Can You Clean Wood Floors with Dish Soap?

Hardwood floors are indeed a beautiful addition to any home. Not only they are highly durable, but with proper care and maintenance they can even last you a lifetime. One of the main benefits of hardwood flooring is that it does not require much maintenance. With a little effort and a few easy-to-find cleaning supplies, you can keep your hardwood floors looking sparkling clean and beautiful. While some may prefer to use only professional cleaning products on their hardwood, dish soap and the right mop can also produce the same desirable results at a fraction of the cost.

Here are some guidelines you may want to consider for cleaning your hardwood floors using dish soap:

  1. Choose the correct type – For cleaning to be effective, it’s important that you choose a dish soap with a neutral pH. You can either opt for a regular or an organic one to avoid chemicals. However, avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners as they can damage or make your floors look dull overtime.
  2. Sweep the floor using a high quality broom – Use a good quality broom to sweep up any dust or dirt off your floors. You can even use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dirt from hard-to-reach corners and especially, if there are cracks or loose planks on your flooring. However, make sure not to use vacuum cleaners that come with a beater bar or hard brush.
  3. Prepare the mixture – Add two or three drops of dish soap into a spray bottle filled with a quart of warm water. Shake the mixture well to ensure even distribution, and spray it in an S-shape onto the floor and mop with a dry cloth mop. Ideally, you can even use a bucket for making the hardwood floor cleaner. For this, you need to add about six to seven drops in a bucket filled with a gallon of warm water. Dip you mop in the soapy bucket and wring it out thoroughly before mopping to avoid the excess water from dripping on to your hardwood.
  4. Use the right mop and in the right way – Use a flat terry cloth or microfiber cloth mop to evenly distribute the dish soap over your hardwood. Never wet mop your wood floor as excess moisture can severely damage your wood finish. Hence, always make sure to wipe away the excess water after damp mopping. Mop with soapy water in a back and forth motion until clean. Repeat this step for cleaning the entire surface including corners and other difficult spots. However, be sure to do this cleaning method in sections so that you can keep track of how much water is used and how quickly it is dried up.
  5. Remove the soapy solution – Make sure you wipe off all the soapy solution from your floor. For this, you may either mop again using fresh water or a little vinegar mixed with warm water. Vinegar is a little acidic but it will help to rinse off any soap build-up. Finally buff your floor with a clean, soft and dry cloth to remove any excess water. By doing so, you can ensure that your floors are completely dry and streak-free.

Useful tips for maintaining the beauty and sheen of your hardwood floor:

  • Make it a daily routine to vacuum and dust mop in order to prevent dirt from accumulating and damaging the hardwood surfaces.
  • Apply protective pads underneath all furniture legs to reduce scratching and denting to your wooden floors.
  • Sprinkle a bit of baking soda on to a damp cloth to remove any scuff marks or stains.
  • Damp mop using a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar mixed with a gallon of warm water to restore the shine to your wood floor.
  • Put up window treatments to prevent direct sunlight from damaging your floor and causing discoloration.

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