Can You Use Vinegar To Clean Hardwood Floors?

Vinegar seems to be the latest wonder cleaner in every household. While it’s true that vinegar, especially white vinegar, is great for cleaning everything from your kitchen sink to your washable blinds, it’s not good for hardwood floors.

While it may seem obvious to want to clean using such a natural cleanser, it’s not a good idea to use it on wood flooring. This is because vinegar is too acidic and will slolwy eat away at the glossy finish that’s been applied to the wood planks. Even a few uses can cause a noticeable dulling effect and by the time you notice the damage, it’s already too late.

What To Clean Hardwood Floors With Instead Of Vinegar

There are several cheap but effective cleansers that are safe for finished wood flooring.

Some of these are widely available and you’ve probably heard of them. They’re not expensive, and since you really don’t have to use them too often, especially if you’re consistently vacuuming, a bottle will last you along time.

Related: These 5 Vacuums Won’t Damage Hardwood And Deep Clean Carpets Too


Bona’s not the most well-known brand, but it’s for sale in most of the larger box stores. It’s designed specifically for hardwood, though they have recently introduced a few products for other flooring types as well.

One of their most popular products happens to be one of the most convenient. It’s a spray mop kit with a bottle of cleaner and a reusable microfiber pad. It’s a very basic system–a pull-trigger sprays the cleaning solution on the floor and the microfiber mop head polishes and dries.

The popularity of the system isn’t in the mop, but in the Bona cleaning solution itself. It’s non-toxic and pH balanced, so it won’t etch the surface of your floor. It’s also designed to not leave behind a residue.

Bona focuses on being environmentally friendly and non-toxic. That means using microfiber pads that can be reused rather than disposable ones. It also means a slightly higher pricepoint, but since it’s an investment in caring for what’s likely to be fairly expensive hardwood floors, it’s still a fantastic value.


If Bona isn’t available near you (and you don’t want to order it online), you can almost certainly find a Swiffer Sweeper. The kit has a spray mop and cleaning solution, plus ‘microfiber-like’ disposable pads. While Swiffer isn’t exactly the greenest option available, it’s safe to use on your finished hardwood.

Just like the Bona it’s applied by a spray mop, then wiped away with a disposable pad. It’s a quick, easy solution and also the least expensive option that I know of.

The key to getting your hardwood really clean is to vacuum daily using a hardwood-safe vacuum, then clean using a damp/spray mop product every week or so. This will keep your hardwood floors looking new for years to come.

Page Last Updated On Dec 27, 2018 by Scott Jenkins