Sunday, February 19, 2012

Homemade Floor Cleaner

If you've seen my previous posts, you know I'm on a mission to rid my house of chemical-laden cleaning products. They are so NOT necessary! Companies use advertising to scare us into thinking our home isn't clean or our kids are going to get sick if we don't use their anti-bacterial cleaners. But the truth is, the toxic chemicals in their cleaners do more harm than good. They have many potential health risks, especially for children. You can read more about antibacterials and disinfectants here.

I decided to use vinegar to make my all-natural floor cleaner since it's so effective at killing germs, yet safe enough to drink! Shhh, don't tell my husband. He can't stand the smell of vinegar, so I just wait until he's gone to use it. I add a few drops of lemon essential oil to make it smell better and to give it some extra disinfecting power. If you're wondering what essential oils are or how to use them in cleaners, read this post about my homemade all-purpose cleaner.

22 oz. distilled, filtered, or boiled water
2 oz. white vinegar
5 drops lemon essential oil (optional)

Mix together in a spray bottle.


First, I pick up crumbs with my vacuum hose. Then I use a mop I found at Walmart for $12 that works well. It's called the Cedar Flip Mop and it comes with a double-sided microfiber pad. I use one side of the mop pad to pick up dust. Then I spray my homemade cleaner on the floor, leave it for a few minutes, and wipe dry with the other side of the pad. After I'm done cleaning, I detach the pad and throw it in the washer. The Krazy Coupon Lady refills her Swiffer Wet-Jet Mop with her own vinegar cleaning solution. And Sarah over at Nature's Nurture uses a Swiffer Vac to clean her floors, but wraps a microfiber cloth from the dollar store around it instead of buying disposable Swiffer pads. Genius!

$0.17 Distilled Water ($0.99/gallon)
$0.04 Vinegar ($3.66/1.32 gallons)
$0.15 Lemon Essential Oil
$0.36 Grand Total

Oh snap, Pine Sol!

How do you clean your floors without toxic chemicals?

This post was shared at: Frugal Friday


  1. Yes, vinegar is a very good for all cleaning !! I often add 1 spoon of vinegar to my pail of water when I mop the floor !!

  2. Would you use this on hardwoods? I've read that vinegar can ruin the hardwoods, so I've been hesitant to try. I can't seem to come up with a good, natural hardwood floor cleaner.

    1. I've seen conflicting reports about whether vinegar is safe to use on hardwood floors. I found a Consumer Reports article that says it's okay to use vinegar to clean hardwood floors with a polyurethane finish, but not okay if the finish is wax.

      If you are still worried, try cleaning the hardwood with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Soap and water is a tried and true method to get things clean. Good luck!

    2. Love the blog. I've cleaned my floor like this with just vinegar in a spray bottle for years. I tuck old white wash rags in a swiffer floor sweeper & just toss it in the machine after. I have a mix of vinyl, tile & hardwood floors & they all look great.

      The best thing is that vinegar only smells while it's wet & I know I'm disinfecting while cleaning without spreading dirty mop water on the floor.

    3. Thanks Landon! I love your idea to tuck rags in your swiffer floor sweeper and wash them instead of using the disposable swiffer pads. I'm glad to hear vinegar/water works great on vinyl, tile, and hardwood. Thanks for your comments!

  3. This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  4. The Libman Freedom mop is fabulous. It's made to be filled with the cleaner of your choice and doesn't need to be rigged like the Swiffer to do so. Also the pads are machine washable!

  5. Is there a reason that distilled water is used in many of the cleaning products you have listed, rather than tap water? What is the difference? Thank you

    1. I use distilled water because our tap water is very hard. It's full of minerals that make cleaners less effective.

  6. This may be a dumb question, but where do you find distilled water? Thanks!

    1. I get it in the water bottle section at most stores. It's usually in a gallon jug.

    2. Thanks for the reply. We have well water, so I will definitely have to look into getting distilled water. Also, do you have a special cleaner that you use for microwaves and stove tops, or just a water/vinegar combo? I found on another site a recipe for bathrooms - 12 oz dawn dish soap and 12 oz vinegar. Do you know of any others? We have marble counters and sinks in our bathroom and I know you cannot use vinegar on those so it would be nice to find a cleaner for the bathroom that I could use on shower, toilet, and sink. I have just discovered your site and as you can tell I am very interested in these no chemical recipes! Thanks again!


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