they could even help out. Maybe give them a spray bottle to spritz as you mop.

    Best Homemade Floor Cleaner Recipes

    The benefits of making your own floor cleaner are endless. We tried out a few recipes ourselves to make sure they’re worth mentioning. These are some of our favorite options.

    Home Refresher

    If you want to clean and deodorize your house, you need a solution that’s powerful enough to cut through grime while adding freshness. This recipe is tested and approved by homeowners who prefer to mix this up instead of grabbing a commercial product.

    Here’s what you need:

    • 4 ounces of water.
    • A quarter cup of baking soda.
    • 4 ounces of white vinegar.
    • 5 drops of essential oil.

    1. Mix the Ingredients

    Combine the water and baking soda in a spray bottle, mixing it well. Then add the vinegar. There might be a small reaction when vinegar and baking soda meet — don’t worry, it’s normal. Finish off by adding a few drops of essential oil and give one last shake.

    2. Spray and Mop

    For this recipe to be very effective, we recommend using a microfiber pad. Spritz as you go and wipe with the mop. Remember, if you’re cleaning hardwood, spray and wipe the area immediately.

    3. Rinse

    Fill another spray bottle with clean water and use the same method to rinse the floor. This will eliminate any potential residue and help to add shine.

    Where Can It Be Used?

    You can use this recipe on the following floors:

    This solution is powerful, thanks to the acid in vinegar and mild abrasiveness in the baking soda. However, this also means it’s not suited for every type of flooring.

    If you have bamboo or hardwood floors, use with caution. Don’t let the solution sit on the floor for long; rinse and dry immediately. The acid can damage the finish on the wood, allowing water to penetrate and cause substantial damage.

    Precautions

    If you have natural stone floors, such as marble, travertine or slate, avoid this recipe altogether. The acid will etch the stone and cause damage (5).

    You can, however, leave out the vinegar and only use baking soda, water and essential oils for natural stone.

    Useful Tips

    Choosing a good essential oil is important. Find one with a scent that’s pleasant for everyone in the house.

    Lavender and vanilla are relaxing scents that can create a mellow, stress-free atmosphere. If you want a fresh finish, go for peppermint or citrus, like lemon or grapefruit. Start by adding a few drops only to see what you like.

    Basic Floor Cleaner

    If you want to do a quick clean and don’t want to spend time measuring and mixing ingredients, this is for you. This basic cleaner consists of distilled water and vinegar — it’s one of our favorite tile cleaners.

    Here’s what you need:

    • 1 gallon distilled water.
    • 4 ounces of vinegar.

    1. Combine the Ingredients

    Mix the distilled water and vinegar in a bucket. Give it a nice stir to ensure it’s well combined. You can also add a few drops of essential oil such as lemon or tea tree.

    2. Mop the Floor

    Dip the mop in the solution and wring out the excess. Mop the floor in sections, dipping and wringing the mop as you go. Then, allow the floor to dry. Using only a damp mop means it shouldn’t take long to dry.

    Where Can It Be Used?

    As we mentioned briefly, this is one of our favorite tile cleaners. The vinegar adds a natural shine to ceramic and porcelain floors — plus it disinfects and deodorizes the grout. It can also be used to clean:

    Precautions:

    If you have bamboo or hardwood floors, this should be used sparingly and with caution. Rinse and wipe the floor immediately after application to avoid damage. Vinegar and other acidic cleaners should be kept far away from natural stone floors.

    Useful Tips

    We prefer to use distilled water instead of tap due because it’s free of deposits. Dried mineral deposits can appear if you’re using hard water from the tap. These can dull the floor and make it look dirty again (6).

    Natural Power Cleaner

    When we clean our floors, we want to use something that will cut through dirt and grime effortlessly. This next recipe will do just that, and it can, in fact, be used on multiple surfaces around the house. Here’s what you need:

    • 1 teaspoon castile soap.
    • 4 cups of warm water.
    • 5–10 drops of essential oil.

    1. Combine the Ingredients

    Mix the water, castile soap and essential oil in a spray bottle and give it a good shake.

    2. Test

    Give the solution a quick safety-test in an inconspicuous area to make sure it won’t damage your floors. This is especially important if you have hardwood floors. Castile soap can cause minor damage to the finish.

    3. Use a Microfiber Mop

    Microfiber mops are soft and gentle, yet effective at reaching into tiny crevices and corners. Spray the floor as you go and wipe back and forth. Then use a clean cloth or towel to dry.

    Where Can It Be Used?

    Castile soap is natural and plant-based — it won’t foam and, therefore, won’t leave streaks. This recipe is excellent for natural stone flooring such as marble, travertine, slate and limestone. You can also use it to clean the following floors:

    • Brick.
    • Tiles, whether porcelain or ceramic.
    • Laminate.
    • Sealed bamboo and hardwood.
    • Linoleum.

