Tile, wood, vinyl and linoleum floors need to be cleaned at least on a weekly basis.

The old way of cleaning was to get down on your hands and knees and scrub. This is because many people had wax floors that really needed special care. Hardly anyone has wax floors anymore and if they do, they must love to do housework. The no-wax revolution was a great boon to housewives (and husbands) because you no longer had to strip the floor and put the wax back on. You only had to wash the floor.

The following are ways to clean the floors in the house using vinegar, water, dish soap, and ammonia creating solutions you make yourself. Always use gloves when cleaning the floor to protect your hands. Even water and vinegar can dry them out and you always have to use your hands wring out the mop or cloth you are using so as not to cause damage to the floor.

HARDWOOD

Hardwood flooring cannot be saturated with too much water as it will warp. It is important to clean with a mop or cloth that has been wrung out almost dry. Do not let water puddle on hardwood or it will cause irreparable damage. Homemade hardwood floor cleaner can be made by combining 1 teaspoon of dish soap in a bucket of water or, for a cleaner with more strength, combine 1 cup white vinegar with a pail of warm water. In both cases, sweet the floor of all debris before starting. Do a test in an inconspicuous area to make sure the solution isn’t going to take the shine or finish off the flooring. If it dries and everything looks ok, dip the mop or cloth in the solution, wring out very well and wipe the floor. Once done, let the floor air dry. To make a hardwood floor really shine, boil a tea kettle full of water and pour it into a heatproof bowl. Add 2 tea bags and let it steep until it is cool enough to put your hands in the solution. Use a sponge or cloth and dip it in the solution and wring out well. Wipe the floor with the solution and let it air dry. The tannic acid in the tea gives hardwood a beautiful shine.

VINYL AND LINOLEUM

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. First, sweep up any dust and dirt from the floor and spray the solution in small areas. Wipe up each section with an old towel and proceed to the next. Mixing a teaspoon of dish soap in a bucket of water also works well on these substances. You can also combine 2 gallons hot water with ¼ cup borax, a tablespoon of dish soap and ¼ cup white vinegar for a stronger solution. This has abrasiveness to it from the baking soda, which will take off any ground in dirt. Always be sure to test this solution on the floor first to make sure it won’t scratch. One more solution includes ½ cup lemon scented ammonia, ½ cup baking soda, and 1 gallon of warm water. After mopping with this solution, rinse with plain water on a mop.

LAMINATE FLOORING

Laminate flooring can also be damaged by pooling water. It can swell and warp so it is important to use an almost dry mop or rag after wringing it out. Combine ½ cup white vinegar in a pail of warm water to clean the floor

CERAMIC TILE

Many homes are graced with lovely ceramic tile floors. The first thing to do is to vacuum or sweep the floor and get any dust bunnies and dirt off. Avoid using sponge mops because all they do is move dirt from here to there and into the grout tracks. Instead, use a microfiber cloth that makes dirt get stuck to the mop. Ceramic tile does not need cleaners and cleans up nicely with just some warm water. If the floor is very dirty you can add some white vinegar, but avoid any type of soap because it will leave a film behind.

As long as you have vinegar, water and baking soda, you can clean almost any floor in your home. Cleaning your floors with homemade solutions is a healthy way to keep house. You know exactly what you are releasing in the house and you know it is very safe.