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Help me clean my hard floors!

793 Views 14 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  RuRuMom
I have a love/hate relationship with my floors. I have hardwood, ceramic tile and laminate flooring. I LOVE knowing that I can get it really clean, especially with dd's sensitive airways. I HATE getting it clean.

So, those of you with similar flooring, how do you do it? Sweep or vacuum? If you vacuum, what do you use and like? I'm really considering getting either an electronic sweeper or stick vac because I don't like sweeping. What do you use to clean the floors? So far I think hot water and vinegar works best but I still find myself doing a lot of spot cleaning by hand. Any particular mop you're especially fond of?

Finally, how about dirty grout? Even when my floor is "clean" it looks gross because our grout has gotten stained and dirty. Any magic solutions? If not I'm going to paint over it.

All tips appreciated
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I have hardwood and tile floors and either sweep with an ENJO Broom or vacuum. I use a steam mop with just distilled water, and the floors feel heavenly afterward -- I just have to walk around on them afterward in my bare feet.
What I like most about the steam mop: cleans up EVERYTHING, even sticky stuff from the kitchen in one pass; can really get things sanitized by leaving the mop in the same place for 15 seconds (like around the toilets); the floor is dry in 10 minutes; did I mention the floor feels so clean afterward that they're a joy to walk on?

I'll be interested to see what folks say about grout as I've not conquered that issue myself.

Happy cleaning!
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Hmmm, very intrigued by the steam mop. I've never even heard of one before
Can you give me more details (brand, etc)?
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I'm pretty sure this is not an enviromentally safe product, but my SIL used Kaboom on her grout before they put their house on the market, and her floors sparkled!
Baking soda works like magic on grout - safe for grout too. Use a toothbrush or a bigger broomy-brush thing. And brusha-brusha-brusha
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We have hardwood upstairs (tile in the kitchen). I use a dustbuster for spot vacuuming (like the 5x today when DD dumped her bowl of crackers all over the floor, again). Once the mess gets out of hand (say, every couple of days), I use my cannister vacuum with the attachment for floors (not the one for carpet, the one for bare floors) to vacuum up all the dust and dirt. And I usually follow that with my Swiffer, handily modified so that I can use vinegar and water to clean the floors.

If the floors are only dusty, I have a dust mop with a microfiber head that I can just run around and it picks up the dust nicely.

I'd love to hear more about the steam mop also.
Sorry I took so long to reply.

I use the Bissel Steam Mop. It has a swivel head and a couple of washable/re-usable terrycloth (or something similar) mop pads. You just fill up the reservoir with distilled water, put a clean pad on, plug in the mop, wait about 30 seconds until the light comes on telling you the mop is ready, and start mopping. I don't ever have to scrub anything off -- if there's something sticky on the floor, I just leave the mop on that spot for a few seconds, and voila the sticky stuff is gone. Can you tell that I really LOVE this mop? When you're done, you just unplug, remove the pad and put it in the washing machine to clean for next time, and then take off your socks and walk barefoot on your really clean floor.

I think they're about $60 -- mine was a gift. I'm pretty sure they're available at Sears. Possibly someplace like Target or WalMart, too.

Hope this helps!

Happy Cleaning!
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Thanks RuRuMom - I ended up doing a search and fell in virtual love with the Bissell mop. I'm in Canada and still trying to track it down....

And Spastica - bs on grout!!! WOW! It is a miracle. I have tried everything, even the nasty commercial cleaners and nothing has made a dent on the dirt. A little bs with a little elbow grease and it came up no problem. I'm officially hooked on bs.
Perogi, yay!

Man...baking have NO idea.

If people didn't know me any better, they'd think I was running a crack house with the amount of the white powder I have in my house...

I use it for absolutely everything. Scrubbing and cleaning the stainless steel, countertops, floor cleaning (I live in an apartment and have cheapo vinyl), and use it all over my body (and on my hair for no-shampoo)and use it on the dog with his dog shampoo when I give him a bath.

It's fabulous stuff.

