How to Make Natural Floor Cleaner for a Healthier Home

Natural Floor and Tile Cleaner Recipes

When my oldest child was about six months old I suddenly became much more interested in finding a natural and homemade floor cleaner recipe because I had a pint-size inspector who would eat/lick anything I missed!

At the time we had several different types of floors in our tiny one-bedroom apartment, so I had to find something multi-purpose and easy to make with ingredients I had on hand: white vinegar, washing soda, and dishwashing liquid.

The great news is I discovered natural cleaners are incredibly easy to make and save a lot of money too!

Why Try and Make Natural Floor Cleaner?

So with all a mom already has to juggle, why not just use conventional store-bought cleaners?

Ever read the ingredients in regular floor cleaners, Swiffer mops, and other store-bought floor cleaning products? Here’s a sampling, all of which have a D-F rating from the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

  • Dipropylene glycol
  • Methylisothiazolinone
  • Dialkyl dimethyl
  • Ammonium chlorides
  • Didecyldimethylammonium chloride
  • Preservatives
  • Artificial fragrances

Most of these substances are a) not natural in any sense and b) known to have health and environmental concerns. Not what I want my little one crawling around in!

Don’t Have Time to Make Your Own? That’s OK!

Of course life has changed a bit since I first experimented with homemade natural cleaner recipes years ago. I’ve had a few more kids (just a few!). Schooling and working from home makes for crazy hours sometimes. In fact, I often get the question, how do you do it all?!

The answer is … I don’t! Life goes through certain phases and I certainly didn’t tackle living a healthier life all at once. I’ve learned, experimented, and grown bit by bit. And since vinegar stinks and Borax is controversial, once I found store-bought brands I liked, I’ll be honest … my homemade cleaners appear less and less on the scene.

The good news is there are a lot of health-conscious companies and brands out there now, thanks to consumers who ask for these products and support them with their dollars. I’ll be sure to list my favorites at the end of the post.

But first, on to the recipes that started it all: my easy, sustainable, DIY natural floor cleaner recipes!

Natural DIY Floor Cleaner Recipes

Here are my favorite homemade floor cleaner recipes from over the years. With a little practice, they are so easy to make it becomes almost automatic.

Natural Wood Floor Cleaner

Combine 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (finally a good use for it!). Add 1 cup of water. Mix well and rub lightly into floors to bring back shine and clean spots. Add a few drops of essential oil of choice for nice scent. (Make sure to wipe off completely to avoid slippery floors!)

Natural All-Purpose Floor Cleaner

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water and dampen mop. For really tough stains, pre-treat with 2 tablespoons of washing soda dissolved in 16 ounces of water. Mop well. Damp mop with pure water to rinse.

Natural Carpet Stain Removal

Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water. Spray on stains, let sit for 5 minutes, and scrub with soft brush. Add 1-2 drops of dishwashing liquid for tough stains.

For tough grease stains, pour cornstarch liberally on the stain and let sit until dry. Vacuum up and then use method above.

For heavy-duty stains that won’t come out, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax, and vinegar. Rub into the stain. Let sit until dry and vacuum up. Use methods above if any part of the stain remains.

My Favorite Store-bought Floor Cleaner (+ Other Good Options!)

Vinegar and water make for a pretty easy recipe, but when a ready substitute is needed, try these brands which are rated by the EWG Consumer Guide.

How do you clean your home naturally? Any floor questions I forgot to cover here? Share below!


Clean your floors naturally with these homemade floor cleaner recipes. They are effective and inexpensive and safe for use around children.

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Reader Comments

  1. >>Ever read the ingredients in regular floor cleaners, swiffers, etc? Not what I want my one year old crawling around in!<<

    Yes and what you may not have heard about Swiffer specifically is that they had a warning a few years ago for pet owners that Swiffer causes liver toxicity and possible death in dogs and cats. I believe that they made a warning at the same time about crawling infants, but being a huge company that is out to sell, I could be wrong on that one. Still, definitely not something I want around my baby!

