What Does Vinegar Do To Wood Floors? The Surprising Effects

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A terrific, inexpensive, cost-efficient cleaning solution and good at scrubbing away grime is made up of water and vinegar.

It’s one of those cleaning products with multiple uses that can be applied everywhere in the house. Because it makes your floor shine, you can use vinegar to clean hardwood floors.

Vinegar’s acidity helps dissolve stubborn stains, including hard water accumulation on hardwood floors. Therefore cleaning vinegar is an excellent substitute for other household cleaners if your primary objective is ridding of dirt and grime.

Vinegar on wood floors

Vinegar is non-toxic and affordable. It is the thrifty homemaker’s best-kept cleaning secret and may be applied in various ways.

While having some disinfection characteristics, vinegar is not as powerful as bleach or other disinfectants registered with the EPA.

Regular cleaning of your hardwood floors with vinegar will impact the floor since vinegar is acidic and will gradually dissolve the protective coating, leaving the surface to seem dull.

Don’t miss the comprehensive guide on the surprising way vinegar can damage wood floors.

After 12 to 24 months of consistent cleaning with vinegar and water, this will frequently become apparent.

Why Vinegar Should Be Used to Clean Wood Flooring?

Vinegar and water are one of the healthiest cleaning options for a long time. It effectively cleans numerous items in your house and is cheap and environmentally friendly.

It will help if you remember that when you clean your hardwood floors, you are washing the varnish that protects the wood. So, it’s crucial to clean with a mild, non-toxic cleanser.

Vinegar Shines Up Hardwood Flooring

Specific maintenance is necessary for hardwood floors to maintain their lovely shine and gloss. Happily, cleaning beautiful hardwood with vinegar is risk-free.

The organic material, a naturally occurring byproduct of fruits, vegetables, and cereals, is completely biodegradable.

Vinegar Shines Up Hardwood Flooring

As a result, you could use vinegar to wash without being concerned about endangering the environment or exposing your family to harmful pollutants.

Moreover, regular household vinegar fights viruses, mold, and germs. Also, it has a virtually endless lifespan.

Use White Vinegar

When you go shopping again, take a moment to browse the various varieties of vinegar in the food aisle.

Red wine, white wine, apple juice, and other alcoholic beverages are fermented to produce vinegar.

The outcome can use an acidic fluid for several purposes, including cleaning hardwood floors and seasoning salad sauces.

Use White Vinegar

White vinegar should be used when making a DIY solution for cleaning wood floors.

White vinegar has emerged as the go-to option for all cleaning purposes as chemical-free natural cleansers have gained popularity.

And with valid reason: Vinegar is widely accessible, affordable, and secure. You could use white vinegar on practically all your flooring, even your carpet, which might surprise you.

Why White Vinegar Is Effective?

Vinegar’s acidity is what gives it its cleaning ability. With a pH of about 2.5, vinegar can eliminate dirt (source) and mineral stains like rust stains and hard water stains. (source)

White vinegar also has disinfection capabilities, although not authorized by the CDC as an antibacterial (so you shouldn’t rely on it if you would like to disinfect after touching contaminated chicken or wipe door knobs while a person has the flu, for example).

When Not To Use Vinegar?

You shouldn’t use vinegar on some surfaces because of its acidity, making it a powerful cleaning. Real marble, like marble or granite and grout, can both be harmed by white vinegar.

It would be best not to use white vinegar to clean wax or unpainted wood floors. Using vinegar on natural carpet fibers like silk or wool is also too abrasive.

Vinegar Should Not Be Used To Clean Certain Surfaces

Vinegar should not be used on stone, granite, marble, and waxed finishes, even when sufficiently diluted.

While vinegar cleaning is fantastic, some delicate and vulnerable floors cannot and shouldn’t be cleaned.

Do a trial run first if you need to figure out what flooring you have and whether you can use vinegar. Choose a tiny area of your floor, and then apply vinegar there.

Vinegar Should Not Be Used To Clean Certain Surfaces

Watch for any negative effects for a few hours. You may proceed if everything seems okay. Avoid using vinegar to clean your floor if the color changes or the floor appears damaged.

