Homemade Hardwood Floor Cleaner Without Vinegar

Aged Hardwood Flooring

Vinegar is an excellent hardwood cleaner, but, it smells AWFUL! Luckily, there are better alternatives to vinegar. Below is a recipe for a vinegar free DIY hardwood cleaner.

If you are a fan of vinegar, read on. You may just learn a few things that will change your mind.

Why Vinegar May Not Be For You

Before the recipe, let us consider why vinegar may not be for you:

Money Matters

Vinegar is expensive. It is more expensive than the available hardwood cleaning products. The primary purpose of homemade cleaners is to cut down costs.

You do not achieve this with vinegar.

The high cost is more about demand than it is about performance. Sal Sud And Castile soap are cheaper and perform just as well.

The ‘It’ Factor

Vinegar is an excellent cleaner. It is, however, weaker than some more affordable options. If you want to reduce scrubbing time, consider the recipe.

Endless scrubbing of floors is what made us pity cinderella!

The Smell

The lingering smell is bad enough to merit two mentions. It is the number one reason DIY enthusiasts are looking for other options.

What You Will Need

To make the cleaner you will need:

  • About two cups of Warm water.
  • 2 drops of Castile soap or Sal Suds. (Any will do)
  • 4 drops of essential oils of your choice. Excellent for the therapeutic effect. ( Not necessary, but, highly recommended)
  • A spray bottle. Damping a hardwood floor is very harmful to its finish. Excess water just destroys it.
  • A mop or cleaning cloth. Microfiber is excellent.


  1. Pour the warm water into a spray bottle.
  2. Add two drops of Castile Soap or Sal Suds to the warm water and gently stir. Do not be vigorous. You do not want the cleaner too soapy. Too many bubbles make the solution saturated. It will be hard to dissolve the essential oils into it when saturated.
  3. Add four drops of your choice essential oils. You can add or reduce the number of drops based on your preference. Four drops are, however, a very safe number. In case you love pine, Sal Suds already has a pine scent. No need to add a pine scent if you go with Sal Sud.
  4. Put on the sprayer head on the bottle and shake. Stir the contents hard. Bubbling is not an issue in the sprayer.
  5. Dampen the mop or washcloth. Dampening prevents it from soaking in too much cleaner.
  6. Spray the cleaner on small portions of the floor. Mop the portion and let to dry. Do this for the whole floor.

The ratios in the mixture can be adjusted to suit different floor types. The ratio given is for hardwood floors.

Final Word

Vinegar is not for everyone. The recipe above is an excellent alternative. It is cheaper, easier to make and smells better.

When cleaning hardwood surfaces, minimize water usage. This is the number one tip for hardwood cleaning. Any cleaner, no matter how good, will damage your floor if used with too much water.

The cleaner may form layers when left to settle. Do not be alarmed. It is nothing a good shake won’t fix.

If it does happen, be sure to shake the bottle before further use. Contents need to be totally mixed for the mixture to work.

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