In Cleaning, DIY, Essential Oils, Evergreen, Homemaking, Spring
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’ve mentioned before that our home was a serious Fixer Upper. We had been lifelong renters when we discovered we could buy a junker, spruce it up ourselves, and pay less per month for our mortgage than we were paying in rent! SCORE! Our remodel was, hands down, the hardest time in our marriage. We can now, after ten years of marriage, work together like pros…we dub the remodel our “training grounds”. Bless every frustrating minute of it!

Before becoming a homeowner, I always knew I wanted dark wood floors. I just knew it. It was as though dark flooring was innate, always a part of me, I had to have them. Didn’t necessarily care if it was real or laminate, just wanted that dark walnut color.

You’ll never get them clean” they said. “You’ll regret getting such dark flooring” they warned.

Away with you naysayers, I WANT MY DARK FLOORS! And dark floors I got! 

Ugh, I hate admitting that the naysayers knew what they were talking about! I can never get them clean and I regret getting them! Don’t get me wrong, they’re gorgeous, but they need cleaning ALL.THE.TIME!

Then, about the time I discovered essential oils, I concocted this magical potion that actually cleans and neither streaks, nor adds toxins to my home! Hip-hip-hooray!

Be gone you naysayers! I’m fighting back with my super-awesome, super affordable, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial cleaner! Are you ready for it?   

  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup white vinegar (you can go non-GMO here, but you’re not eating it, so I keep with the cheap stuff!)
  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol*
  • 3 drops Liquid Castile Soap
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil (anti-microbial)
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil (disinfectant)
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil** (anti-bacterial)

Mix all ingredients together in a 16oz. glass spray bottle and reap the benefits of a streak free, shiny and happy floor!

Caution: You can sub peroxide for the vinegar and alcohol, but don’t substitute peroxide for the alcohol only. The combination of peroxide and vinegar creates peracetic acid which is very corrosive and can burn the eyes/skin and, if inhaled, can burn the throat and lungs. 

Recipe adapted from The Paleo Mama 

Glass Amber Spray Bottle

* There is some debate whether rubbing alcohol is considered “safe” as it can cause skin/eye irritation with prolonged or repeated contact and it can seep through your pores, affecting the liver and kidneys. Taking this into consideration, I still choose to use it as I am not exposing my skin to the cleaner, and I only let my kiddos walk (or crawl) on the floor once they are completely dry.  Keep in mind, if you substitute peroxide, this solution won’t be “streak free”. The alcohol speeds up the drying time, therefore no streaking.  (Source) 

** Get creative with your essential oil add-ins. If you don’t care for the scent of peppermint, these other oils have tested just as resistant to bacteria: Lemongrass, eucalyptus and orange.

Our family chooses to use Plant Therapy for their high quality, pure, therapeutic grade essential oils, offered at affordable prices. For $10 off your first order (first time customers only), click through our Plant Therapy link in the sidebar and use promo code: signup10.

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Showing 15 comments
  • Kourtney
    Kourtney
    Reply

    I remember walking into your home last summer asking what smelled so good, and we figured out that it was your floor cleaner. So stoked to have my very own bottle now! Cut the alcohol by half because I was worried about Mr. M’s asthma. Even with the reduction, it still makes a fantastic glass cleaner too! 🙂

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      Haha! My nose can always pick out the vinegar smell over the essential oils, but once it’s dry I don’t smell anything. Glad company only smells the good part! Thanks for the info on the reduction of alcohol too! A great option for those that don’t love using it.

  • Cheryl
    Reply

    Thinking of the RV here…….would this also work as a countertop and bathroom cleaner? Looking at the amber 8 oz glass spray bottles. What do you think? Or, would another recipe be better for the general (not floor) cleaning?

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      We love Branch Basics for all other cleaning, but this should also work great! You could easily sub the hydrogen peroxide for the alcohol and vinegar (see caution above) since streaking shouldn’t be an issue, could even use it for tub and toilets! And I’d stick with the glass bottle since you’d be adding essential oils.

  • lauren
    Reply

    Made mine and work great! Although I have to say the vinegar smell is a little overwhelming. More essential oil? Also I only had a plastic bottle. Is there an advantage to using glass with this and the hand soap?

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      I would say more essential oil, also try different scents, some may cover the vinegar smell more than others. I can smell the vinegar a bit, but the oils usually win out after it’s been sprayed. And yes, glass is best when using essential oils. They’re pretty potent and can actually damage/corrode the plastic.

  • Pookie
    Reply

    I never thought to use Castile and had fine results using regular dish soap. Now I’m curious….what is the difference?

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      The difference would be the ingredients. Mainstream dish soaps like Dawn have harmful ingredients you don’t want on your skin (or in your body through absorption). Castile soap is made from vegetable oils (traditionally olive oil from the Castile region of Spain) and sodium hydroxide. If you don’t have Castile soap, any liquid dish soap that scores well on ewg.org should substitute just fine.

  • Shelly
    Reply

    As one of the “naysayers”, I’m so glad you found something that works!

  • Cheryl
    Reply

    PS. I also cleaned my baseboards with this with good results. Does this cleaner need to be made fresh for each use or does it store well?

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      If you use filtered water, it should last for a couple months (or more, my batch is always used up by then), but if using tap water, it may only last a few weeks as impurities or “other things” in the water may cause cloudiness. Glad this worked on the baseboards, I never thought to use it for that!

  • Cheryl
    Reply

    Cleaned my hardwoods today after the big Thanksgiving feast. Floors look beautiful! I used hydrogen peroxide as did not have rubbing alcohol on hand. Hard to comment on the scent as turkey soup is simmering on the stove!

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      We here at Full of Days appreciate when our readers utilize the information we’re sharing, have success, and report back to us their experiences, thank you so much Cheryl for your comments

      …will we see you at Christmas this year mom? 😉

  • Tammy
    Reply

    Do you think this would work on hardwood floors? 🙂

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      While I’m not an expert on hardwood flooring, from what I’ve read, this should work great. The alcohol content is small, and as long as your floors are sealed properly, this should do the trick! I would consider “conditioning” and “re-sealing” your hardwood floors every once in a while (at least annually) to be sure they’re properly protected, but otherwise, this should be fine.

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