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How to Mop with White Vinegar

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White vinegar is a versatile ingredient that’s commonly used in baking and cooking. But you can also use it for cleaning purposes because of the disinfecting properties it offers.

In this article, we’ll discuss a step-by-step guide to help you understand how to mop with white vinegar. It’ll come in handy if you don’t have a store-bought cleaning solution to clean your floors.

How to Mop with White Vinegar

Mopping your floors using white vinegar isn’t a difficult task. But you need to make sure that you follow the steps listed below correctly to achieve the best results.

Step 1: Gather the Supplies

The following is the list of supplies that you’ll need to complete this process.

  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 2 gallons of hot water
  • A few drops of dish soap
  • A bucket with at least a 3-gallon capacity
  • 2 mops (microfiber mop head is preferred)
  • A vacuum cleaner
  • A pair of rubber gloves

You can also add one teaspoon of baking soda to your list of supplies if your floors are smelly.

Step 2: Vacuum the Floor

Once you have gathered the supplies, the next step is to vacuum the floor you want to mop. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner, you can use a broom or dry mop to sweep the floor. The primary purpose of this step is to remove solid debris and loose dust particles from the flooring.

Otherwise, they’ll stick to your mop head during the cleaning process and increase the risk of mop streaks. You don’t need to remove tough stains and stubborn dirt stuck on the floor at this stage as they’ll be dealt with while mopping.

Step 3: Make the Cleaning Solution

The next step is to add hot water (that your hand can stand) to the bucket along with white vinegar, and dish soap. Make sure that your bucket is clean and doesn’t have any residue of the cleaning solution that you previously used.

It’s important to keep in mind that white vinegar is acidic in nature. Although it’s a weak acid, it can still cause skin irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin.

So, don’t forget to wear a pair of rubber gloves before mixing the ingredients to protect your skin. It’ll also allow you to mix the ingredients well using your hand.

Step 4: Start Mopping

We recommend you divide your floor into multiple small sections before you start the mopping process. It’ll allow you to work efficiently and clean your floor effectively.

Pick up one of the wet mops and dip it into the bucket to soak the cleaning solution. Wring the mop thoroughly and make sure that it’s damp and not dripping before placing it on the floor.

Start mopping the surface in straight lines and move your mop back and forth only if you come across a stubborn stain. It’s especially true if you’re mopping a floor made of delicate materials like vinyl and laminate.

Once you have covered one section, grab the second mop (which is dry) and use it to wipe the vinegar cleaning solution’s residue from the surface.

If you don’t have a second mop, you can use a dry soft towel or microfiber cloth for the same purpose. Repeat the same technique to cover the entire floor.

While you can mop the entire floor without wiping the residue and let it air dry, performing this step is advisable. It’ll prevent moisture from sitting on the floor for too long which can be damaging for some flooring types.

When to Avoid White Vinegar for Mopping

You can use white vinegar to mop a range of floor types including linoleum, ceramic tiles, laminate, vinyl, and sealed grout. However, you must not use it to mop marble, granite, unsealed grout, and unfinished or waxed wood floors.

These materials are porous and white vinegar will penetrate into those pores and weaken and deteriorate the material over time.

While many people claim that you can use white vinegar to mop hardwood floors, we recommend you against it. That’s because white vinegar is acidic in nature with a pH level of around 2.5.

Whereas, wood floors should only be mopped with neutral floor cleaners (with a pH level of about 7). Chemicals with a higher or lower pH level (alkaline or acidic) can deteriorate the surface of wood floors over time, causing expensive damage.

Can You Use Vinegar to Clean Carpets

Yes, you can use vinegar to clean carpets as well as rugs. If you have stains on your carpet or rug, spray the mixture (with a one-to-one ratio) of warm water and white vinegar on the stain. Let the mixture sit for 8 to 10 minutes and blot the stain using a clean and dry microfiber cloth.

You can also remove bad odors like dog urine from your carpets using white vinegar. You’ll need to spray the mixture of one teaspoon of baking soda, one tablespoon of white vinegar, and one liter of hot water on the carpet. Let it sit for 20 to 25 minutes and then scrub the carpet with a dry towel or microfiber cloth.

Important Note: If you have carpets or rugs made of natural fibers such as wool or silk, you must not use vinegar to clean them. That’s because this acidic chemical is too harsh for them and can cause permanent damage.

Advantages of Mopping with White Vinegar

The following are some of the advantages of using white vinegar to mop your floors.

  • Affordable and readily available cleaning detergent
  • Possesses natural disinfecting properties to sterilize your floors
  • Can be used for multiple types of floorings
  • Safe to use even if you have kids and pets in your house
  • Can remove stubborn and tough stains

Final Words

The method of using white vinegar to mop your floors is pretty similar to using a store-bought floor cleaner. However, it’s important to know what floor types you can safely mop with this fluid.

We hope this guide will help you understand the right way to mop with white vinegar along with its advantages as a cleaning solution.

Allen Michael is the Founder and Editor of Home Viable, a website that he started to provide readers with tips on home efficiency and automation. He draws on his engineering background combined with his family-of-four experiences for his articles.