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The combination of olive oil and white vinegar does wonders for your wood floors. Add in a little lemon essential oil, and your floors will smell as good as they look.

DIY floor polish at work


1/4 cups olive oil

1/3 cup white vinegar (like this one)

12 drops lemon essential oil (like this one)

5 cups hot water

DIY floor polish making

Combine olive oil and white vinegar.

making floor polish

Add in the hot water.

lemon scented floor polish

And drops of lemon essential oil. Mix together, grab a mop (or, in my case, a rag) and get to polishing.

cleaning with DIY floor polish

If the floor is too slick after cleaning, use a cloth to wipe up any remaining oil.


54 Responses to DIY Wood Floor Polish

  1. This is awesome. Thank you so much. I’ll definitely be trying this. I live in an old house – over 100 years old – with original hardwood floors. They aren’t in the best condition and since I rent… Hopefully this will give them some much needed love.

    • becca says:

      What a treat to live in a house full of such history. I bet those floors have seen a lot. I hope this helps them!

    • Naomi says:

      Hi Rebecca, I am in the same position as you. We rent and our worm hardwood floors need some TLC. I can’t wait to try this!!

  2. Shannon T says:

    Does it leave footprints marks on it as the day goes on? Like from barefeet?

  3. haley says:

    Does the olive oil go rancid?

  4. becca says:

    Well this batch was all used up in one sitting (since you need hot water) so rancidity wasn’t an issue.

  5. haley says:

    Sorry – meant since you were rubbing it into the wood….

  6. becca says:

    I haven’t had any problems with that, and this post is nearly 1 year old. The mixture is spread pretty thin throughout my home.

  7. rebecca says:

    I hope this works, I am about to try it. However, I wonder if your floor is varnished or oiled? I have oiled oak floors, no other surface treatment at all. Will this work for that?

  8. becca says:

    Hi Rebecca!

    My floors are oiled, though might be more worn than yours. I hope this helps!

  9. johnna says:

    does this make wood floors slick??

  10. becca says:

    Hi johnna, it shouldn’t but you can use a cloth to soak up extra oil.

  11. Katy Reigh says:


    I didn’t see how the water comes into play, do you mix this all togethet with the water?

  12. becca says:

    Yes you add the hot water to the oil and vinegar mixture.

  13. magi says:

    Can you guess how many sq ft this will cover ? I have unfinished floors and a lot of them. Thx

  14. becca says:

    Hi magi! Hmmm, I’m not so good with estimating that. This batch was enough to cover our living room – about 50 square feet?

    • Beth O'Connor says:

      That is a pretty small area. Equivalent to 5’x10′. Are you are you added enough zeros? All our LR, DR, kitchen & hallway is wood. Is that enough product in your “recipe” as written?

  15. Great recipe, Becca!
    Combining vinegar, lemon and olive oil is very effective for many purposes. This homemade polisher will help you protect and keep clean your wood floor for a while.

  16. cindy says:

    I think it would be a good idea to clean the floors first with just water and white vinegar first
    , since this ‘finish’ is so small in portion.

  17. Georganne Green says:

    You can mix a mixture of 50/50 ( Olive oil and White Vinegar) and put it in a Spray Bottle.
    Spray and Wipe. That way you can control how much your putting on the floor. Lemon is
    not needed unless you like the smell.

    • Alyse says:

      I tried the orginal recipe which worked great. But then I tried this, the 50/50 mixture in a spray bottle and there was WAY too much oil on the floor. The original recipe works much different and better.

  18. K. Martins says:

    Thank you for all your comments. I just had the pleasure of having someone clean the floors, carpets etc. The advice I chose was the 50/50 in the spray bottle. I even got more dirt off the floor after a professional clean and my unfinished floors are lovely. I chose to add some essential oil, choosing Bergamot and Geranium and it smells wonderful. You won’t be disappointed.

  19. Eileen says:

    Ways to clean gout and porcelan floors

  20. Rolandi says:

    We stay in a very old house. We used Cobra polish on the floors. Will this still work or must we take the old polish off first? If so what can we use to take it off?

  21. Anna says:

    Hi there, will this help to revive a bit of shine to the hard wood floors ? My floors have become a tad Matt/dull and so looking for a polish to add a bit of shine(without having to do the full polish over?

  22. Jerry says:

    50 square ft would a living room of only about 10 ft. Long and 5 ft wide. A 12 by 12 room would be 146 square ft so actually you would get a lot more coverage than you originally thought. I am an old ugly bachelor and do all of my own cleaning and I love a clean house,. I am going to try your mixture today. Thanks a lot. Oh and by the way, I love girls, lol

  23. Michelle Sands says:

    Does it have to be olive oil? Or can you use veg oil, Canola,coconut? Or any other types?

  24. Drew says:

    This sounds like exactly what I was looking for. I can’t wait to try it out. Do you know how much area your recipe would cover?

  25. P Weaver says:

    Holy Cow! That worked. I blended it with a stick blender before using. It turned white and went on nicely.

  26. This is exactly what I was looking for thank you so much for sharing. My new home has all hardwood floors and they always look so dull.


