My Secret Ingredient For Shiny Floors

7.31.2018

One of the questions I get asked the most is what do I clean my floors with? We had the wood floors installed around fifteen years ago or so and they may look nice in photos, but they are really very scratched. Oh, well, it just happens. If I had to do it over I would get a hand scraped look laminate, but when we got this flooring it was the thing to have. They are Santos Mahogony and not cheap so they won't be getting replaced. As far as keeping them shiny, well I use a secret ingredient that you most likely have in your pantry or cupboard.


Yep, my secret ingredient is good ole white vinegar. The flooring salesman told me to only clean my floors with vinegar and water and a damp mop. 

I was using a different mop, but it fell apart last week so I ordered this Rubbermaid mop from Amazon. I mix about one part vinegar with three parts water spray it on the floor, mop and done.
All natural and no chemicals.

I have always been afraid to use any kind of wood floor cleaner that says it leaves the floors nice and shiny because they can also leave a nice buildup and I already went through that years ago on our linoleum floor in our first home by using Mop N Glo. Anyone remember that stuff? It cleaned and shined, but then it became sticky and nasty and I had to strip the floor on my hands and knees with ammonia. Not fun at all!


I hope you try my secret for shiny floors and let me know how it works for you.

If y'all have any other questions for me ask away and I'll do more posts answering them.

Have a great day!



37 comments:

  1. Perfect timing, I need a new mop! Are you happy with this one?

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    1. I have only used it once, but yes, it works fine. I need to wash the pads and see if they absorb the moisture a bit better.

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    2. I've been using that same Rubbermaid mop for about 6 years - lots of use. It works great on 3 types of floors. Pads hold up well after many washings. Love shiny floors!

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  2. Wow, I am impressed. We installed wood floors in our bedrooms (originally tile, and really beat up), and I have been cleaning them just with water out of fear of messing them up. Will try the vinegar. Thank you for the tip!

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  3. Kim, My floor guy told me the same thing! It also is the best odor neutralizer for pet mistakes and sweaty clothes. I keep spray bottles of a vinegar and water solution in several places for pet cleanups or sometimes just to neutralize the musty odors on rainy days! Thanks for sharing! I have the same mop too! laura

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  4. I use vinegar sometimes. Other times I use Bona. I use a mop with a big head (rectangular) that has a terry cover (kinda like a big swiffer). I don't wet the mop. Our floors are probably around the same age as yours but we have been lucky I guess and they are not very scratched. But we have no children and one small dog. LOL I love wood floors. Given a choice, I would never do laminate or carpet. I know there is some nice laminate out there but it just doesn't compare to wood (IMHO). As wood ages it has such a nice patina. I think yours look very pretty! Have you thought of refinishing?

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  5. Oh I forgot to add - I like the question post. I'll have to try to think of a question. LOL Also, I miss your occasional fashion posts and posts on healthy eating, etc. Just a thought!

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    1. I'm afraid the weight is back up and after dieting all my life I'm learning not to fret over it. I still eat pretty healthy and I exercise every other day so I don't burn out. I have to do these things for my bones. I'm back to a size twelve and that's okay. It used to be the average size in the US and the other day I heard size 16 is the average. I have never liked being in photos, but was in fashion mode when I had lost the weight several years ago.

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  6. I’ve never thought about using vinegar but yours sure look good, and with quality wood like you have you, could always refinish. We bought the lowest grade of hardwood, cabin grade, over ten years ago, and even with three kids, skateboards, toy trucks, etc., they still look great. I have used the Shark steamer since we put them in and love how it cleans but I did use that orange hardwood floor cleaner one time and they looked great for about a week then they got this dull film, so I went back to the Shark and that took it off.

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  7. I used Mop N Glo in the late 70's and had the same experience! Not fun at all!

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  8. Kim, vinegar has so many wonderful purposes. I have also used on my wood floors with great results,

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  9. Kim,
    I was one of your readers who asked how you got your floors so shiny and have been adding vinegar to my steam mop since you revealed the secret! Boy, I do have flashbacks of Mop N Glo and remember the sticky residue it left on my kitchen floor in my first house and having to strip it.

