Can You Clean Hardwood Floors With Vinegar? Reasons, Tips, & FAQ
Hardwood floors are exquisite, elegant, and lovely to look at. Aesthetics aside, they’re also sturdy and warm and can last a lifetime if you take good care of them. But that’s where the problem comes in.
While hardwood floors are built to last, they’re also delicate and require special care. You can’t just mop them with whatever cleaner you have in hand. So, what about vinegar?
Can you clean hardwood floors with vinegar?
There’s plenty of debate over whether or not hardwood floors should be cleaned with vinegar. Some people swear by it, while others think it’s a bad idea. So, what’s the truth? The short answer is no, but there’s a lot more to it. Keep reading to find out.
Is Vinegar Okay for Hardwood Floors?
You see, vinegar is an acidic substance, and hardwood floors are sensitive to acid. The vinegar can eat away at the finish on your hardwood floors, leaving them dull and lifeless.
It can also strip away the natural oils from your hardwood floors, leaving them dry and brittle. Over time, this can cause the floors to crack and splinter.
So, while vinegar is an effective cleaning product, it’s not a good idea to use it on hardwood floors. Avoid it if possible.
What If I Clean My Floors With Vinegar? What Will Happen?
Using vinegar to clean your floors doesn’t have an immediate effect. In fact, in most cases, you’ll notice your floor becoming a tad shinier after cleaning it with vinegar. That’s because it removes dirt and grime, making your floor sparkle.
However, this is only a temporary effect. Over time, the acidic nature of vinegar will eat away at your hardwood floors, dulling them. Also, the harshness of vinegar can strip away the rich, natural oils from your hardwood floors, leaving them bare and barren.
If you have floorboards, you might notice them cupping gradually after cleaning with vinegar. You’ll also notice the board starting to peel at their ends or between them. As more and more vinegar dissolves into the wood, it ultimately leads to warping. It also corrodes hardwood hence the peeling.
What Should You Use Instead?
If hardwood floors and vinegar don’t mix, then what should you use to clean your hardwood floors? The best thing to use is a gentle, pH-neutral cleaner. These cleaners are designed specifically for hardwood floors and won’t damage the delicate finish.
In addition, hardwood floor cleaners don’t strip away the natural oils from your hardwood floors. This helps to keep them healthy and looking their best.
Is It Ever Okay to Use Vinegar to Clean Hardwood Floors?
Yes, there are some cases where you may need to use vinegar to clean your hardwood floors.
How to Use Vinegar on Your Hardwood Floors
While you can use vinegar on your hardwood floors, it’s not something that you should do on a regular basis. In fact, you should only use it in cases of extreme dirt or grime. If you’re going to use vinegar, here’s how you should use it.
By Hand With a Cloth and Bucket
Start by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water in your bucket. Then, dip your cleaning cloth into the mixture and wring it out so that it’s damp but not dripping.
Next, scrub your hardwood floors with the damp cloth, working in small sections. Be sure to rinse the area well afterward and follow up with a hardwood floor cleaner.
With a Spray Bottle and Microfiber Mop
Start by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water in your spray bottle. Then, mist your hardwood floors with the mixture and start mopping. Be sure to rinse the area well afterward and top it off with a dab of hardwood floor cleaner.
With a Refillable Spray Mop
Start by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water in your refillable spray mop. Then, start mopping your hardwood floors with the mixture. Be sure to rinse the area well afterward and top it off with a hardwood floor cleaner.
While vinegar can be used to clean hardwood floors, it’s not something that should be done on a regular basis. There are plenty of other hardwood floor cleaners on the market that do an excellent job without causing any damage.
So, next time you’re looking to give your floors a good cleaning, reach for a hardwood floor cleaner instead of vinegar. Your wood will thank you for it!
Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock