How to Clean Hardwood Floors with Vinegar
In case you didn’t know, you can actually make use of vinegar in cleaning hardwood floors. Vinegar is not only cheap, but is nontoxic as well and this is the reason why more and more homeowners would use this to clean their flooring, especially hardwood floors. As a matter of fact, vinegar is considered as the best kept secret of any frugal homemaker when it comes to cleaning the home and it can also be used in a lot of ways.
If you have hardwood floors at home and you are wondering how to go about cleaning it, the answer is to actually make use of vinegar. Here are the steps on how to clean hardwood floors with vinegar.
Vinegar Helps to Make Hardwood Floors Shine
One of the reasons why vinegar is used as a cleaning agent for hardwood floors is because it helps to make the floors to bring back its original shine. As you know, hardwood flooring will require a lot of special care and attention in order to preserve their beautiful finish and luster. In fact, vinegar, which is an organic substance, is considered a natural by-product of vegetables, fruits and grains and thus, it is 100% biodegradable.
In addition, you can make use of vinegar in cleaning your hardwood floors without having to worry about your family members getting exposed to harmful toxins and you will not have to worry about harming the environment as well. Moreover, the common household vinegar is also effective at killing bacteria, viruses and molds and the best thing of all is that the shelf life of vinegar is practically indefinite.
Using White Vinegar
Before you go on to learn the steps, it would help if you first determine the type of vinegar that should be best used for cleaning your hardwood floors. It is the white vinegar that is highly recommended. So the next time you are doing your grocery shopping, go to the aisle where the vinegar is being displayed, then look for the white vinegar.
Remember that vinegar is made out of fermented alcohol products like red wine, apple cider, rice wine and other kinds of liquids. The result will be an acidic liquid that can be used in several different ways, from adding flavor to different kinds of dishes and salads, to cleaning hardwood floors.
Again, when it comes to using the white vinegar in cleaning the hardwood floors in your home, always go for the white vinegar. Aside from being inexpensive, it does not have any color and therefore, it will not stain your floors.
Cleaning your Floors with Vinegar
So now we are on to the steps. The process is easy and will not take up a lot of time, although this will also depend on how big the flooring area that you need to clean.
- First of all, you need to remove any objects that are on the surface of your hardwood flooring. If you can move the furniture alone, then it’s better. But for heavier furniture and appliances, you may need help in lifting them. Do not ever slide these objects or they will scratch off your hardwood floors. You need to also remove the carpets, rugs and other floor covering.
Next, block off the area you are cleaning such that small kids and pets will not walk across the area you are cleaning and will cause chaos. Although vinegar is nontoxic, paw prints and footprints in the hardwood floor could lead to disaster!
- The next thing that you should do is to vacuum or mop the floor dry. Remember it is important that you first remove all the dust and grime on the surface before you start with the main job. You need to also remove lint, hair and pretty much all kinds of dirt.
- Next, get a bucket and fill it with the solution of warm water and white vinegar. To prepare the solution, simply mix half cup of white vinegar to a gallon of warm water. Mix the solution well in the bucket.
- Next, grab a clean mop and immerse it on the bucket. Then remove the mop and wring it well until such time that it is damp dry. Remember not to use the mop in cleaning the floor when it is soaking wet. It should just be damp only.
The next step is to start mopping the floor. Begin in one corner of your house and make sure that you mop in the same direction as the placement of the floor boards. This is because if the water will dry up after you have mopped the floor, it will not be that visible since you have mopped in the same direction as the floorboards.
When mopping the floor, make sure that you rinse the mop head more frequently.
If possible, change the water if the solution will begin to look really dirty.
Right after you mop the hardwood floor, you need to grab a soft and clean towel and use it to wipe the floor dry. You can also choose to let it air dry but if the hardwood floor looks really wet after mopping it with the water and vinegar solution, then you might as well use a towel in wiping it dry. Adding a bit of water will not cause harm on the floor finish. But still, it is not a good idea to leave a lot of water on any type of wooden flooring.
Safe, Effective, Cheap and Easy
As soon as you are done with the steps and that the floor is already dry, then you can start putting back the furniture and appliances to their proper places. Of course, make sure that you return the floor coverings as well, such as the carpets and rugs that you have removed. At this stage, you can ask help from any of your family members again in lifting and carrying heavy objects. And again, never ever slide the furniture or appliances as this will scratch your hardwood floors.
Vinegar is not only safe and effective. It is cheap and easy to use as well. There is no longer a need to rinse it off the floor. So if you prefer to clean the floors on your own, then vinegar is definitely a great choice. Furthermore, vinegar helps to bring back the beautiful shine and luster on your hardwood floor.
More Tips in Cleaning your Hardwood Floors
Now that you know how to do it, you are probably too excited to begin cleaning your hardwood floor. But before you do so, it would help if you refer to some other effective tips in cleaning your hardwood floor and keeping it to stay in excellent condition.
Regular Maintenance Is Must
It is a good idea to do regular maintenance on your hardwood floors. Every day or perhaps every two days, go over your floors with the use of a broom or perhaps a hose attachment on your vacuum cleaner in order to pick up dust and dirt on the surface of your hardwood floors.
- Pet Hairs
Even pets that are short haired can shed a great deal of hair that will be scattered on your hardwood floors. When it comes to brushing the hairs of your pets, make sure that you do it outdoors, such as in the balcony or in your yard. Gently brushing the hairs of your dog from head to tail is a great way to get rid of the loose hair of your pets.
When it comes to spills, it is important that you clean off the floor immediately, right when it happens. Liquid spills cannot be avoided especially if you have pets and small kids. When this happens, make sure that you wipe off the area immediately because the liquid can ruin the overall finish of your hardwood and might even leave a lasting stain on your floor. The best way to blot the liquid spills is with the use of a cleaning rag or a microfiber cloth.
Wood has a natural tendency to absorb water and when it does, it will expand and this can lead to warming and splitting. And yes, even plain water could have tremendous damage on your floor. It is important that you minimize the washing of your floor with water and make sure that you choose the tools carefully. Do not just slosh a bucket of water directly towards your hardwood floor. And as much as possible, avoid sponge mops as well as other types that cannot be squeezed thoroughly out.
You are already familiar with using vinegar. But do you know that aside from vinegar, there are several other natural agents that you can use in cleaning your hardwood floors, and one of these is the black tea? Tea is indeed an effective cleaning agent for hardwood floors, especially those that are made of dark wood. To use the tea, simply steep a bag or two of the tea in boiling water. As soon as it is cooled off, moisten a cloth in the brew and then use it to wash off the floor.
Aside from black tea and the vinegar, there are several other natural cleaning agents that you can use in cleaning the hardwood floor. But before you decide to use any of these cleaning agents, you better check with your hardwood floor manufacturer because some manufacturers will void the warranty of your floor if you use certain cleaning agents.