The 6 Best Homemade Floor Cleaners for DIYers

By Harold K. Hardesty Updated March 14, 2021

Bid farewell to toxic ingredients and pricey products.

The 6 Best Homemade Floor Cleaners for DIYers

Did you know that companies making cleaning solutions don’t have to list the ingredients present in their product(1) ? How can you be sure about a product’s safety then?

Well, you can’t. That’s why it’s best to choose a homemade floor cleaner in which you can add your desired ingredients.

While commercial cleaning products are often filled with hazardous chemicals that emit harmful fumes(2), a homemade cleaner will be eco-friendly and safe for use. Most importantly, it won’t leave any chemical residue on your flooring.

In this guide, I’ll teach you how to make your own cleaning products at home without using chemicals or toxins(3).

Table of Contents

Benefits of Using Homemade Floor Cleaners

Most people tend to use commercial cleaners because they’re readily available for use. You don’t have to make them or perfect the recipe. Instead, a manufacturer has already done it for you and packaged the product in an easy-to-store bottle.

Although this may be convenient, it’s not healthy or safe for you and your family in the long run.

Many household cleaning products are known to contain harmful chemicals that may affect respiratory health. Plus, you can never be too sure about the ingredients since most of them aren’t even pronounceable, let alone familiar.

Instead, making floor cleaners yourself ensures the utmost safety of your family.

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Safe for Pets and Kids

No matter how much you tell your kids to stay away from the place you’ve just cleaned, they’ll always come running to the exact spot. Often, the cleaning products leave streaks that stay for a few hours on the floor.

Thus, if your child is playing in the area, they’re exposed to toxins. The same goes for your pets too.

However, homemade tile floor cleaners are practically free of toxins. Since you know what’s going inside the floor cleaner, you have full control over what you’re exposing your family to.

Thus, you can choose harm-free ingredients for regular cleaning.

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Good for the Pocket

Homemade floor cleaners are also inexpensive as compared to commercial cleaning products.

Firstly, store-bought cleaners are already so costly. Second, most of them are made for specific purposes or parts of your home. Therefore, you have to buy multiple commercial cleaners for the whole house.

On the other hand, when you make a floor cleaner at home, you can simply whip together ingredients from your pantry.

Plus, you’re not adding any chemicals or fancy packaging, so the cost goes even lower.

Most importantly, you don’t necessarily have to make a cleaner for every area of the house. Instead, you can opt for an all-purpose cleaner for easy and inexpensive cleaning.

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Free of Allergens

If someone in your house has asthma, they’ll likely have triggers. For most people, household triggers(4) are often the reason for their asthmatic episodes.

That’s why the cleaning method for asthma patients(5) is a bit more rigorous than that for homes without allergy-sufferers.

Since commercial cleaning products contain allergens and chemicals, they’re often the culprits behind this. You might love buying the lemon or freesia-scented hardwood floor cleaner, but the fragrance is most probably the reason for your allergies.

On the contrary, making floor cleaner yourself gives you the liberty to choose which ingredient goes into the recipe. Therefore, you can keep the mopping solution allergen-free.

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Eco-friendly

When you buy commercial cleaning solutions, you’re harming the environment in multiple ways.

First, you’ll dump the solution down the toilet or drain once you’re done using it. The harmful chemicals settle into the groundwater and may affect the soil quality on the top too.

Second, you’re constantly throwing away plastic bottles that the products come in. All this plastic waste sits at the bottom of the landfills and does not decompose for hundreds of years.

However, once you start making DIY cleaning solutions, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint. Plus, you’ll use natural and safe ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap, which are biodegradable.

Must-Have Ingredients for Homemade Floor Cleaners

If you plan to switch from commercial to DIY cleaning products, you must stock up your pantry with a few essential ingredients. Most recipes will have these recipes as the base ingredients, so it’s good to have them available in your kitchen at all times.

1.Baking Soda

If you love baking, you’d have enough of this in your pantry. For everyone else, make sure you buy baking soda(6) on your next grocery run because it’s a part of almost every floor cleaner recipe.

Baking soda helps break up animal messes, grease, and proteins. Also, it’s not as abrasive as ammonia or other harsh household agents. Thus, you can use it on wood floor and other surfaces without the fear of damage.

