• Alette Nalder

DIY: How to clean hardwood floors and surfaces without harsh chemicals

Are you hoping to clean and prolong the life of your hardwood surfaces without the use of harsh chemicals?

Are you concerned about damaging your hardwood surfaces when cleaning? What is safe to use? Can I do it for cheap?

What if I told you that you do not need to break the bank just to clean your hardwood floor or surfaces?

A hand uses a microfibre towel to lightly moisten hardwood surface with non chemical cleaning agent
Cleaning hardwood floors without harsh chemicals

With just household items and a bit of elbow grease, you can clean, disinfect and protect your hardwood floors and surfaces. Plus, you can do so without costing the environment!

Most hardwood floor cleaning products may not be expensive. However, if we consider the number of products we're buying and replenishing, the amount of plastic packaging we use, the amount of waste that goes to the landfill... the list goes on.

Why go through that environmental guilt when the items that you already have in the pantry can do the same job, if not better?

The things you need to clean your hardwood floors and surfaces without harsh chemicals

Remember these steps:

1. Clean

2. Disinfect

3. Protect

A non-descript pump bottle with a natural dishwashing liquid sits with a brown sponge leaning on it. A blue microfibre towel is rolled up beside it.
Cleaning your Hardwood surfaces or floors!

1. Clean

- All-natural dish soap

- A sponge

- Microfibre towel

A brown glass spray bottle sits on a deck outdoors. There is a label on the bottle stating that it has water, h202 and tea tree oil inside.
H202 Cleaner - natural disinfectant

2. Disinfect

- 500ml Water

- 3tsp Hydrogen Peroxide (h2O2)

- 1tsp tea tree oil

- Microfiber towel

A green bottle of olive oil sits on a wooden surface with a whole lemon next to it.
Protect your hardwood surfaces naturally

3. Protect

- Extra virgin Olive oil

- Lemon juice

- Microfiber towel

Method; How to clean hardwood floors and surfaces without chemicals

1. Sweep the surface with a soft-bristled indoor broom.

A hand uses a soft bristeled brush to gently brush dust and debris from the surface of the hardwood floor.
Sweep, sweep, sweep!

2. Cleaning the surface with mild or vegetable-based dish soap with a microfiber towel or sponge.

• Using a small bowl, mix 2 teaspoons of mild or vegetable-based dish soap and a cup of water.

• Dip microfiber towel or sponge in the solution and apply the solution onto the wooden bench and rub off any dirt or grime.

• Wipe over with a damp towel.

3. Disinfecting your hardwood surface with hydrogen peroxide

A hand sprays A mix of h202, tea tree and water to disinfect a wooden surface
h2O2 and tea tree oil, an excellent disinfectant!
  • 500ml Water

  • 3tsp Hydrogen Peroxide (h2O2)

  • 1tsp tea tree oil (Nature's Disinfectant)

- Mix all in a spray bottle and shake well!

- Simply Spray and wipe with a clean Microfiber towel

4. Protect your hardwood floor and surface!

As most hardwood floors and surfaces are protected by varnish I would not recommend doing spot varnishing. An area that has a significant amount of damage would require sanding of the whole surface and restaining.

Instead, a simple olive oil varnish on the damaged area will visually minimize the damage. *Please note that this will only work on finished wood.

Add Lemon Juice to Olive oil for a Citrus Scent and for it's Antibacterial properties
Squeeze out the lemon juice
Olive oil is being added to a metal bowl which has the ends of a lemon and lemon juice inside.
Add some EVOO

• Combine two parts extra virgin olive oil to one part lemon juice (For a citrus scent and antibacterial properties).

A hand dips a green microfibre towel into a bowl containing olive oil and lemon juice.
Dip a small edge of the microfibre towel
A hand is displaying the small amount of olive oil/lemon mixture on their microfibre towel.
You don't need too much!

• Apply the mixture on a microfiber cloth or a lint-free cloth.

• Apply the mixture in a circular motion a little at a time and make sure it is evenly distributed.

A hand wipes the lemon and extra virgin olive oil mixutre over the wooden surface, leaving a sheen on the wood.
Gently does it!

Remember you're not looking to over saturate the surface and create a slip hazard. Apply a little at a time, and gently "massage" it into the grain of the wood.

A quick after shot!

DIY: How to clean hardwood floors and surfaces without harsh chemicals

Is there an alternative to Hydrogen Peroxide?

What if I don't have any hydrogen peroxide at home?

We recommend having a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide in your first aid kit. It is great for disinfecting any minor cuts or wounds for any accident in the kitchen.

However, an alternative to hydrogen peroxide is a simple homemade vinegar surface spray. The recipe is as follows;

Vinegar solution

• 90:10 water & vinegar solution.

• Recommend having the mixture in a spray bottle (Re-purpose your old clean and spray bottles).

• Disclaimer; do not spray the vinegar solution on glued corner joints as it may slowly eat away the glue and certain kinds of finishes.

The benefits of using Olive oil to finish or protect your hardwood surfaces

Olive oil is an abundant product that is readily available in most homes.

From the quick after shot, we can see a slight shine to the finish of the hardwood. Not only does it moisturise the hardwood, but it also prevents and protects the hardwood from moisture damage due to either the humidity or from any accidental spillage.

As you can see from the above photos, you don't need much of it to attain the finish you want. Also, it leaves an organic feel to the wooden surface.

You'd be amazed at how long the finish will remain too. Definitely, a cheap alternative way to maintain those expensive hardwood floors!


There you have it! A simple way to clean your hardwood floors and surfaces without the use of nasty chemical cleaners.

With these simple tips, you can prolong the life of your hardwood floors and surfaces. It is not only, cheap and sustainable, but it also saves you from any future big expenses trying to restore damaged surfaces!

We'd recommend doing it on a biannual basis (every 6 months), if not more, as it is completely safe to repeat as often as possible!

Do you have any other sustainable cleaning methods for cleaning your hardwood surfaces?

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