Using Vinegar to Clean Hardwood Floors

From the Kitchen Shelves: Using Vinegar to Clean Hardwood Floors

Cleaning a hardwood floor is a delicate job, as if the necessary precautions aren't taken, the chances of permanently scarring it are quite high. Here are some tips on using vinegar to hardwood floors.
So you got the hardwood flooring you always wanted for your house? It is the jewel in the crown for your house and the apple of your eye. But, even as you were installing it, the thought must have crossed your mind, "Yes, this hardwood flooring looks beautiful alright, but isn't it going to be real hard work to have it look beautiful over time? What if I stain it? Will I have to spend a fortune to get it removed?" the answers to these questions is using vinegar to clean it without leaving horrible marks on the surface. Vinegar has just the perfect concentration of acetic acid (30%) that will clean your floor, but not leave any visible damage to the surface, while commercial cleaning products contain substances that may harm your floor and burn holes in your pockets too. Vinegar helps remove grease stains, foul odors, mildew, and build up of wax. Some more of its advantages are that it is cheap, you also probably have it around the house at all times, and it smells good too.

Cleaning Procedure
  1. Before you start, you have to make sure that all the dust is removed. If the dust is not removed, the vinegar will only spread around, nullifying the effects of cleaning. You can use a vacuum cleaner for removing the dust.
  2. Dilute the vinegar in water. The ratio should be approximately 1 cup of vinegar to 2 gallons of water. Don't spread this mixture directly onto the floor, as it may warp the wood. Spread it slowly and wipe the floor with a damp mop.
  3. Next, to polish the floor and to make it look lustrous, mix equal quantities of vinegar and oil on the floor. The vinegar will help remove the stains, while the oil will polish and moisturize the floor.
  4. It can also be used to nullify the harmful effects of bleach. We all know that bleach, although effective, is a pretty sticky substance. If you have applied bleach on the stains on your hardwood floor, let it work overnight and then apply vinegar to remove it. If the bleach is not removed, then the stains will go, also taking along the luster and natural color off the wood with it.
  5. Alternatively, we could also apply vinegar directly onto the stains. It will probably take an hour for it to work on the stains, and they will be gone before you know it. But once done, make sure that you wipe the spot with a damp cloth so that all traces of the acidic substance are removed.
  6. You can also use it as a deodorizer. If there are some conspicuous smells around the house, especially the ones related to babies, vinegar can help get rid of them. You can use undiluted white vinegar to clean the hardwood floor. Make sure that the room is well ventilated so that both the smells disappear.
Remember to use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dust, as a mop or a piece of cloth might give rise to scratches on the floor surface. Also, before embarking on the vinegar-cleaning program, consult your hardwood floor supplier.
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