Homemade Floor Cleaners
Lean How to Make Natural Floor Cleaners
Like other categories of household cleaning products, floor cleaners, polishes, and waxes are mixtures of many different chemicals. In addition to synthetic detergents, fragrances, and dispersal and suspension agents, such products often include hazardous organic solvents to help dissolve tough soils and speed drying times.
Products meant to shine and polish floors are deliberately designed to leave residues behind. These cleaners usually contain synthetic waxes and polymers, which remain on floors to provide a sheen after the liquid has evaporated. Typically, such products also contain strong acids or solvents, which dissolve the previous wash’s coating so that dirt can be lifted from it.
What manufacturers don’t want you to know is that you can clean most of the floors in your home with just two things: old-fashioned soap and nice hot water. While owners of specialty flooring should always check to be sure their particular type is a candidate for such easy care, for the most part soap and water are all you need to make floors shine.
- You can also make a safe and effective floor cleaner by combining one quarter cup of natural liquid soap with half a cup of distilled vinegar and two gallons of hot water. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to this formula for a fresh scent if desired.
- For wood floors, substitute a teaspoon of glycerin for the vinegar in the above formula.
- For tough soils or greasy problem areas replace the vinegar in the above formula with one quarter cup of washing soda. Note that washing soda will remove wax. This is ideal if you want to remove synthetic wax from your floor for a truly clean start. But if you want the wax to stay, keep the washing soda away.
- Polish wood floors with jojoba or boiled linseed oil. Just apply the oil, wipe, and polish. But be careful: this can make your floor very slippery!
- For carpet cleaning, rent a steam cleaner from a local hardware store and fill it with a formula of one eighth of a cup of liquid soap and two gallons of hot water. Add a half teaspoon of borax or washing soda per quart of water to increase the cleaning power on dirtier carpets.
- Forget using a sponge mop and invest in a good string mop and a wringer bucket these clean your floor faster and more efficiently.
To learn more about homemade cleaning solutions, check out Ecolife's DIY cleaning section.