    We have oak pre-finished hw floors in our house and the installer told us they could be re-finished twice. I know dark ebony floors where all the rave for a while and I think they beautiful in some surroundings but I have heard many complain who had them that they are difficult to maintain because they show every speck of dirt, hair, scratch, etc

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  10. I have both hardwoods and laminate in my home and have always used vinegar and water. I use it for a lot of household cleaning...microwave, refrigerator, etc. Cheap and works well and the smell goes away as soon as it dries.

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  11. Oh and that mop looks great. I just put it on my shopping list at Amazon!

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  12. Well, I'll be darned! I use a water and vinegar solution for mirrors, windows, etc. but never thought of using it on floors because I thought it would smell too much when spread over a large area. I'm onboard though because those floors of yours are amazing. Thanks!

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  13. My entire house is red oak...even the bathroom (which isn't the best idea but it's a done deal)...I was told to use Bona and it's ok but, in you opinion, is vinegar and water better??

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    1. I'm sure Bona is okay, but I am afraid of a build up with that so I use vinegar and water as suggested.

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  14. Can u tell me where you found your barstools?? Spent most of today shopping for some. Want light and airy. Love yours!

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  15. Your house is one of my all-time favorites. I love everything about it, inside and out.

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  16. Great tip Kim! I use vinegar all over our house but never the floors. I'll have to give this is try. I love the beautiful color of your floors, btw. :)

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  17. Always love your photos and blog, Kim! Can you please link your backsplash tile and pendant lights? Love them!

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    1. Kim, I don't normally add links because I don't do affiliate links and the products were not given to me. The tile is from Floor & Decor if you have one near you and I ordered the pendants on line. They are by Hinkley and you can probably find them on any on line lighting site. Thanks

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  18. Hi Kim,
    I actually have this mop. It is the best and I love that you can throw the pads in the wash. I use vinegar too. It does make everything sparkle. Happy New Week.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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  19. I've had original hardwood floors in two of my homes; the first we had sanded. left them natural (oak) and put on a poly finish. The next house we had them sanded and left natural (again oak) and waxed. When I got a scratch, and we certainly did with two young and very active boys, the floor refinisher told me to rub Endust into the scratch with a clean cotton sock or cotton rag and it actually worked. Never did an entire room, just "spot treated: the deep scratches/

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  20. I have engineered hardwood floors and they said not to use water on them. But a gal I hired to do a one time cleaning used water and an added cleaner and the floors looked amazing! So perhaps I need to try it once my Bona is gone.

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    1. Yes, you don't won't water sitting on the floors. This is just a spray and then mop it off. Cleans and shines and no chemicals or build up.

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  21. Okay, I need to try this! I use a vinegar mix to clean everywhere else in my house but never used plain vinegar with water for our hardwood floors that I am a slave to, well I mostly ignore them. They look great after cleaning but the minute someone walks on them they're a mess. Having a house full of company at the end of the month and will definitely be trying this! Our floors are very similar to yours, so I'm hopeful!!! Thank you!!!

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  22. I have hardwood in about 75% if my house. I have only used vinegar and water to clean up pet mishaps, but I will be trying it now. Thanks so much for your tips.

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  23. I used Mop n Glo too and had the same mess:( I use water and a cleaner mix but will try the vinegar. Actually I just vacummed so may try it today! My neighbor uses the same mixture.

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  24. Is it OK to use the vinegar/ water combination on laminate

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    1. I don't know why it wouldn't be. It's a natural cleaner.

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  25. I have a tip for everyone who uses the flat stick on washable pads pictures in Kim's post. Do not put them in the dryer or use fabric softener. I used to clean homes and model homes, when washing these pads Rinse them out of the dirt and grit and try to wash them just by them selves and always Line Dry. They tend to pick up lint in the dryer and loose their stick on abilities. These will last for years, I just buy multiplies of them and when I have enough for a load,then hand rinse them out and then runthru the washer and line dry. Last forever Happy Cleaning friends !

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    1. Yes, good tip. I always lay mine out to dry.

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