You probably already have all of the ingredients needed to make homemade floor cleaner. This DIY mopping solution gets your wood, tile, laminate, or vinyl just as shiny and streak-free as the commercial stuff without introducing irritants to your home.
Why Use This Homemade Floor Cleaner?
One of the great things about homemade cleaners: you don’t need a lot of different products that only clean one kind of surface. So, once you’ve got your standard cleaning ingredients on hand, it’s easy to mix up various homemade cleaning products. (Want to get started making your own cleaning products? Check out this explanation of supplies you need for homemade cleaners and why they’re useful.)
Safer for Indoor Air-Quality
Commercial cleaning products contribute significantly to indoor air pollution. For people with allergies or asthma, indoor air quality is critical to good health.
Companies that manufacture cleaning products aren’t required to disclose their ingredients on the label. As a result, there’s no way to tell at a glance whether a product contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that may cause irritation or even cancer.
Switching to homemade natural cleaners lets you know exactly what you’re using in your home so that you can avoid dangerous combinations of cleaning products.
Easier on Your Budget
If that’s not enough to convince you to switch to a homemade floor cleaner, consider how much money you’ll save. The cost of commercial floor cleaners is crazy!
Using a Swiffer mop, for instance, runs about $0.32 per wet pad — and you have to use two or three of them in even a small kitchen or bathroom. Even bottles of commercial mopping products run anywhere from $4 to $15, depending on the brand.
Over time, those expenses add up. Cleaning shouldn’t cost a fortune, and it doesn’t when you use this homemade floor cleaner recipe.
It’s Safe for ALL Hard Flooring
This homemade mopping solution is safe homemade cleaner for any kind of hard flooring.
✓ It works on laminate.
✓ It works on hardwood.
✓ It works on vinyl, linoleum, and tile.
✓ Yep, you can use it on marble or granite.
✓ It even works on cement.
Have I mentioned that, after powering through grime, it also leaves a gorgeous shine?
It Works With Mopping Robots, Too!
I’ve written before about my search to find the best floor cleaning robots. One of my requirements was being able to use a homemade floor cleaner.
After spending that kind of money on a robot, I didn’t want to be stuck buying a special floor cleaning solution or wet mopping pads all the time. I’ve been using it in my mopping robot for over two years now, and I’m always thrilled with the results.
Tips for Making Homemade Floor Cleaner
Remember, there are reasons for using specific ingredients in homemade cleaning recipes. If you change them, you’re changing the formula, and that may alter your results.
What These Ingredients Do
- Water: Loosens grime and acts helps the other ingredients combine.
- White vinegar: Degreases and provides mild disinfection. It’s safe for natural stone surfaces at this dilution because it’s not acidic enough to cause etching. I’ve been using this on marble and granite for years without a problem. If you have any concerns, don’t use it.
- Isopropyl (70%) rubbing alcohol: Speeds up evaporation to avoid streaks. Degreases and helps disinfect. (In the UK, if you can’t find it inexpensively at the chemist, it’s available online.)
- Liquid dish soap: Dissolves bonds between dirt and floor, degreases, and cleans. Don’t use a dish soap that contains moisturizers, antibacterial ingredients, or “oxygen bleach.” I use Dawn Original (Classic). (Fairy is the UK substitute.) Please don’t swap Castille soap for the dish soap. Castille is an oil-based soap and will leave streaks and smears.
- Essential oils: Optional ingredients to offset the smell of vinegar and rubbing alcohol. If you have pets or children, verify the safety of any essential oil you use. Be sure they aren’t compounds (i.e., those with fragrance added to grapeseed or some other form of oil). I buy these from Amazon.
Homemade Floor Cleaner Recipe
Time required: 2 minutes to prep
Makes 22 ounces
This inexpensive but powerful mopping solution cleans all types of hard floors. Works on wood, tile, laminate, vinyl, even marble, and stone.
- Spray bottle or bucket
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 2 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 cup isopropyl (70%) rubbing alcohol or 120-proof clear liquor
- 1/8 tsp liquid dish soap
- 5-10 drops essential oils (optional)
- For use in a spray bottle: Add all of the ingredients and gently swirl to combine. Lightly spray 3-foot sections and wipe with a mop. Store unused portion in the bottle but away from flames or heat and out of the reach of children or pets.
- For use in a bucket: This recipe makes 22 fluid ounces as written. Multiply it by 4 to use in a bucket. (So, 8 cups water, 2 cups distilled white vinegar, 1 cup isopropyl alcohol, 1/2 tsp. liquid dish soap and about 20 drops of essential oils.) Discard any homemade floor cleaner remaining in your bucket after use.
Questions about Substituting Ingredients
Below you’ll find answers to the most frequently asked questions about this homemade floor cleaner recipe.
Can I Use this If I Have Pets?
As with any floor cleaning product, you should put your pets in another room while using this and allow it to dry fully. Once it’s dry, your floors are safe for your pets. If you choose to use essential oils in the recipe, make sure you opt for pet-safe ones.
Can I Use a Stronger Version of Rubbing Alcohol?
If you have a stronger form of isopropyl alcohol on hand, like 90%, you can use it, but your results will change. At that concentration, the rubbing alcohol will evaporate so quickly that it may leave streaks. Before you mix up the full recipe, try making a small batch of homemade floor cleaner to see how it does on your floors. Then, add more water as needed until it cleans but doesn’t leave streaks while it dries.
Do I Dilute this Before Use?
This isn’t a concentrated mix — it’s used at the exact strength described in the recipe. So, if you want to make a larger quantity, you need to multiply the ingredients, not add additional water.
Can I Substitute Liquor for the Rubbing Alcohol?
If you can’t find rubbing alcohol at the grocery store, pharmacy, or chemist, you can substitute specific liquors for it instead. When using liquor to disinfect, it must be 120-proof, containing at least 60% alcohol. Vodka is not the best choice. Most vodkas are only 80-proof, and some are even lower.
Look for what’s known as a “neutral spirit” or “rectified spirit” since these contain very high concentrations of ethanol alcohol. Everclear is one brand that meets the 120-proof requirement and is available in most liquor or package stores.
When substituting liquor for rubbing alcohol in a homemade cleaner recipe, you need to select unflavored, clear varieties. Flavorings may contain sugars or other substances that attract pests, while colorings may stain the surfaces you’re cleaning. Both can leave streaks.
Can I Substitute Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)?
Unfortunately, no. Apple Cider Vinegar contains pectin, which is a naturally occurring starch. This would likely leave a film or streaks on your floor. Worse yet, it will attract household pests.