Ever since my son started crawling, I have been a crazy, floor-cleaning lady. I seriously sweep and mop our kitchen and living room multiple times a day (especially now that my son is in a food throwing phase). Some people can’t stand chips in their nail polish–I can’t stand crumbs on my feet!
Because I’m cleaning my floors so often, and because my toddler frequently eats off of said floors, it is important to me that I use a safe and all-natural floor cleaning solution.
This 5-ingredient recipe is great for a once weekly disinfecting of your floors.
All Natural Floor Cleaner Recipe
– 1 c rubbing alcohol
– 1 c distilled white vinegar
– 10 drops orange essential oil
– 10 drops tea tree oil
– 1 tsp dish soap (optional)
– 1-2 gallons hot water
How to Use:
First, combine all of the ingredients in a large cleaning bucket.
Then dip your mop or cleaning cloth in the solution and use it to wash your hard floors.
Why This Recipe Works
The rubbing alcohol in this recipe makes this solution dry very quickly. A faster dry means a lower likelihood of streaks on surfaces like laminate or tile flooring.
Distilled white vinegar is an incredible cleaner and an effective disinfectant. Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties as well, so the combination makes for a powerful cleaning solution.
Orange essential oil adds a nice citrus scent. Lastly, dish soap is helpful when cutting through grease stains on kitchen floors.
If you are used to mopping your floors with a Swiffer, I recommend switching to reusable Swiffer mop pads. You can soak your mop pad in this cleaning solution then wring it out before attaching it to your swiffer and mopping your floors. Rinse it under clean water then repeat before moving to the next room.
I use a Cuban mop to clean the floors in my home. It’s like a sustainable alternative to a Swiffer! A Cuban mop is constructed from two wooden dowels fused together in a t-shape. Simply wrap a damp cleaning towel around the base and clean away.
You can absolutely use this cleaning solution with a traditional mop/bucket combination. Simply fill your cleaning bucket with the cleaning solution and mop your floors as you normally would.
Hands and Knees
If you are tackling a smaller space like a bathroom, I actually recommend mopping on hands and knees. Grab a cleaning towel and wipe those floors with your hands. This method ensures a more thorough cleaning in hard-to-mop places like corners and underneath cabinets.
Surfaces to Avoid
A quick word of caution before using this floor cleaning recipe. If you have natural stone floors (think materials like marble or travertine) you will want to avoid acidic cleaning ingredients. Vinegar falls into the acidic cleaning ingredient category!
If this is the case in your home, I recommend a simpler cleaning solution of 1/2 tbsp of Sal Suds for every 3 gallons of hot water.
DIY Citrus All-Natural Floor Cleaner FAQ
Can I use this cleaner on any type of floors?
This DIY floor cleaner recipe is ideal for vinyl and faux wood floors. However, you may want to stick with an oil-based cleaner for real wood floors.
If you have natural stone floors (like marble or travertine) you will want to avoid acidic cleaning ingredients–and vinegar falls into the acidic cleaning ingredient category! Instead, I recommend a simpler cleaning solution of 1/2 tbsp of Sal Suds for every 3 gallons of hot water.
Can you recommend a DIY floor cleaner with essential oils that can be used on all types of floors?
Yes, if you’re hoping to use the same cleaner on multiple kinds of floors throughout the house, this pine-scented floor cleaner recipe may help you streamline your cleaning routine!
Can I omit the essential oils from this recipe?
Yes! While the tea tree oil has antibacterial properties–and the orange essential oil adds a nice citrus scent–the recipe will still work without the essential oils if you’re concerned about pets coming into contact with the freshly cleaned floors.
What if I need something stronger to clean grimy or greasy floors?
You can still use this recipe for tough jobs–even on grease-stained floors. Just use less water and be sure to add in the optional dish soap, which will help cut tough grease.
All-Natural Floor Cleaner
- Large bucket
- 1 cup rubbing alcohol
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 10 drops orange essential oil
- 10 drops tea tree essential oil
- 1 teaspoon dish soap optional
- 1-2 gallons very hot tap water
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large bucket and use as needed.
- For tough jobs, use less water and add the dish soap, which will help cut tough grease.
Photos by Ana-Maria Stanciu102
Alice Ramsey says
Thank you thank you thank you!! I’ve wanted to get away from the chemical type cleaners, but I have to admit, using the all-natural ones always makes me think that they’re not actually killing any germs.
Can I mix these ingredients into a spray bottle?
Can you make this up ahead of time and how long will it keep it’s effectiveness? I mop my home several times a week and making up this solution every time is a bit time consuming.
Barb Stewart says
I am trying to sign-up for give away and when I hit “hello good buys” it doesn’t go to anything that you can add your email or name. Can you suggest another way to sign-up?
Stephanie Gerber says
Hi Barb – thanks for trying to enter but unfortunately this giveaway has ended. You check out our current giveaways here: https://helloglow.co/category/giveaway/
I have laminate “wood” floors and don’t add the alcohol to this solution. I’m afraid of ruining the color or finish on them. But the vinegar etc. does a beautiful job!
Can this solution be used on wood floors…laminate and/or real?
Lindsey Johnson says
I’m not 100% sure about real wood floors – you may want to stick with an oil-based cleaner. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a real wood floor! But I used this same solution when I has a faux wood floor and it was fine. I have laminate now too and it’s still what I use. Works great!
Love Apple says
You can use mint if desired.
I used this recipe but do not use hot water because I used the steam mop, great results
Do you have a DIY recipe that removes tough grease from kitchen appliances? I’ve tried a vinegar, water and baking soda mixture, but it just left a powdering film behind without removing the grease!
Lindsey Johnson says
Linh, great question! If you mix vinegar and baking soda together, it’s essentially the same as using water. You lost the benefit of both. What I do is make a paste with a great grease-cutting dish soap (Dawn is fine, or a natural soap is great too – even castile soap works) and rub it on the stain, let it sit, then use a non-abrasive sponge to scrub off the toughest parts. That combined with a few wipe downs with a damp rag usually does the trick for me. I also do this for those filters on my stove hood. You can use plain old vinegar in a spray bottle, or add some alcohol, and spray that on to shine it up. I usually do that as a last step for my stove after I clean it.
I love the suggestion of rubbing alcohol! I will try that in my next mop bucket! Instead of Orange and tea tree, I use peppermint oil, and my whole house smells minty fresh, I love it!
Beware the use of tea tree oil anywhere around cats. I would caution the use of it around any pets that lick their paws, but for cats it is toxic. Animals are especially sensitive to essential oils and one must know what they are doing to prevent poisoning, If one has small children who crawl and put their hands in their mouths, that may be an issue, also. Just because things sound ‘natural’ do not assume that they cannot be detrimental to health, especially animals and small children as their systems are tiny compared to ours.
Lindsey Johnson says
Hi Deborah! Thanks for adding that in. I often forget about that because I don’t own a cat and my kids aren’t super little anymore. It can be made without the tea tree oil and still work splendidly. :)