  27. Catherine says:

    Just found this and want to try it. My question is do you dip your rag/mop into the solution and wring excess of do you use another method?

  28. Richard says:

    We’re I work is in a Historic general store biult in the early 1900’s . The person before I arrived used hydrolic fluid , that took 2-3 months to dry .
    1. Will this solution blend okay over the old product.
    2. Drying time .

  29. Bernadette says:

    We live in a log cabin and I’d like to revive the high traffic areas. I’ve heard water and or steam is bad for the wood. Any thought to what the water in the recipe does to the wood floor?

  30. Christine discenna says:

    Can I use this recipe on Laminate flooring

  31. Sue (Queen of Queens) says:

    I was in desperate need to find something for our floors. I tried every thing and nothing worked. Our floors has heavy traffic constantly with three adults and four big dogs. So my floors needed attention badly. I actually used the 50/50 recipes and it worked great!! At first, it just looked like a wet wood floor but as time went I can see the change. The floor feels and looks so clean. I never thought I could get it to look so healthy. It actually looks better than when I use store bought products.

  32. thera says:

    My floors are wood and very worn i used ur recipe and put it in a spray bottle with some warn water i have an old buffer my mother gave me and id spray and buff it was a little slick at first but my floors looked fantastic and soaked it up pretty quickly! I use olive oil to treat my cutting boards so i figured this was a good one and it is i boiled tge vinegar with some cloves and a stick of cinnamon and then added a few drops of patchouli oil and it was lovely will do this again and again thanks!

  33. Rachel says:

    We’re looking to deep clean our house this weekend, and I’ve been looking for a nice, easy floor polish that I can DIY. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I’ll definitely have to give this a try!

  34. Cheryl Jones says:

    I used this on my hard wood kitchen floors. They are finished with a light stain, and polyurethane. The recipe had too much olive oil, so I cut it down to 1/16th cup of olive oil. It looks wonderful, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. I did use 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of ammonia to clean it first, and then followed with the vinegar, added 1/2 cup of lemon juice, and olive oil. I like to use the essential l oils to add a pleasing smell to the house. I have a 250 square foot kitchen floor. This was plenty to clean it with. I have cleaned for a living, working with a lot of wood. this is the nicest finish for the floor that I have found.

    • tori says:

      Everything from experts say if you have poly coated wood floors only use window cleaner and dry clean them, your not actually cleaning the wood but the poly coat which cannot be treated with other wet ingredients or oil soaps due to the fact in 5 years or so they will look dull and smudgy and need a redo poly coat, so how does this work?

  35. Koop says:

    I can obviously go get a bottle of olive oil if necessary, but could I substitue with another oil? I actually have a big jug that is a blend of olive, canola, and grapeseed that we use for cooking. Would that be ok? I feel like it would, but just wondering…..thanks!

  36. Cindy says:

    I had already made my mind on installing hardwood floors but I was kind of worried about its care and maintenance, with this blog I now feel comfortable to proceed. Thanks for sharing these hardwood polishing tips.

  37. John says:

    Will this work on new untreated pine floors? I was considering using linseed or tung oil and wondered if this would be a good substitute ….. I want a healthy natural product regardless.

    • James says:

      Did you try this? We’re about to lay a large area of pine flooring and we’re considering sealing them with vegetable or canola oil as the cost of commercial floor varnish is fairly sizable when you start scaling it up…

  38. Jessica says:

    Didn’t really work for me, the solution made my floors/house smell great but it still looks meh.

  39. Kristen says:

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️ This it works amazing. Our floors have been neglected for quite some time but this brought back the shine and they are now beautiful again. Thank you so much.

  40. Rachel says:

    I cannot believe how great this worked… I thought for sure that the vinegar would totally ruin the floor but I was wrong. My hardwood floors were completely ruined from children, dogs, furniture, pretty much everything. Now they look refreshed and almost completely new. Thank you!

  41. Anita says:

    Thankyou for sharing. I’m a little desperate, baby due in 3 weeks and I have newly sanded pine floors. Will this help get rid of the smell of the pine wood? I can’t seal it with chemicals because baby is due so soon.
    Also would this cause any mound issues in the future? Thankyou!

  42. Maddie Cole says:

    I thank you for this post. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful blog.

  43. Susan says:

    Would it cause a build up on the floors over time? Just worried about them getting dull from the oil building up. Thanks!

  44. April says:

    My century-plus hardwood floors are/were waxed and I had no idea how to clean and shines them so had been using Pledge on a soft cloth. The wood is worn in the track areas. I was told never to use water on wood like this. however, when I saw your mixture, I didn’t even notice the water part and put the oil, vinegar and orange essential oil (couldn’t find the lemon) and the floors not only shone, they were spotless and smelled great (the vinegar smell disappears). There were smudges when walked on it but I took a soft cloth and buffed them, it took a lot of the shine away but the floors were clean and fed. thank you so much for posting this,

  45. Casey says:

    So happy I found this! I save a lot of old bottles convinced I will need them. Well, I’m pouring my mixture into a ‘Bona’ cleaner spray bottle and using their mop to try this.

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