They give the space a warmth and compassion that makes everyone who enters feel alive.
But, when they get worn and weathered, you want the same natural, Earth-friendly feel to your cleaning ingredients.
Thankfully, there are many easy and effective ways to clean your hardwood naturally and safely.
The first thing you need to remember is to remove the dust. Hardwood flooring, like every surface in your home, collect dirt and dust that falls through the air. And it’s far more noticeable on hardwood surfaces.
Many substances that you probably already have in your home have fantastic cleaning properties. And, they tend to be much safer, gentler, and less expensive than chemical solutions (Read: Best Way to Clean Your Floors Without Chemicals). Here are a few examples:
- White vinegar
- Olive oil
- Baking soda
Let’s take a look at a few of these options so you can decide which is best for your floors.
The natural acidity of lemons makes them perfect for disinfecting and cleansing surfaces. Applying a half a cup of lemon juice to a gallon of hot water, soaking your mop, and then wringing very well, will create a solution that brings out the natural beauty of your floors. And it smells great too!
Just be sure to wring out that mop very well before putting it to the floor. You want it to be only slightly damp.
The same goes for the next solution.
Equal parts vinegar and warm water make a handy cleaner for many household tasks.
Just like the lemon solution, combine the mixture in a bucket, dip your mop, then wring it out well.
Standing pools of liquid are a bad idea for hardwood floors. But these natural techniques work so well you don’t need very much. With all of these solutions, air drying works just fine.
This option works great for tiled floors too!
Want to give your hardwood a gorgeous shine?
Olive oil is the answer.
Adding a few drops to either of the previous solutions will help bring back the luster of your flooring. Or you can simply apply a few drops to a mildly damp sponge and rub it directly into your hardwood as needed. The same technique works with our next solution on scuff marks.
Hardwood floors can be, sadly, prone to scuffing. Shoes, furniture, even pets can scuff the tender surface. Put a little baking soda on a mildly damp sponge and watch it buff those scuffs away.
This one may seem a bit surprising. But when you think about the acidity in tea it really makes sense.
Tea is full of tannic acid that can help clean a variety of household objects. And the tannins in black tea especially can help restore color and vibrancy to your old hardwood floors.
Either brew a large, concentrated pot of the tea along with the previous damp mopping technique, or just rub a few ‘slightly damp’ tea bags into the floor.
Things to Keep in Mind
Whatever method you choose, remember that water is the enemy of hardwood. Keep your mop barely damp, your sponges well wrung, and anything else you touch to the floor relatively dry.
With so many precautions you can take, along with all of these natural and safe options, you’re sure to find a great way to keep your hardwood floors clean, healthy, and looking beautiful for years to come.