Clean Your Hardwood Floors Without Harsh Chemicals!
I know y’all have heard me say it a thousand times but I seriously use Thieves Household Cleaner to clean everything in my house! Kitchen counters? Glass stovetops? Leftover food grime in fridges and microwaves? No problem! Bathroom tile? Toilet bowls? Mirrors and windows? Sure thing! Even caked on food in the baby’s high chair ain’t got nothing on my Thieves Cleaner!!! During my recent “New Year New You (and how Essential Oils and oil infused products can help!)” online class I mentioned that I even use my Thieves Cleaner to make my own hardwood Swiffer WetJet alternative and was asked to share my recipe. So I figured I’d share with you all as well!
As much as it kills my inner hippy to continue to use disposable Swiffer WetJet pads
I haven’t found a good reusable alternative (see Update at bottom of post!). With an old dog whose bladder sadly isn’t what it used to be I’m ashamed to admit how often I have to clean up accidents on my hardwood floors so I’m still on the hunt for a good, absorbent, washable mop and pad system that won’t break the bank (If anyone wants to gift me one of those fancy Norwex mops to review I wouldn’t say no!). Until then, I’ll keep using my trusty Swiffer. Until a couple months ago I just turned a blind eye and tried to pretend that what I didn’t know didn’t hurt me. But we all know that’s faulty logic. So when my Swiffer Wood Floor Cleaner Refill ran out of juice I decided that I couldn’t ignore it any longer and went on over to Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning and gave it a search. I’d like to say that I was shocked but sadly I wasn’t. It just confirmed what I already suspected. The cleaner I’d been using to clean my hardwood floors for the last several years got an overall score of D! The biggest concern is a cleaning agent called Lauryl Pyrrolidone which has been shown to be toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects but an also cause severe skin burns and eye damage and/or allergic reactions! In addition, synthetic fragrance also warrants concern for skin irritation, allergies, asthma, and possible neurological or respiratory effects. Other ingredients of moderate concern are Benzisothiazolinone, for skin irritation and allergies, as well as Acrylic Copolymer and Dimethyl Siloxanes and Silicones, for persistence in the environment and a lack of data on health effects. And to think, I’d been cleaning my floors that my dogs and infant were rolling around on with this stuff???
So after joining Young Living and trying out their Thieves Cleaner for the first time I started researching all the different ways I could use it. Naturally, replacing my hardwood floor cleaner was at the top of that list! Young Living took the guess work out of a lot of uses for their Household Cleaner with their DIY Cleaning Recipes (see image below). They suggest mixing together 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner with 10 drops Pine essential oil and 1 cup of Olive Oil and applying to hardwood floors using a damp (not wet) mop. While this sounds divine and would likely be an amazing alternative to popular pine scented floor cleaners, I was hoping for something I could use in my Swiffer WetJet for ease of application. So my search continued…
That’s when i stumbled upon Don’t Mess With Mama’s 20 Ways to Clean Your Home with Thieves Household Cleaner. Her floor cleaner recipe seemed much more likely to approximate the consistency that I was looking for since I wanted it to be sprayable. Check out her recipe below:
Thieves Cleaner Hardwood Floor Recipe:
- 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner
- 4 cups of water
- 2-3 drops Lemon essential oil for a fresh scent (although I bet you could add or substitute with Pine for a delightful fragrance!)
- 1 tsp Distilled White Vinegar (DWV) for a streak-free shine to your floors
You can also use this same recipe to clean windows, sills, mirrors, sticky residue and grime from nearly any surface!
So armed with a new recipe I was excited to try out I pulled out my empty Swiffer WetJet Wood Floor Cleaner container and got set to refill it with my new non-toxic alternative only to discover that it is damn near impossible to get that screw cap off!!!! Initially I was a bit deflated but thought surely I couldn’t let a common household cleaner defeat me so I set out to google a solution. Turns out, it’s actually pretty easy to get these screw caps off! Here’s how:
- Bring approximately 2″ of water to boil in a small saucepan.
- Hold the Swiffer cleaner container with the cap submerged in the boiling water for 20-30 seconds.
- Carefully, using a towel or rubber gripper, turn cap to remove. If it doesn’t come off easily, submerge again for another 30 seconds or so.
- You can carefully clip the little prongs on the inside of the cap to make the cap easier to remove if you so desire. Or you can just repeat this simple procedure when it’s time to refill.
Once I got the cap off I simply poured my mixture in the container and recapped it, making sure to secure the cap so it doesn’t leak. The recipe will fill your container approximately 2/3 of the way full. Then you can use as normal. I have been using this recipe now for several months and it cleans every bit as well as the brand-name cleaner and I haven’t had any problems with it spraying at all!
So there you have it, a non-toxic way to use your trusty Swiffer! Now to find a reusable cloth for it to alleviate my guilt over throwing away expensive disposable pads… Have you used this recipe, or another non-toxic wood floor cleaner? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below!
**Updated March 18, 2016:
After I wrote this blog post back in January, I started my hunt for a reusable option to alleviate my landfill guilt that I had by still continuing to throw away those WetJet pads every time I used my mop. Now those who know me well know I absolutely love Amazon Prime (I’m too cheap to pay too much for shipping and Free is definitely my kind of price range) so naturally I headed on over to try to find a solution. These Orowix Spray Mop Pads are what I found and ordered for only $8.99 for 6 reusable mop pads. I’ve been using them now for a couple months and am overall pretty pleased with them. You add the included Velcro strips to your Swiffer WetJet and the pads attach easily. I was worried they might not stay on but I have yet to have one come off while mopping. I’ve mopped my bathroom tile, the hardwood floors in my large open floor plan living/dining/kitchen area and cleaned up accidents that my old pooch hasn’t been able to hold in and so far there hasn’t been a job these can’t tackle! So if you’re like me and not ready to give up your old Swiffer WetJet add these to your Amazon shopping cart to get you by until it’s time to invest in that amazing Norwex mop system!
Here’s the link to the Orowix Reusable Mop Pads on Amazon: