Cleaning floors well takes time.  There is no way around it.   I actually timed it once.   You know how it broke down?

  • 5 minutes – move chairs/stools/high chairs out, toys out, shoes & garbage outside
  • 7 min – sweep floors
  • 15 min – mop
  • 3 min – put chairs/stools back

Thirty minutes.  My kitchen & dining room is about 400 sq. ft. as best as I can estimate.

I’ve tried several different tools to clean my hardwood floors.

  1. Swiffer Wet Jet – garbage.  No scrubbing.  Stinky.  Leaves streaks.   Handle can’t take pressure to scrub sticky spots (I’ve broken 3 of them). And it’s EXPENSIVE to refill.
  2. Libman Microfiber Mop – not good for scrubbing either.  It’s also big and not easy to maneuver.
  3. Rubbermaid Reveal – not great either.   Not good for scrubbing, still leaves streaks.   Handle doesn’t take pressure.  But you can pick your own cleaner!
  4. Oreck Steam Mop – worthless for small kids and cleaning sticky spots.  Might be useful for immediate clean up.   Maybe.  But I doubt it.

I’m not kidding when I said I tried it all.  Well, except the sponge mops but I knew those were junk before I owned a house so I’m not even going to include it.

I’ve found the best way to clean hardwood floors is to do the following:

  1. Remove everything from floor.   Boxes, stacks of things, chairs, highchairs, bar stools, toys, shoes, garbage can, everything!
  2. Sweep the floor.  For years I tried using a regular corn broom because it was more environmentally friendly but they don’t work for beans, IMHO.   I started using a nylon broom recommended by our old office cleaner.   MUCH better.
  3. Fill sink with HOT soap & water.  I’m not a fan of buckets and I use Dawn dish soap.  Again, I use it because it works.
  4. Add Libman Tornado Mop and wring it out well.    I work in small sections about 4 ft by 4 ft and then,
  5. Wipe dry with microfiber cloth.   I put one under each foot and dry where I’ve mopped with them.
  6. Repeat as necessary until whole floor is clean.
  7. Empty sink & put away mop.
  8. Put everything else back in kitchen that belongs there.

Other items to note about cleaning floors.

  • Figure out where to start and end so that you’re not tracking all over places you’ve just cleaned with the mop when you need to put the mop back in the sink.
  • If you are baking or anything else that is usually messy, do that FIRST.  Then mop.
  • If you need to clean tables or counters, do those first as well, so that new stuff doesn’t drop onto your newly clean floor.

I’ve tried almost every tool and shortcut and this is the best way to clean hardwood floors that I have found in the six years I’ve been experimenting with it.  Check out my favorite hardwood floor cleaning tools.

What do you use to clean your hardwood floors?

Jen S.



Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

1 Comment on The Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors

  1. Christina
    16 December 2016 at 11:30 AM (2 years ago)

    You have a very common sense route when it comes to tackling the floors. Clearing everything away before sweeping and starting with the gentlest materials possible seems like a wise way to go about the process.


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