Friday, May 18, 2007
Cleaning Wood Floors with Vinegar
I have read on other cleaning experts' pages where using distilled white vinegar to clean a wood or laminated floor will cause it to become dull. That the "acid" will damage the floor. Then these same people recommend microfiber mops to clean the floor. Please do not follow this bad advice. It is NOT the vinegar that causes the problem.
These people need to study their fabrics and do their homework. It is the microfiber mops that causes the damage not vinegar. Microfiber is made from 80 to 85% polyester. Polyester is plastic and plastic scratches. With time, it not only will scratch the dirt off the surface, it will continue to "scratch" the finish off the floor as well. It will take the clear or gel coat off a vehicle, the finish off cabinets and the paint off a wall. I have had microfiber manufacturers from Taiwan and China admit this to me only the advertising does not mention that with continued use microfiber will remove a finish, sealant or paint.
Also do not follow the advice of other cleaning experts who recommend using cotton string mops. It is impossible to wring out the excell moisture. That moisture will work between the boards and it will warp them.
Wood floor challenge: If you want to test this for yourself, take a brand new wood floor. Clean half of it with a 100% cotton terry towel (the towel must be made here in America or it may contain 20% polyester) 2 tablespoons of white vinegar per quart of water. Spray the towel until it is just damp enough to damp mop. Mop one half with this solution and the other side with water and a microfiber mop. Within a year the side that has been cleaned with the microfiber will have dulled and the vinigar side will still look brand new. I cleaned homes professionally for over 12 years - none of my clients floors were damaged in that time by vinegar and water.
Murphy Oil Soap: Other cleaning experts also recommend using Murphy Oil Soap. Two of my customers had to have their floors sanded and refinished because their prior cleaning ladies used Murphy's on their floors and it gummed up the finish by softening it. Murphy Oil Soap does not belong on wood or laminated floors.
Vinegar is not like other acids. It's a natural acid. When mixed with water, the acid in the vinegar neutralizes the alakali in the water so the water is now a balanced PH. Water spots are slow to form if at all it cannot dull the floor. You do not need to use more than 1/4 cup vinegar per gallon of water unless your water is quite hard then perhaps 1/3 cup. The floors are dulling by microfiber mops or Murphy Oil Soap NOT by vinegar.
This article may be reprinted but credit must be given to Mary Findley and her website www.goclean.com. All rights reserved world wide.