Ready to declutter the cavernous depths of your kitchen cabinets and just hang on to a few simple, non-toxic cleaners? It's easier than you think. Not only are these homemade floor cleaners safer for you and better for the environment, but also they're kinder to your bank account. And better yet, you probably already have most of them in your pantry.
1. Baking Soda and Vinegar
Almost every DIY floor cleaner recipe includes these two ingredients, making them the true power couple of homemade cleaning. The odor-absorbing and scouring properties of baking soda combined with the degreasing power of vinegar will leave your tile or wood floors shiny and residue-free. Proportions will differ depending on whether you use a bucket mop or spray mop, but the most important thing in either case is to make sure the baking soda is fully dissolved. Note that vinegar is acidic, so don't let it sit on your wood. If your flooring is made from a sensitive material such as marble or travertine, avoid vinegar altogether by using a baking soda and soap solution instead. While most recipes recommend dish soap as an ingredient, it's only necessary for larger messes like caked-on edibles from your pet or child. If you do use vinegar, remember that it works well as a weed and grass killer, so don't empty out your bucket of vinegar solution on your lawn!
2. Baking Soda, Vinegar and Essential Oils
Despite its legendary cleaning abilities, vinegar leaves a lot to be desired in the scent department. The use of essential oils is a fun way to personalize your cleaning solutions and even improve your mood. In fact, some scents like lavender and vanilla are linked to happiness. Most recipes advise adding 15 or more drops of essential oil to your baking soda and vinegar solution. To avoid getting carried away, start with two or three drops and see how the oil works (and smells) on the floor; you can always add more as needed.
3. Borax and Water
Borax has been proven as a great cleaning product since the 1800s. You can usually find it on the bottom row of cleaning products at your grocery store. Just add water, and you have another inexpensive homemade floor cleaner. Warm water is best since it helps dissolve the granules. Some prefer to rinse floors with water after applying the Borax solution, though it is not required for correct use. If you have a toddler crawling on the floor, however, it may be wise to wipe it off, as trace amounts could . Borax also has a host of other uses, so it has the potential to become one of your most versatile household cleaners. Just keep it out of little ones' reach and always follow the directions listed on the product's packaging.
4. Castile Soap and Water
Castile soap is a perfect DIY floor cleaner complement. Similar to Borax, it can be used to clean almost any type of floor simply by adding warm water. It's easy to find in almost any big box chain or grocer, and remember, a little goes a long way. Unlike other cleaners, Castile soap comes in lots of lovely scents, and all you need is water to clean just about anything.
- What is a Home Warranty
- Compare Home Warranty Coverage
- Home Warranty Plans & Costs
Next > DIY Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
In situations where you don't have the time to make a homemade floor cleaner solution or you want a standby product under your sink, check out the Environmental Working Group's site. The EWG has a consumer guide that allows you to decode the ingredients in a cleaning product and look up a product's grade in terms of toxicity, allergenic qualities and environmental impact. (It should be noted that Borax received a failing grade from the EWG. You should take the time to read any and all warnings and consider all factors, possible associated risks and your own comfort level before using any substances in your home. Most importantly, always use responsibly, sparingly and as directed by the manufacturer's label.)