In this situation, some people may turn to homemade, DIY products and instructions for concocting such cleaners regularly circulate on social media. What they don’t tell you is that a lot of these DIY cleaners can actually cause serious damage to your floors and furniture. Plus, many solutions aren’t nearly as eco-friendly as they claim.
The truth is that there are plenty of safe and eco-friendly wood cleaners that are affordable, effective, and get the job done better than the DIY alternatives.
Vinegar: Good for Salads, Bad for Wooden FlooringOne of the most popular “DIY solutions” presented is vinegar. While a solution made of vinegar and water may appear risk-free and be better for the environment than many harsh chemicals, using these solutions to clean wooden surfaces can be detrimental.
Vinegar is also known as acetic acid, and it can strip away protective stains and coatings, leaving wooden surfaces prone to yellowing or other discoloration. Vinegar can even react with some wood types to permanently darken them, leading to the formation of black spots that can be difficult to remove.
Acid & Water-Based Cleaners May Warp Wooden FlooringBe sure to stay away from mixtures made from vinegar or citrus juice and water. When the vinegar or citrus acids strip the protective coating, it not only leaves the outer surfaces of the wood vulnerable, but it also encourages the wood to absorb the water used in these mixtures, leading to water damage.
Once that is done, the now-unprotected wooden surfaces can even absorb water from humid air over time. Even if you don’t notice any changes right away, your surface may begin to appear warped over the course of days or weeks.
In serious cases of warping, floorboard or parquet tiles may end up unlevel with the surrounding flooring. Unlevel flooring tends to undergo larger amounts of damage and can pose a dangerous tripping hazard, as the unprotected wood is more commonly bumped into or kicked during everyday use.
How to Clean Hardwood Properly with Eco-Friendly Products
Wooden surfaces should be cleaned with specially formulated, carefully pH-balanced products that have been tested and found safe for wood.
Natural wood soaps are ideal for oiled wood surfaces. WOCA Natural Soap has been formulated specifically for oil-finished surfaces and helps to protect them from weathering caused by heavy foot traffic and normal wear-and-tear. This all-natural, eco-friendly, and low VOC product is made with soy and coconut oils, forming an invisible and non-slip layer that protects your wooden floors.
Before applying any cleaner, you should always sweep your hardwood flooring well. After clearing away dirt and debris, pre-treat any problem spots with a high-quality spot remover.
Lightly mist your floor or wooden fixture with cleaner. For floors and large wood surfaces, avoid pooling by using a well-made spray mop.
A proper cleaning schedule is essential for maintenance and can be made easier with the right products. For regular maintenance, use a spray-based natural soap product like WOCA Natural Soap Spray, which is ideal for smaller cleanup tasks.
For deeper cleaning, WOCA Oil Refreshing Soap can extend the life of your wood with an oil finish and offer superior protection against dirt and residue buildup.
Make the Right Choice for Your Wooden FlooringQuick-fix, DIY solutions that you find online can be tempting, but the potential consequences of an improper cleaner can lead to a headache (or damage) that far outweighs any time you save. They are typically made out of ingredients like vinegar or citrus juices. The high acid content in these mixtures strips your wooden flooring of protective coating and can leave wood susceptible to increased discoloration and damage.
The most dependable cleaning options are the ones designed for wooden floors. Rather than putting your home or your decor at risk, choose trustworthy, eco-friendly, and wood-safe cleaning products. Browse WOCA’s full line of cleaning and maintenance products that extend the lifespan of your wooden floors and make cleaning easier (and faster!) over time.