Homemade Floor Cleaner Recipe

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Homemade floor cleaner recipe - no-rinse, kills germs

Using a homemade floor cleaner provides many benefits, including being able to control the ingredients. That’s especially important if someone in your home has allergies or asthma, since many commercial products contain ingredients that can worsen their symptoms. In this article, I’m sharing a simple and effective DIY floor cleaner recipe that is environmentally friendly, gentle on your budget, and kills germs. It’s a timesaving cleaning solution, too, since there’s no rinsing required.

Ingredients for DIY Floor Cleaner

To make this homemade floor cleaner, you’ll need:

  • White vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol (70% isopropyl)
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Essential oils (optional)
  • Spray bottle or 1-gallon bucket

Why do these ingredients matter? 

White vinegar is a natural degreaser that can help break through dirt and grime. 

Rubbing alcohol kills germs and breaks down dirt and grease, making it an effective cleaning agent. In this homemade floor cleaner recipe, it also helps prevent streaks since it speeds up evaporation. 

Dish soap cuts through grease and dirt without harming most surfaces. Castile soap is not a good substitute in this DIY cleaner, since it is oil-based and will leave streaks. Brands like Dawn, Ajax, Sunlight, and Fairy all work well since they are detergent-based.

Water is necessary to help combine and buffer the cleaning ingredients. 

Essential oils are optional and add fragrance, but it’s important to use the stated amount to avoid streaks. 

Homemade Floor Cleaner Recipe

You can make this no-rinse floor cleaner in a spray bottle or a bucket. The spray bottle is helpful for smaller rooms and handy for quick touch-ups throughout the week. For larger rooms or a more thorough cleaning, combine it in a bucket. 

In a spray bottle, combine:

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol 
  • 3 drops of liquid dish soap
  • 5-10 drops of essential oils (optional)

Or, in a 1-gallon bucket, combine:

  • 10 cups warm water
  • 2.5 cups white vinegar
  • 1.25 cups rubbing alcohol
  • 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap
  • 1/2 teaspoon of essential oil (optional)


  1. Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle or bucket.
  2. Spray or mop 3-foot sections at a time.
  3. There is no need to rinse the floor. You can rinse your mop head to keep it clean, but wring it out well to avoid diluting the floor cleaner.
  4. If using a bucket, change your mopping solution if it looks dirty.
  5. Store any clean, unused portion of homemade floor cleaner in a cool, dark spot. Do not expose it to direct sunlight or heat. As with all cleaning products, keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

Tips for Mopping Your Floors

  • Sweep or vacuum before mopping to remove loose dirt that can cause streaks.
  • Use an S-pattern with your mop strokes to lift away grime.
  • Clean your way out of a room, not into a corner.
  • Rinse your mop head as needed to avoid leaving streaks on your floors.
  • Your old cleaner may leave a residue that attracts more grime. Mop your floors once with hot water and baking soda before using this recipe.


This website exists to help you. One way I do that is by updating posts to include answers to frequently asked questions. If your question isn’t answered below, please leave it in the comments. Others may need help with the same thing.

Is this safe for all hard floors?

You can use this recipe safely on laminate floors, tile floors, wood floors, vinyl or linoleum floors, and even cement, but must follow the measurements provided. The water in this recipe sufficiently dilutes the vinegar and rubbing alcohol so they do not etch or dry out flooring materials. If you prefer, you can omit the vinegar and it will remain just as effective. Do not use this on painted floors, however, because both vinegar and rubbing alcohol can dissolve paint.

Does this work with mopping robots?

I’ve used my homemade floor cleaner in my mopping robot for years; however, if you have a different model, your results may vary. Do not store the solution in the robot’s tank — empty it each time and remove the used pad.

See my favorite floor cleaning equipment.

Can I use this if I have pets?

Yes, you can use this if you have pets. As with any floor product, put your pets in another room while mopping and allow it to dry fully before letting them out. Also, use pet-safe essential oils or skip them altogether.

Do I dilute this before use?

This homemade floor cleaner is not a concentrated mix. Adding more water will dilute the recipe and alter the results. If you want to make a larger quantity, multiply all the ingredients, not just the water.

Can I substitute apple cider vinegar (ACV)?

Do not use apple cider vinegar in this mopping solution. Although helpful in many homemade cleaners, ACV contains pectin, a naturally occurring starch that will leave a film or streaks on your floor and may attract household pests.

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  1. Hey Katie! I recently got a bissel crosswave and was wondering if this solution would work in it? Thank you in advance! I’m looking forward to trying it!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Karina,
      You’ll need to check the manual. If you can use commercial floor cleaners in it, or a vinegar solution, then it’s okay to use this one. If you can only use a specific cleaner, then I wouldn’t use this in place of it.

    2. Rita McBride says:

      Does this work without the alcohol

    3. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Rita, Without alcohol it’s just soapy water with vinegar. That mixture can clean floors but may leave streaks. And because the soap and vinegar neutralize each other without the rubbing alcohol, it won’t clean as well, either.

  2. How many rooms or approximate square footage does this usually cover? My whole house is either tile or hardwood and I usually change my mopping solution after every room. Just wondering if I should continue with that practice.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      There’s no way for me to answer that question, because everyone uses a different amount when they mop and a different type of mop. Some people use spray bottles to dampen the floor then mop. Some people use buckets and dunk their mop in. Sponge mops soak up solution, so someone using one will need more mix than someone using a spray mop with a microfiber pad. So, the best approach would be trying it with your mop and mopping style, then multiplying as needed. As a rule of thumb, though, you’ll need the same amount of this mopping solution as you’d ordinarily use. The recipe indicates it makes 22 fluid ounces, so multiply as needed.

