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Caring for hardwood floors
Old 12-20-2014, 08:52 AM   #1
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Caring for hardwood floors

We have never had hardwood floors before and need to purchase brooms, vacuums and cleaning supplies to keep them looking good. We have 5 cats, so there will be lots of sweeping to do. I looked online and one site recommended using brooms with "exploded bristles". I don't even know what an exploded bristle is and when I went to Wal-Mart and Lowe's the brooms did not indicate exploded bristles. I have a dust mop type of broom, but it does not get into corners well and doesn't really work on the steps at all. What does everyone use to sweep their floors on a daily basis and how often do you mop your floors and what type of cleaner and mop do you use? We waited a long time to get hardwood floors and I don't want to mess them up. Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:26 AM   #2
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I have laminate floors in my home, and all my apartments. Use a swifter like thing. Damp if you want to get all the dust. Then use Rejuvenate to make it shine.
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:34 AM   #3
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Our new house is all solid surface floors and mostly hardwood. We've used a number of things, none of which I'm completely happy with.

We use a Swiffer for daily cleaning (but we don't necessarily clean daily). We use a Shark steam mop for more through cleaning. We use a Roomba or a broom or dust mop for sweeping and vacuum when it is really bad.

The thing I dislike is a need to vacuum to get the loose dirt/dust and then mop to clean the floor. I saw a Bissel product in Walmart yesterday that can vacuum, mop or even do both at the same time that I'm considering. Earlier this year, I saw a unit that mechanically mops with these spinning brushes and has separate clean and dirty water reservoirs that looked interesting.
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Old 12-20-2014, 10:29 AM   #4
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We use a swiffer for weekly cleaning and Bona products 2X/year. We had 2 cats, but are now down to one. I must say that our floors do not get all that dirty, as grit is contained on entry way mats from the front door, patio door and garage door. Those mats get vacuumed once per week. Also, we do walk around in socks as the floors are nice and warm.
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Old 12-20-2014, 10:34 AM   #5
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I haven't had hardwood floors as an adult, but grew up with them throughout my childhood home. Back in the 1950's, the routine was to go over them with a dry mop every single day, so there was seldom any missing of corners, due to so much frequency coupled with considerable elbow grease. If a corner still was missed, one got on one's hands and knees with a rag to take care of it. Hardwood floors were not all that easy-care back then, IMO. In addition they were waxed, I guess every year or two, with a big, very noisy machine. This was in a house with three kids and a cat, and an active social life. I am interested in this thread to see how floor care has improved over the past sixty years or so.
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Old 12-20-2014, 10:39 AM   #6
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Just let the critters run around and gather the dust. Then let them outside to get it blown off.
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:31 PM   #7
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The best way to keep grit off the floors is to have a rug at every entranceway into the house. It is best to take off shoes at the entrance and swap for soft sole shoes (ex moccasins), but this is not always possible. If you can train yourselves to stomp your feet and wipe them on the rugs, it will cut down on tracked in stuff and water.

I shake the rugs off every few weeks outside, or vacuum them if weather is bad.

I use a handheld vacuum for the steps.

I vacuum the larger sections of uncovered wood floors with my lightweight Shark to remove all loose stuff. I then use a mop dipped in a very weak solution of Murphy's Oil Soap and water, wrung as dry as I can get it. I mop, rinsing out mop frequently, and then use the ceiling or a floor fan to quickly dry the floor.

No pets, so I don't use a Swiffer too much.
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
I saw a Bissel product in Walmart yesterday that can vacuum, mop or even do both at the same time that I'm considering. Earlier this year, I saw a unit that mechanically mops with these spinning brushes and has separate clean and dirty water reservoirs that looked interesting.
I have one of these and LOVE IT. Mine is made by Hoover. BUT, I have tile. I would not use these on hardwood unless it has several layers of poly on it - WAY too wet for wood.

Before Swiffers I used a dust mop; I cannot find one of those anymore ! Swiffers work reasonable well. I usually put them on a little off center so that one edge of the cloth hangs over the edge - I use that to move stuff out of the corners. Personally I don't like Swiffers all that much. I miss my good old fashioned dust mop.

PS: I've had hardwood or engineered wood for 27 years in my prior homes.
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Old 12-20-2014, 01:09 PM   #9
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I have one of these and LOVE IT. Mine is made by Hoover. BUT, I have tile. I would not use these on hardwood unless it has several layers of poly on it - WAY too wet for wood.

Before Swiffers I used a dust mop; I cannot find one of those anymore ! Swiffers work reasonable well. I usually put them on a little off center so that one edge of the cloth hangs over the edge - I use that to move stuff out of the corners. Personally I don't like Swiffers all that much. I miss my good old fashioned dust mop.

PS: I've had hardwood or engineered wood for 27 years in my prior homes.
I own one of the these Fuller Brush dry mops.

http://smile.amazon.com/Fuller-Brush...words=dust+mop

The design is such that there is an indented side that catches all the stuff if you move it in 1 direction with the indented side toward the front. It has a nice sturdy metal handle so you can knock it against a solid surface (gently) outside or into a garbage can to get all the dust off.
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Old 12-20-2014, 02:33 PM   #10
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One word: Roomba

These automated robot vacuums do a great job of removing the dirt that sits on top of a wood floor and even in most of the cracks. Carpets are another matter.

