Homemade Floor Cleaner For All Types Of Floors

Homemade Floor Cleaner from HousewifeHowTos.com You probably already have all of the ingredients needed to make your own homemade floor cleaner, one which gets your floors just as shiny clean as the commercial stuff, without the harsh chemicals.

So, why would you want to? Simple: it’s for your own good. Commercial cleaning products contribute greatly to indoor air pollution. For people with allergies or asthma, indoor air quality is critical to good health. Now, add in pets or young children (or even teens like mine) who spend a lot of time n the floor. Do you really want their paws or pacifiers having that much contact with chemical residue?

Given how much of the surface area in our home consists of flooring, and it’s not hard to see how commercial floor cleaners aren’t a smart choice. But if that’s not enough to convince you, then consider this: it costs just pennies to make enough homemade floor cleaner to clean your floors for a month or more. That’s right: pennies. So why shell out $3 or more for a commercial cleaner that’s bad for you and your family when you can whip up your own with ingredients you already have?

Even better: you only need this one homemade floor cleaner to clean every hard flooring surface in your home. It works on laminate. It works on hardwood. It even works on vinyl, linoleum and ceramic tile, too. Not only does it get rid of smears and grime, it’s strong enough to cut through food spills without harming your floor’s surface AND it leaves a gorgeous shine!

How To Make Homemade Floor Cleaner


    • White vinegar
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Liquid dish soap (Dawn Original works best)
    • Water
    • Essential oils (optional, see below)
        TIP: Use peppermint oil to deter ants and mice!

UPDATE: Due to problems people have encountered with streaks, I want to emphasize that you must NOT use a dish soap that contains moisturizers or “oxygen bleach”. Do NOT swap castille soap for the dish soap, and if you use essential oils be sure they aren’t compound oils (i.e., those with fragrance added to grapeseed or some other form of oil).

How To Use Homemade Floor Cleaner: Combine equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water, then add 3 drops of liquid dish soap. This works equally well regardless of whether you use a bucket or spray bottle to dispense your floor cleaner as you mop. Of course, you’ll have to dump out what’s left in the bucket after use, while anything left in the spray bottle can be stored in a dark, cool place for future cleanings.

Scented Homemade Floor Cleaner: Use the same mixture, then add around 5 drops of your favorite essential oils, or a mixture of them if you prefer. I like equal parts peppermint and orange in the summer, while in the winter I use cedar and lavender. And remember, once you find a fragrance combination you like, you can use it in homemade air freshener and homemade laundry detergent, too!

So now what will you do with those different bottles of cleaning products taking up space on your shelves? Use them up if it bothers you to have spent money on them, or get rid of them now and make the switch. Just, please, dispose of them properly.

Equipment I Used:

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  • http://en.gravatar.com/mariettesbacktobasics Mariette’s Back to Basics

    Dearest Katie,
    As always, very to the point and health conscious and frugal. Love the tip of using peppermint oil.
    Hugs to you,

    • Katie B.

      Thank you, Mariette!

  • Sue

    Well, I’ll be darned!

    I was reading your latest post and thought, okay, the furniture polish, air freshener and vinegar tips have been amazing, but alcohol and vinegar (mixed together) on my floors…well, let’s say I was skeptical.

    Mixed up a trusty spray bottle of this concoction, and lo and behold, it is fantastic! You are right, it dries to a beautiful shine and the kitchen smells delightful. If it works this well on my hardwoods I will be ecstatic.

    Thanks for another huge money saver, especially one which honestly does what is advertised.

    I hope you and your family are having a wonderful summer.

    • Katie B.

      I’m so glad you gave it a try, Sue! I love the way it cleans my white ceramic tile floors. Those things are the bane of my existence! How’d it work on your hardwood?

      • Sue

        I did the hardwood floors this afternoon and this mixture did a beautiful job.

        These floors are light oak and no matter the care, they pick up everything that comes down the pike and with a house well used by family and friends the everything adds up quickly.

        Hubby thought the kitchen and hallway tile I did last night looked great but after I finished the hardwood today, he was even more impressed.

        Having used the peppermint oil in this mixture, I was curious if the combination you mention above gives the same fresh scent, or does the citrus in the orange overpower the peppermint? Thanks!

  • Andi

    More great cleaning advice! Never realized that peppermint deters ants and mice, will definitely try this out. Thanks for sharing!

    • Katie B.

      Thanks. Btw, there’s no point in leaving your company’s URL. My links are “no_follow” and I routinely delete commercial URLs.

