Cleaning Floors With Vinegar: How to Do It (And If You Should)

We take a closer look at cleaning floors with vinegar: how to do it, why it works, what floor types are best suited for this method, and the downsides to consider.

Floors are the foundation of a clean and organized home, but they can also be one of the toughest things to keep clean. With so many flooring options and cleaning products available, it’s difficult to know where to start. 

If you're looking for an affordable and effective way to keep your home at its best, you might consider cleaning your floors with vinegar.

In this article, we take a closer look at cleaning floors with vinegar: how to do it, why it works, what floor types are best suited for this method, and the downsides to consider. We also discuss alternative options for floor cleaning and provide tips for maintaining your floors with vinegar.


How to clean your floor with vinegar

Cleaning your floor with vinegar is a straightforward process, and you probably already have everything you need in your kitchen. 

Gather these supplies before you begin:

  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • A bucket
  • A mop or cloth

Step 1: Prepare the cleaning solution

Fill your bucket with equal parts water and white vinegar. You can adjust the proportions as needed depending on the size of your floor, but a 1:1 ratio is a good starting point.

Step 2: Mop or wipe the floor

Dip your mop or cloth into the vinegar solution, wring out the excess, and start mopping or wiping your floor. Work in sections and make sure to rinse your mop or cloth often to prevent spreading dirt and grime around.

Step 3: Allow the solution to sit

After you've finished mopping or wiping the floor, let the vinegar solution sit for a few minutes. This gives the vinegar time to break down any stubborn dirt and grime.

Step 4: Rinse the floor

Rinse your floor with water to remove any residue from the vinegar solution. You can use a mop or cloth, or you can use a bucket of clean water and a squeegee. Make sure to rinse thoroughly to prevent any streaks or residue from being left behind.

Why vinegar works as a floor cleaner

Vinegar is a natural acid that can dissolve dirt, grime, and grease. It's also a natural deodorizer, which makes it great for removing unpleasant odors from your floors. This is also why it’s such a great cleaning option for other areas of your home, including tough-to-clean glass shower doors.

Additionally, vinegar is safe for use on most flooring types, including wood, laminate, and tile, and it's much more affordable (and more eco friendly!) than commercial floor cleaners.

Floors types that are best for cleaning with vinegar

Vinegar is safe for use on most flooring types, but there are some floors that are better suited for cleaning with vinegar than others. 

Some of the best floor types for cleaning with vinegar:

  • Wood
  • Laminate
  • Tile
  • Linoleum
  • Vinyl

It's important to note that vinegar is not recommended for use on unsealed stone floors like marble or granite, as it can etch the surface and cause damage. 

Pro tip: Check out our suggestions for cleaning marble floors.

If you're unsure about your flooring type, it's best to check with the manufacturer or do a patch test in an inconspicuous area before using vinegar for cleaning.

The downside to cleaning floors with vinegar

While vinegar is a great cleaning solution for floors, there are some downsides to consider. First, vinegar has a strong smell that some people find unpleasant. The smell will dissipate quickly once your floor is dry, but it can be overwhelming while you're cleaning.

Second, vinegar is not as effective as some commercial floor cleaners when it comes to removing tough stains. If your floors are heavily soiled or have stubborn stains, you may need to use a different cleaning solution or use vinegar in combination with another product.

Alternatives to cleaning floors with vinegar

If you're not comfortable using vinegar on your floors, there are other options available. Here are a few alternatives to consider:

Baking soda

Baking soda is a natural and effective cleaner that can be used on most floor types. Mix baking soda and water to create a cleaning solution, and use a mop or cloth to apply it to your floors.

Castile soap 

Castile soap is a vegetable-based soap that's gentle on floors and safe for use around pets and children. Mix a small amount of castile soap with water to create a cleaning solution, and use a mop or cloth to apply it to your floors.

Essential oils 

Essential oils like lemon or eucalyptus can be added to water to create a naturally scented cleaning solution for your floors. Simply mix a few drops of essential oil with water, and use a mop or cloth to apply it to your floors.

Tips for keeping your floors clean with vinegar

Cleaning your floors with vinegar can help keep them looking their best, but there are a few tips to keep in mind to make the process even easier:

Use a microfiber mop or cloth 

Microfiber is great at picking up dirt and grime, and it's also machine washable, so you can use it over and over again.

Vacuum or sweep regularly 

Regular vacuuming or sweeping will help remove dirt and debris before it has a chance to become ingrained in your floors.

Use mats or rugs 

Mats and rugs can help protect your floors from dirt and wear and tear, and they're also easy to clean.

Keeping your floor clean shouldn't be a struggle

Floor cleaning is an important part of keeping your home looking its best, but it doesn't have to be a struggle. By using vinegar, you can clean your floors effectively and affordably, without compromising on quality. 

Whether you're looking for an alternative to commercial floor cleaners or just want an easier way to keep your floors clean, vinegar is definitely worth considering.

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