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Can I Use Vinegar on Wood Floors?

Generic bottle of vinegar sitting on a wood surface against a grey background.

To some people, vinegar is the miracle product of the century. It has so many uses that this product is seen as a good replacement for commercial chemical ladened products. This household product is healthy, natural, and safe to use.

But will it work on hardwood floors? That is the question you need an answer to. In order to get the answer simply continue reading our article. It delves into this issue so you can use vinegar with peace of mind or opt out of using it.

Does Vinegar Strip Hardwood Floors?

Person bent over bucket of water, wringing out a rag

This is another important question that needs to be answered. When you turn to vinegar to do many cleanings or odor-reducing tasks, you have to remember that this product is very acidic. That acid nature makes it tough on germs, dirt, and other elements you want to get rid of.

However, that acidic nature is not good for floor finishes. It will strip away most hardwood floor finish products with ease. Or at least a little elbow grease thrown in there. This result makes using vinegar on hardwood floors unsafe. Not to you but to your hardwood floors.

There will be some people who do recommend using vinegar in small amounts and they may have some success in following their own advice. However, you can put too much vinegar on the floor and not only ruin your finish but also the wood.

Wood is very vulnerable to liquids, including water. They can bloat, twist, and weaken when they have liquids poured on them. So you have to be careful when using this go-to cleaning product when your hardwood floors are dirty.

Other Products You Should Avoid

Hands wearing orange rubber gloves holding the handle to a bucket filled with cleaning supplies

The same results also appear when you use other products that have the same acidic nature as them. Ammonia, abrasive cleaning agents, and alkaline-based products are all unsafe to use on hardwood floors.

Their ingredients or chemical combinations make them an enemy of these types of floors and can ruin your finish as well as your flooring material. When the finish is ruined, you may be tempted to use oil-based furniture wax or mineral oil product to restore the look.

These products make the floor very slippery and you have to be careful when you walk on them.

Can You Use Vinegar to Clean Hardwood Floors

Yellow bucket next to a pink gloved hand wiping the floor with a pink rag.

Now that you know the dangers that come with using vinegar, the answer is yes you can. Vinegar does kill odors, germs, bacteria, mold and gets rid of dirt and grime. The caveat is that you need to limit the amount of this product.

Plus, vinegar is an all-natural product that replaces commercial products whose ingredients contain harsh and often toxic chemicals. This natural alternative helps neutralize odors so your room smells fresh every time you walk into it.

You may save money as well since vinegar is often cheaper than those other cleaning products.

How to Clean Your Hardwood Floors with Vinegar

Beautiful modern livingroom with shiny hardwood floors

Step 1 – Remove all the furniture and other floor accessories, toys, etc., from the room.

Step 2 – Sweep the floor or you can vacuum it but you want to remove all the dirt in the room so that nothing locks the vinegar from doing its job.

Step 3 – Mix 1/2 cup of vinegar with a bucket holding 1 gallon of warm water.

Step 4 – Dip your mop into the solution and before you place it on your floor you have to wring out the excess water. You wring hard as you only want the mop to be damp. Placing too much mixture on your floor will be taking a step in allowing the risks we already talked about to take place.

Step 5 – Start in one corner and mop in the direction of the grain. Make sure you do not start in a corner that will lead to trapping you in the room. If the water gets too dirty, make sure to change it with a new mixture.

Step 6 – Since you want to keep excess moisture off the floor, pick your mop carefully. Cotton mops may not let go of the mixture and put too much on your floor at one time.

If you do not want to use the bucket method, use a spray bottle to control the amount of moisture on your floor. Then wipe with a mop.

Step 7 – Dry the floor with a clean towel to make sure the wood does not absorb any liquid. Let the floor air dry until it is ready to be walked on again.

Step 8 – Return the furniture, rugs, etc., to the room.

Please keep in mind that we may receive a small commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

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