  2. I am so happy I found you!I have been wanting to start making all natural products for awhile. I have been making my own lotions and lotion/sunscreens and using virgin coconut oil since last spring. I bought the stuff to make our own soap and finally made it with my daughter yesterday. I am so excited, they look so nice. I have been using theraputic essential oils for awhile now and it was fun to try some of them out in my first 2 batches of soap. I am making a list so I can make your recipes for laundry detergent and the toothpaste! Thanks again for letting me in on your wonderful recipes!

  3. Great article. I love the tips you’ve given. I use the All purpose cleaner regularly. This vinegar/water solution works magically.

  4. Hello. I am new to the site and have been drastically changing our families food/chemical habits. In fact I have dubbed this month “health month” so I can focus on this or else it may never happen or take too long 🙂 I have a question regarding vegetable oil. I know it is not natural so it is not good to eat. Is it ok to use it in cleaners? I am confused how the castile soap is natural when it uses unnatural vegetable oil.

    • If you’re going to use vegetable oils, in cleaners is definitely
      preferable to internally! Depending on the type of liquid castille
      soap, some are made with coconut/olive/palm, etc so they don’t even
      have the vegetable oils.

  5. Wonderful post. Natural cleaning products clean just as good as store detergents. It is better to use them, though, as they are not toxic and dangerous.

  6. Can you use corn oil instead of vegetable oil for cleaning wood floors?  Thanks.


    • Yeah, what about laminate flooring? We just bought a house and it has,a lot of laminate floors

  8. what about vinyl flooring?

    • I’m not sure if you’ve ever found anything to use for your vinyl flooring or not, but I ran across something a few years ago that I use for EVERYTHING. It’s 1 (c)part distilled water, 1 (c)part rubbing alcohol, 1(c) part distilled white vinegar, a couple drops of dish soap (I use 7th gen) and about 20 drops of ess. oil of your liking. I’ve used tea tree, lavender, peppermint, and sweet orange oil. I’ve also made citrus vinegar with citrus peels and omitted the ess. oils, as the strained vinegar imparted a strong citrus scent in the solution. It works very well and doesn’t leave streaking on vinyl flooring.

  9. I was excited to find your homemade wood floor cleaner and had my hubby pick up some vegetable oil for me today so I could make it. After dinner I got on my hands and knees and cleaned almost 800 sq. ft. of wood floors with the concoction. Sad to say, myself and two of my boys have fallen pretty hard tonight because the oil made them so slippery. 🙁 Plus I feel like we’re tracking oil from our feet onto the carpet. I wouldn’t use this again and it was actually pretty dangerous. I would suggest re-creating your recipe or removing it.

    • Did you use more than the teaspoon? I could be wrong, but I took this to be mixed and lightly sprayed on a dust mop. Maybe WM can advise as to how this is to be used.

  10. Hi.  I LOVE all your natural cleaning recipes.  I have brand new hardwood floors and would really love to use a natural cleaner on them.  I know you know what you’re talking about so I trust your judgment…is it really ok to use vinegar?  It won’t strip them?  Thanks!!

    • It wont strip them. If you are concerned, just add about 1/4 cup to a gallon of wash water the first time… it will still get it clean, and you’ll be able to test on your specific floors without as high of concentration.

  11. I love using vinegar to clean my floors but I just learned from a tile guy that vinegar is used to break down grout. It will make it rot! 🙁 in search of something else now…

  12. I have a brick floor which I have stained by using a Mop and Glo type product on . Any ideas on how to remove built up wax? Thanks in advance for anyones help.

    • Ammonia will get it up!!

      • do you love the smell of ammonia, I don’t great article no harsh odors and does the job beautifully. I also use the all-purpose cleaner and the scouring powder. As a result I haven’t experienced mildew since. I even clean my walls with the all-purpose cleaner, these recipes are great and work excellently. I recommend this site to everyone who asks about the cleanliness of my house!

  13. Good to see natural cleaning recipes for wooden floors. I was facing problem while doing this and repaired my floor twice. Thanks for this useful information.

