Want to trade in your conventional cleaning products for all-natural ones? We don’t blame you! And replacing your potentially harmful floor cleaner is a great first step (pun intended!). After all, your floors compose the largest surface area in your home.
Why go green when you clean?
Natural cleaning products aren’t just better for the environment. They’re better for your health—and that of every member of your household. Scan the ingredient list of any conventional floor cleaner and you’ll likely see chemicals that have been associated with asthma attacks, coughing, dizziness, eye irritation, respiratory infections and more.
Maintaining your flooring
Floors should generally be cleaned once a week. However, if you maintain them regularly, you won’t have to clean them as often. Following are some simple techniques to reduce time between cleanings:
- Place a doormat at every entrance of your home
- Ask guests to remove shoes before entering your home
- Sweep, vacuum and/or dust floors regularly
Cleaning tips by type
Different types of flooring require different cleaning processes and using the wrong formula and/or method can cause irreparable damage. Therefore, it’s a good idea to test a small, inconspicuous section of your flooring when introducing a new cleaning product or technique.
Linoleum floors: These are very resilient. For an easy homemade natural cleaning solution, pour ¼ cup of vinegar into a spray bottle. Add a drop of natural dish soap and gently rock the bottle back and forth (no shaking as it creates suds!). Spray a small section of the floor and wipe up the solution with a damp microfiber mop. Repeat until floors are clean.
Vinyl floors. To make these look fresh, follow the steps for linoleum floors (see above), but add some warm water to the solution. For a deeper clean, treat the area periodically with a steam cleaner.
Tile floors. To clean this popular type of flooring, use the same solution and process as you would for vinyl floors (see above).
Laminate floors: These are pretty tough to damage, but try not to allow water to seep beneath the planks. Vacuum or dry mop and spot clean with a damp mop as necessary.
Sealed wood floors. Fortunately, these have a coating that protects them from water damage and staining. Add ¼ cup of mild natural soap to a bucket of water and damp mop with the mixture to make them sparkle. Be sure to wipe up excess moisture with a microfiber cloth.
Waxed wood floor. Even small amount of water can damage these floors. So, forget the damp mop and sweep, vacuum or dust mop them regularly.
Bamboo floors. Since they may be prone to scratching, it’s important to be vigilant about ridding these floors of dirt and debris. To clean them, use the same solution and process as you would for sealed wood floors (see above).
Cork floors. Vacuum these often and tend to spills immediately. To clean them, use the same solution and process as you would for linoleum floors (see above).
To clean this type of flooring, combine one cup of white vinegar and two cups of water in a spray bottle. Then add two teaspoons of salt and 15 drops of your favorite essential oil. Shake the mixture and spray on carpet liberally. Once dry, vacuum the treated areas.
Natural products to try
Don’t want to make your own floor cleaner? Try one of these natural products instead!
- Better Life Citrus Mint Floor Cleaner. Squirt this natural, dirt-destroying floor cleaner “on hardwood, tile, marble, bamboo, vinyl, laminate and other sealed floors for a brilliant shine without streaks or haze.”
- Eco-Me Lemon Fresh Floor Cleaner. This Earth-friendly, family-safe floor cleaner removes dirt and odors and reduces bacteria from “tile, stone, sealed wood, vinyl, linoleum, concrete and other sealed surfaces.”
- Naturally It's Clean Floors Cleaner. Powered by plant enzymes, this powerful product “safely cleans hardwood, ceramic tile, stone, cork, bamboo, laminate, linoleum, vinyl and any water washable flooring.”
- Biokleen Carpet and Rug Shampoo. This natural, non-toxic, biodegradable carpet and rug shampoo is gentle for people with allergies and chemical sensitivities, “safe on all washable fibers and gentle on backings and pads.”