Using natural cleaners for your floors is a popular way to save money and stay healthy. However, many household cleaners contain chemicals that can harm your family. These toxins can slowly seep into your bloodstream, and over time, they can damage your internal organs. Cleaning with vinegar can help you reduce one major source of these toxic chemicals in your home.
Vinegar is a safe, effective cleaner that doesn’t leave any chemical residue on your floor or in your environment. The best type of vinegar to use is distilled white vinegar, which has a high acidity level that cuts through dirt and grease. However, apple cider vinegar also works well for some cleaning jobs. To make your own vinegar solution for mopping your floors, add half a cup of white vinegar to a gallon of water. Mix thoroughly and pour into a clean bucket. Then, dip a clean mop into the solution and wring it dry.
Before you begin mopping, be sure to sweep or vacuum the floor thoroughly to remove any dust, lint and debris. This step is especially important if you have hardwood floors, as any remaining grit could scratch the surface during mopping.
You can use the same mopping solution on most types of hard floors, including vinyl, linoleum and ceramic tile. The only exception is natural stone flooring, which may react with vinegar and cause it to dissolve the sealant or leave watermarks. If you’re unsure if your floors can handle vinegar, do a spot test in a hidden area before proceeding.
To create your mopping solution, simply add half a cup of white vinegar to one gallon of warm water. Before you add your mop, be sure to rinse it in the sink and wring it out well. You want your mop to be damp but not soaking wet, as excess moisture can cause wood floors to warp or damage linoleum and vinyl.
Once you have your vinegar solution, dip your mop into the solution and begin to mop your floors. Be sure to work in small sections at a time, and don’t forget to change out your mop solution frequently. Then, allow your floors to air dry before you move furniture or rugs back into place.
While some people may dislike the strong odor that accompanies vinegar, it should dissipate rapidly once your mopped floors have dried. To speed up the drying process, open windows and doors to let in fresh air.
While there are a variety of natural, chemical-free cleaners for your floors, white vinegar is the most versatile. It’s inexpensive, effective and safe for most floors, including hardwood and laminate. But, be careful to avoid scented vinegars like balsamic or rice wine vinegar, as they can leave behind a sticky residue that attracts household pests. In addition, be careful not to mix vinegar with bleach, as this can create toxic chlorine gas. To protect your health and the environment, choose a natural cleaner that is safe for both you and your family.