    Precautions:

    If you have waxed hardwood floors, this should be avoided. Castile soap can damage the wax finish.

    Useful Tips

    Choose a pleasant-smelling essential oil for this recipe. We highly recommend pine or even rosemary. These will add a unique scent that gives the house a warm atmosphere.

    Bug Repellent Floor Cleaner

    During the warmer months of the year, bugs and pests are everywhere to be found — that includes indoors. Someone might’ve spilled something, and before you know it, an army of ants has claimed the area. Before you run to get the insecticides, try this homemade cleaner:

    • 1 gallon water (hot).
    • 2 ounces of dish soap.
    • 2 ounces of castile soap.
    • 4 drops of pine essential oil.
    • 4 drops of lavender essential oil.
    • 4 drops of peppermint essential oil.
    • 4 drops of orange essential oil.
    • 2 drops of lemongrass essential oil.
    • 2 drops of tea tree essential oil.
    • 2 drops of cedarwood essential oil.

    1. Mix

    Combine all of the ingredients in a bucket and stir well to mix. If you have wooden floors, we highly recommend you replace dish soap with a wood-safe product such as Murphy’s Oil Soap. After mixing the oils and soaps well, pour in hot water to ensure everything is thoroughly combined.

    2. Mop

    Dip the mop in the bucket and wring out the excess. Wipe the floor starting at the farthest part of the room. The essential oils will repel insects and pests. What’s more, the fragrant combination of oils will give your home a fresh scent.

    3. Buff

    Use a dry cloth to buff the floor. This is particularly effective if you have wooden floors; buffing will help to restore shine while removing excess oil.

    Where Can It Be Used?

    This bug-repellent recipe is safe to use on any flooring, such as:

    • Tiles — porcelain and ceramic.
    • Laminate.
    • Linoleum.
    • Marble.
    • Slate.
    • Brick.

    Castile soap is natural and vegetable-based; it won’t harm sensitive floors. But if you’re cleaning hardwood or bamboo floors, use a wood-safe soap instead of dishwashing liquid.

    Precautions:

    If you have unsealed grout, avoid this recipe. The high amount of essential oils can discolor or stain grout.

    Useful Tips

    Because of the added oils, this cleaner can leave a residue on tiles and other hard floors. To avoid this, rinse the floor with clean water and a microfiber mop.

    Disinfectant Floor Cleaner

    For many homeowners, disinfecting their floors requires products like chlorine bleach or ammonia. However, we have an alternative. Here’s what you need:

    • 2 cups of warm water.
    • 4 ounces of distilled white vinegar.
    • 2 ounces of isopropyl rubbing alcohol.
    • 2 squirts of liquid dish soap.
    • 5 drops of essential oil.

    1. Combine the Ingredients

    You can mix this recipe in a spray bottle or a bucket (you may need to increase the ingredients to suit the bucket). Combine everything and mix well to incorporate every component.

    2. Spray and Mop

    Spritz in front of you and wipe with a microfiber mop as you go. If you’re using a regular tangle mop, wring it until damp.

    There’s no need to rinse the floor after using this cleaner — simply allow it to dry.

    Where Can It Be Used?

    Because the vinegar is very diluted, you can use this cleaner on nearly all floor types, except natural stone. Try it on the following floors:

    • Laminate.
    • Linoleum.
    • Tile.
    • Vinyl.
    • Cement.
    • Brick.
    • Sparingly on hardwood and bamboo.

    Useful Tips

    The combination of vinegar and rubbing alcohol provides a potent disinfectant that is excellent in homes with young children (7). Choose a dish soap such as Dawn to cut through dirt and grease. Avoid moisturizing or antibacterial dish soaps.

    If you don’t like the vinegar odor, add a couple of drops of lemon essential oil or any other citrus. The fresh scent works effectively at covering up the strong vinegar.

    Natural Stone Basic Cleaner

    Natural stone flooring is tricky to maintain. Most stones are highly porous and will absorb excess liquids left behind. Unfortunately, stone cleaners aren’t cheap — so here’s our alternative:

    • 2–3 squirts of mild dish soap.
    • Half a gallon of water.

    1. Make the Solution

    Start by filling a bucket with half a gallon of water. Add the dish soap and mix it thoroughly until it starts to bubble.

    2. Mop and Rinse

    Dip the mop in the bucket and wring out the excess, leaving it damp. Sweep the floors using overlapping strokes. Once you’re done, rinse the floor with clean water to avoid a buildup of soap residue.

    Where Can It Be Used?

    This recipe is very simple, and because you’re using mild dish soap, it can be used on all floors. This includes:

    • Laminate.
    • Linoleum.
    • Vinyl.
    • Hardwood.
    • Bamboo.
    • Brick.
    • Slate.
    • Tiles — porcelain and ceramic.
    • Grout.

    Useful Tips

    We highly recommend that you use Dawn dish soap for this recipe. It has a more neutral pH-level compared to other brands and is, therefore, safe for natural stone flooring.

