SoBo Mama's Tips & Tricks

{February 15, 2013}   Recipe: Homemade Floor Cleaner

Laminate flooring

Laminate flooring (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few years ago, my mother came to visit for Christmas, and she bought me a steam mop.  I loved my steam mop and used it very regularly, considering I’m not crazy about mopping.  Most of my house, at that time, was carpeted, and the steam mop was great for stain removal, too.

We purchased our home from Grizzly’s mama last June.  While we were visiting “the car house” grandparents and Jeepnmom during the first part of July, Grizzly paid one of his employees to rip out the carpeting and lay laminate flooring.  Not the bamboo or cork I love, but a pretty little laminate from Lumber Liquidators.  We returned to a whole new house!  Everything seems so much bigger now.  The living room, hallway, and kitchen all have wood-looking floors now and I love it.

Except the cleaning part.

Apparently, water isn’t great for this stuff.

My steam mop?  Yeah, it will cause the photos (the wood-look) to peel and curl up.

I purchased some cleaner at the grocery that was “Formulated for Laminate Flooring“” and it left my pretty new floors dull-looking and sticky-feeling.  I already missed the nasty carpet.  So I put my teacher hat on and Googled for a solution (no pun intended).  I found dozens of recipes, and kind of settled on this one, a combination of a few:

Laminate flooring

Laminate flooring (Photo credit: ☺ Lee J Haywood)


Combine the above ingredients in a spray bottle.  Spray a microfiber cloth or mop and clean your floor like you usually would.

I spent all of three dollars on the supplies for my cleaning solution.

I bought an O Cedar microfiber dust mop at Wal-Mart for this chore.  I do not spray the solution directly on the floor, only on the microfiber cover, though I probably could, since the alcohol speeds drying time.  I feel like it gets applied more evenly by spraying the cloth. I can make more covers for the mop, and I like that I can just toss them in with the rest of Mt. Washmore when I’m done.

I also now have an electrostatic broom, as my dollar straw broom wasn’t working as I’d have liked.English: Microfiber householdcloth

Some recipes also called for a few drops of dishsoap and essential oils.  The smell doesn’t bug me, honestly, and I was afraid of soap residue.

Do you use homemade cleaners?  Any favorite recipes?

~ Katie


strawberryquicksand says:

Ugh! I hate steam mops! I used to clean houses for a job and one woman insisted I use her steam mop. Maybe they have improved since she purchased hers, but this thing was lumpy, big, heavy, not particularly agile or easy to steer, and ran out of water quicker than a puddle on a hot day! I see ads on the telly for this amazing steamer cleaner thing with seventy two attachments, and cringe at the thought. It’s great that you managed to find such a cheap solution (again.. no pun intended.. lol!). 🙂

katiebman says:

Mine is a Shark, very lightweight – Monkey 2 can mop her bathroom, which is not laminate. Loved it! PaPaw and MaMaw have got one that has a little triangle mophead, and the monkeys maneuver it, too.

Hope Newby says:

I have invested so much money in cleaning supplies. I wish I could narrow it down to 3 or 4 things that would work on EVERYTHING.

katiebman says:

Google for homemade recipes. I promise, it’s so much less expensive and most recipes call for the same basic things. I buy vinegar, ammonia, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, peroxide, and Dawn dish soap, which covers pretty much anything I need!

That sounds great! I have wood flooring in my living room and hall, so I’ve got to try this. 🙂 I use vinegar instead of store bought rinse in my dish washer and a mixture of vinegar and baking soda in a plastic sandwich bag tied around the shower head and left an hour or two to clean up hard water build-up. Both work wonderfully for pennies. 🙂

katiebman says:

I’m doing more homemade cleaners all the time. It’s not that I’m going green – that’s just a side benefit – as much as I’m getting very cheap as time goes on! Vinegar and baking soda are great for clearing drains and garbage disposals as well!

I’m cheap and hyper sensitive to many cleaning products, so I look for more natural alternatives to those as much as possible.

Gail Canty says:

I have to say my ” Monster” steam mop is the best present i ever gave myself. I have spent 45 years hunting a decent mop. The Monster is the hottest one out there. I could use it on the wood floor when i had it and now on the travertine that is all over the house. My sister just bought this brand also and she said she loved it like she loved her iPhone!


katiebman says:

I promise, it’s the only thing I hate about the laminate. I wish now we’d spent the extra for real wood. I can still use it in the bathrooms and on the kids’ carpet for stains, at least.

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