How to Clean Hardwood Floors with Vinegar and Olive Oil

Hardwood floors are fabulous and gorgeous. However, maintaining them is tedious and a matter of risk. Risk, because you cannot use any random cleaner or cleaning solution. Most frustrating is how sensitive hardwood is regarding water. How can one do the cleaning without water? So, you need to use water, albeit not very frequently and not in a large quantity. But still, when you use it, the hardwood floor is at risk, no matter how circumspect you are trying to be. Still, we all love the hardwood floor, its elegance, and its distinct appearance; install it and try and apply different tips and tricks to upkeep it as efficiently as possible.

How to Clean Hardwood Floors with Vinegar and Olive Oil


One of several safe but successful ways to clean the hardwood floor is using the very common vinegar and the very hydrating olive oil. So, how to do it; let’s get into the steps and make things easy for you to follow.

Step#1 – Preparing The Vinegar and Olive Oil Cleaning Solution

Preparing a cleaning solution made with vinegar and olive oil is your first step. You can mix a whole bottle of vinegar and olive oil in a bottle and use it to clean the hardwood floor in the long term by pouring it in water, but we prefer preparing it the day you will use it. The freshly made cleaning solution will be way more potent than the already mixed vinegar and oil. To make this cleaning solution, you will need warm water. It must not be too hot but not too lukewarm too. It should have a specific heat to it.

Quantity of Each Ingredient

A gallon of warm water will need a cup of white vinegar and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Mix all the three ingredients very well. Use a wooden spoon or a long wooden stick to stir the solution. If you think a cup of vinegar might be too much, you can make it half a cup. What we mean is you can change the measurement according to your sense and floor condition.

Purpose of Each Ingredient

This cleaning solution will loosen the stubborn dirt as you have used warm water, scuff and disinfect the surface due to the vinegar, and last but not least, the olive oil will hydrate your dry, dull hardwood floor and polish it. So, you are not just cleaning the hardwood floor but also polishing the dullness and buffing the scratches as well.

How to Clean Hardwood Floors with Vinegar and Olive Oil
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Step #2 – Removing The Dust and Dirt

After you have your cleaning solution ready, do the dusting. You can use a vacuum cleaner. It is best to keep a hardwood floor clean all the time as it’s powerful, quick, and easy to use. We actually will suggest you do one room at a time, both dusting and mopping. Hardwood floors are very fragile regarding water and need meticulous cleaning. A room per day will be easy for you to take the utmost care of it while cleaning. You will have to thoroughly clean every corner, crevice, and along the baseboards of the hardwood floor. Any dust remains, the moisture and oil will turn that into a bigger mess. Avoid that remaining to keep things easy for you. From dusting till polishing, wear clean socks.

Step #3 – Take Your String Mop

Here you might be a little taken aback. A string mop instead of the very prevalent microfiber mop, we have our reason. A string mop will buff the surface like no other. Keep in mind that our purpose is not just cleaning the hardwood floor. We are going to polish and hydrate it as well. Get a string mop that has cotton strands and also an easy wringing mechanism. Some are available with a bucket, so that is even better to fill it with your vinegar and olive oil cleaning solution.

Step #4 – Buff The Solution On the Hardwood Floor Well

Hold your string mop, dip it into the bucket, saturate every strand of it with water, vinegar, and olive oil solution, and wring it thoroughly. Avoid a wet mop, dipping water from the strands, and make sure it’s a damp mop, almost dry. Now move the mop on the hardwood surface. Keep your cleaning solution bucket near, and start from one corner of the inside of the room. To avoid a streak, you must follow a straight line. As you are only using vinegar and olive oil, and oil is anyway going to be soaked by the wood, there will be no worry of residue. You have to buff the olive oil, so continue the buffing motion. During that movement of the mop, all the dirt and stains will be anyway scrubbed and cleaned. And about polishing, the olive oil will do its work efficiently.

Step #5 – Drying The Hardwood Floor

By drying, we do not mean you have to re-mop the floor. Air drying will be more than enough. You have damp mopped the hardwood, there is no chance of standing water or over-saturated hardwood, so air dry it is. If you notice any standing water or an area too wet, use a dry pad and pat dry it.

Step #6 – The Excess Olive Oil

We have to mention here that if you feel the floor is getting too oily and shiny, lessen down the quality of the oil. Every olive oil brand makes different olive oil, so your floor on the very first day will tell you in what quantity you must use the olive oil. To undo the quantity blunder, rather than panicking, just use a clean and dry microfiber pad or cloth and pat the extra oil from the floor. Better you do it manually rather than depending on a mop.

Step #7 – Check Your Hardwood

After your hardwood floor has dried well, check the floor keenly as the final step, of that day, at the least. Here, you will notice a shiny, beautiful, polished hardwood surface. Most of it will be ultra-clean, the scratches will be buffed and almost disappear, and your hardwood will be sleek and shining. But it is highly unlikely that all the scratches and dull spots will be gone on your first attempt. So, mark the areas that still have noticeable scratches and dull spots.

Step #8 – Finally The Final Step

You have thoroughly cleaned, buffed, and polished the whole room, thanks to the white vinegar and olive oil. So, wait for a day or two and then concentrate on those spots with the same cleaning solution. But this time, use a soft cotton cloth and fill a spray bottle with the same cleaning solution. Two tablespoons of white vinegar and one tablespoon of olive oil in half a liter of warm water, and your solution bottle is ready to use. Spray the solution on specific areas, rub the scratches and dull spots to buff and make them vanish, and bring the sheen back.

Those were the very few steps to clean, buff, polish a dirty, dull, dry hardwood floor full of germ, bacteria, and scratches. You can follow the steps and restore your dull hardwood floor at a low cost.

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