By Lisa Russell

Forget about all those expensive cleaning products. Not only can their fumes be toxic, but they can damage your wood or laminate floors. Laminate-floor manufacturers recommend using hot water only, but if you've got hard water running through your pipes, mineral buildup can create streaks from hard-water spots. Vinegar cleaning is the answer

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White vinegar won't damage your mop.

Step 1

Sweep your floor thoroughly before mopping. Mopping a floor with crumbs still on it can cause the starches in the crumbs to turn to gluten (glue) and create spots that are very difficult to clean. Before mopping with white vinegar, consider using a vacuum (especially in the corners) if you have one that works well on hard floors.

Step 2

Mix together 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 1 qt. of water in your mop bucket. Use fresh water to dampen your mop and wring it out before dipping in the vinegar solution.

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Vinegar cleaning is recommended for laminate floors.

Step 3

Begin mopping the floor in small sections. As the mop gets dirty, do not rinse it in the mop bucket. The water will just get dirtier and dirtier each time. Carry the mop into the bathroom and rinse it in the tub.

Step 4

Allow the floor to air dry. With vinegar cleaning, there's no reason to rinse the floor. When it's dry, it should be streak-free and beautiful, with no residual vinegar odor.