Dark and Dusty Floors

I’m totally digging my new wood floors. They are dark, and lovely and … dusty and covered in the orange tabby’s hair. Yes, the dirty little secret about those dark wood floors you’ve been lusting over on pinterest, they show all the junk in yo trunk in no time flat. Now with our old floors, I was a pretty consistent cleaner, but I would probably go a week at a time where I would not vacuum or sweep the floors. Those days are gone my friend. Plus, our old floors generally just looked dirty all the time, which contributed to the low maintenance factor. See what I mean?

Red Oak Floors

We used to joke with the orange tabby that he matched our wood floors perfectly (actually, we told him he matched them puuurfectly), since his orangish fur literally disappeared once it hit the old floor (yes, please feel free to psychoanalyze that sentence, we talk to our cat and go out of our way to use cat orientated words in our discussions with him, sick, I know). Well Malcolm is officially out of the job as a floor model, since he sticks out like a sore thumb on these babies. Good for spotting him when you want to give his chin a scratch, bad for when his fur comes off in tufts as he saunters through the house. I’m ready to shave him. A la the picture below. That’s 48 hours of crap accumulation. So, ya want to hear my secret for keeping the floors sparkling clean?

How_To_Clean_Your_Dark_Wood

Since my once a week routine was no longer cutting it, I’m now tending to my high maintenance beauties more like 3 times a week. Once I realized the extent of my new cleaning duties, I decided to make a few upgrades around this joint in the cleaning department. Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to our new little vacuum that could, the Bissell Cordless Lift Off Vac. Love at first swoop.

Bissell Cordless Vacuum

This little guy has become my new best friend. Within a few minutes, I’m able to sweep through the house and remove (most) evidence of the dust and cat hair that accumulated. It even has a handy little hand vac that detaches and lets you get things like furniture and other spot cleaning. I’ve used it on the stairwell, too, which is so much nicer than schleping the entire vacuum up and down the steps.

Bissell Lift Off Cordless Vac

Before we bought this guy, we went to Lowes and flipped over every single cordless vac to see what the underparts looked like to make sure it wouldn’t be scratching up our newly minted floors. Once we got over the scandal of checking out said underparts of the vacuum, we determined that this guy was the best bet, mostly since we could not find anything that would drag along the floor and potentially scratch it. It was like a half hour long discussion in the vacuum aisle, with blue vested helpers asking you if you needed anything every 10 mins. Jay finally convinced me this option had nothing on it that could scratch the floors, so I decided to commit. So glad I did.

Best Vacuum for Wood Floors

So far with my cleaning routine, I’ve found that the vacuum works best for the particles that I can see, i.e. food crumbs, cat kibble, random chunks of other debris, and that a regular old broom, or dust mop of some kind, works great for all the finer particles that are harder to spot. I like to sweep right around the edges of the house once a week or so, since I find that I often don’t go right along the trim when I am vacuuming during the week, which leads to lots of missed spots that pop up in the sunlight.

My regular evening routine after dinner is the do a quick sweep of the floor to make sure everything looks put together and not grungy. I read once that cleaning the house before bed helps you sleep, and being the insomniac I am, I’ve totally found it helps. One less thing running around in your brain as you hit the hay.

How to Clean Dark Wood Floors

See how much I like it? Smiling from ear to ear.

Call me down right quirky, but I my favorite chores around the house are actually vacuuming and giving the wood floors a solid scrub. Probably helps that we have always lived in small little huts of houses, but I really, really like washing the floors! Ha, ha. I know, it’s weird. I’m a total fan of Murphy Oil soap, and think that over time it not only cleans the wood, but conditions it and keeps it looking it’s best as well. I just pour a few cap fulls in a bucket of warm water and scrub down the entire floor.

Cleaning_Floors_With_Murphy_Oil_Soap

Works like a charm! Here is the final shot of the kitchen as I edged out of it after washing the floors for the first time since they were refinished. Puts a smile right on my face, just look at those sparkling beauts.

How to Clean Wood Floors

So overall, I’m a bit mixed on how dark to go with your floor. I totally love the dark (in concept) and think that it looks classy and all that jazz, but in all honesty, not sure if I’d go down that road again. Although I really don’t like the orangey glow red oak can get over time with poly, I think next time around I might consider some lighter options as well. Home renovation, one big ball of trial and error for ya! 😉