Cleaning hardwood floors - vacuum/sweepers?

I finally got rid of the nasty blue carpet in my living and dining rooms, and replaced it with gorgeous hardwood flooring. The difference is spectacular. You can see before and after photos here, if you’re interested.

The floor guy told me to use a mop and a mixture of water and white vinegar when I wanted to wash the floors, and just sweep in between moppings. Well, the sweeping isn’t doing a very good job of getting the cat hair up - it just sort of moves it around with little puffs of air. I wet the edge of the broom in the sink, which helped a little, but I need to find a better way.

I don’t want to use my big upright vacuum, because it’s got spinning bristles that could damage the floor’s surface, and it’s also huge and heavy, and I don’t like the idea of dragging those wheels all over so I can use the hose attachments.

I’m looking at the various stick-vac options online, and they all look pretty much the same to me over a very wide price range. Ideally I would want one that allows me to clean stairs as well. It doesn’t need a ton of suction power, since it’s mostly for cat fur. I’d be okay with using a simple powerless Swiffer-type thing, but I get the feeling it would get choked up with fur quickly and not do a very good job unless I switched pads very frequently.

Any recommendations?

I love my Shark Navigator and there is a lift-off, carry-around version now that sounds even better. The suction is truly impressive and–here’s the kicker–it has a hard floor setting that doesn’t spin the brush, so it’s absolutely safe to use on wood.

About washing your floors with only water and white vinegar. It isn’t true. Every now and then you’ll need to use water with a little dish soap or Murphy’s Oil Soap. You go around with two buckets and three rags–wash, rinse, and dry. Wash and rinse rags should both be rung hard before being applied to the floor, so as little moisture gets on them as possible.

My routine is to vacuum up the big stuff, then dust-mop up the adherent dust, then spot-clean with Swiffer WetJet’s wood floor solution. I actually wash the floors maybe once a year.

Swiffer is great for pet hair on wood floors. I’ve been living in a house with old parquet floors, and it works really well. No need to sweep beforehand, although you can. We also have a wood-floor vacuum, if you don’t want to replace Swiffer pads so often.

I too have wonderful hard wood floors(they show off our beautiful carpets) I use the vacuum attachments on the floors if I’m in a major clean mode, the other times I use the swifter duster. Too much liquid on wood floors is not a good thing.

I have four cats and all hardwood floors.

If you’re sweeping with just a regular broom, then I can see why you have problems. I only use the broom to sweep the pile of gathered fur, dust, dirt, litter and whatnot into the dustpan and into the trash, after I’ve used a dust mop like this one to do the real work.

I dust the floors with this almost every day, and then use a wet mop maybe every 6 months if the floors need more than the occasional (ahem, cat puke, ahem) spot cleaning. For that, I just use a cotton string mop with warm water and a mild surfactant that’s needed to get stuff like stove spatter in the kitchen. Or if I spot clean something and the towel comes up dirty, it’s time to do a thorough mopping.

But that’s all from someone who doesn’t like to have to plug things in or use batteries or use “disposable” stuff like swiffers.

I have cherry hardwood in my dining room. I use my trusty Sears canister similar to this one with the floor brush attachment. Works great and no fuss.

Does that dust mop pick up all the fluffy stuff? The fur bunnies are my biggest concern, as the cats shed a lot. It looks like a reusable Swiffer-like thing, and I found that my current floor-cleaner didn’t do a good job while dry (and I didn’t want to wet the floor). Am I doing it wrong? Should I be using that thing dry, to sweep stuff into a pile? Forgive me for sounding like an idiot - I’ve never had to deal with hardwood floors in my life! I’m used to a broom for tile, a vacuum for carpet, and that mop-thing I linked to for floor-washing.

I prefer something lower-tech, honestly. I was looking at the mini-vacs because I didn’t think a swiffer-like product would do the trick.

Yah, google “dust mop” but don’t let the “mop” term fool ya, it’s meant to be used dry. There are some that say on the packaging that you can use them wet, too, but I found them hard to move across the floor (when wet, dry they’re fine). They work great dry, especially the microfiber ones, and even better if you can find a microfiber with the fringey edges - picks up all kinds of fur! I make a pile, and then shake the mop/duster out over the pile, and then use a small broom and dustpan to pick it all up and toss in the trash bin. Works a treat!

It really does pick up lots of fur. If I don’t sweep for a day, the pile is much bigger than normal the next day. The flat bottom part I have to sometimes “peel” a layer of fur off where clumps have adhered to the microfibers and need a little help releasing when I shake it out.

I got mine at Target along with the little broom/dustpan combo and the cotton wet mop.

I personally like vacuuming pet hair. Try a nice brush head that won’t scratch the floors, something like this one:

Funny but I don’t find the swiffer picks up the pet hair at all. Although I use the wet jet on my wood floors and maybe the regular is better. The wet jet seems to collect the pet hair in front of the swiffer but the pads don’t pick it up so I have to get a papertowel and gather it up.

However, I LOVE my swiffer wet jet for my wood floors. It is so much easier than taking out a mop. With three dogs, I use my swiffer every day but the floors always look great. I get my refills at CVS which is less than half the price of the brand name and I also use both sides.

i love my roomba pet series. parquet hardwords here, and a shedding machine named lager the loveydovey.

the floor looks shiny and lovely when i get home.

or you could get those cool mop slippers…

We finally gave up on half-a$$ed canister vacs and bought a Miele. It is the Vacuum Of The Gods. Quiet, powerful, easy to maneuver. Expensive but really worth it. Works great on our hardwood floors.

On the lower tech end of the spectrum, I use a foam broom/sweeper similar to this:

Foam broom

Mine is not red, and does not have the sexy curved shape. I got it from a commercial janitorial supply place.

We recently went from one to two cats and I’ve been lazy about sweeping, but I think it does a pretty good job.

Since your wood floor was just installed it’s quite likely your polyurethane coating is thick enough to use your spin brush; it shouldn’t do any damage unless it’s crazy stiff. Doesn’t yours have a setting to turn off the brush? Even though my Dyson does, I leave the spin brush on as it seems to collect dog/cat fur better that way. I even use it on the 60 year old original maple floor portions since there’s a significant new seal on them.

2nd the Murphys soap recommendation for occasional cleaning. I use a Bissel Flip-It for mopping. It squirts whatever solution you put in it and sucks up the dirty water with vacuum power. There are several brands of these available.

I have the Swiffer vac thingy that’s like a combo dust mop/vac. It does pretty well at picking up dog and cat fur – the dog’s fur is particularly sticky. That thing is really great for stairs.

In general though, I usually just use the full-size vacuum. After I’ve done the area rugs, I just keep going all around the house. I’ve already got the vac out and dust mopping just moves dust bunnies and fur bunnies around. It only takes a few more minutes to just do the whole room that way.