  3. I have a Bissel cross wave cleaner, could this be used in it? Would the solution harm a rug?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You’ll need to check the manual. If you can use commercial floor cleaners in it, or a vinegar solution, then it’s okay to use this one. If you can only use a specific cleaner, then I wouldn’t use this in place of it. And this is specifically for hard floors.

  4. Donna Joseph says:

    Continue from previous questions, cans this be left in a spray and mop floor cleaner or would you have to make a new batch every day?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      The formula can stay in your spray mop until it’s used up.

  5. Donna Joseph says:

    I damp mop my seal wood floor every day, would this be ok to use every day? I have tried like 100 different wood cleaner and eventually they leave a flim ☹️Hopefully this will not leave a film .Next question is can’t find 1/8 measuring spoon

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’ve used it daily without a problem.

  6. Are you using this in the Braava M6?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I use it all the time in my Braava 380t and have for years, but have only used it a couple of times with the M6. Either way, I don’t leave it in the reservoir after use.

  7. I seen someone else had questioned about substitutions for the rubbing alcohol, You only said that you covered it in the article, yes you mentioned the 1 sub.. is there anything else? Could you use Peroxide?
    Anything else other then rubbing alcohol or 120 proof? I’m sure not everyone has 120 proof just kicking around the house!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Peroxide isn’t the same thing as rubbing alcohol and won’t have the same effect. If mixed with vinegar, it can damage your flooring. I’ve listed ingredients and substitutions that will work to still produce a streak-free floor. If you don’t have the ingredients on hand, they’re easy to find at any store.

  8. What a lucky Google hit this is! My laminate floor was so dirty, it was sticky in spots! Took me 5 minutes to mix up this cleaner and after only one application with minimal elbow grease, my kitchen floor is crazy clean. My bathroom floor has never looked cleaner! No rinse!! I’m sold!

  9. can this be used on bathroom tiled walls i recently brought a house with tiled walls in the bathroom and kitchen and never had tiles before would love to know whats the best to use to clean them thank you

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Yes, you could use it on tiled walls. I’d recommend using a spray bottle for that but remember not to spray it near open flames.

  10. Is this solution safe for unsealed hardwood floors? Moved into my house 8 years ago and the dining room has unsealed hardwood floors. I don’t have the means to seal the floor and have been using my steam mop to clean it. But I would love if this solution worked, please let me know!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      No, it’s not. Unfortunately, any liquid –including steam–can damage unsealed wood floors.

  11. This floor cleaning solution is as close to perfection that I have seen! Preferring to use products with as little chemicals as possible, this is unique and so inexpensive. And, yet…better than any on-the-shelf product of I have paid way too much. Thank you!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m so glad you like it, Mari!

  12. Karlina Chan says:

    is this solution safe to use on high gloss tile floors? Also, we use a steam mop, am i able to spray the solution on the floor with a spray bottle and then use a steam mop to go over the surfaces? Will the high temperature ruin the high gloss coating with this solution?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I haven’t used it with a steam mop and wouldn’t recommend it, since high temperatures and rubbing alcohol aren’t a good combination. If you use a steam mop, there’s really no point in using an additional floor cleaner, anyway: the steam cleans and disinfects.

  13. Thank you so much Katie Berry!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You’re welcome!

  14. Question, so I was skeptical about essential oils; does this formula give the floors a smooth clean feeling? I’ve used big chain products like mr clean, Bona, and Lysol. All leave a grimey filmy type feel to my floor. Sadly only windex gives my floor the smooth clean feel but I’m tired of using windex because of the smell. Thanks ahead!!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I understand your skepticism. The oils in this recipe are primarily to add fragrance and offset the smell of the other ingredients. That’s why they’re optional. I have never had a problem with them leaving a grimy feeling when measured properly. So, skip the oils if you like but be sure to actually measure the other ingredients, including the water, so you get the right combination.

  15. can I also use denatured alcohol? the sopropyl (70%) rubbing alcohol or 120-proof clear liquor is difficult to come by here.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      While denatured alcohol does a great job of removing grease, it can also strip the shine from wood floors. On other hard floors, it may leave behind a residue that causes streaks.

  16. Can we eliminate the rubbing alcohol? If not can you suggest alternates. Thank you.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I have covered this in the article already.

  17. Hi, could you use this to make DIY wet mops (putting some rags in a container soaking in the solution until you need them)? TIA!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I suppose you could, although the liquid dish soap (and essential oils if you use them) might separate from the other ingredients if stored for long. For quick touch-ups, I use homemade cleaning and disinfecting wipes instead.

    2. Kathryn Stewart says:

      I tried this on my floor, which had dried Mop n Glo on it. It worked better than anything else but still left waxy patches. Can you recommend anything that will remove dried wax? Thanks.

    3. Katie Berry says:

      It really depends on the type of floor. If it’s not wood, natural stone, or anything else that could get damaged by vinegar, I’d use a 50-50 mixture of hot water and hot vinegar and go over it several times. For the final time I’d use plain water — no vinegar.

  18. Question. Could this be used as an all purpose cleaning spray or should it just be used for the floors?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Due to the rubbing alcohol (and optional essential oils), it’s not suitable for food preparation surfaces. It’s also not safe to spray around pilot lights. Plus, the ingredients are a bit overkill for most household surfaces, which is why I suggest just plain soap and water, or my homemade all-purpose spray, on things that don’t require disinfection.

  19. Would it be acceptable to use apple cider vinegar in place of white vinegar for this floor cleaner?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      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.

    2. Makes sense. Thank you!

    3. Katie Berry says:

      You’re welcome! 🙂