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8 Unexpected Floor Cleaning Hacks

Did you know you can keep your floors looking great by using these common household items in unusual ways?

Foot traffic, pet accidents and spills all take their toll on floors. But there’s no need to make a trip to the store for a chemical floor cleaning solution.

Often, you can use household items you likely already have on hand to get spots out of carpet or give your hard-surface, wood or vinyl floors some shine. Next time you need to clean your floors, try one of these DIY floor cleaning tricks instead.

1. Walnuts fix wood scratches

Repair shallow scratches to hardwood floors by rubbing shelled walnuts into them, as the natural oils help to hide flaws.
If you don’t have any nuts on hand, reach for your change jar—rubbing the scratch gently with the edge of a quarter, dabbing it with paste wax and buffing it with a soft cloth can also conceal the mark.

2. Baby oil shines vinyl floors

Use baby oil to add shine to your vinyl floor. Add a couple of drops to an apple cider vinegar and water solution (one cup of vinegar to one gallon of hot water) and use a damp mop to clean.

3. Ice gets gum, glue off

Got gum stuck on your hard-surface floor? Freeze it with an ice cube, then use a plastic scraper or old plastic card to gently chip away at the gum. The same method also works to remove glue or adhesive.

4. Salt soaks up carpet spills

Don’t have a wet/dry vacuum to clean up a spill on carpet? Sweep it up with a regular vaccuum after sprinkling salt on it and letting it soak up the liquid. If the spill was left to soak into the rug, you can still sweep it up with salt, but use some towels to help blot out deeper stains.

5. Shaving cream and lemon juice clean grout

A mixture of shaving cream and lemon juice is a great way to clean grout between floor tiles. Spray it on, let it soak for a few minutes, then scrub with an old toothbrush.

You can also use the foam to blot pesky spots on carpet: Work it into the spill, let it set for 10 minutes, and then rinse with cold water.

6. Tea bags restore dark hardwood floors

Use tea bags and boiling water to give your dark hardwood floors a lustrous shine. Steep six teabags in one quart of boiling water for a few minutes and let the mixture cool. Wring out a soft cloth in the tea and wipe it on your floors, or use the solution in a spray bottle, to restore your hardwood flooring. Just be careful not to use too much or let the tea sit on the floor, especially if it’s unfinished, because excess moisture can damage wood floors.

7. Toothpaste buffs linoleum

Use toothpaste for more than just cleaning your teeth: a dab of white toothpaste can buff scuffs out of linoleum tiles or parquet floors.

8. WD-40 helps scuffs disappear

For stubborn scuffs or black heel marks on vinyl floors, try putting some WD-40 lubricant or jojoba oil on a towel and rubbing the area until the scuffs disappear. Clean thoroughly with a vinegar and water solution to remove any extra oil.

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