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More for Your Floors: 13 Care and Cleaning Hacks

Whether you have hardwood, carpeting, or tile, make cleaning them a little easier with these DIY tips.

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
Wooden floor

These tips are all-natural, budget-friendly, and best of all — easy! Learn how to utilize the most out of these common household objects and get your wood, carpet, or tile feeling like new.

Good For Wood

1. Oil Away Scratches
For minor scratches and grooves, try a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts vegetable oil. Gently rub into the scratch; no need to rinse off.

2. Boost the Cleaning Power
Grimy wood floors calling for a slightly stronger cleaner? No need to turn to toxic cleaners! Here’s another DIY solution: In a clean milk jug, add ¼ cup vinegar, ½ cup liquid castile soap, and 30 drops of a citrus essential oil (try lemon or orange). Secure the lid on the jug and shake to mix. When you’re ready to mop, simply add 1 cup of the solution to 1 gallon of hot water in a bucket.

3. Paste Away Marks
Scuffs or even permanent marker marring your wood floors? Try rubbing on a dab of toothpaste with a damp cloth. Toothpaste is one of the mildest abrasives around to do the hard work without damage!

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4. Iron Out Dents
Every household has its share of daily drops, which take a toll on wood floors. To undo the damage, dab a bit of water on the area and cover with a cloth. Then with your iron on its highest setting, gently move the iron over the cloth in a circular motion, keeping the iron moving until the cloth is dry. Add more water and repeat the process as needed. The dent should lift up like magic!

5. Stop the Creak
Stop the creaky wood floors with baby powder! With a paintbrush or toothbrush, work a generous dusting into the cracks until the floor is no longer noisy.

Easy Carpet Cleaning

6. Make This Easy Deodorizer
Want your home to smell fresh? Start from the bottom up — your carpets! In a glass container or canister, simply mix 16 ounces baking soda (your standard box) with 20 drops of any essential oil scent you like. To put it to work for you, shake the mixture on your carpet, wait 30 minutes, and then vacuum.

7. Save Money on Shampoo
The commercial cleaners sold for carpet shampooers can be pricey. Did you know that you can make your own nontoxic solution with ingredients you likely have around the house already? Mix together ¾ cup hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup white vinegar, 2 tablespoons dish soap, 2 tablespoons fabric softener, and 5 drops essential oil (any scent you like). Add the mixture to 1 gallon hot (not boiling) water. You’ll never need store-bought again!

8. Give the Rub to Gum
Turn to methyl salicylate, which you can find in analgesic heat rubs like Bengay. Put it on the gum, then apply heat with your hair dryer set on low. Press a plastic sandwich bag on the gum and it should pull away easily. Be sure to wash the area afterward.

9. A Comb-Over You’ll Love
Dent in your carpet where a piece of furniture used to be? Here’s a simple solution: Just fluff it back up with the help of a fine-toothed comb. Or try a fork.
 

Tips For Tile & More

10. Another Secret from the Baby Aisle
A bit of baby oil can shine your vinyl floor. Add a couple of drops of baby oil to a cleaning solution of 1 cup vinegar and 1 gallon hot water. Apply with a damp mop, and done.

11. Tough on Scuffs
More easy ways to remove scuff marks from a vinyl floor? Just use a pencil eraser or even a tennis ball to buff the scuff away.

12. Super Stubborn Mark?
For stubborn scuffs on vinyl floors, try WD-40 lubricant or jojoba oil. Dab on a soft cloth and rub away marks. Follow with a vinegar and water cleaning solution to remove any extra oil.

13. Say Goodbye to Gum and Glue
To lift gum from your hard-surface floor, first freeze it with an ice cube. Then use an old plastic gift or credit card to nudge it off. The same method also works to remove glue or adhesive.

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