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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.

88 comments

+ add your own
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 !

3:12AM PDT on May 2, 2014

The company I used to work with before spent a lot on I used to spend a lot on cleaning and then we hired in one of those facilities management consultancy companies which saved us a fortune- would definitely recommend!

4:21AM PST on Mar 4, 2014

As we all know that the floor cleaning lubricants are made by some chemicals which will be harmful for children and for us also. So I always appreciate natural floor cleaning techniques. So, thanks for sharing the natural floor cleaning tips. I would like you to invite http://cleanritefloorcare.com/ for some more floor cleaning services

4:12AM PST on Mar 4, 2014

As we all know that the floor cleaning lubricants are made by some chemicals which will be harmful for children and for us also. So I always appreciate natural floor cleaning techniques. So, thanks for sharing the natural floor cleaning tips. I would like you to invite www.cleanritefloorcare.com for some more floor cleaning services.

10:02PM PST on Feb 27, 2014

Instead of fabric softeners, use splash of vinegar. The maid we appointed from residential cleaning service always clean our home with the ingredients in our home itself. She don’t use any toxic cleaning products.

9:06PM PST on Dec 8, 2013

I know we would never intentionally smear the floors our kids crawl on with chemicals that cause reproductive toxicity or asthma, but it is still important to know what products are essentially causing us to do this. As a matter of fact, all the MOP & GLO products received “F” ratings, which concerns me because I know so many people who use them to clean their floors. That’s why I am always so eager to talk about the Norwex Mop.

The Norwex Mop System is a completely different process than anything you’ve ever used to clean your floors. First, do the quick dry cleaning by running the yellow, dry mop pad across your floors in a figure 8 pattern. The dry microfiber pad will pick up dirt, dust, and other allergens from the floor. Use the Rubber Brush to clean off the debris when you’re done and throw it in the laundry when it needs a cleaning.

Next, wet the blue, antibacterial cleaning pad under some warm water, wring it out, and start mopping in a figure 8 pattern. When the front edges are looking a little dirty, just take off the pad, rinse it off, and keep going. This prevents the spread of dirty water and best of all, there are NO chemicals! The microfiber does it all.

The best part of this system is that you don’t have to waste money and resources buying new mop pads all the time – once they become dirty, just throw them in the wash with the towels and they’re good as new! The Norwex mop has a two year warranty.

No che

6:10AM PST on Nov 22, 2013

Great blog! Very smart tips of natural floor maintenace.

http://yourvacuumcleaners.com/best-seller/

11:50AM PST on Nov 21, 2013

Miami Valley Cleaning strives for customer satisfaction. We are detailed, scheduled, and thorough. We are available Monday-Friday to clean your home or office.
http://miamivalleycleaning.com/

11:50AM PST on Nov 21, 2013

Miami Valley Cleaning strives for customer satisfaction. We are detailed, scheduled, and thorough. We are available Monday-Friday to clean your home or office.
http://miamivalleycleaning.com/

2:39PM PST on Nov 13, 2013


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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