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Hardwood Floor Cleaner: Home Recipe


Hardwood Floor Cleaner Recipe

Mixing up new formulas is a clearly a hobby of mine. I love not spending hundreds of dollars on cleaning products and knowing exactly what I’m using in my home.

2 tbs Oil
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs alchohol
24 oz Water


2 tbs Oil
2 tbs Castille soap – I like the almond for wood floors.
2 tbs Alchohol
24 oz Water

Front bottle contains the Hardwood Floor cleaner.

Front bottle contains the Hardwood Floor cleaner.

If you like a little more fragrance add an essential oil of your choosing.  My favorite for cleaning products are almond and citrus.

Mix in Method Spray Cleaner Bottle – Spray on floor using a damp cloth over a mop to wipe. Because these cleaners contain oil – you do need to make sure you shake the bottle, to keep the liquids mixed while cleaning.

Make only what you need – as with no preservative it won’t keep fresh for long with the water content in this recipe.

I’ve also used Method Hardwood Floor Cleaner, using about 1/2 cup and putting it in a spray bottle, fill with water. Spray directly on the floor and mop with a damp cloth.

Also try:
PND All Purpose Cleaner Recipe
PND Foaming Handsoap Recipe

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{ 31 comments… add one }

  • Carla November 13, 2009, 11:32 am

    Great tips.  I usually just use vinegar and water since soap usually leaves scum on the floors.  I may try your recipe though since you use very little soap. 

  • Sanura March 10, 2010, 11:35 am

    Yep, I use only vinegar and water, too. The lemons add a nice smell.

  • SunCear August 30, 2010, 2:40 pm

    I’m going to try the one with Castille soap since I have so much of it.  Do you have any hard wood floor polisher ideas?  Would something like almond oil work? 

  • modernamish July 14, 2011, 5:49 pm

    How do you remove your labels from the Method bottles.  I’m super frustrated cause they are all sticky now!  I don’t want to use something toxic on the outside of the bottle like gew b gone.

    • Tania July 14, 2011, 11:03 pm

      Ha! I’m with you… I can’t stand keeping the labels on! My removal technique involves a lot of soaking… some straight up Castille Soap, Oil (on occasion) and a LOT of patience.
      Sometimes they will soak next to my sink for longer than I care to admit!

  • Sienna Powers October 29, 2011, 10:31 pm

    What’s the “oil” in the recipe?

    • Tania October 29, 2011, 11:27 pm

      I use olive or grapeseed oil. Any oil that won’t spoil too quickly would work.

  • Marylou December 22, 2011, 4:46 pm

    Why do you add oil t all?  I just had my floors refinished and am looking or a great mild cleaner that wont destroy the finish.  I see that there is alcohol and commercial brands use ethnol so that’s the same, but why oil?  And why soap?

    • Tania December 23, 2011, 1:03 am

      The oil is to condition the wood… if your wood requires it – omit if it does not… not all will. The soap is to break down dirt.
      I hope that helps!

  • Krystina December 27, 2011, 4:37 pm

    What kind of alcohol? Rubbing or drinking?

    • Tania January 6, 2012, 1:14 pm

      Either will work! : ) Sometimes I use vodka, just cause it seems more fun!

  • Imogene March 7, 2012, 1:03 pm

    I used this on the floors in the house we are moving into, they were a mess. The next day we went to look at them and they are beautiful. I am so pleased with this I will never buy another floor cleaner/polisher. Thank you

    • Tania March 9, 2012, 9:22 am

      Glad it worked out for you. So Simple. We’ve been using a steam cleaner on ours recently… and I LOVE that option too. Steam works for floors that have a good seal/finish.

  • Jenna April 2, 2012, 1:32 pm

    Hi! I just made this cleaner! got my floors nice & clean! any tips on how to get shine? i used to use Mop & glow & love the shine my floors had,i seem to have lost that with this recipe , did i mix something wrong or is there something i could add? 