  • Erin

    Great post! This will definitely save me a lot of time and money. Thanks for the great cleaning tips!

    • Katie B.

      Thanks. Btw, there’s no point in leaving your company’s URL. My links are “no_follow” and I routinely delete commercial URLs.

  • Ana

    Thank you for the wonderful website and for your tips and advices. One question, what is your opinion about steamers, steam mops and similar products? They also don’t use chemicals, only pure steam. But do they really desinfect? Anyway, I will start using your home made products with vinegar. Thank you again.

  • Jill

    Thank you for the idea! Just wondering how much of each item in the recipe do you use? I know it says equal parts, but not sure how much exactly. Please let me know. Thanks!

    • Ruth

      it just depends on how big your container is. But as an example you could use 2/3 c vinegar, 2/3 c alcohol and 2/3 c water and then add your dishsoap and the oils if you are adding them. It doesn’t matter how much just that your water, alcohol and vinegar all have to have the same amount.

      • http://housewifehowtos.com/ Katie B of HousewifeHowTos.com

        Exactly, Ruth!

  • Karen

    Hi Katie, the reviews for this floor cleaner are exciting, as it is so discouraging to try a new product, homemade or commercial, and get poor results. My question is, is this a no-rinse recipe? I really don’t like the idea of mopping twice, once to clean and then again to rinse. The use of dishsoap is what makes me question this. Please let me know. thanks for your tips.

    • Katie Berry

      Yep, it’s a no-rinse solution IF you only use the small amount of soap called for. Too much soap will actually attract dirt if you don’t rinse it off, but this recipe involves very little. Just enough to help lift dirt.

  • Tammy Wright

    Great advice! I am just wondering if this works well on vinyl wood planks. Over time my floor has built up a film that I hate. The shine is gone. I feel it never looks clean even though I just mopped it. Any suggestions? Thanks

    • http://housewifehowtos.com/ Katie B of HousewifeHowTos.com

      It should definitely clean them, but whether it removes that film or haze depends on its cause. Sometimes that film is the result of detergent buildup, and this formula would definitely remove that. You could even skip the liquid dish soap for the first mopping or two if you’re concerned.

  • tre

    FYI-essential oils can be toxic to pets and kids!

    • http://housewifehowtos.com/ Katie B of HousewifeHowTos.com

      Some can, yes. For that matter, rubbing alcohol is toxic if ingested. We’re not putting this stuff in their water bowls/bottles; we’re using it on floors.

      • Marta

        Cats and dogs can absorb toxins through their paw pads, they don’t actually have to ingest stuff to get sick from it

      • http://housewifehowtos.com/ Katie B of HousewifeHowTos.com

        Again, we’re not using chocolate or onion oil. The ingredients in this floor cleaner are MUCH less toxic than anything you’d buy in the store. They’re less toxic than bleach, for that matter, which EVERY VETERINARY PRACTICE USES.

        So, er, are you ladies using your pets as an excuse to get out of mopping floors or something?

  • Leah

    Unfortunately this left a horrible haze on my dark hardwood floors. I will say it cut the marks easily on my floors like nothing else. Usually after I mop I can still see like foot prints or paw prints that just look darker then the rest of the floor while they’re wet…hard to explain. anyhow, I think for that reason I’ll definitely give this another shot but leave out the soap. I used a cup of water, a cup of vinegar and a cup of rubbing alcohol and only 1/2 tsp of soap.

    • http://housewifehowtos.com/ Katie B of HousewifeHowTos.com

      I’m at a total loss as to why it left a haze on your floor… unless you’re using a dish soap with moisturizer or Oxyclean in it? I’ve used it on our dark hardwood in the bathroom for years with no problem. That said, to remove the haze try mopping with 1 gallon of HOT water and 1 cup white vinegar. Change the mop water with each room so you’re not spreading whatever you lifted up. That should remove the haze.

    • Dee

      Try a equal mixture of just water and rubbing alcohol. Worked for me after my laminate floors went all sticky after my boy spilled soda.

  • Tre

    I used this on my vinyl floors and they dried very dull with no shine.

  • BC

    Not sure what the problem is… I used 2 cups of water, 2 cups of alcohol and 2 cups of white vinegar and the 1/2 tsp of dish liquid and my floors look duller than before I did and they also have streaks.

    • http://housewifehowtos.com/ Katie B of HousewifeHowTos.com

      Did you use a dish soap that claims it’s “gentle on hands” or anti-bacterial? Both have additives that can leave a haze.

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