DIY Floor Cleaners (Hardwood, Laminate, & Vinyl)

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Can I tell you one of the hardest things to keep up with? One of the things Chad and I are constantly cleaning? The floors. They’re easy to ignore until you find three-day-old shriveled cereal bits, tiny chunks of dried Play-Doh, or clumps of pet hair so large they may require a collar. 

The true telltale sign of floors that are a little too ripe for comfort? Discolored socks and sticky feet. I know when this happens at our house, things have really fallen off the rails. That’s why I want to talk about how to clean floors, DIY floor cleaner (general purpose), DIY hardwood floor cleaner, and DIY laminate floor cleaner. 

The only thing worse than dirty floors is when you clean them, and they still feel sticky! It’s like, why?! Cleaning floors can be simple, but if you don’t do it right, you’re just wasting your time. And if you don’t use the right floor cleaner, your floors won’t truly be clean. 

So let me help you save your white socks. After you’re through with this article, your floors will be clean enough to eat off of. 

Melissa Maker mopping the floor

How To Clean The Floor

There is more than one right way to clean the floor, but here’s my favorite method. Fill a small bowl with your floor cleaning solution and saturate several mop pads. I do this, so my mop pads are ready, and I can quickly swap them out as I clean. This means I don’t have to stop mopping to grab a new pad and saturate, and it means I’m done mopping faster. When one mop pad is dirty, I’ll rinse it and place it back in the bowl for soaking. Or if it’s really grimy, I’ll toss it into the wash pile. 

My husband Chad, on the other hand, prefers the spray bottle method. He’ll use a spray bottle to apply the cleaning solution to a small section of the floor. Then, he uses a mop to wipe it clean. Move on to a new section and repeat. 

Whichever method you choose, the key here is to always use the S-Pattern with your mop strokes and to always work your way out of a room, not into a corner. To do this, you just need to start at the point furthest away from the door and work backward towards that door.

Lastly, cleaning your floors well requires the right tools. And a great mop will make your life infinitely easier. The Maker’s Mop is the best mop out there. Its 360° pivot head traps dust and debris, while the unique curved shape allows you to focus pressure on the Precision Edge. That means this mop easily tackles even the most stuck-on stains and messes. Plus, the Maker’s Mop has washable premium microfiber mop pads, so when you’re done, you can toss them in the laundry. Perfect for wet and dry use, the Maker’s mop replaces brooms, flathead mops, sponge mops, and spin mops. Try it out, and your life will be changed forever. 

Melissa Maker holding Maker's Mop

DIY Floor Cleaner (General Purpose)

You can whip up any of these floor cleaners in a spray bottle, bowl, or bucket. Just keep the proportions the same.

  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/4 cup Vinegar
  • 1/8 cup Rubbing Alcohol
  • 1/8 tsp Dish Soap
  • 5-10 drops Essential Oil (optional)

This floor cleaner can be used on most floors and works like a charm. Add your favorite essential oil to customize the scent, or skip it if that’s not your thing. 

DIY Laminate Floor Cleaner (and Luxury Vinyl)

This floor cleaner is perfect for laminate and luxury vinyl floors. 

  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Rubbing Alcohol
  • 5-10 drops Essential Oil (optional)

Use this DIY cleaner, and you can admire your own reflection in your laminate and luxury vinyl floors. 

DIY Hardwood Floor Cleaner

I probably get the most floor cleaning questions about hardwood floors. This is my go-to floor cleaner for all your hardwood floor needs. 

  • 2 cups Water
  • 1/4 cup Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Dish Soap
  • 5-10 drops Essential Oil

Read How to Clean Hardwood Floors Without Streaks for even more hardwood floor help.  

Melissa mopping the stairs

Clean Your Floors

“I’m so excited to mop!” said no one ever. But when you can quickly and easily mop your whole house, it feels like a little less of a chore. You should be mopping high traffic areas like the kitchen, hallways, and bathroom once a week. Bedrooms can wait a little longer, but personally, I like to get everything mopped at once, so I don’t have to worry about it again for another week. 

And when the time comes, avoid unsightly stains and ugly streaks that can be caused by using the wrong floor cleaner. No matter what kind of floor you have, these DIY recipes have you covered.

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.

10 COMMENTS

    • Hi Doris, this depends on the size of your bucket and the size of the area you are cleaning. Keep all the proportions the same and double or triple the entire recipe as needed.

  1. Hi Melissa . I have been watching your cleaning video since I came to Canada. Each video is helpful for outsider who is new to this country to keep up with cleaning your home like a pro. I would like to have suggestion on what kind of mop should I buy for hardwood floor since this is just beginning of shopping for new home? Thank you .

  2. This is great! My house is entirely laminate floors (minus the laundry room), so I figured I’d better learn how to clean them properly. Coming up on my 1 year anniversary of owning my first home, and I’ve use Clean My Space vids and articles to learn how to clean basically everything in my new house. Would love to see an article/video on cleaning and preparing a guest room!

  3. Some of us still use a rag mop, I am not someone who ” keeps up with the Jones”. I do a figure 8 when mopping never heard of a w motion.

  4. All your videos that I have watched are very helpful. I like your practical approach and you are simply a lovely young lady. Wishing you continued success and look forward to watching new episodes or those I may have missed.
    Thanks!
    Rick

  5. I have read on many flooring sites that it is not a good idea to use vinegar on hardwood floors because it can damage the finish. I would very much like to make my own hardwood floor cleaner using your formula, but now I am hesitant. Am I missing something? Thanks for any input you can provide!

  6. I think that you have changed the way people approach cleaning. You have made it easy, fun and affordable, Thank you for the recipes and tips. I also love that you are Canadian.

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