August 10, 2020
Flooring Inc: best homemade floor cleaning ingredients

What is the Best Homemade Floor Cleaner? 10+ DIY Ideas

We’ve all been there before. You get a spill or stain on your floor, and you don’t have the right cleaning product to take care of it. Fortunately, a homemade floor cleaner can solve your problem and remove the mess quickly.

But how do you make a DIY floor cleaner, and how can you be sure it’s safe?

There are many safe, simple, and effective homemade floor cleaners that you can create using common household items in the pantry and under the sink. This guide will cover the most common cleaning ingredients and how they interact. Plus, you’ll learn about the best cleaning solutions for tile, wood, vinyl, and more.

Whether you’re looking for an all-purpose cleaner or something specifically for wood floors, this guide to DIY floor cleaner recipes will have your home sparkly fresh in no time.

Homemade Floor Cleaner Ingredients

Flooring Inc: best homemade floor cleaning ingredients

There are a lot of reasons that you might want a homemade floor cleaner. Maybe you don’t have the time or budget to pick up a store-bought cleaner that could take care of the mess. Or perhaps you prefer a natural floor cleaner to a store-bought solution. 

Depending on the situation, some cleaning ingredients may be a better fit for you than others. Before you start to mix up your cleaner, it’s important to learn what different ingredients do, and how they affect your floor.

Water

The most basic component of almost any cleaner is water. It dilutes the harsher cleaning agents. Some recipes call for distilled water to increase the longevity of the cleaner.

Vinegar

Because vinegar is acidic, it can help dissolve dirt and grime build-up. However, this acidity can also pose a danger to your floor. If you have natural stone flooring, you should not use a vinegar-based cleaner, as it can cause discoloration. (source)

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a mild alkali, which helps grease and dirt dissolve in water. When not completely dissolved, baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive that can remove more stubborn dirt. On top of that, it’s also an effective deodorizer. (source)

Borax

This is another alkali cleaner that helps to cut grease and oil. Once a common household cleaning supply, Borax, faded from popularity with the advent of modern cleaning products. However, it’s making a comeback. This versatile powder can be used to create cleaning sprays, pastes, and scrubs. (source)

Ammonia

As a cleaning component, ammonia is one of the toughest ingredients out there. It can tackle grease and grime for a streak-free shine. Because it’s so potent, you should always be careful when using it. Wear gloves and make sure the area is well ventilated. Most importantly, never mix ammonia with chlorine bleach, as this will produce dangerous chlorine gas. (source)

Rubbing Alcohol

We all know that alcohol works as a disinfectant, so it only makes sense to use it to sanitize our floors. Rubbing alcohol, a.k.a. isopropyl alcohol also speeds up the evaporation rate to reduce the possibility of water damage from standing liquid on your floors. (source)

Dish Soap

For a mild cleaner that is pH neutral, dish soap is the perfect ingredient. Simply mix it with water to clean rubber, tile, and more. Make sure to choose a dish soap without bleach, oils or moisturizers, since these additives can have unintended effects on your floor. (source)

Olive Oil

Many people use olive oil as a DIY wood polish. It naturally hydrates the wood without leaving behind an unpleasant film, making it a great addition to homemade wood cleaners. (source)

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is naturally acidic, making it tough on grease and hard water stains. Plus, that lemony scent is basically synonymous with “fresh.” It’s great for porcelain and ceramic tile, but make sure not to use it on flooring that can be damaged by acidity. (source)

Essential Oil 

Some of the more powerful cleaning ingredients can have pretty unpleasant smells. But what’s the point of cleaning the floor if it’s just going to stink up the room? To resolve this issue, you can use essential oil to make your DIY cleaner smell good. From orange to mint, and everything in between, essential oil scents can cover up the harsher odors and leave your floor smelling just as good as it looks. 

Now that you know more about the building blocks of home floor cleaners, it’s time for the fun part: the DIY cleaning recipes!

Please note: For any homemade cleaner, it’s a good idea to first test it in an inconspicuous spot to see if it causes any unexpected discoloration or damage.

Best Homemade All-Purpose Floor Cleaner

Flooring Inc: best homemade floor cleaners

If you have a lot of similar flooring in your home, and you don’t have specific cleaning needs, an all-purpose cleaner could be a great option for you. You save time and space in your cleaning supplies cabinet, and who doesn’t want that? 

Here’s a good all-purpose cleaner that should take care of everyday dirt and grime.

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1/8 tsp dish soap (without bleach, oils or moisturizers)
  • (optional) 5-10 drops of essential oil or lemon juice

Want even stronger results? Try this adjusted recipe.