Most importantly, baking soda acts as a natural deodorizer. It removes foul odors of urine and vomit, making your house smell fresh and clean.

Despite having multiple uses, baking soda is very inexpensive. A little of it lasts for a long time because you’ll merely need a sprinkle for most floor cleaning recipes.

2.Essential Oils

Essential oils are a must-have if you want your floor cleaners to smell good and have added benefits. Besides acting as natural antibacterial agents and air fresheners, essential oils are also good for your general wellbeing. (7)

Some common oils that you can add to a floor cleaner include lavender, lemon, tea tree, peppermint, and eucalyptus.

3.White Vinegar

White vinegar is known for its cleaning and antibacterial properties(8). Thus, it’s understandable why it’s a part of most floor cleaner recipes.

Plus, vinegar, when used as a cleaner, is good for the environment(9). So, you can rest easy knowing that you’re not using any eco-hazardous ingredients in your daily floor cleaner.

Since vinegar is acidic, it acts best on alkaline substances. It dissolves alkaline components of different messes.

For instance, you can use vinegar to remove mold, scale, and soapy scum. Moreover, it helps remove coffee and tea stains. If you’ve got rust in your home, it can take care of that too.

4.Dish Soap

Due to its enzymatic properties, dish soap is a part of most homemade floor cleaner recipes. You can buy any dish soap, but it’s good to opt for eco-friendly options.

5.Castile Soap

Castile soap is available in scented and unscented forms. Having a vegetable base, the soap also contains olive oil and helps rinse away dirt and dust.

You can buy castile soap as a bar or liquid.

Best Homemade Floor Cleaners Of 2021

By now, you should know more about homemade floor cleaners than you did earlier. Let’s discuss some floor cleaner recipes that you can use regularly or for cleaning specific stains and messes.

1.No-Vinegar Floor Cleaner

Some people can’t stand the smell of vinegar. If you’re one of them, this floor-cleaner recipe is for you. Even though it doesn’t have vinegar, it’s still effective against different stains since castile soap (10) is present as a substitute.

What You Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make this floor cleaner:

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Step by Step

  • Pour the water into a bucket.
  • Add the liquid castile soap to it.
  • Mix well to prevent any bubbles.
  • Lastly, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
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Where Can It Be Used

Since vinegar is a huge no-no for hardwood floors, this cleaner is perfect for wood floors where you can’t use acidic mopping solutions. Moreover, it can be used for pretty much every kind of floor since it’s not as harsh as vinegar.

Generally, castile soap is an ideal cleaner for stone, travertine, and slate flooring since it does not tarnish their finish.

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Precautions

Since castile soap isn’t as widely known as other household cleaning ingredients, I feel the need to share extra precautions for using it.

Firstly, don’t mix it with acidic ingredients, like lemon or vinegar. Since castile soap is basic, it will form a curd-like mixture.

That yucky solution will only leave your floors dirtier than they already were.

Secondly, castile soap often leaves streaks on the floors. To clean them, add a few drops of lemon juice in a bucket of water and mop the floor.

Plus, this property of castile soap also makes it a bad ingredient to be mixed with hard water. Since it already leaves salt behind, using hard water will increase the mineral deposits, making cleanup harder.

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Useful Tips

Use distilled water instead of hard water when cleaning with castile soap. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with mineral deposits later.

Also, you can use castile soap to wash your dishes too. Simply add one part of the soap to ten parts of water, and you have homemade dish soap.

2.Fragrant Floor Wipes

If you use store-bought wipes to clean small spills on the floor, it’s time to ditch them and make your own. Since these floor wipes are fragrant, they’ll make your home smell fresh and welcoming.

What You Need

Here’s what you need to make these floor wipes:

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Step by Step

  • Add the oils to the cup of water.
  • Then, add white vinegar into the mix.
  • Jelly-roll or stack the cellulose cloth, per your preference, as you would store it.
  • Put this stack into the mixture. Make sure it absorbs the liquid.
  • Take the cellulose cloth out of the mixture and put it in the container or the bag.
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Where Can It Be Used

You can use just this floor cleaner on any surface around the house. If someone spills coffee or there’s a small mess, use these wipes for instant cleanup.

Plus, keep a stack in the kitchen to wipe the countertops in case of a cooking mess or oil spill.

