Effective homemade wood floor cleaner

Hardwood floors can look superb but need care to keep them in tip-top condition. Brand name cleaners can be expensive or even unsuitable, but a homemade wood floor cleaner can be easy to make and provide excellent results. Ingredients should be easy to find in any hardware store or supermarket.

Mop at the ready

Before cleaning your hardwood floor, ensure that dust is removed, by sweeping or a light vacuum.

The makeup of your homemade wood floor cleaner will depend on the amount of cleaning and care required. For the everyday clean, use warmish water with a few drops of essential oil added to the bucket. Lavender, pine or eucalyptus oils are suitable choices. Ensure that the mop is merely damp rather than saturated. Soaking a wooden floor can lead to discolouration or even warping.

For removing stains caused by pets, kids' pens, spills or shoes, a highly dilute solution should usually suffice. The most effective additions will depend on the stain and the type of wood, but experiment with the following: liquid soap, vinegar, borax and household detergent. All should be used in very weak dilutions. Vinegar in particular, while highly effective, can damage a surface if used in concentrated form.

For stubborn scuffs, a homemade stain remover can be employed. This consists of equal parts water and vinegar, with a few drops of essential oil added. Sprinkle baking soda on the scuff then spray on the mixture. The baking soda and vinegar will react, causing a mild fizzing. The scuff can then be wiped away with a dry cloth.

Flawless floors

Using your homemade wood floor cleaner regularly should help maintain the floor in great condition. Occasionally though, scratches are unavoidable. In these cases, a wax crayon can come to the rescue. Look for the closest colour match and rub the crayon into the blemish. Soften with a hairdryer until the wax fills the crack.

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