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1/8 tsp dish soap (without bleach, oils or moisturizers)
  • (optional) 5-10 drops of essential oil or lemon juice

Pour this mixture into a fine spray bottle and get to cleaning! Take note, since this contains vinegar, it’s not a suitable cleaner for natural stone flooring.

Homemade Wood Floor Cleaner

Flooring Inc: Best homemade flooring cleaner guide

Wood flooring is kind of needy, and it’s definitely not cheap. That means you need an effective but gentle cleaner that won’t damage the surface. Here are a couple of options that keep wood flooring clean and in top condition.

  • 1 gallon of warm water
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • (optional) 5-10 drops of essential oil or lemon juice

To add some extra polish to the floor as you clean, try this recipe!

  • 1 gallon of warm water
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup lemon juice

Fill up a mop bucket and be sure to cover the whole floor before wiping it dry. Don’t let it sit, as this could damage the wood over an extended time.

Homemade Laminate Floor Cleaner

Flooring Inc Best DIY floor cleaner: water resistant laminate

Laminate is easy to clean and maintain, as long as you make sure not to use soap or detergents with water since this can create bubbles in the laminate. (source)

Use this combination for a quick and easy laminate cleaner.

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • (optional) 5-10 drops of essential oil or lemon juice

When cleaning, use a soft cloth or mop. Abrasives like steel wool can scratch the surface. 

Related Content >> How to Clean Laminate Floors

Homemade Vinyl Floor Cleaner

Homemade floor cleaner: vinyl and garage floor cleaner

Luxury vinyl should always be mopped using a nonabrasive floor cleaner, without harsh chemicals. We recommend this recipe for the best results.

  • 2 gallons of warm water
  • ½ cup rubbing alcohol
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp dish soap (without bleach, oils or moisturizers)

Thoroughly mop the floor with the mixture. While some luxury vinyl is waterproof, you should still dry the floor afterward and not let the water sit on the surface.

Related Content >> How to Clean Vinyl Floors

Homemade Tile Floor Cleaner

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are pretty simple to clean because they’re waterproof and aren’t prone to absorbing stains. According to manufacturers, all glazed tiles should be cleaned with an all-purpose, low VOC cleaner. (source)

Check out this recipe for an effective homemade tile cleaner.

  • 2 gallons of warm water
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1 tbsp dish soap (without bleach, oils or moisturizers)

For even tougher messes, try this more aggressive cleaner.

  • 1 gallon of warm water
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup ammonia

Please note, these cleaners are only for porcelain or ceramic tile. Natural stone tile has different requirements (see below). Even with porcelain or ceramic tile, it’s still a good idea to test your cleaner in a low-visibility area, just to make sure it doesn’t cause any discoloration.

Related Content >> How to Clean and Seal Grout

Homemade Stone Floor Cleaner

Flooring Inc. Tile Cleaning Guide: sweeping tile with a broom and dustpan

Natural stone tile is porous, which means it can potentially soak up a cleaner and become discolored. To avoid this unfortunate situation, only use pH neutral cleaners that contain no acid and no bleach. (source)

Try this cleaning solution in a fine mist spray bottle.

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • ½ cup rubbing alcohol
  • ½ tsp dish soap (without bleach, oils or moisturizers)
  • (optional) 5-10 drops of essential oil or lemon juice

Always test the cleaner on the floor in a low-visibility area first, to ensure no discoloration occurs. Also, check to make sure the cleaner doesn’t ruin or discolor any stone or grout sealant.

Related Content >> How to Clean Tile Floors

Homemade Rubber Floor Cleaner

Homemade floor cleaner: rubber floor cleaner

For home gyms or other spaces with rubber flooring, cleaning can reduce the initial smell (from off-gassing) as well as keep the floor hygienic. Follow this recommendation to make your rubber flooring smell better and stay clean. 

  • 1 gallon of warm water
  • 1 cup of dish soap (without bleach, oils or moisturizers)
  • (optional) 5-10 drops of essential oil or lemon juice

Note: To reduce the smell from rubber flooring off-gassing, you may need to mop the floor a few times and let the room air out. 

Homemade Carpet Floor Cleaner

The easiest way to keep your carpet clean is to regularly vacuum it, but in the case of spills or stains, some extra measures are required. If you don’t want to rent a carpet cleaner (understandable), here’s a homemade solution that should work for spot-cleaning.

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1/8 tsp dish soap (without bleach, oils or moisturizers)
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda. 

Spray the cleaner over a small area and scrub the stain with a clean towel. Dab up the remaining moisture with a second clean towel to finish up.

Conclusion

There you have it: the best homemade floor cleaners for the most common flooring options. Now you can stock up on safe, simple cleaners that cost a fraction of the store-bought versions.

If this guide helped you out, you’ll love our other DIY guides and style tips! Check out what else you can learn!

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