Who doesn’t love wood floors that gleam after a good mopping or clean, sparkling tile floors after an intense vacuuming session? Cleaning the floor can be one of the most distressing chores and it won’t come as a surprise that most homeowners would be enticed by all sorts of floor cleaning products and systems in the market today.
Unfortunately, many of these though promise an easy and sparkling floor, are detrimental for our health and for the environment as well. And if you have small children or pets, you don’t want to constantly expose them to these hazardous chemical cleaners, right? But this doesn’t mean you have to compromise having less-than-immaculate floors or torture yourself to death just to get them to shine. There are simple ways to clean your floors without chemicals and most likely, the ingredients can be found right from your very own pantry.
'Smart and Green' Floor Maintenance Tips
Because your floor is the largest surface area in your home, you don’t want to increase indoor pollution level by subjecting it to commercial products with chemicals. The prevalence of using market-bought floor cleaners in many homes today has made chemical levels in homes to be on the rise, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Good regular maintenance is still, and will always be the key to minimizing the need and reliance for chemical-laden floor cleaning formulas. Accumulated dirt and dust on the floor can abrade the surface, which makes it even harder to clean. Reduce the need for cleaning by applying these simple techniques at home:
- Place doormats or walk-off at the entrances.
- Ask that shoes or slippers be removed before entering the house.
- Regular sweeping, vacuuming or dust-mopping should be done at least once a day.
Cleaning Overview by Floor Type
Each kind of floor surface – wood, bamboo, tile, porcelain, laminate, etc. – require a specific type of cleaning solution to achieve the best desired results. Using the wrong formula, ingredient or method for your specific flooring material can eventually (or quickly) damage the floor. To avoid this, it is always recommended to test first on an inconspicuous area to determine compatibility with your floor. Here are 5 ways to clean your floors without chemicals:
As one of the strongest food acids that can be found in your pantry, lemons have antiseptic and antibacterial properties that are powerful and effective enough to fight against most bacteria in your household. Use half cup of pure lemon juice in your damp-mopping water to wipe your wood floors clean and germ-free.
2. White Vinegar
As a natural cleanser, just a quarter cup of white vinegar in your damp-mopping water can eliminate mildew and odors as well as remove grease and stubborn wax build-up. White vinegar though carries an unpleasant odor is also great for removing some stains. Once the floor has dried, there should be no trace of vinegar odor left. Leave some windows open to air out the area while the vinegar dries.
3. Baking Soda
Baking soda is the bane of scuff marks on all floor surfaces. All it takes is a damp sponge, sprinkled with a little baking soda and rubbed on the scuff marks until it disappears.
4. Washing Soda
Washing soda (sodium carbonate) is a chemical neighbor of baking soda, though it has a stronger alkalinity – pH around 11. It is far safer than any commercial solvent formula because it releases no harmful fumes. However, you are advised to always wear gloves when using it because it is caustic. Washing soda does not only neutralize odors in the same way that baking soda does but is also very effective against stains and marks left by grease, petroleum oil, lipstick and wax.
5. Castille Soap
Mop dirt and grease away by using half a cup of diluted to 3 gallons of hot water. This natural soap, though has a higher price tag, has tons of uses – not only for your floors but also for all-around household cleaning and even head-to-to body care.