Hardwood floors are a real pleasure. Clean and shiny ones are even better.
While there are commercially available chemical cleaners out there, if you are looking for simple, completely natural and organic ways of cleaning and restoring your precious hardwood, there’s some good news for you.
The basic thing to remember is that wood is sensitive to dirt and dust particles, which can cause unsightly scratches. Also, too much moisture and heat that can result in warping.
The methods below not only help keep your hardwood floors clean, but some of them can even help get rid of small scratches.
Simple Cleaning Recipes
The basic ingredients needed here (other than water!) are:
- Lemon Juice
- Olive Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Lemon Essential Oil
- Rubbing Alcohol
This first recipe involves a gallon of water (preferably hot) with a half cup of lemon juice and a 3/4 cup of olive oil. This can be used to mop with a regular mop, making sure that you wring out the mop every time before putting it on the floor to keep it from getting too wet. After mopping, leave the floor to air-dry on its own, or wipe it down gently with a soft cloth. This will even serve to buff it and give it a little shine.
A gallon of water with half a cup of white vinegar is a tried-and-true recipe. The same method of mopping and drying applies to this too. Vinegar is very good at getting the dirt out of the floor compared to other options.
Equal parts of water, vinegar and rubbing alcohol make for a stronger cleaner that can handle tougher hardwood floor cleaning jobs.
Including a few drops of tea tree oil or lemon essential oil in the cleaning recipe further works to disinfect the floors. Using a microfiber cloth instead of a soft cloth is an additional effective cleaning option if you have delicate floors.
Tea as a Cleaning Agent
Tea as a cleaning agent is perhaps a surprise to you as it was to me, but it works like a charm. Regular black tea (about the same strength as you would use for drinking – a tea bag for a cup of water) makes a great cleaning solution for mopping.
Any basic, cheap brand of tea should work fine for this. The advantage with tea is that it’s not as acidic as vinegar, but enough to do the job. Vinegar can be a bit harsh for some floors (and your skin), so tea is a more suitable option in this case. The color of hardwood flooring may also improved by using tea.
Preventing scratches on your hardwood is something that every hardwood owner should be concerned with. Cleaning the floor of loose dirt and dust, especially before mopping, will help you avoid this common pitfall.
Overall, the best organic way to clean hardwood floors depends on how heavy the cleaning job is. My pick would be tea, since it seems to have several desirable features over other recipes.
More Useful Tips
Here are some additional tips for keeping hardwood floors clean:
- Use a broom or brush before mopping, to get rid of loose surface dirt and dust.
- Use rugs or mats at entry points onto hardwood floors.
- Keep pets clean and trim their nails regularly (easier said than done!).
- Use protective pads under furniture (legs and other contact points).
- Avoid over-exposure to sun (UV rays can dull hardwood over time).