  • Jenna April 2, 2012, 1:37 pm

    I should add i am using a steam mop, i spray the solution & then run my steam mop of it, would that be why i am losing the shine?

    • Tania April 3, 2012, 8:55 pm

      If you are using a steam mop… I would use it on it’s own. I find the steam mop does a good job. The sheen is typically derived from the finish on your floor – unless you are using a chemical product to give you shine – and that typically results in undesirable build up.

  • marina April 3, 2012, 12:00 am

    Can a person use this recipe on “Laminated” wood floors??

    • Tania April 3, 2012, 8:49 pm

      I would omit the oil. With laminate floors you are concerned with getting them clean… rather than conditioning them in anyway.

  • Megan May 23, 2012, 2:23 pm

    Do you need to rinse the floor after you use this?  Another site has a very similar cleaner and they say you have to rinse.

    • Tania May 23, 2012, 4:22 pm

      I don’t rinse it on my floors.

  • shawn June 30, 2012, 2:31 pm

    what kind of oil?

    • Tania July 4, 2012, 12:03 am

      I would use a body friendly oil – grape seed oil and olive oil are great options.

  • Meredith July 25, 2012, 2:53 pm

    can you use lime juice instead of lemon? I ask because that’s what I have on hand at the moment.

    • Tania August 13, 2012, 12:16 am

      I haven’t tried it, so I couldn’t say for certain. I don’t think it would hurt though…

  • Missina October 9, 2012, 9:15 pm

    Does this make the floor feel slick?  My husband is disabled and is prone to falls.  I have tried different store bought floor cleaners and the only one that doesn’t feel slick to him is the Murphy’s oil soap for hardwood floors.  I would like to use a homemade cleaner but I am worried about my husband falling. Thanks!!!!!

    • Tania October 12, 2012, 11:15 pm

      I would do a small test area before cleaning your entire floor. I don’t find this to make the floors slick, but to be extra safe I would spot check an area to see if it suits your needs. Perhaps scale back the recipe and make a small batch for your test area.
      Let me know how it works out for you. I’ll be interested to hear if it works for your needs.

  • BJD December 29, 2012, 6:18 pm

    I’m excited to try this! Right now I’m using murphy’s oil soap, I have a good sized bottle full so I’ll use that first and then try this when we run out. We just bought a house and had the floors refinished so I want to keep them looking nice!

  • Patrick February 1, 2013, 10:38 am

    Very interesting.  I was looking for a good eco friendly DIY solution to suggest to my customers rather than always recommending BONA floor cleaner.  Of course I will try today to see if it works on my floors. Thanks for the info.Also, what about adding TeaTree oil as it kills and cleans mold??  

    • Tania February 6, 2013, 1:22 pm

      In order for Tea Tree oil to be effective as an antibacterial… it would need to be used in very high concentrations… so it wouldn’t really serve any purpose to add it into this formula.

  • Krysta E August 24, 2014, 2:44 pm

    I have been using this recipe for awhile now & love it! i had tried so many others, like the diluted vinegar, which didn’t work for me. One, my boyfriend hates the smell of vinegar, which meant if i didn’t do the floors before he came home, he wasn’t a happy camper being greeted by the stench of the vinegar (i happen to like it). Two, the vinegar left my floors looking incredibly streaky, so i added alcohol, but that just made the smell worse. Finally, i came across this recipe and both, my boyfriend & i were happy and our floors looked great! so thank you PND!

    P.S. To remove labels from bottles without having to soak them & wait forever for them to come clean… I use some coconut oil & baking soda. i distribute the oil using my fingers, then i sprinkle some baking soda on and, again using my fingers, i mix the two together. i’m sure any method would work, but this is just how i do it. i leave it on while i so something else (10 minutes?), then using a sponge it wipe all the residue away. To remove the oil, simply wash the bottle with soap & water. hope this allows you to use your bottles sooner! happy label removing! :)

    • Odesk Test August 24, 2014, 3:19 pm

      Yes! I use coconut oil and baking soda all the time! Works great!
      I’m glad this formula works for you.

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