Spring Cleaning Time...Hardwood Floors

Vinegar cleans hardwood floorsWell, today Geoff and I worked in our yard....I'll post pictures of our progress soon.  Then we are in the process of cleaning our hardwood floors.  When I bought this house my father and I tore up the gross blue carpet...and scraped up the spilled paint...and tore out the huge nails...and refinished the gorgeous floorboards beneath!
Anyway, this is MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE time of year.  Wipe off those winter cob webs, roll back your sleeves, take your allergy meds, and take in a deep breath! I have used the following process for a couple years and I LOVE IT....I recommend this to anyone with hardwoods! It makes the process easier if you have two people (little children work too!!)

To clean your hardwood floors using vinegar, follows these simple steps.
  • Remove any objects from the floor. If you can easily move furniture or scatter rugs out of the way, do so.
  • Block off the room so that pets and children do not walk across the wet floor. While vinegar is non toxic, footprints and paw prints on a clean floor do not add to the décor!
  • Vacuum or dry mop the floor. It's critical to remove all the surface dust, dirt, lint and hair before mopping.
  • Fill a clean bucket with a solution of white vinegar and warm water. Use a half a cup of white vinegar to one gallon of warm water.
  • Immerse a clean mop into the solution and wring it until it is damp-dry (I use the swiffer dry mop). Never use a soaking wet mop on the floor--especially hardwoods..the wood will swell!
  • Mop the floor, starting in one corner. Mop with the direction of the floorboards. If the water dries with a bit of a streak in it, if you've mopped in the direction of the floorboards it will not be as visible.
  • Rinse the mop head frequently.
  • Change water if the solution begins to look very dirty.
After mopping your hardwood floor, you can use a soft, clean towel to dry it or let it air dry. If the floor looks very wet, you may wish to use a towel (This is where a second-in-command helps, I mop and my 2nd stands on the towel and follows behind). While a bit of water won't hurt most finishes, it's never a good idea to leave a lot of water on wood products.
Once the floor is dry, you can put the furniture and rugs back in place and open the room back up to the pets and family. Vinegar is safe and non toxic, and there is no need to rinse it from the floor. The hardwood floor should have a nice shine to it once it's mopped.

Now there are LOTs of products out on the market for cleaning hardwoods, I find this leaves streaks and a residue on the floor....not good old vinegar and water---HOWEVER...

While vinegar is an economical and safe solution to use for mopping hardwood floors, it may not be able to cut through extreme grease or dirt. If you have a particularly dirty floor or a nasty spill that needs to be cleaned up, you may want to try a special wood cleaner, like Murphy's Oil Soap. It's a bit stronger than a vinegar solution yet still safe to use on wood products. The vegetable-oil base cuts through grease and dirt and leaves the floor squeaky clean. Oil soaps are also safe to use around pets and children. Do not try to make your own vegetable-oil based cleaner and don't mix such a cleaner with other cleaners, like vinegar. Use according to the directions on the bottle.

I'll post pictures soon....right now we've just picked up objects off the floor and swept/vacuumed three times!  Hope our start to spring cleaning inspires you to do the same...it is just good for the soul and will clean out all those mental cobwebs as well! Anyone else doing some FABULOUS spring cleaning...with great tips?!


Kristy said...

I am a visual learner, can you come to my house and show me how this works. I may just be a slow learner too, so I may need to be shown in quite a few rooms before I get it. :)

Beth@The Stories of A2Z said...

I LOVE using vinegar to clean. It's obviously not the best smelling stuff but it cleans great and I love knowing it's safe! Thanks for the tips!

Wendys Hat said...

I'm jealous! Those floors are beautiful!