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Natural Floor Cleaning: Easy Greening

WOOD FLOORS: PENETRATING FINISH
A floor with a penetrating finish will have more of a matte finish and you may be able to feel the grain of the wood—these floors are protected by the oil or wax that has sunk into the wood, like oil. Penetrating finishes include resins or sealers such as Danish oils and penetrating seals, and oil finishes such as linseed oil and tung oil.

Don’t
• (Ever) use a water based cleaner on a penetrating finish floor.
• Don’t use cleaners specified for a surface finish, they can turn a penetrating finish cloudy.

Do
• Cleaners recommended for a penetrating finish are solvent-based. Use a natural citrus solvent rather than a mineral spirit or turpentine based cleaner. Spray a light film on the floor and dry mop with a microfiber or regular dust mop.
• Spills should be wiped up immediately with a lightly water dampened cloth and then hand buffed dry.
• To remove white spots caused by water spills, use the finest steel wool and a small amount of natural citrus solvent, rub gently in a circular motion until spot is gone. Then apply a bit of jojoba oil to the area and buff.

LAMINATE FLOORS
The top layer of laminate flooring is a hard melamine wear layer over a layer of printed paper—it is very durable and very easy to clean. Basically you should follow manufacturer’s directions, but avoid their cleaning products—you don’t need them.

Don’t
• Don’t use soap-based cleaners or “mop and shine” products—they will make the floor cloudy.
• Don’t use abrasive cleaners, steel wool, or scouring powder, which can scratch you floor.
• Don’t wax or polish your floor.

Do
• Vacuum, use a dust mop or wipe with a damp cloth.
• For spills, wipe with a cloth or sponge.

RESILIENT FLOORS
These are the softer floors and include vinyl, linoleum, and cork. Linoleum is often confused with vinyl, but they are very different materials. Vinyl is synthetic, while real linoleum is made from natural ingredients (wood flour, rosins, ground limestone, powdered cork, pigments, jute, and linseed oil).

Don’t
• Don’t use solvent-base products, they can soften and damage resilient flooring.
• Don’t scour the floor. For tough stains, make a paste of baking powder and gently wipe with a wet rag.

Do
• Sweep, dust mop or vacuum frequently.
• Damp mop with a mild all natural liquid dish detergent and warm water.
• Damp mop with a 1/2 cup of vinegar added to the water to rinse and increase shine.
• Remove scuffs by dipping a sponge in jojoba oil and rubbing lightly—then wipe.

CERAMIC TILE FLOORS
Smart advice from The Old House Web is to pre-wet a ceramic tile floor before using any cleaners. The water saturates the porous tile and prevents the cleaning agents from penetrating into the tile body. Floor tiles should be always rinsed thoroughly after cleaning.

Don’t
• Don’t use harsh abrasive cleaners that might scratch the glaze.
• Don’t use acid-based cleaning solutions because they can damage the complex silicates in a glaze.

Do
• Regular maintenance should include sweeping, or preferably dry or damp mopping or vacuuming to reduce grit.
• Always start with the gentlest method possible, which may be as simple as warm water.
• Damp-mop ceramic tile with a low pH mild detergent. Dry the floor with a soft cloth to avoid streaks.

Related:
5 Basics for Non-Toxic Cleaning
How to Make a Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit
7 Ways to Clean with Castile Soap

Read more: Green Home Decor, Home, Household Hints, Non-Toxic Cleaning, , , ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

97 comments

+ add your own
6:17AM PDT on Mar 26, 2015

The cleanliness for both our home and environment

9:52AM PDT on Mar 24, 2015

thanks for the tips..

8:00AM PDT on Mar 24, 2015

Natural is best

7:59AM PDT on Mar 24, 2015

Comprehensive acvount

7:58AM PDT on Mar 24, 2015

Noted thanks

6:47PM PST on Dec 4, 2014

great tips
makanlaut
hakimpintar

4:26PM PDT on Sep 8, 2014

I totally agree. Getting interaction into forex easy a blog post, helps the actual blog post gain more traction

1:12AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Great site for natural wooden flooring cleaning. I have some tips please visit here: http://www.shubh-enterprises.in

1:10AM PDT on Sep 2, 2014

Great site for natural wooden flooring cleaning. I have some tips please visit here: http://www.shubh-enterprises.in

5:16AM PDT on Jun 21, 2014

Why you do not use Steam Mop to clean your floor. It is easy and save your time !

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