*throws a pinch in the air as fairy dust*
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I got a Miele HEPA canister vac. It's amazing! I just vacuum everything and then lightly mop with a damp hand towel on a swiffer every 3rd time or so. Sweeping started to freak me out because we had lots of asbestos and we have lots of lead in the soil around the house. I spot clean with damp towels as needed. We have old fir floors everywhere but the bathrooms.
RuRuMom - the site says that the Steam Mop is no longer available...
I wonder if another company makes a similar product? I've been struggling to find something that I like to clean my hardwood. We've lived here since December and so far I haven't found anything. I've been resorting to using a damp towel and walking around the house w/ it on my feet! LOL!
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I use my Kirby once a month on the hardwoord to get all the stuff out of the cracks (old house/flooring, it's all warped and stuff), I sweep the rest of the time and once a week I use lysol lemon to mop with (hot, hot water and spagetti mop)...I hated using a vinegar solution, it was stripping the floors and making it look yuck (our landlords do everything as cheap as possible, I doubt they did professional finishing on the floor)...the lysol kills all the bugs that my dad's cats bring in from outside at least and the floors look nice. I use a swiffer for the spot jobs.

Come to think of it, I hate cleaning those floors too!
Amy is right! Whatever you do, don't use vinegar on your hardwood floors--it strips them and will eventually make them cloudy or filmy. People who are trying to be "natural" often go for the vinegar first--without knowing that it is a pretty harsh substance on wood.

This is how I care for my hardwood floors:
I don't like the Bissel mop--it is just too heavy, and hard to get into little spaces. I had one for a while and never felt like it got my floors that clean, either. I will sweep my floors, then vaccuum them, then mop them with an ordinary string mop. I bought my mop at target--it has a detachable head that can be washed in the washing machine--which I love! I wash it every time after I mop.

So I get my floors really clean from sweeping and vaccuuming, then I fill the sink with REALLY hot water and ordinary dishwashing soap (like Dawn). I dip in the mop and wring it out, and then mop everything in sight. After that I wipe up the excess with a towel. This gets my floor really clean--it actually shines!

As for my tile (we have limestone tile in the bathroom) I spray the grout with a spray bottle filled with water and bleach. I leave it on as long as possible, and then wipe it down with a damp towel. This is a very cheap way to get the grout as clean as can be.
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Too bad on the Bissell being unavailable. Interesting about the vinegar stripping the hardwood. I haven't tried vinegar on my hardwood yet but I could've sworn that I read it was okay on sealed wood.....

Lisa - maybe you find the bleach is working on the tile grout because it has never gotten really dirty? We didn't pay any special attention to our grout and were normally mopping with a Swiffer and our grout got VERY dark and dirty. We didn't even seal it like we were supposed to, which makes a huge difference. Anyway, before baking soda I tried all sorts of cleaners and did also try straight bleach and found it didn't do much at all. I was also concerned about the long term effect it might have on the grout itself - maybe making it more brittle? Anyway, give bs a shot and see what you think
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I feel bad about the Bissel not being available after I recommended it so highly.
Sorry about that -- didn't even occur to me it wouldn't be available anymore -- I got it as a gift about a year and a half ago.

I googled "hard floor steam" and came up with some sites that sell steam mops (like Hammacher Schlemmer for about $100 + shipping
)There were some cheaper ones on other sites, too. Bad thing, of course, is we don't know how well they'd work. I don't like ordering expensive things online, where you don't even get to see them/feel them first.

If it were me, and my steam mop stopped working, I'd probably give the one on a try even at the high price. I just love mine, and I'd hate to give it up. But, of course, that's just me -- LisaInCalifornia said she doesn't like the Bissel. IMHO, it gets my floors super clean. I don't have a lot of tight spaces where the steam mop wouldn't work so that's not an issue for me, but corners do need some extra attention on occasion. I'll probably try the detachable string mop she suggested for those.

Anyway, I hope this helps! I'm going to go order some extra pads for my Bissel before those become unavailable, too.

Take care everyone!
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