How to Clean Hardwood Floors With Vinegar

by Liz Gonzales

As an adult, you understand that the household chores are on your shoulders to take care of. No matter how messy, disgusting, or untidy your home gets, it's important to use the most natural products that you can to clean up the mess. Of course, you want to see results, but most of the household cleaning materials available on the market contain toxic chemicals that are not only horrible for the environment, but they're also extremely harsh and dangerous for the human body. While this wasn't really thought about in the past, people are finally understanding just how harmful these chemicals are. With that being said, these people are now finding natural ways to clean their homes without the side effects that come with using chemicals. One of those ways is to use vinegar to clean your floors instead of a store-bought chemical. If you've never heard or tried to use vinegar to clean your floors, then you've come to the right place. Keep reading to discover a few of the ways that you can efficiently clean your floors with a common product that you most likely already have laying around your house!

How to Clean Hardwood Floors With Vinegar
How to Clean Hardwood Floors With Vinegar

Tips for Cleaning Hardwood Floor With Vinegar

How To Clean Hardwood Floors With Vinegar
How To Clean Hardwood Floors With Vinegar

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Mopping with Vinegar and Water

Yes, you read that right. All you need is a little bit of vinegar and water to get your floors sparkling clean. Follow these simple steps and your floors will be shining in no time:

1. Vacuum or Sweep Your Floor
It's important to remove all of the dust and debris from your floor because if they're left there, they could damage your floors when you wash them. First, sweep or vacuum your floors. Then, pass a dust mop to ensure that you've gotten all of the fine debris.

2. Make Your Cleaning Solution

Mopping with Vinegar and Water
Mopping with Vinegar and Water
Using just vinegar and water, you'll be making the solution that you're going to use to clean your floor.


  • ½ Cup (120 mL) of white vinegar
  • One gallon (3.785 L) of warm water

(If you don't want to use the white vinegar, you can use ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to one gallon of water.)

Combine the ingredients into a bucket. Also, feel free to use two or three drops of your favorite essential oil into the mixture! Not only will your floors be nice and clean, but the essential oil will leave your house smelling lovely, as well!

3. Time for the Dirty Work
Dip a clean mop into the solution you made in the last step. Wring out the mop until it's damp, and not dripping with water. Following the direction of the wood, mop your floors until the whole thing has been cleaned. If the cleaning solution gets too dirty while you're cleaning, make sure to make a new batch.

4. Use a Microfiber Mop and Spray Bottle
Take your spray bottle and add three teaspoons of white vinegar to 16 ounces of water. Wet the head of a microfiber mop with water and wring it out until it's damp. Using the bottle, spray the portion of the floor you want to clean with the solution and use the mop to clean it up. This solution ratio can be used in your refillable spray mop, as well!

5. Protect Your Floors
Floors can become damaged from too much water, so make sure that your floors aren't getting extremely wet. You should avoid using a commercial cotton mop because they tend to soak the floor with water. Also, make sure to wipe off any extra moisture left on the floors, open your windows, and don't let anyone walk on the floors in order to accelerate the drying process.

Other Cleaning Techniques

While using a mop is certainly the quickest and most efficient way to clean your floors, there are other ways that you can clean your floors, as well!

Using Vinegar and a Cloth

Using the same ratios as above, make a batch of your cleaning solution. Grab a clean rag and dip it into the solution, and make sure that you wring it out until it's only damp. Remember, you don't want to put too much water on your floors. Working in sections, rub your floors clean with the rag. Dip the rag into the floor as often as you need, but make sure to make some more solution if your water gets too dirty. Always dry the floor with a clean rag as you move along.

Using a Sponge to Clean Sticky Messes

ARCLIBER Cellulose Sponge,Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge,Clean Tough Messes Without Scratching for Kitchen(6 Pack)
ARCLIBER Cellulose Sponge,Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge,Clean Tough Messes Without Scratching for Kitchen(6 Pack)

Using the ratios above, make a batch of the solution. When you get a sticky mess on your floor that's a bit tough to clean, use the solution and a semi-abrasive sponge to clean it up. Make sure to use warm water to wipe it up after, and dry completely with a clean rag.

Grab Your Steam Mop

Shark Steam Mop, White/Seafoam
Shark Steam Mop, White/Seafoam

When using your steam mop, add three teaspoons of white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) to every 16 ounces of distilled water. While you're mopping, press the steam button every so often to ensure that your floor doesn't get too wet. Always wipe off any extra moisture on your floor after mopping.

Using Vinegar Based Solutions

365 by WFM, Vinegar White Distilled Organic, 32 Fl Oz
365 by WFM, Vinegar White Distilled Organic, 32 Fl Oz

Vinegar is great for cleaning floors, but it's also used with other products to be used for a variety of different household chores.

Using Vinegar and Oil
You've heard that oil and vinegar never mix, but they sure do make a great pair when it comes to cleaning.

  • 1. Mix two cups of white vinegar with two cups of vegetable oil.
  • 2. Put the mixture into a spray bottle.
  • 3. Shake the bottle well to make sure the solution is blended.
  • 4. Spray the solution, making sure to only apply a thin coat, to a small area of the floor.
  • 5. Rub the solution into your floor.
  • 6. Using a clean rag, dry the floor by wiping the area in circles.

You can also use a clean mop to apply the solution to your floor. Also, you should use a fresh batch of solution every time you do this.

Using a Cleansing Polish Made From Olive Oil, Hot Water, and Vinegar

  • 1. Combine ¼ cup olive oil with ⅓ cup of white vinegar.
  • 2. Add five cups of hot water/
  • 3. Add up to 12 drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)
  • 4. Using a mop or a damp cloth, polish your floors using this solution.
  • 5. Use a clean, dry rag after you finish.

Make Orange Vinegar

  • 1. Fill a glass jar a third of the way with dried orange peel, or fill it completely with fresh orange peel.
  • 2. Pour white vinegar into the jar until the vinegar is one inch from the top of the jar.
  • 3. After putting a lid on the jar, allow the mixture to sit for one to two weeks.
  • 4. Once two weeks is up, strain the orange peel from the vinegar.
  • 5. Put the vinegar into a clean container.
  • 6. Using the same method as above, clean your floors using ½ cup of the orange vinegar to two gallons of water.

Soap and Vinegar

  • 1. Mix ⅛ cup of castile soap with ⅛ cup of white vinegar and one gallon of warm water.
  • 2. Add up to 15 drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)
  • 3. Using the same cleaning method from above, clean your floors thoroughly.
  • 4. Rinse your floors with hot water.
  • 5. Dry your floors entirely with a clean rag.
  • If you have a rough or sticky mess, you could also add ¼ cup of baking soda to the solution.

As you can clearly see, there are plenty of ways to clean your floors using white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. As long as you follow these directions and always remember to dry your floors after you clean them, then these solutions will help keep your floors looking bright for many years to come.

About Liz Gonzales

Liz lives in a suburb in New York city.
Both of her parents are the art professors at Sate University of New York.
As such, Liz grew up with all kinds of art objects, portraits, and books laying around the home.
Liz met up with Linea through another friend in some kind of online art forum. There great minds sparkled to take their passions onto the next level @

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