I try and use the Roomba at least twice a week. I cleans up most of that fine grit that acts as a fine sandpaper and eventually wears away the finish on the wood.

It also helps to have take off your shoes when entering the house.
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Old 12-20-2014, 04:13 PM   #11
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I use a Bona dusting mop to get the loose stuff then a Shark steam mop to get the grime off, works very good on both wood and tile floors.
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Old 12-20-2014, 05:46 PM   #12
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I have one of these and LOVE IT. Mine is made by Hoover. BUT, I have tile. I would not use these on hardwood unless it has several layers of poly on it - WAY too wet for wood....
Is yours the Hoover Floormate Spinscrub? The video seems to suggest that it sucks up any water it puts down and the floor is close to dry after you are done. Is that not true?
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:22 PM   #13
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I am going to look at my dust mop better and see if it has any indented sides. I am also going to try spraying it lightly with water to dampen it and see if it will pick up better doing this. I was at Wal-Mart today and bought some Great Value swiffer cloths. I bought 2 swiffer poles at a yard sale years ago and never used them. DH said that they are in our garage with most everything from our upstairs. We will have to find them and try them out. It looks like we might have to get a vacuum. I was hoping to avoid that, as I do not like to vacuum. Maybe try the Roomba.

We do have mats at the entrances to our house. I wish that we would take off our shoes at the doors, but we are not good about doing this. Too many arguments over this and life is too short. I did get down on my hands and knees and wipe up some of the floor today, but we have too much hardwood for me to do that. Thanks for all of the replies. I will probably try multiple things.
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Old 12-21-2014, 05:17 AM   #14
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We sweep every few days, and use Bona hardwood cleaner to clean the surface every two or three weeks. We've recently moved from a home where we took great care of our hardwood floors with this regimen for over ten years and they still looked like new. Where we are now it seems that the previous owners were generally negligent. The finish is gone from the engineered hardwood in many places. We managed to bring it back to something we could live with with a very vigorous cleaning with Bona followed by a couple of application of Weiman hardwood polish and restorer.
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Old 12-21-2014, 10:27 AM   #15
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Is yours the Hoover Floormate Spinscrub? The video seems to suggest that it sucks up any water it puts down and the floor is close to dry after you are done. Is that not true?
I have an older model of the Hoover Floormate that you linked and it does pick up most of the water and is safe to use on wood floors. I just felt it was a little more labor intensive (time wise) that I wanted to spend. You do need to go over the same area several time to scrub it properly and then flip a switch and repeat to suck up all the water.
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Old 12-21-2014, 12:37 PM   #16
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I think hardwood floors are beautiful, but they are a lot of trouble compared to a carpet in decent shape. And with pets, likely concrete is the only thing that makes any sense.

In my former apartment, I had to sign a separate lease and give a large deposit on the hardwood floors. No matter how careful one is, they are easy to mar.

Ha
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Old 12-21-2014, 07:04 PM   #17
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I have 3 cats and 2 dogs. I've had hard wood floors in more than one home. Here is the BEST vac to use on wood floors:

Amazon.com - BISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Corded Vacuum, 81L2A (Same as 81L2T) - Stick Vacuums

It doesn't have a huge dust bin, but it's big enough, and washes easily. Most important, though, is it doesn't have a beater brush to damage the floors. It's also shaped to get into corners. Don't use anything with a beater brush. In addition, I've heard steam cleaning can harm some floor finishes (and can invalidate warranties on some).

Swiffer is great for dust pickup, but I have a hard time with the idea of disposable for that purpose. So, I use washable pads on similar looking floor mops (one I use is Scotch-brite, the other may be O-Cedar -- I have one on each floor). These are nicer for tall folks like me, since the handles are longer than Swiffer. After a quick vac, dust mopping with a fuzzy or fringed pad is usually adequate. When needed, I light mop with the microfiber floor pads, and Murphy's oil soap or diluted vinegar mixed in a spray bottle (don't try to mix those 2 together, tho!). This cleans without putting too much water on the floors. I have lots of wet pads, and change to clean ones as needed. Then, they go in the wash with my other house cleaning rags.

ETA:
Oh, forgot the stairs, as mentioned by OP. I usually go top to bottom sweeping them off with a microfiber cloth or hand duster in my hand. If hair is heavy, a handheld vac is a good first round.
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Old 12-21-2014, 08:13 PM   #18
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One word: Roomba

These automated robot vacuums do a great job of removing the dirt that sits on top of a wood floor and even in most of the cracks. Carpets are another matter.

I try and use the Roomba at least twice a week. I cleans up most of that fine grit that acts as a fine sandpaper and eventually wears away the finish on the wood.

It also helps to have take off your shoes when entering the house.
I liked the Roomba, but I had a long-haired dog and I spent what seemed like more time cutting dog hair out of the brushes than it did vacuuming.
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