Hardwood floors need extra special care to maintain their sheen and finish. So, using vinegar towards these effects is absolutely the right thing to do as it contains acetic acid that can remove dirt and grime without leaving any residue. Besides, vinegar can be easily found in all kitchens, so you wouldn’t be going out of your way to buy a product specially to clean your hardwood floors. And yes, it is inexpensive and non-poisonous. Here are the steps on how to clean hardwood floors with vinegar.
Steps to clean your floor with vinegar
Buying a bottle of white vinegar from the store is just half the story. But how do you use it? Are there any dos and don’ts? Read on to find out:
Fill up a bucket of plain water and have another bucket with hot water and vinegar in the ratio of 1/2 cup white vinegar to 3.8 liters of hot water. Add a couple of drops of essential oils to the solution. Put together about three or four microfiber cloths to wash and dry the floor.
#1. Make your room bare of unwanted objects on the floor. Remove carpets, rugs, pouffes, beanbags, etc, so that you can move fast while cleaning.
#2. Close the doors of each room so that your pets or kids don’t run across wet floor, making you redo all your hard work.
#3. Get rid of all the dust and dirt by vacuuming or sweeping the floor.
#4. Once you have a bucket full of white vinegar and warm water, it’s time to dip a clean mop into the bucket and wring it out completely. Remember any extra water on your floor will damage it.
#5. Begin mopping the floor by starting over in any one corner. Mop in the direction of the floorboards, so if the water on the floor dries with some streaks in it, it means you should have mopped in the opposite direction as then streaks would not show up.
#6. Keep rinsing the mop head as often as you can and change the water once it starts looking dirty.
#7. Once you finish a particular room, dry the floor using a soft microfiber cloth to dry it out.
#8. With the floor done, you’re now ready to replace the furniture and carpets in their places and open up the room for others to enter.
How to polish your floor after cleaning it
It’s not enough to just clean your floor, you need to polish it too so that it has a glossy look. For this, mix equal amounts of oil and white vinegar on the floor. While the vinegar will help remove all the blemishes from your flooring, the oil will give it a distinctive sheen and keep your floor hydrated. If you had applied bleach earlier, this mix is good to remove its damaging effects.
It works like this: If you have applied bleach to your hardwood flooring to remove some stubborn spots, keep it on overnight. Next day, apply white vinegar to remove the bleach and all its effects. Once the bleach goes, it will take with it some luster and natural color of the hardwood flooring.
Alternatively, you could use white vinegar directly on the stains. It will take about an hour to show some results on the discolorations, but they will definitely be gone. Once you achieve this, ensure that you wipe the floor with a damp cloth to take away any acidic compound that might still remain.
White vinegar is also a good deodorizer, so if you have any cooking smells or any other, you can easily remove them with white vinegar.
Few more tips to clean your hardwood floor with vinegar
- You can damage your hardwood floor if you use too much water. So, it pays to mop up any vinegar-water spills on your hardwood floor immediately. Else, the wood will warp and discolor.
- Vinegar could also remove the finish of your hardwood flooring. Being acidic in nature, it can break down the finish on the surface of the floor. With time, this means that the sheen of the flooring will reduce and your floor will begin to look dull.
- if you’re skeptical about the effectiveness of vinegar on your hardwood floor, experiment by trying it out over a small area of one of your rooms. The result you see will answer your doubts.
- Lastly, get into a regular cleaning regimen. This will help make your cleaning job a little less arduous the next time round and give a wonderfully clean image to your home. Your floor will be clean and you can maintain it well.
Benefits of using vinegar to clean your hardwood flooring
No one could imagine that vinegar could work like magic on hardwood floors. There are several benefits that come from using vinegar on your hardwood flooring, such as:
- It is non-toxic, so it is safe to use on your floor.
- It’s safe to use with kids and pets around because it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.
- It is 100% biodegradable, so you can use it confidently without worrying about exposing your family to its vapors.
- It also kills bacteria, viruses and mold.
- What’s more, common household vinegar is known to kill bacteria, mold and viruses.
- Using the combination of water and vinegar to clean the floor is both simple and result-oriented. It can actually remove dirt and grime and still retain the finish and pattern of your hardwood flooring.
- It also does not develop streaks.
- It has an infinite shelf life.
Which vinegar should you use?
If the number and types of vinegar on the shelves of your store boggles the mind, don’t worry. The secret to using vinegar for best results on your hardwood floor is to use white vinegar. It has no definite color, so it won’t stain your flooring and is affordable.
Cleaning your hardwood floor may seem like a huge job to you, but if you do it regularly, you can actually keep them in spotless condition. Using natural ingredients like white vinegar can help safeguard your flooring from harsh chemicals present in commercial products and give you a clean and bright floor.
Here’s a video you may like to watch on how to clean hardwood floors with vinegar: