How to Make DIY Floor Cleaner for a Healthier Home

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When my oldest child was about six months old I suddenly became much more interested in finding a natural and DIY floor cleaner recipe. I now 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. I had to find something multi-purpose and easy to make with the ingredients I had on hand. Something with white vinegar, washing soda, and dishwashing liquid.

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

Why 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? Even something seemingly simple like bleach has harsh chemicals that are toxic to breathe. Here’s a sampling of toxic ingredients from popular floor cleaning agents.

  • 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 make 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.

My Favorite Store-bought Floor Cleaners

Vinegar and water make for a pretty easy recipe. But when a ready natural substitute is needed, try one of these brands. Some of these are multipurpose so you can use the cleaning solution for more than just your floors.

Now, onto the recipes that started it all: my easy, DIY natural floor cleaner recipes!

Natural DIY Floor Cleaning Recipes

Here are my favorite homemade floor cleaner recipes from over the years. With a little practice, they’re so easy to make it becomes almost automatic. You can use these with a microfiber mop or with a regular mop bucket. I avoid using microfiber cloths for home cleaning (here’s why), but you could easily use a cotton towel instead.

Adding Essential Oils

Essential oils add a nice, fresh scent and they help fight pathogens and microbes. Using too much on vinyl floors or linoleum floors can leave a film though. I like using them in my wood floor cleaner, but you may want to skip them when cleaning floors made of laminate or tile. Here are some options to try:

Natural Wood Floor Cleaner

Wood floors require some special care to preserve the finish. Some DIY floor recipes add a small amount of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) to act as a disinfectant. I haven’t found the need to use it. The following recipe helps get rid of grime and add shine to hardwood floors. Just be sure to wipe it off completely to avoid slippery floors! I use this cleaner on the wood floors in our home.

  1. Combine 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 teaspoon olive oil or other vegetable oil, and 1 cup of water in a spray bottle.
  2. Add a few drops of essential oil of choice for a nice scent if desired
  3. Shake well and spray on a cleaning cloth.
  4. Rub lightly into floors to bring back shine and clean spots.

You could use lemon juice instead of the 1/2 cup vinegar, but it will need to be used right away. Some sources say to use 1/4 cup of lemon juice in a gallon of water to protect the wood finish. This helps get up greasy spots without being overly acidic.

Best Homemade Floor Cleaner for Hard Floors

I like using this recipe for ceramic tile and laminate floors. It doesn’t leave a greasy film on vinyl or tile floors and is great for natural cleaning. Some tile floor cleaner recipes also add liquid dish soap to the recipe for extra scrubbing power. In that case, Sal Suds from Dr. Bronner’s would work. Unlike castile soap, it won’t interact negatively with the vinegar.

Here’s how to make an all-purpose cleaner for hard floors:

  • Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water and dampen the mop head.
  • Mop well with hot water.
  • Damp mop with pure hot or warm water to rinse.

For really tough stains, pre-treat with 2 tablespoons of washing soda (not baking soda) dissolved in 16 ounces of water.

How to Clean Grout

We’ve covered what to do about tile, but what about the grout? Especially in the bathroom and shower area, grout can become discolored over the years. Then there’s the grime, soap scum, and mildew. To clean grout, make a paste with hydrogen peroxide and washing soda. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the area, then rinse off with warm water.

Get even more homemade grout and tile cleaner recipes here.

Natural Carpet Stain Removal

With 6 kids and several pets, we’ve had our share of carpet stains! Here are some tips to get them out naturally.

  • Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray on stains, let sit for 5 minutes, and scrub with a soft brush. Add 1-2 drops of dish soap for tough stains.
  • For tough grease stains, pour cornstarch liberally on the stain and let sit until dry. Vacuum up and then use the 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 the methods above if any part of the stain remains.
  • Hydrogen peroxide also makes a great natural stain remover. Be sure to test on an inconspicuous area of the material first if you’re worried about color leaching.

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.
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


39 responses to “How to Make DIY Floor Cleaner for a Healthier Home”

  1. Mary-Ann Avatar

    I’ve been doing a lot of reading (and learning) about going all natural, have been doing it since the new year. I’ve read a bunch of people talking about that Sal Suds and have also noticed that EWG gave it a really good rating. What I don’t understand is WHY? It has SLS in it and I thought that was a bad ingredient? I’m confused.

  2. Terri Avatar

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

  3. Carlos Avatar

    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!

  4. annemarie Avatar

    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!

  5. Kristin Litwiler Avatar
    Kristin Litwiler

    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!

  6. emma Avatar

    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…

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