    Rinsing is essential if you want to avoid a film-residue on your floors. Use a clean mop with clean water and finish off with a cloth or towel to dry.

    Homemade Carpet Stain Removers

    Stains on a carpet can be frustrating to deal with as they can be tricky to remove. Acting fast when you notice a spill can save you time and effort. But before you reach for the commercial product, here are a few homemade recipes to try:

    1. Shaving Cream

    Juice spills or oil and grease stains are usually removed with chemicals. However, that’s not always necessary. Begin instead by blotting out the spill as much as possible, starting at the edges to not spread the liquid.

    Pat it lightly with a wet sponge or cloth, then squirt a bit of shaving cream onto the stain. Leave it for a couple of minutes, then rub it off using a damp sponge.

    Shaving cream is particularly effective on cream or beige-colored carpets and rugs. It won’t discolor or cause any damage to the fibers.

    2. Hydrogen Peroxide

    If you’re a parent or pet owner, you might have seen your fair share of mystery stains. How do you remove it when you don’t know what caused it?

    A simple mixture of one teaspoon of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and a small spot of non-gel toothpaste should do the job.

    Combine the two to create a paste and apply it to the stain. Rub lightly using a sponge or cloth and then rinse with clean water — the stain should be gone.

    3. Baking Soda

    One of our favorite natural carpet stain removers is baking soda. It’s easy to use, always on hand, and effective. If there’s vomit, urine or bad odors on your carpet, grab a box of sodium bicarbonate.

    Always start by blotting up excess fluids from the stain. You can create a paste using equal amounts of baking soda and water. Apply to the stain and rub with a small brush or sponge.

    You can also sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on a wet stain to absorb the fluids. Then leave it until the powder forms a small crust, and vacuum.

    If you need to deodorize the carpet, you can mix baking soda with essential oils. Spread a light amount on the whole carpet and leave it for up to four hours. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly to remove excess powder (8).

    Store-Bought Natural Floor Cleaners

    If you want to use a natural floor cleaner, but don’t want to make it yourself, there are plenty of options. However, it’s still essential that you consider what type of flooring you have, as some ingredients can damage certain floors. Natural stone should never be cleaned with acidic products, even if it’s natural.

    Here are a few of our favorite store-bought natural floor cleaners:

    1. Natural All-Purpose Cleaner by TriNova

    This all-purpose cleaner is all you need to clean your home green-style. It’s all-natural and uses a blend of essential oils to add a fresh scent. Many parents prefer to use this as it’s safe around children and pets.

    You can use the product around the house to clean kitchen surfaces, bathroom, floors and toys. We recommend using a microfiber mop since the product is in a 32-ounce spray bottle. Spritz about 3 feet at a time and wipe with the mop — there’s no need for rinsing as this won’t streak.

    TriNova offers two 32-ounce bottles plus a microfiber cloth so you can save on paper towels. The brand also offers a money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with how it cleans or smells.

    2. Multi-Surface Cleaner by Puracy

    Puracy is well-known and loved among many green homeowners. It’s a very effective multi-purpose cleaner that can remove grease, food, soda, juice, sugar, urine and many more spots and stains. This safe formula was developed by doctors and contains no toxins or harsh chemicals.

    The formula is hypoallergenic and plant-based, making it perfectly safe to use around children and pets. Plus, once the bottle is used up, it can be recycled or refilled.

    We really like that this cleaner is safe for any floor type — including natural stone surfaces.

    3. Naturally Dirt-Destroying Cleaner by Better Life

    You might have heard this name before as it has been featured on Oprah and Shark Tank. Better Life is an eco-friendly brand that focuses on bettering the environment. The brand uses only sustainable packaging, using solar energy, recyclable materials and biodegradable formulas.

    This product is an effective floor cleaner that’s safe for hardwood, bamboo, tiles, marble, laminate, vinyl and more. It’s also super simple to use as all you have to do is squirt it onto the floor and mop — no need to rinse.

    The formula consists of a blend of peppermint, grapefruit and bergamot extracts. This works effectively by cutting through grime. The cherry on top? It adds a fresh scent to the house as you clean.

    If you’re concerned about your natural stone floors, Better Life has also created a Granite and Stone cleaner. This is safe to use on all natural stone and helps to restore shine while removing dirt and grime.


    DIY-Haven

    Making your own homemade floor cleaner is as simple as one, two, three. There are various recipes to try and discover — you might even create your own.

    Before deciding on a recipe to try, make sure it will be safe for your floors. If you have tiles, nearly all homemade recipes are reliable. However, natural stone-owners should be wary of acidic products such as vinegar and lemon juice.

    Always start with a small test in an inconspicuous area. Apply the cleaner and use as recommended — once finished, look for any signs of damage such as discoloration. If you notice anything, discard it and try another.

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