  14. I know this is an old post, but I wanted to say that hydrogen peroxide also works for carpet stains. The idea behind it is that hydrogen peroxide denatures proteins, breaking the food/grime/wine down into small enough particles that they can be easily removed with a damp cloth. I suggest testing a small part of of carpet that is not in plain sight to make sure that the coloring will not be altered. I have used this for every kind of stain imaginable with outstanding results.

  15. I have laminant flooring, it was really nice until I used Boni laminant floor polish. Now it looks terrible wity marks all over it. This is making me crazy. I have used water and vinager but doesn’t help. Does anyone have a good solution please?


    • I’ve used Boni with hugely disappointing results as well. At first I tried vinegar, baking soda & water a few times thinking that over time it would wear down the Boni. It didn’t. I finally tried a mixture of ammonia and water (1 gallon water with 1 cup ammonia, I tried the lighter version first). It worked ok and I could definitely notice the difference. However, the streaks were noticeable to me and so I went with a one-to-one ratio of ammonia and water and TA DA! Now, I did wash that stuff off my floor with hot water and then I used liquid detergent (1 Tblsp.) and water (1 gallon) after that to try and give my floors some luster. That didn’t really work but I do know that the streaks are gone and the floors are SQUEAKY clean.

  16. I have a Rubbermaid spray mop (with the refillable bottle and washable microfiber mopheads). Any idea how I can use a vinegar mix with this type of mop to clean my floors?

  17. Katie,

    I use your all purpose cleaner recipe with vinegar and water and I add some Citrus Bliss essential oil from Doterra! I am a happy healthy camper! Never using commercial cleaners again! Thank you so much for all your info!!

  18. I love all of these recipes! I actually just finished making the homemade laundry detergent and all purpose cleaner. I just have a question about this floor cleaner. . . Is it not going to stink up the house and make it smell like vinegar? I am pregnant and don’t think I could handle that smell too strongly.

  19. What would you recommend for dirty cat paw marks on the cream painted walls for which I currently use cream cleaner? Thanks

  20. HI
    I’ve been using a water-hydrogen peroxide + sage oil drop on my tile floors but it created a waxy feel to it. Today I washed it with the vinegar/water solution but our shoes are leaving prints on it. Is there a way to avoid this? Really want to go natural with our floor cleaning but there’s always some residue / marking.
    (Johannesburg, South Africa)

  21. Nice post! It was really interesting. The information which you provide is really informative and helpful to home owners. I like this blog very much. Definitely I will share this blog to my friends. Thanks…

  22. Would your natural all purpose floor cleaner work on a travertine tile floor? You know how there are exceptions to every rule, so I thought I’d check if there were for travertine. Also, on tipnut says that .
    FYI, for Susan on November 12, 2012 then an acquaintance said vinegar causes build-up on floors.
    I’m new at getting into this & loving every second of putting it to work 😀 Thanks for the coming help!

    • I don’t have travertine so I’m not sure, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work

  23. On my old hardwood floor, which the finish is almost completely worn off, I used about 2 cups of vinegar, a gallon of hot water, tablespoon of canola oil, and several drops each of two scented room oils – and the floor turned out really nicely. The wood has more of a richness to it than I’ve ever seen!

  24. I have my main house tile and bed rooms real hardwood floor. I had bought a bona spray mop and it works great but I want to use my own spray for it. I’ve noticed the recipe for hardwood floor appears to be something you put on a rag and rub the floor?? Maybe I’m wrong but I assume this because only vinegar and oil. No water?? I want to add a spray to my bona mop. Any suggestions for hardwood floor diy cleaner that can use with spray mop? Thanks!

    • Looks like somehow part of that paragraph was deleted somehow. Fixed it now… you would add water 🙂

      • Thanks for reply. Do you think this would work fine in a spray mop?

  25. What about polishing wood furniture? Can you use vegetable oil? Other food oils? Does it need to be cut with anything? Help!