The Best Homemade Floor Cleaner for Mopping (Residue-Free)

There are many homemade floor cleaner recipes, but not all of them are safe for all floor types. If you’re looking for a DIY mopping solution safe for hardwood, laminate, linoleum, and most tiles, this is it.

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You only need four common ingredients to DIY homemade cleaner. It will cut through dirt and grease, leaving your floors clean.

Here’s how to make it.


The Ingredients You Need and Why They Matter

Before you throw together a homemade mopping solution, it’s essential to understand which ingredients are helpful and what they do. 


1. White Distilled Vinegar

Vinegar is a degreaser and has some disinfecting properties. It contains acetic acid, which aids in breaking through grease and stuck-on dirt. But because of vinegar’s high acid content, you should never use it undiluted on your floors. At high strength, vinegar can eat through the top coat of hardwood and laminate and etch natural stones.

2. Regular Dawn Dish Soap

Dish soap is a mild, ph neutral cleaner. It’s safe for almost all surfaces and can break down dirt and degrease. It’s important to use only plain dish soap in your cleaning recipes. Never use dish soap with bleach or added oils.

Also, avoid overusing soap, or it can leave a film on your floors.


3. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is not only a good cleaner and disinfectant, but when used in a mopping solution, it helps the floor dry faster and without streaks. So if you’re looking for a no-rinse floor cleaner, rubbing alcohol is a must.


4. Water

Too much of any cleaning agent can damage your floors. Always dilute homemade floor cleaners with an adequate amount of water.


Optional: Essential Oils

If you’re not a fan of the smell of vinegar or alcohol, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to mask the smell. Essential oils don’t aid in cleaning for this recipe, but you can use them to create a custom scent.


How to Make Homemade Floor Cleaner for Mopping

To make a homemade floor cleaner, combine the following ingredients:

  • 1 gallon of warm water
  • 1 cup of white distilled vinegar
  • ½ cup of 70% rubbing alcohol
  • ¼ teaspoon of Dawn dish soap
  • 20 drops of your favorite essential oils

How to use: Mix the ingredients in a bucket and add them to your mop’s reservoir tank or a spray bottle. Dampen your mop head with the solution and mop your floors—no need to rinse afterward.

Where to use: Use this on laminate, linoleum, ceramic tile, porcelain tile, and sealed hardwood floors. Avoid using this cleaner on natural stone like marble or slate, and don’t use this on unfinished wood.


Can You Use Half Vinegar and Half Water to Mop?

Be cautious when using white distilled vinegar on hardwood, laminate, and tile floors. The high acid content can eat through the floor’s sealant and grout. 

You can occasionally use a mix of half white distilled vinegar and half water on your floor when you need to cut through haze or soap build-up from another cleaner. Otherwise, dilute with at least four parts water to 1 part vinegar.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

How do I clean a sticky laminate floor?

If your laminate floor is sticky and there’s no apparent reason, it can be due to cleaner build-up. Mop your floors with a cleaner that combines vinegar, water, dish soap, and rubbing alcohol to cut through the residue.

How do you make a homemade floor cleaner that shines?

No homemade floor cleaner will make your floors shine if the top coat on your flooring is no longer intact. You can try a homemade cleaner with vinegar to eat through build-up that may be causing your floors to look dull. 

Can you clean vinyl floors with vinegar?

Vinyl flooring is durable and can handle most cleaning products. Still, since vinegar has a high acid content, you’ll need to dilute it with four parts water before using it to mop your vinyl.

Why do some mopping solutions leave a residue?

Mopping solutions containing too much soap (surfactants) leave residue behind. Surfactants are necessary for trapping dirt but can leave your floor looking streaky.

Final Thoughts

Be careful when making homemade floor cleaners. While rubbing alcohol and vinegar can aid in removing dirt and grease, adding too much of either ingredient will damage your floors. You can use this recipe on sealed hard floors but avoid using it on unfinished wood and natural stone.

If you don’t like making your cleaner, purchase one for your specific floor type or buy an all-purpose cleaner concentrate and dilute before mopping.