Sunday, May 26, 2013

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

I love my dark hardwoods. I wouldn't trade them for anything. Here's the absolute best way I've found to keep them looking clean and gorgeous. Dirty floors are my pet peeve. They completely wig me out. #sahmproblems

I first came across this method right after we finished remodeling our kitchen. I was 9 months pregnant, working at a paid job at the time and had no time or desire to clean up all the dust, etc. I hired the most amazing cleaning lady to ever grace the earth. I came home from work that day and it seriously looked like a brand new house.  I don't know how she did it in 6 hours, but it was nothing short of a miracle.

When I asked her how she got the floors so clean she said, "oh, I just hand-washed them". Um, excuse me, you did what. Are you out of your damn mind? You hand-washed them?! Well, little did I know, I'd soon be eating my words when I found how much easier it actually is.

This is the key to the method: use several microfiber cloths and to keep your water clean, you use a cloth until it's completely soiled then use a new one. Don't put the dirty cloth back in your water. 

Here's how it's done.

1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 gallon hot water
10 drops (or so) essential oil of your choice. I like lemon. Don't use too much essential oil or it will leave a grime on your floors. Just use enough to cover the vinegar smell.

1. Vacuum and/or Swiffer your floors. I use the Swiffer vacuum unless I'm doing the rugs too, then I'll use my Dyson.

2. Mix up your cleaner

3. Make sure you wring out your cloth really well. You don't want it dripping water.

4. Get down and dirty and start washin'! I wash in sections so I don't miss any spots and wash with the grain.

To get the most out of each cloth, I fold mine in half, then half again, then half again. Then just keep  finding clean spots on it until it's completely dirty, then grab a new one.

I usually try and do this every couple weeks during naptime. I make it a point to do it after we have people over. We don't wear shoes in the house, but I certainly don't ask guests to take their shoes off. Not to say that there hasn't been a time in my life where I didn't. I once threw a girl out of our NYE party about 5 years ago for refusing to take her shoes off - Tamara style. Not one of my finer moments, but hey, you live you learn.

If I don't have time to do the whole thing (usually take me 30-45 min from start to finish) I use this Bona wet mop. I  just refill it with my vinegar/water/EO mixture after I run out of Bona cleaner.

Also, when you wash your cloths, do a separate load with hot water. And DO NOT use fabric softner - it will render them useless. I use vinegar instead of softner. That helps get all the grime out and disinfect them too.

How do you clean your floors? Love to hear any other methods!


  1. Well this looks doable. And since I'm on a vinegar binge, I might just try it. Although it's pretty tough to compete with my current way: Cleaning lady. q2 weeks. (She uses vinegar too)

  2. Totally doing this! We have really dark hardwood as well and have a love hate relationship with them. They looks so amazing when spic and span but man, do they show dust! Trying this this week! :)

    1. I say we move in with tammyfantasyland

  3. hmmm, interesting. I use a Oreck(SP) steamer on ours and it works wonders, but I might have to try this out for fun one day.

  4. Sweet, you have done such a great job. I would love to try this on my hardwood flooring in Phoenix. Do you think the change in climate would affect the steps at all?

  5. Interesting!. I use a Oreck(SP) steamer on ours and it works wonders, but I might have to try this out for fun one day.


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