I used to think it was impossible to have a clean floor with 2 kids and 2 cats until I started following these tips to keep your hardwood floors clean!
Hardwood floors have seen a big resurgence in recent years. I can actually still see my husband’s grandparents’ house in Florida (built in the 80s) with wall to wall carpet including the bathroom!! Now hardwood floors are in the bathroom, the kitchen, bedrooms, the living room.
And while I do love our hardwoods, in some ways they are harder to keep LOOKING clean than our carpet. With two young kids and two cats, there is always a mess to be made…and cleaned up. It took me a while but I finally found 4 simple tricks to keep my floors clean, crumb free and shiny!
1. Take your shoes off! This is the most simple idea but one that many people don’t get accustomed to. Growing up, my mom always made it clear that we were not to wear shoes in the house. I just kept that mentality. One, the bottoms of your shoes track in lots of dirt and debris. But perhaps more than that, they harbor millions of germs! Just look at where your feet travel every day and then ask yourself do you really want to be laying on that same floor…or more importantly have your kids lay there?!
2. Sweep daily. With the right broom. I know that seems like overkill but I promise you – if you will take 10 minutes a day to sweep, you will be amazed at how great your floors will look with a lot less maintenance.
I’m kind of a cleaner snob…I don’t want to waste my time doing a job over and over again so once I find a great cleaning tool, I always use that and tell everyone about it. My favorite broom is definitely the Libman Precision Angle Broom. It’s bristles are tight so that fuzz and furr stick to it while keeping crumbs from slipping through it. Goodbye dust bunnies!
3. Mop Smart – Go out and buy the Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop. It has a refillable canister for any cleaning solution you want. And a washable microfiber cloth! I keep two cloths so that I never have to worry about having a clean one to throw one.
As for the solution, I am a huge fan of vinegar and I know it has disinfecting properties. But for areas like my bathroom and kitchen, I was looking for something a little stronger but without chemicals. Here is my favorite hardwood cleaning solution –
One cup vinegar, One cup water, One cup alcohol, 2 drops of dish soap
I find that by sweeping daily and taking our shoes off, I can get away with mopping once a week…or even once every 2 or 3! The Rubbermaid Reveal mop allows me to quickly spot clean whenever I have a spill. I keep the solution full and a clean pad on and hang it on an S-hook in my laundry room (this allows the damp pad to fully dry out each time). By taking care of small, localized spills as they happen, I can push out the full mopping job by weeks.
4. Vacuum once a week. Many hardwoods have small gaps between the pieces. So no amount of sweeping can pick up any debris in this area. By following the 3 steps above, I have found that vacuuming once a week is more than enough.
It is best to use a vacuum that has a special setting just for hardwoods. Not only does it protect your floor by not using the beater bar, but it allows the vacuum to get closer to the floor with more suction.
I personally love my Dyson Animal 65. It took me years to commit to paying this much for a vacuum because they are not cheap. But after being unhappy for a long time with my various bargain vacuums, I finally bit the bullet and could not be happier.
If you will follow these 4 simple tips, you too will find your hardwood floors look and feel much cleaner on a day to day basis.