Hence, which flooring is vinegar-cleanable? Let’s look more closely!


Most people believe vinegar will harm wood floors, but only if they are made of unpolished or waxed hardwood. Hardwood floors that have been prefabricated or sealed benefit from vinegar cleaning.

Scrub floors using a mix of one bucket of hot water and a quarter cup of vinegar. Again, moisture is the deadliest enemy of wood.

Thus it would be best if you never used a damp mop. Instead, rinse it out and use a wet mop.


It is an obvious choice. A vinegar wash will be wonderful for the tiled floors in your kitchen or bathroom. You should add one gallon of hot water to half a cup of vinegar, and then you can start.

Here, proper dilution is unquestionably crucial.

Yet, one surface that appears to be particularly impacted by vinegar’s acidic qualities is tiled floors.

Wipe out the mopping after each dip into the vinegar solution and let the floor air dry for a beautiful finish.

Why Should Wood Floors Not Be Cleaned With Vinegar?

Because vinegar is acidic, it will usually consume away at the finish on the top of your floor, reducing the sheen and leaving a dull appearance over time.

While cleaning floors with vinegar and water, too much water may be present, resulting in swelling and discoloration.

Nothing compares vinegar and water for many folks seeking a quick and simple DIY cleaning solution.

Cleansing with water and vinegar is affordable, environmentally friendly, and generally effective in cleaning various items in your house.

Using water and vinegar as a natural cleaning solution may damage your wood floor. It’s crucial to remember that when you wash your wood floors, you’re washing the chemical finish that is applied to the wood, not the wood itself.

Vinegar Use’s Long-Term Impact on Wood Floor

It’s crucial to remember that when you clean your floorboards, you’re cleaning the finish or protective coating placed on the floorboards rather than the actual wood itself.

Because vinegar is an acid, it will gradually dissolve the floor’s protective layer, resulting in a dull appearance.

After 12 to 24 months of consistent cleansing with water and vinegar, this will frequently become apparent.

It’s also essential to wash a wood floor with as minimal water as possible. If water is left on the floor, it will seep into scuffed areas and the edges and corners of floorboards.

You risk having water stains, swelling, rot, and discoloration develop on your floorboards. It is often said that water is the adversary of wood.

Using Vinegar While Having Children

Vinegar is non-toxic and delicious, making it a fantastic floor cleaner. You may feel confident knowing it’s safe for children, especially newborns, to crawl around on floors and touch them with their hands or mouths.

It eliminates the concern that they might consume or absorb harmful chemicals into their small, vulnerable bodies and become ill.

That means you don’t have to worry as much about their developing bodies. In addition, vinegar is eco-friendly, making it beneficial for the climate, which is a concern for everyone.

What If You Dislike Vinegar’s Smell?

You may find yourself hunting for vinegar substitutes once you’re sick of the temporary (but you may not be able to persuade your partner of that) smell of salted and vinegar snack foods in your home.

Remember that you can lessen the potency of the vinegar aroma by using a few essential oil drops like lemon or lavender in your cleaning solution.

What If You Dislike Vinegar's Smell?

Also, you can prepare the cleaning solution by adding citrus peels, such as orange, lemon, and lime peels, to the vinegar cleaner to provide various aromas.

When it comes to utilizing vinegar as a cleanser, everyone has a somewhat varied tolerance, especially throughout seasons when it’s more difficult to exhaust any cleaners from home.

Final Thoughts

You may have read on blogs that vinegar is okay to use on wood floors or know someone who does so without experiencing any problems.

While vinegar won’t immediately harm your hardwood floors, proving the impacts is challenging.

There are differing views on the subject. Yet, over time, vinegar and vinegar-based products may seriously harm your floors by wearing away the finish, warping the wood, and enlarging nicks and dents.

After repeated usage, the high acidity of vinegar destroys the finish on your floor, enabling the water you use to neutralize it to seep through and harm the floorboards.

So long as you do it correctly and infrequently, you can continue to use vinegar to spot-clean your flooring.

Several safer alternatives won’t harm the wood or finish and are much less risky than using vinegar to cleanse hardwood floors. Do check out the safe disinfectant for hardwood floors.

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