Is there anything that adds more beauty to a home than the natural look of hardwood flooring? The moment you walk into a house and see the natural wood grain and warm colors, it feels like a home. Linoleum is a cheap substitute, and carpet is never truly clean. But hardwood has durability, clean-ability, and is as natural as a baby streaking down the hallway.
Many families are looking for alternative cleaning solutions in order to avoid harsh chemicals. People avoid commercial cleaning products for many reasons, some of which you may want to consider. Children crawl on the floors and get long term exposure to chemicals. Dogs and cats lick the floors. After all, your cooking is so good, they camp out under the kid’s plates to catch a morsel. We are becoming more environmentally conscious, and you may want to keep chemicals out of the water waist.
There are many natural choices to clean your hardwood flooring, allowing you to protect your pets, the environment, and your streaking baby. Some great environmental options for natural cleaning products include:
- Essential Oils
- Pine Oil
- Tea Bags
- Lemon Juice
- Baking Soda
- Olive Oil
Protecting The Floor
Hardwood floors will last a lifetime, but only if the floor is protected. Vinegar is a great cleaner, but should be used in moderation when applied to a hardwood floor. The same is true for Borax and lemon juice. Anything acidic will stress the protective coating of hardwood floors if not used in moderation. Vinegar is a great tool for dissolving glue, stains, paint, rust, and beautiful coating from your hardwood floor.
Some articles warn against using vinegar at all, but it can be a good natural cleaner on your floors if used in moderation. The same is true for lemon juice and borax. Borax is a great cleaner and disinfectant, but it can leave a film. Vinegar, if used in excess, will haze the floor’s finish. The main ingredient should always be hot water; however, do not saturate your flooring. It is wood, and wood doesn’t do well when it sits in water.
Clean Enough For The 5 Second Rule
Germs don’t like natural hardwood floor cleaners any more than they like chemicals. Don’t think you must coat your floors with chem-trails to properly clean. A good natural floor cleaner can still disinfect. Then when your streaking baby drops that cookie, he can still eat it, even if it takes him more than five seconds to scrape it back up.
There are some very good cleaning formulas that can protect the floor, clean stains, and disinfect. One option that requires nothing but water is a steam mop. The hot steam is good for a quick clean up, and since it uses steam, the drying time is fast.
Sometimes you will want additional protection, so a good, natural cleaning solution is just what your hardwood floors may need.
Eureka: I have a Formula
To protect the floor and provide a bacterial deterrent, use the olive oil formula:
- Gallon of hot water
- A cup of olive oil
- A cup of lemon juice
- Caution: the floor could be slick until the olive oil dries.
Here is a good disinfecting cleaner:
- 1 Gallon hot water
- ¼ of borax
Vinegar based cleaner:
- 1 Gallon hot water
- ¼ to Â cup of vinegar
- 5 drops of essential oils.
Deodorizing floor cleaner. Tannic acid helps remove odors:
- Boil two teabags in a gallon of hot water
- Steep for two minutes
Stain removing formula:
- ¼ cup of white vinegar
- ¼ cup of baking soda
- 2 Gallons of hot water
- 1 Tablespoon of dish soap
Hardwood flooring takes a little more care than linoleum, but this can easily be done without having to rely on chemicals. You can be pet, kid, and environmental friendly, and still have clean floors. Most of these formulas can be mixed from products already in your house. The cost is low and the benefits are worth it. Less is more when taking care of hardwood floors by using natural cleaning.
All of the above methods are no-rinse and will keep the floors clean, protected, and smelling fresh.