Floors are essential and necessary. Their type and design however, can be chosen from a wide range of options. Whether they are ceramic, vinyl or hardwood, they all need regular maintenance. The best way to preserve them for a long time is if you use gentle cleaners. To be more precise, I’m referring to essential oil floor cleaner solutions.
Read on to find out details about:
- The benefits (reasons) of using essential oils to clean your floors with.
- Various types of flooring, with maintenance tips and natural, herbal floor cleaning recipes for each.
- What therapeutic essences to use when cleaning your home.
- Plus, a few safety words about their use around children and pets.
Essential Oil Floor Cleaner Solutions for Ceramic, Hardwood and Vinyl Flooring
When it comes to flooring, it’s a good thing we have so many choices. It may not be such a good thing when we have to clean them though. But, since we have to do it anyway, why not use the right products?!
Commercial cleaning products are usually very expensive. On top of that, they are also synthetic and harmful to the environment and our health.
It’s true that today, technology is more advanced and the products are much improved. They smell very nice, they have the right texture and they look very attractive too.
Cleaning products on the market can clean very well and remove dirt and grease effectively. But at the same time, they can also damage the flooring materials (color, fiber). In time, that causes the floors to lose their endurance.
More and more people turn towards the use of botanical extracts every year. Whether it’s for their well-being or cleaning the house, people like using essential oils. With good reason too, as they are useful at almost anything that crosses your mind.
How Can Essential Oils Help Cleaning Floors?
Herbal oils have many great properties. They are highly concentrated plant extracts with antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral effects. They can kill bacteria, germs and viruses and inhibit mold and mildew growth.
Essential oils can also deal with foul odors and disinfect floor surfaces. They can do much more, but in cleaning, these aspects are what truly matters.
Using homemade floor cleaners with essential oils can:
- Purify the air,
- Stop bacteria and germs growth,
- Make you feel better.
If you want to use citrus essential oils in your floor cleaners:
- I suggest making fresh new batches each time you need them. Monoterpenes especially (like citral) react faster with acidic substances like vinegar. This results in their faster-than-normal degradation, which decreases their potency too.
Not all plant essences have this characteristic though. Other essential oils (e.g.: Cinnamon) are a lot more stable.
If however, you want to make more of a solution, don’t add vinegar or anything acidic in it. It can be done at the moment of cleaning. Also keep the solution stored in the fridge.
Essential oils don’t leave oily residues on the floor. They are not truly oils as they contain no fatty acids like vegetable oils do. These aromatic essences are highly volatile and evaporate into the air very fast. That is how they’re able to kill bacteria and prevent their growth. A good side effect to that is air purification.
Being powerful aromatic essences, essential oils need to be used in small quantities. Always mix them with a neutral base before adding them to water.
Salt and baking soda in cleaning recipes are the best. The salts will help disperse the oil molecules evenly into the water. Otherwise, they would just pool and float above the water.
Next, I will give you tips and herbal floor cleaner recipes for three types of flooring: ceramic, hardwood and vinyl.
Ceramic Flooring Natural Care
Ceramic flooring is very beautiful (and expensive!). Ceramic tiles can be very versatile, durable and low-maintenance. This is extremely good news, as you’ll know for sure your investment will have worth it in the years to come.
Yet, low-maintenance doesn’t mean “no maintenance”. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your ceramic flooring in the best condition possible:
- Wipe spills as soon as they happen. Spills and dirt should not be allowed to sit for too long on ceramic floors.
- Sweep and vacuum regularly. This’ll ensure no debris makes itself comfortable inside the grout or tiles.
- Use warm water when mopping the ceramic floor. A homemade ceramic floor cleaner will maintain your tiles glossy and preserve their color.
An essential oil floor cleaner with vinegar and warm water is gentle enough. Yet, it is also effective for ceramic floors. It is safe for children and pets too.
Homemade Ceramic Floor Cleaner Recipe
- Warm water: 1 gallon (3.8 liters)
- Vinegar: 1 cup
- Salt: 2 teaspoons
- Lemongrass essential oil: 10 drops
- Grapefruit essential oil: 10 drops
First mix the oils with the salt. Add vinegar to the water, stir and then add the salt and oils over. Stir well every time before mopping. Use a gentle mop to wash the floor after first vacuuming.
Salt is also great at neutralizing odors. Lemongrass gives the floor cleaner disinfectant and antibacterial/antifungal properties. Grapefruit will lend its fresh aroma to the whole house.
Hardwood Flooring Natural Care
Hardwood flooring is a precious investment. It’s an investment that gives a home a warm and welcoming feeling. Any trace of dirt or grime can be seen (or felt) on hardwood flooring, unlike a carpet.
Because of that, you might want to make yourself a good floor cleaning routine. It’ll not seem like a big effort once you get used to it. Here are a few tips (and steps):
- Using a broom on this type of flooring is not exactly a great idea. It usually pushes the dust and dirt around. Instead, vacuum as often as possible.
- Follow up with a dusting (dry) all over the floor. Use microfiber mops because they are built to trap dust, allergens, dirt, etc. Make sure your vacuum doesn’t scratch the wood though!
- You can then go ahead and spray a fine layer of a floor wash recipe with essential oils. You don’t want to soak the wood with too much watery solution.
Hardwood Herbal Floor Cleaner Recipe
- Distilled water (pure): 17 fl. Oz (500 ml)
- Baking soda: 2 tablespoons
- Pine essential oil: 7 drops
- Lavender essential oil: 7 drops
- Spray bottle
Mix the baking soda with the essential oils. Then add them to the water in the spray bottle. Keep it stored in the fridge and give it a good shake before each use.
