Everyone has their own love language, and certain quirky things that bring a smile to their face. One of my happy triggers is shiny floors. I love looking across a span of kitchen and seeing clean, shining floors. No clutter, no smudges, no sticky spilled drinks.
It’s the little things that bring daily joy.
Our last house had hardwood floors in the kitchen. To be more precise, it had engineered hardwoods that were uneven, worn, scratched, and discolored. You can see some of the messed up boards in the pic- the finish is wearing unevenly, and a flood from a broken dishwasher made it worse.
I love shiny floors but I never could get more than a glimmer on the kitchen floor, no matter what I tried. I even tried a bottle of commercial floor shine, which wore off after a few weeks and made a bigger mess. Instead of shiny floors, I had smudgy floors that peeled like a sunburn.
I dreamed of getting a steam mop, but my floors were too damaged for those.
Then I discovered how to clean wood floors that natural, thrifty way.
My secret weapon for gleaming wood floors, even floors that are past their prime.
Myfloors tend to get pretty dirty, so I usually mop first with hot water and a splash of vinegar. You can mop hardwoods as long as you wring out your mop well- hardwoods hate water.
Then, make a pot of very strong tea. I boil a quart of water in a pot and add four tea bags. You just need the regular, cheap, plain old tea bags.
I use my sink as a mop bucket because that’s just easier. So I basically make a sink full of tea. I have an electric kettle so it’s pretty fast and painless.
The trick is to mop with the grain of the wood while the tea is still very hot. It should be steaming. For extra gloss and conditioning if you have scuffed or otherwise unsealed hardwood, add a teaspoon or two of olive oil to the tea.
Frugal, all natural, shiny floors. Swoon.