I Mopped Something & Hell Has Not, In Fact, Frozen Over

Maybe I’ve mentioned once or twice that cleaning isn’t on the list of things I excel at. Also absent from that list: closing cabinet doors, picking up clothes, and doing laundry. I don’t believe in pretending to be something I’m not. Power tool wielding badass? Some days. Domestic goddess? Not so much.

Hey, you take the good with the bad around here.

But it also turns out that if I’ve got plenty of time to build stuff and write about building stuff, all of the sudden getting out the cleaning equipment isn’t such a horrifying idea. Which is how I ended up here:

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That’s the master bedroom and a walnut floor that you will recall I lovingly installed and then spent hours cleaning on my hands and knees. There’s no more heavy equipment use in the house anymore, but there’s still a lot of construction dust floating around, which is only amplified by the fact that other than sliding around in my socks, this floor hasn’t been cleaned ever.

Truth is, I didn’t want to run the shop vac or my 10 year old little dirt devil over it for fear of scratching, and after a bad haze experience my last house, I’ll never use a Swiffer on a hardwood floor. Which basically meant short of getting on my hands and knees and pulling a Cinderella again, I didn’t have any cleaning options.

And then…

We’ll hello there.

I think a TV commercial turned me on to the fact that these newfangled inventions called steam mops exist. No buckets of water? I need that thing. I actually did extensive research on which one to buy… this isn’t something I was paid to promote. (I hate that I have to qualify that, but I also feel like people need to understand just how much time and thought I put into purchasing a piece of cleaning equipment so everyone can accurately assess whether or not Hell is indeed getting chilly.)

After reading a great consumer research report, I decided on the Haan Slim and Light Steam Mop, which doesn’t require pulling a trigger to steam, and gets hot enough to sanitize floors in one second.

It came yesterday, which meant I was officially out of excuses to not take care of this:

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The instructions recommended vacuuming or sweeping first and because I didn’t trust the vacuum not to leave scratches I went the manual route which was minimally effective on the fine dust.

The steam mop was easy to assemble and use. It comes with two reusable microfiber pads and I used both of them to do the 14×14 bedroom. (I also ordered more.) They definitely got filthy, but I rinsed them out in the utility sink and they were back to new in no time. They’re currently still air drying.

And the floor looks like this:

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There’s still some dust that was just getting pushed around there at the end, but it’s 513 times better than it was. I’m sure that wouldn’t have been a problem if I vacuumed first. (Guess whose going to be in the market for a hardwood-safe vacuum now? This is not nearly as fun as buying cordless air nailers. Suggestions anyone?)

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Things I love about the steam mop:

  • No chemical or cleaning smells
  • No refilling buckets of water or wringing out a mop
  • No loud noises (I hate the sound of the vacuum… the cat and I have the same expression on our faces every time I turn it on.)
  • It sanitizes, which is great when you only clean once every three months
  • It was really easy to use

And now I’m going to go build something so I don’t lose all of my street cred. But really, those floors look mighty pretty now.

21 Responses

  1. I’ve been thinking about one too, but I just can’t seem to get over the fact that I’ll be intentionally shooting water (steam) at my wood floors.
    What are you thoughts on that aspect? Did you find anything in your research that was reassuring?

    1. I’ve actually always mopped my wood floors (wait, this is a lie… for a long time I paid someone to mop my woods floors) without being too worried about water damage. In my opinion that really happens when water sits on a floor or it gets so saturated that the wood warps when it dries.

      What I can tell you is that the steam mop was definitely “drier” than regular mopping, or even wiping with a damp sponge.

      With the finish on the hardwood and the minimal moisture, I wouldn’t hesitate to use it on any wood floor!