Spray all over the hardwood flooring a fine mist and leave it on for 5 – 10 minutes. Follow up with a damp microfiber mop.
Vinyl Flooring Natural Care
Vinyl flooring is 100% plastic. It is often mistaken for laminate flooring, which is in fact 99% wood. Vinyl flooring is more resistant to moisture, thus easier to maintain.
It also has a long life and with today’s advancements in technology, it can look very impressive. Because of these features, they’re mostly found in bathrooms.
Maintaining your vinyl floors clean is again, the one thing that helps them stay in good shape for a very long time.
- Vinyl flooring can be swept daily.
- Avoid cleaning them with hot water. Only warm water is preferred.
- Even though they’re moisture resistant, vinyl flooring should not be drenched in cleaning solutions. Too much water can get to the glue bond in between edges and cracks. That’ll cause the flooring to curl, bubble or come loose. This is where you can use a spray floor wash recipe or a fresh mop solution.
Homemade Vinyl Floor Cleaner Recipe (Foamy)
- Castile Soap: 3 teaspoons
- Baking soda: ½ cup
- Vinegar: 3.5 fl. Oz (100 ml)
- Lemon essential oil: 10 drops
- Thyme essential oil: 10 drops
- Lavender essential oil: 10 drops
Make this floor cleaner recipe and keep it stored in a cool, dark place. The fridge is a good place for that. Add about 1.5 – 2 fl. Oz. (50 – 60 ml) of this blend to 3 liters (0.80 gallons) of warm water. This homemade vinyl floor cleaner should last for up to 10 floor washes.
For laminate flooring, follow the same tips and recipe as for the hardwood flooring.
Essential Oils to Use for Floor Cleaning, plus How Safe They Are around Children and Pets
As you can see, essential oils make great aromatic floor cleaners. The benefits of using such floor wash recipes meet all needs and expectations. Aromatic oils can:
- Protect our health by preventing viral infections (the flu, colds, respiratory problems, etc.).
- They can also ease up tension in the muscles and calm down body spasms and heart rate. This leads to a lower blood pressure.
- Aroma oils can also help induce labor or speed up the recovery and regeneration of the skin (wound, surgery, etc.).
- Cosmetically speaking, they’re very active ingredients that deal with wrinkles and brown spots. They’re useful for spider veins, acne and scars, and of course, stretch marks.
- Some can even stimulate hair growth and give it luster.
- Essential oils can repel insects. Homemade essential oil floor cleaner solutions are a good way of keeping insects away.
- They can change the ambiance of the entire house and put everyone in a good mood.
Next, a few disinfecting essential oils to use in your homemade floor cleaners. They are chosen not only for their therapeutic effects and power, but also for their fragrance.
Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Bergamot, Lemongrass, etc.
Citrus essential oils are good antibacterials and antivirals. They can also protect from infections. Citrus oils lend the house and flooring a very fresh and pleasant scent. Lemongrass has a citrusy scent but it is also crisper, which makes it a great floor cleaner.
Pine, Fir, Juniper, etc.
These essences are very appropriate for use in household cleaning. Their fresh, forest- like fragrance is relaxing and pleasant. They “scream” cleanliness! Plus, their effects on the psyche and nervous system are well-known and appreciated.
Peppermint and Eucalyptus (radiata & globulus)
With a fresh and crisp scent, these essential oils make a great homemade floor cleaner. They’re highly antibacterial and antiviral, and also antifungal.
Lavender and Spike Lavender
These essences are generally safe in pretty much all situations. Lavender has antimicrobial, antiviral and anti-mold properties. It also has anti-anxiety effects and smells very clean and floral.
Citronella and Litsea Cubeba
They work very well in repellant floor cleaning recipes. But they also have antibacterial and uplifting effects.
This essential oil has powerful, proven antibacterial effects. It also deals with fungal growth, parasites and viruses. Its scent is maybe a bit too crisp and clean, almost medicinal. But it usually works well in blends with more powerful essences.
Cinnamon essential oil has a powerful scent, being more of a base note. Use it with caution as it may overpower your blend of aromas. It has a wide range of action on all sorts of germs, bacteria and viruses.
Clove is almost similar in effects, but it smells more pungent and spicy. It can also overpower other fragrances.
Other essential oils to use in homemade floor cleaners:
- Atlas Cedarwood
There are lots of options if you want to use natural floor cleaners. They are non-toxic and relatively safe to use around the house.
You should be more cautious if you have in the house someone with any health condition. Some oils can trigger seizures or asthma attacks. Others can cause allergic reactions. And others may irritate the mucus membranes if used in a large amount.
Also, pregnant and breastfeeding women must not use essential oils. Especially during the first 3 months. After that, they should consult with their doctor about the use of Aromatherapy.
Babies and children under 3 years of age are more sensitive to most essential oils. Only a few essential oils can be used around them. Even so, avoid their use if you don’t have medical consent.
Always perform an allergic test in advance. Read more about using Aromatherapy with children.
Pets could also be in trouble if the wrong essential oils are used. Dogs are more resistant, but cats have a separate processing mechanism. Thus, they’re more sensitive to aromatic oils. Leave your doors open when using an essential oil floor cleaner, so they can walk away.
It’s wise to make sure that everyone in the house is okay with the aromatic oil you intend to use, before proceeding. This is a sure way of avoiding unnecessary complications. In fact, taking all necessary precautions is what makes essential oils safe.
Essential oils can be used for an environment-friendly floor cleaning. Quite successfully, I might add. Their benefits surpass those of commercial cleaners in so many ways. They’re easy to find and use and they can help you make some good savings.
Using homemade essential oil floor cleaner solutions might prove not only effective, but fun too! Will you try one next time you need to do flooring maintenance?