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Precautions

Since this floor cleaner contains vinegar, you should not use it on limestone, onyx, marble, and travertine. Only use vinegar-based cleaners on such flooring or materials if they have been sealed.
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Useful Tips

Keep these wipes in the most used room of the house. For instance, if you and your family spend most of your time in the living room, the space is likely to get dirtier than the rest of the house.

Moreover, your pet might bring in dirty paws, or your kid may drop their soda on the floor. In such cases, having floor cleaning wipes at hand allows you to manage the spill quickly so that it does not get messier or more stubborn to wipe off later.

As the wipes have fragrant oils, they’ll make the space smell amazing.

3.DIY Wood Floor Cleaner

If you have wood floors at home, you must avoid using vinegar to clean them since the acidic ingredient can ruin the floor’s finish.

Instead, you should opt for a lemon and water-based floor cleaner to get the same results without damaging the floor.

What You Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make this cleaning solution:

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Step by Step

  • Add the gallon of water to a bucket.
  • Put the lemon juice in and mix the solution.
  • Then, add olive oil and mix again to ensure that the ingredients have dissolved fully.
  • Using a mop, apply the solution to your floors.
  • Let the floors air-dry afterward.
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Where Can It Be Used

The floor cleaner can be used on hardwood floors since it’s specifically made for them. While the lemon juice helps remove stains and clean the floors, the olive oil polishes the material, giving it a new life.

You don’t need to rinse the flooring with clean water after mopping with the lemon solution. It will already look great once dry.

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Precautions

When using olive oil for cleaning, make sure you only apply a thin film on hardwood floors. Also, mop the flooring thoroughly to pick up as much of the oil as possible. Otherwise, your floors may be a bit slippery.

Let the floors dry before putting the furniture or carpets back on them. Wet flooring invites mold and may produce bad odors around the house.

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Useful Tips

Although fresh lemon juice is the preferred option for cleaning, you can also use bottled lemon juice. Since it’s acidic and has disinfectant properties, lemon juice can be used to get rid of stains and bacteria.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuMMWFSvsz8&ab_channel=SurfriderFoundationEurope

4.An Everyday Cleaning Product

Here’s a quick floor cleaner recipe that won’t take you a long time to make. It only has two ingredients, so you won’t have to rush to the grocery store midway through the recipe.

Plus, it’s quite effective in cleaning everyday messes.

What You Need

Here’s what you need to make this floor cleaner for tile floors:

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Step by Step

  • Take a bucket and pour the water into it.
  • Then, add the vinegar and stir the solution to combine it well.
  • If the smell is too pungent, you can add peppermint or lavender essential oil to the mix.
  • Sweep the floors with a mop while wringing out the excess mixture as you go along.
  • Let the floors dry before walking on them again.
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Where Can It Be Used

Although it’s primarily a tile cleaner, you can use this cleaning product for the vinyl floor, brick, laminate, and porcelain too. Vinegar leaves a natural shine on the flooring along with disinfecting and cleaning it.

If you have linoleum floors at home, this basic floor cleaning solution will work on it too.

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Precautions

Do not use this mopping solution on stone floors since it will tarnish them.

Although you can use it on hardwood or bamboo floors, it’s best to be a bit cautious. After using this mixture, rinse the flooring immediately to prevent any damage.

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Useful Tips

When making this mopping solution for tiles and laminate, make sure to use distilled water. Since it doesn’t contain the mineral deposits that hard water does, your floors will be cleaner after mopping.

Also, the mineral film left on the floors after cleaning with hard water can make the material look dull and old.

5.Homemade All-Purpose Floor Cleaner

If you want an all-purpose cleaner that can be used for all surfaces, all you need are a few basic ingredients.

What You Need

Here’s what you need to make an all-purpose floor cleaner:

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Step by Step

  • Mix all the ingredients and put them in a spray bottle.
  • Spray a small section of the floor and use a microfiber pad to wipe the mixture off.
  • Alternatively, you can add the ingredients in a bucket and clean the floors using a mop.
  • In both cases, there’s no need to rinse the floors afterward.
  • Make sure you let the flooring dry and store the solution on the top shelf away from the children.
  • Use the formula in a month.
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Where Can It Be Used

You can use this isopropyl alcohol formula for managing small messes on the floor or for deep cleaning. It works well on marble, vinyl, laminate, tile, and wood floor.

