Everyone loves the feel of a freshly mopped floor, but not everyone is a fan of the chemicals found in commercial mopping detergents or the residue left behind. If you want a way to clean your floors without heavy chemicals, some common household ingredients can pack a powerful punch on even the highest traffic dirty floors. These recipes will leave your floors clean with no residue, and that hint of shine that we all look for in a freshly mopped floor.
Be careful when using any water-based cleaning solution on flooring surfaces that aren't sealed. Natural wood floors without a good coat of polyurethane varnish or another sealer can be easily stained by water. And manufacturers of some laminate flooring caution against allowing water to seep through the seams. While most floors will tolerate light damp mopping, wood and laminate flooring should never be saturated to the extent that the water pools on the surface.
Here are four common household ingredients you can use to make an effective floor mopping solution.
Equipment / Tools
- White vinegar
- Mild dish soap
- Scented oil or lemon juice (optional)
- Window cleaner
- Rubbing alcohol
Using Vinegar as a Mopping Solution
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that works well as a mopping solution without leaving any chemical residue on your floors. Although some people don't like the scent, this odor is evident only as you mop and clean—it will fade away rapidly as the solution dries. The results left behind are a gorgeous, clean floor. Try these three different combinations to clean your dirty floors. Cut the recipe in half if you have only a small area to mop.
- Mix 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar and 1 gallon warm water
- Mix 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, 1 gallon warm water, and 2 tablespoons mild dish soap
- Mix 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar, 1 gallon warm water, and several drops of scented oils or lemon juice
Using Window Cleaner as a Mopping Solution
Window or glass cleaner may not be a completely natural ingredient, but it is a lot simpler than many of the mopping cleaners you will find sold on store shelves. It works great to give your mirrors and glass a nice clean surface, but it can also be used to mop your floors.
A window cleaner has the added benefit of removing streaks from shiny surface floors and can even eliminate the need to buff your floors dry, depending on the type of surfaces you have in your home. You can even use window cleaner as a spot cleaner on your floors, spraying directly from the bottle and using a wet mop to wipe and remove dirt and sticky spots. The good thing about this recipe is that you can make a lot or a little, depending on your needs.
- Mix 1 part window cleaner to one part warm water to clean vinyl and tile floors
- For laminate floors, less window cleaner is needed: try 1/4 cup for each 1/2 gallon of water
Using Dish Soap as a Mopping Solution
Mild dish soap can work well as a floor cleaner, and since it is so mild, it can be used on most floor types without leaving a residue. Don't overuse it, though—too much will create a slightly sticky film.
Here are two different recipes to try:
- Mix 1/4 cup mild dish soap and 3 cups warm water
- Mix 1/4 cup dish soap, 2 cups vinegar, 2 cups warm water, and 1/2 cup lemon juice
Using Rubbing Alcohol as a Mopping Solution
For laminate flooring, water is usually enough to clean thoroughly. But when you need a little extra cleaning power, rubbing alcohol can help. Rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly, which prevents streaks and lines from drying onto your floor. When you use rubbing alcohol, it helps eliminate the need to buff and shine the floor dry.
There are two ways to create a rubbing alcohol cleaning solution:
- Mix 1 cup rubbing alcohol and 1 gallon warm water
- Mix 1 part vinegar, 1 part rubbing alcohol, and 1 part warm water