Zero Waste Floor Cleaner for Wooden Floors

zero waste floor cleaner

Looking for an awesome zero waste floor cleaner? I’ve got you covered. This DIY, natural floor cleaner is perfect for shining up your hard wood floors. I love using it on mine because it makes my home smell lemony fresh without irritating my nose. Not sure about you, but conventional cleaning products really activate my allergies. I always feel like my throat gets sore and like I can’t stop sneezing after just one whiff of artificial fragrances found in most cleaning products. Thankfully, natural cleaning never ever does this to me, and nor will this floor cleaner DIY I’m sharing today. Also, if you don’t have wooden floors, no worries, towards the end of the article I share a really cool DIY carpet cleaning recipe you can give a go. Plus, I’ve included other zero waste floor cleaner options for you later in the article, in case this one isn’t what you had in mind. I come prepared, after all. Ready to grab your cleaning supplies and hop to it? Here’s how to make zero waste floor cleaner for wooden floors.


Zero Waste Floor Cleaner

zero waste floor cleaner

Ingredients (for a small batch):
  • 1/2 cup of hot water
  • 3 teaspoons of lemon juice (approximately 1/2 a lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 5-10 drops of citrus essential oil (optional)

For a bigger batch:
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 gallon of hot water

Note: This is intended for wooden floors, but it can be used on tile. This means you can use it in your bathroom. However, for more floor cleaner options, scroll down to the bottom of the page. 

Related: 10 Zero Waste Bathroom Swaps

zero waste floor cleaner


  1. Heat up some hot water over the stove, then pour it into a heat-resistant bowl or cup. I used a ceramic mug. For a bigger batch, pour it directly into a stainless steel bucket.
  2. While your water is heating, you can utilize the time to squeeze some fresh lemon juice. Half a lemon should get you about 3 teaspoons of lemon juice (if making a smaller batch). Add it to the hot water when it’s ready, making sure no pulp or seeds get inside. You can add the essential oils now, if you’re using any. 
  3. Then, add the olive oil. Stir until well combined – it’s okay if the olive oil doesn’t evenly spread into the solution completely. It’s now ready for use.

Cleaning with zero waste floor cleaner

zero waste floor cleaner

Cleaning with zero waste floor cleaner is easy. If you made a small batch, you have the option to store it in a glass spray bottle or swing top glass (like I did).

I’ll admit, all I have is a Swiffer. And I didn’t have a spray bottle on hand. Instead, I just stored my cleaning solution in a glass swing top bottle.

If using a glass spray bottle: Spray the area you’d like to clean with your solution. You have to get kind of close to the ground so this might be a little tedious. This is probably a good option when you only want to cover a small area or specific spot.

If using a bottle or swing top (like me): Dump some of the contents onto the floor you’d like to clean. Then, using your mop or Swiffer, start cleaning the area as you normally would. Spread the solution out onto the floor using your mop or Swiffer. Once spread out, wait for the area to dry before walking onto it.

If using a bucket: Dip your mop into the solution you’ve made and spread it out evenly until area is nicely coated. Then wait for the area to dry completely. 
I recommend making this floor cleaner in small batches, unless you have a really big area to clean. 

This stuff will make your house smell nice and lemony, but not overbearingly so. If you’d like, you can also use a brush to scrub the floor with it in a particularly dirty area, but I usually don’t find this necessary.

Other zero waste floor cleaners worth trying:
  • Water and vinegar – 1 gallon of warm water, 1/2 cup white vinegar.
  • Water, vinegar and essential oils – 1 gallon of warm water, 1/2 cup white vinegar, essential oils of choice.
  • Vinegar and vegetable oil – 2 cups of vinegar and 2 cups of vegetable oil.
  • Castile soap, water and essential oils – 1/2 cup of castile soap, 3 cups warm water, essential oils of your choice.

You can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar in these DIY floor cleaners. Just adjust the measurements depending on how big a batch you make.

For carpets:

If you have a carpet, then I recommend combining 1 cup of white vinegar, 2 cups of water, 2 teaspoons of salt and 15 drops of essential oil. Pour it into a large spray bottle (either glass or a re-purposed plastic one) and spray it liberally onto your carpet. Allow the carpet to dry, then vacuum the treated areas.

If you’re trying to remove odor or pet stains from your carpet, try mixing 2 cups of white vinegar, 2 cups of warm water and four tablespoons of baking soda together. Spray the area that needs to be treated generously, then let it sit for 5 minutes. Gently rub and blot the area with a soft cloth (no paper towels here).

zero waste floor cleaner

Would you give this zero waste floor cleaner a try?

For more zero waste cleaning tips, check out my favorite all purpose cleaner or my zero waste tub and sink cleaner

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to share it! If you like my content, sign up for my newsletter to get notified every time I write a new blog post. To support me even further, please consider buying me a cup of tea to help support my blog.

By Ariana Storniolo (Palmieri)

Ariana Storniolo is the founder of Greenify-Me, a blog dedicated to zero waste and sustainability. Her work has also been featured on Going Zero Waste, Green Matters, Mother Earth Living and several other online publications.


  1. I also have a swiffer! When I went zero (or nearly zero) waste, I sat down to my sewing machine and made several "swiffer" cloths. I used light weight fleece (I had several smallish pieces) and flannel – I cut the fleece to fit the swiffer "head" and attached flannel pieces to the sides that then wrap around and get poked into the holes on the back side of the swiffer head. What I love about these cloths is that I can use them for both sweeping and mopping. I use one to sweep and one to mop. Then, they go into the laundry to be washed and used again another time. I think they work better than the swiffer brand things you buy!

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