You can use it on stone floors, too, but only if they are sealed.

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Precautions

When making this solution, do not use a dish detergent that contains bleaching ingredients. Moreover, do not use castile soap in this mixture since it will form a cloudy solution, increasing the mess.

When working with alcohol, ventilate the area well. Open the windows and doors. Also, don’t use this cleaner near the fireplace as alcohol is flammable and may start a fire.

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Useful Tips

You can buy rubbing alcohol from your local pharmacy or the grocery store. However, if you can’t find it nearby, use rectified spirit instead.

It contains a high ethanol concentration, making it suitable for cleaning. Also, make sure that whichever product you buy has a 120-proof. It indicates that the rubbing alcohol contains 60% ethanol.

Furthermore, if you’re using neutral or rectified spirit instead of rubbing alcohol, it should be unscented. Some varieties contain sugar-based flavoring agents that may stain some surfaces or attract pests into your home.

Some people might also consider using vodka since it has alcohol. However, vodkas have less than 60% alcohol, so they’re not ideal for cleaning.

6.A Refreshing Floor Cleaner

Often, messes don’t come alone. They bring along bad odors that refuse to go away no matter how long you keep the windows open. In such cases, try using a homemade floor cleaner to freshen up your living space.

If you use this floor cleaner daily, you’ll walk into a much welcoming house every night.

What You Need

Here are the ingredients you need to make this floor cleaner:

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Step by Step

  • Firstly, mix all the ingredients in a bucket or spray bottle. The latter is a better option.
  • When you mix baking soda and vinegar, an effervescent reaction will take place, which is nothing to be worried about.
  • After adding the last ingredient, shake the bottle to mix everything well.
  • Spritz the solution onto the floor and wipe it with a microfiber pad mop.
  • If you’re using this floor cleaner on hardwood floors, make sure to wipe immediately after spraying.
  • After cleaning, rinse the floor with clean water.
  • Fill a spray bottle with clean tap water and follow the steps mentioned above to rinse the flooring.
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Where Can It Be Used

Since this floor cleaner contains baking soda and vinegar, it’s potent. Therefore, you can use it to clean even the dirtiest messes. However, vinegar doesn’t suit every flooring type.

That’s why you should either not use this solution on bamboo floors or use it with caution. As soon as you apply the solution to the flooring, rinse it off immediately to prevent damage.

Also, don’t let water stand too long on hardwood floors since it can penetrate and damage the underlying structure.

Thanks to the alkaline soda, this mixture deodorizes the grout and cleans brick, linoleum, and laminate flooring.

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Precautions

As I’ve mentioned above, don’t use this solution on natural flooring. You should avoid cleaning marble, slate, and travertine flooring with this cleaning solution, as the vinegar will etch the surface.

To make it safe for stone floors, remove vinegar from the recipe and use the rest of the ingredients for effective cleanup.

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Useful Tips

Baking soda is already a deodorizer, so you won’t be bothered by the smell of vinegar. However, this recipe asks for essential oils that will further help freshen up the house.

When selecting the best essential oil, go for one that you prefer. Some options, such as lavender essential oil,(11) citrus, and peppermint, help create a stress-free environment and improve air quality in your home.

Cleaning Hacks for Carpets

If your floors are covered with carpets, they still need to be cleaned, especially if you have kids at home. Floors tend to be more forgiving than carpets since you can clean even the tougher stains with a little elbow grease.

However, if you let a stain sit for too long on a carpet, it will most probably be there forever. That’s why it’s important to act fast when you spot a stain on a rug. Here are a few hacks for cleaning carpet stains.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is the best remedy for removing urine and vomit smells.

Firstly, if there’s visible moisture on the carpet, soak it up with a cloth. Then, make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply it to the affected area and rub it with an old toothbrush or sponge.

Alternatively, you can sprinkle baking soda onto the wet mess and vacuum it later to remove the stain.

Although it works well alone, you can mix it with essential oils for a fragrant post-cleanup environment in the house.

Hydrogen Peroxide

If you have no idea where a stain came from – surprises of living with children- you can use hydrogen peroxide to get rid of it.

Add a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide into a drop of non-gel toothpaste. Mix them up to make a paste. Apply this paste to the stain and rub it using a cloth. Be gentle during the process.

Go over the stain with clean water to rinse off the residue.

Plus, do a spot test before using hydrogen peroxide on the whole carpet. A spot test is especially important if you have a colored carpet.

For homeowners who don’t want to go through the hassle of making floor cleaners at home, I also have a list of reliable store-bought options.

Best Store-Bought Natural Floor Cleaners

If you can’t spare time from your hectic routine to make cleaning solutions at home, you can buy them from the store instead. But it would be best if you considered the floor type before purchasing a natural cleaner from the store.

Here are some of my favorite store-bought natural floor cleaners that you should try:

Biokleen Natural Enzyme Stain and Odor Remover

Biokleen Bac-Out Natural Stain Remover - 128 Ounce - Enzymatic Odor & Stain Remover, Enzyme Professional Strength, Destroys Stains & Odors Safely, for Pet Stains, Urine, Laundry, Diapers, Wine, Carpets - Eco-Friendly, Plant-Based
The Biokleen natural floor cleaner is an amazing option for homes with allergy sufferers. Along with cleaning stains, it also removes the nastiest odors from your house.

Moreover, the cleaner is safe for kids, pets, and birds. If you get many bird visitors at your window sill, they won’t be affected by the floor cleaner. On top of that, there are no coloring agents or artificial fragrances in this product.

Instead, it contains bacillus cultures that produce live enzymes to break stains. Owing to the plant-based surfactants, the formula also helps lift dirt.

I’d suggest using this formula for daily cleaning since you don’t need to prepare it through dilution. Simply pour the desired amount into a bucket and start mopping. Or, you can fill a spray bottle with this liquid and apply the solution directly to the stains.

On the whole, the solution helps clean pet accidents, laundry, and wine stains.

Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner by Eco-Me

Simple Green Naturals Multi-surface Care (32 Ounces)
Instead of buying different cleaners for each surface, you can simply get a multi-surface solution that will work on countertops and floors.

The Eco-Me cleaner is effective on laminate, tile, wood, stone, and linoleum. Since the formula is plant-based, it does not contain any chemicals agents.

It’s free of artificial fragrances, sulfates, bleach, harsh preservatives, ammonia, and perfumes. Moreover, it has been certified by Leaping Bunny and is gluten-free.

I’d suggest using this cleaner for pet accidents and general cleanup. It does not leave any residue behind, so you don’t need to rinse the floors with clean water.

Most importantly, the product is compact by design. Therefore, you serve the environment in two ways. First, you’re substituting chemical cleaners with botanical ones. Second, you’re adding less waste to the landfills.

ATTITUDE Nature and Hypoallergenic Floor Surface Cleaner

ATTITUDE Nature +, Hypoallergenic Floor Surface Cleaner, Tile & Wood, Citrus Zest, 35.2 fl oz (pack of 1) (10510)
The Attitude Store floor cleaner is mineral and plant-based. It has natural ingredients, such as saponin, which is a botanical cleaning agent.

Moreover, the product has a fresh citrus aroma but does not contain any synthetic scents. If you have chemical-sensitive individuals or kids at home, this floor cleaner will help freshen up the air quality.

Possibly, the best thing about this cleaning solution is that it’s dermatologically-tested. Thus, it has expert approval for being safe for your skin. You can use this product even if you’re an allergy-sufferer since it has a hypoallergenic formula.

Instead of chemical surfactants, it has plant-based derivatives, like fatty alcohols, to lift stains and dirt marks from the floor. Also, it’s biodegradable, so it won’t pollute the groundwater or affect soil quality.

Time to Get Your DIY-ing Gloves On

With that, I’ve come to the end of this guide. Whether you want to remove dust mites from your carpets or give a fresh look to your flooring without using chemicals, there’s a cleaning solution for you in this guide.

Once you start using homemade floor cleaners, you’ll never go back to commercial ones. Besides saving money, you also protect the environment and your family when using a DIY mopping solution.

Share your favorite hacks and DIY floor cleaning recipes with me. Plus, let me know which of my cleaning solutions was your favorite.

About the Author

Harold K. Hardesty

Harold is a Flooring Specialist at TheHouseWire, educating people on the flooring by writing guides about the topic. He is a well-seasoned flooring specialist with experience in the industry for nine years.

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