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. Riette Avatar

    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)

  2. anna Avatar

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

  3. Kayla Avatar

    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.

  4. Lisette Avatar


    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!!

  5. Rachel Avatar

    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?

  6. Joyce Avatar

    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?


    1. Karen Avatar

      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.

  7. Amber Avatar

    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.

  8. Alex Avatar

    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.

  9. Susan Avatar

    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.

      1. Desiree Bacchi Avatar
        Desiree Bacchi

        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!

  10. Sabra Avatar

    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…

  11. Michelle Partington Avatar
    Michelle Partington

    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!!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      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.

  12. Jennifer Avatar

    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.

    1. Dianne Avatar

      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.

    1. Beth Avatar

      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.

    1. Jean Tierney Avatar
      Jean Tierney

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

  13. Rose Faber Avatar
    Rose Faber

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

  14. Harold Avatar

    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.

  15. lois Avatar

    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.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      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.

  16. John Atkinson Avatar
    John Atkinson

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

  17. Alice Avatar

    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!

  18. Gabrielle Avatar

    >>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!

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