I knew as soon as the group of us decided to make one of the challenges a cleaning challenge that it was high time for me to share my tips for cleaning and caring for dark wood floors.
Writing about cleaning isn't exactly in my realm of fun things to write about - even if I am the "Queen of Cleaning OCD" (according to my hub and my bff - Holly stop snickering). At any rate, the majority of questions that I get asked via e-mail since I started my blogging career (if you can even call it that) all revolve around our super dark, almost black bamboo floors.
|the hubs office|
|the breakfast room|
So here's the deal. Everyone was right. I'm going to tell you the absolute truth. These floors are super high maintenance. Every crumb and bit of dust shows up like a giant pimple on picture day. Dirt on these floors basically punches you in the face. You can't not notice when they're dirty. That being said - I still love them!!!!!! Even after caring for them for the past 2 years, I would still put this same flooring down if I had to do it all over again! I love them that much!
For this house in particular, this flooring was a great update. The wide, dark planks pair nicely with all the white moulding........
and this modern looking flooring is a nice contrast to the more traditional construction of our home.
I've learned a few things over the past couple years about how to care for them, keep them clean and not go crazy.
It's okay if they aren't spotless every day. Honestly, this is hard for me - again because I'm a little OCD about cleanliness, but I have learned to relax. I love how they look when they're clean; but it's just not possible with 2 kids and a dog to keep them perfectly clean every day and still be sane. A lived-in home is a happy home, and I'd rather have a happy home than a clean home.
2. Make Some Rules
Besides dirt and dust, footprints also show up big time on these dark floors. I've made a family rule that we all need to wear shoes, socks or slippers in the house at all times. Basically "no bare feet" allowed. This way I don't have to deal with footprints which bother me more than dust and dirt. This isn't a rule that applies to guests - I'm not that person - just the 4 of us that live here. Some of you might think that this rule sounds a little crazy. I feel that since I'm the one cleaning them, my hub and kids can at least do their part to help keep them clean. If one of them would like to volunteer to vacuum, dust and mop than they can make up their own rules. ;)
3. Get Yourself A Really Good Vacuum
I've had this Miele Red Star vacuum for almost 6 years now. It. is. the. best. vacuum. ever! Seriously. I know everyone thinks that the Big D (you know what I'm referring to right?) is the best one on the market, but I beg to differ. Irregardless of brand, the most important thing is to have a vacuum with good suction that has a hardwood floor attachment that won't scratch your floors.
4. Use The Essentials
In my opinion, these are the 4 things you need to keep your floors clean.
1. A vacuum with a hardwood floor attachment
2. A swiffer duster mop. I would like to literally kiss the inventor of this little dust mop. Life changing - for realz! It's so easy to use - even my kids can swiffer!
3. Bellawood hardwood floor cleaner! Okay, this is where you need to pay attention. If your eyes have been glazing over - I get it - but now is the time to pay attention. Bellawood is the best hardwood floor cleaner ever- no matter what kind of hardwood floors you have. The best thing about it for those with dark wood floors is that is leaves zero residue and no streaks! I've literally tried every floor cleaner on the market and this is the absolute best cleaner! (And no one is paying me to say that!)
4. A microfiber mopping pad. No ringing - no water - just spray and mop - then throw the pad in the washing machine - boom - done - easy.
(I know that steam mops have become widely popular, but I would recommend checking with your flooring manufacturer before using steam on your wood floors. For the brand of bamboo floors we have in our home steam is not recommended.)
5. Find A Cleaning Routine That Works For You
I've never been big on cleaning schedules, but sticking to a loose routine has helped me to stay on top of cleaning our floors without it feeling like too much of a chore. I vacuum once or twice a week, swiffer 2 to 3 times a week, and mop once a week. Because I love the look of these dark floors so much, I really don't mind the maintenance. And after 2 years I have it down to a science.
Do any of you have dark wood floors? What are your best tips for cleaning them? Who now thinks I'm over the top crazy after reading this post? It's cool if you do - I admit it - I'm a clean freak - is there a support group I can join?
The Clean It Link Party starts tomorrow morning! My cleaning-obsessed self can't wait to check out all of your cleaning tips and tricks!