  2. We have one of these (a different brand) and it works pretty well. I presume that DIYDiva has looked into the wood-damage question just raised. For what it’s worth, the experienced person who supplied and installed our hardwood floors recommended this cleaning method too. I love the no-rinsing, no-products, no-noise aspects. I hate that I have to vacuum first but, really, it could be worse — I have a nice, warm house; I live in a democracy; I have food; etc.
    I, too, hate cleaning, and I’ve been putting off cleaning my floors, but damn it I’m going to go and do it right now.

    1. It absolutely will work on tile! And this version is good for sanitizing any type of floor (kitchen or bath particularly).

  3. As far as a vacuum for hard floors (I have tile not wood), I love my Dyson Animal. It has a bare floor setting and it so easy to use, the suction is great and I feel like it does a great job. I have part carpet, part tile and 2 sets of stair cases to do and it is very easy to change for each setting. I have four cats, four ferrets and a messy husband and it really does the job! Pricey, but very worth it! Love your floors! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the recommendation Tina. I read some mixed reviews on the Dyson so it’s great to hear from someone who loves it. Out of curiosity, how loud is it?

  4. I totally need one of those steam-thingies. Nice.

    On another note, just vacuuming works well for our laminate (sadly, not hardwood.. maybe in our next house), and I use a wet Swiffer once in a blue moon to mop. We have a Dyson ball vacuum (not sure if it’s the Animal or not, but it’s gray and orange), so I totally second Tina who commented above. It’s been over a year and I still love that thing (never thought I’d be in love with a vacuum). We had some fine dust on the floors from drywall work we were doing, and did a competition between a shop vac and the Dyson – the Dyson won, hands down. 🙂 And it has a 5 year warranty… which was the reason we bought it in the first place when our old vacuum died a month after the 1-year warranty expired. I fear we’re now forever Dyson fans.

  5. I’ve got a Miele canister vac that I use for our 1700 ft of hardwood floor and it has separate a carpet head, too. I love it. I’ve had it for about four years and it works as well as ever.

    In between vacuumings, I also use a large dry mop (think high school gym floor mop, except I think mine is only 2 or 2 1/2 feet wide) with a fluffy microfiber head on it. The fluffy part has a velcro backing — it’s really easy to strip off and wash and then stick back on again, though I don’t do that often. I’ve been using it for about six years now and still love it. I think I got it from a janitorial supply place online.

    Good luck! I can’t wait to hear what you end up with.

    1. That janitors mop is a fabulous idea. It’s probably way more effective than what I was trying to do with the broom and I think I’d prefer that to running the vac all the time.

  6. Unfortunately, I haven’t had wood floors for ages, but when I did, general “upkeep” was using a dust mop with End Dust (no wax). Damp mopping was done when the floors were considered dirty. Well, someday I’ll have wood floors again and be back to look up what you use!

  7. I have a Miele S2 Olympus canister vacuum and my favorite part is how quiet it is. There is a dial to adjust the power and it’s a little louder cranked all the way up but pretty quiet on the setting I use for my wood floor.

  8. I recently bought an Oreck vacuum and have been very pleased with it – it is not nearly as noisy as the upright I had before, and it cleans our hardwoods so well that I don’t sweep anymore. We have two cats and two kids and the vacuum picks up anything they leave – fluffs of cat hair, gravel, leaves, dirt, etc. It doesn’t have any attachments, but they give you a little vacuum for that when you buy the upright. It also automatically adjusts between surfaces, so I can right from my hardwood to my area rug without switching settings or anything. It’s only been a few months, but I really like it thus far (and it was nowhere near as expensive as a Dyson!).

  9. I had wood floors when I lived in N.C. & will SOON have them here again in Louisiana! :o) I used a janitor’s dry mop/broom on mine in Carolina as well with a little bit of Pledge on it & VERY SELDOM mopped but when I did I used a sponge mop with some Murphy’s Oil Soap. Worked great & didn’t have to rinse.

  10. Roomba all the way! Did a beautiful job on my hardwoods – all by itself! Just push the button and off it goes. It does all but black carpet well.

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