Keeping a hard floor clean and shiny requires frequent cleaning and mopping. Purchasing ready-made cleaning solutions can quickly deplete your pocketbook. Further, the chemicals used in many products are harsh and can be harmful to people with weak lungs and sensitive skin. Making your own mopping solution requires only a few ingredients and the money you save will quickly add up.
Vinegar Solution for Vinyl and Laminate Floors
Clean vinyl and laminate floors with a solution of 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1 gallon of warm water. If the smell of vinegar bothers you, add a few drops of essential oil. Lemon, orange or lavender scents are pleasing to many people and blend with vinegar well. For very tough jobs, add 1/4 cup of borax.
Vinegar Solution for Wood Floors
You don't want to get wood floors overly wet or you will risk damaging the wood grain, so use cleaning solutions sparingly. Combine 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1 gallon of warm water in a mop bucket. Dip a sponge mop into the solution and squeeze until the sponge is barely damp. Dry streaked or wet areas with a clean towel as you go.
Tea Solution for Wood Floors
Wood floors can also be cleaned and shined with a tea solution, which contains tannic acid. Brew five to 10 black tea bags in 1/2 to 1 gallon of hot water, let the tea cool then pour it into a mop bucket. Mop and dry the wood floor as directed for the vinegar solution above. Fill a spray bottle with the tea solution to use as a spot cleaner.
Combine 1/4 cup of borax with 1 gallon of hot water to disinfect soiled vinyl, linoleum or tile floors. Found in the laundry aisle of most grocery stores, borax cleans, disinfects and deodorizes hard surfaces. You can also add 1/4 cup of lemon juice to a gallon of hot water to effectively clean bacteria from floors. If small children are crawling on the floor, rinse with clear hot water to remove residue.