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Why You Should Never Clean Wood Floors with Vinegar

Why You Should Never Clean Wood Floors with Vinegar


There are many great uses for water and vinegar around the home. This cleaning solution is environmentally friendly and cost effective, and can cut through grime easily. While we recommend this multi-purpose cleaner for many jobs on your to-do list, there’s one thing you need to remember:

You should never use water and vinegar on your floor boards!

Vinegar can Affect your Floor in the Long Term

Most people aren’t aware that when you’re cleaning the floor, you’re cleaning the protective coating (finish) that’s been applied to your floor boards, not the wood itself.

Vinegar is an acid and it will slowly break down the protective coating on the floor, eventually leaving the floor looking dull. Unfortunately, you’ll see the signs of this after 12 – 24 months of regular cleaning with water and vinegar.

A bamboo floor that needed refinishing after wear and incorrect cleaning took its toll.

You should also be sure to minimise how much water you use when cleaning your wood floors. Have you ever heard the saying “water is the enemy of wood”? It’s certainly true when it comes to your floors. When water is left on the floor, it penetrates into the floor boards and can cause water-marking, swelling, rotting and discolouration of your boards.

How should I keep my wood floors clean?


You should regularly remove dust and grit using a micro-fibre dust mop. When people continue to walk across a gritty floor, it can significantly dull and wear the wood. This is because it places pressure on the grit, creating micro-scratches in the protective coating. You can prolong the life of your floors by keeping them grit-free.


Use a gentle PH Neutral Cleaner on Your Floor: In a 1-litre spray bottle mix together: 1 litre of warm water, 5-7 drops of castile soap and up to 10 drops of essential oil. We recommend citrus fragrances – they work well and smell sensational.


Spray the solution onto the floor using a slightly damp micro-fibre mop or cloth to clean. Make sure you continue spraying the floor with a hand sprayer as you go. For extra grimy areas, we recommend that you leave the cleaning solution on the floor for 20 seconds or so. This will give it time to work at breaking down the grime – when you wipe, remember to use a little elbow grease!

If you haven’t heard of castile soap before, it’s a natural soap made from vegetable oil, often with an olive oil base. It’s a great idea to purchase castile soap in liquid form from suppliers such as Range Products, Dr Bronners and Aussie Soap Supplies. Castile soap is a fantastic product but remember when you are using it that a little goes a long way!


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