Cleaning floors..dirty feet

jen4t25August 11, 2010

I'm so sick of having dirty feet at the end of the day! I'm in a small 3 bedroom apartment. All the floors are hardwood except the bathroom & kitchen are tile. I have a 1 year old so I want the floors to be spotless! I have a swiffer spray mop & use it pretty much every other day. I vacuum every single day (sometimes up to 3x a day) because I have a shedding dog. Other than my 1y/o & 2 dogs it's me & my husband...we don't wear shoes around the house except if it's because we forgot something in the other room after we put them on to leave.

I just can't have clean floors! I think it's the tile floors in the kitchen because my feet are dirtier than my husband's at the end of the day but his are still dirty. I'm so sick of it! It's disgusting! When using the Swiffer spray mop I have to change it a few times because it gets dirty somewhat fast.

What do I do? How do I get clean floors? Is the Swiffer mop not good? This is all I've ever used here. I like the idea of having new clean pads each time but if the floors aren't clean then it's pointless.

Any tips &/or products would be appreciated.


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I get up before everyone else in my house. I sweep the floors (linoleum and wood plank flooting) THEN go over them all with the Swiffer WetJet. Takes me about 15 minutes. And I use a new Swiffer pad every day. I don't like the idea of rubbing dirt around.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 9:02AM
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Maybe consider preventative measures like doormats inside and out any exits, clean any venting, check window screens, etc. No shoes is the best rule, which you already do.

Those kind of things have helped me some, but I'm in a constant state of search for the perfect mop. I've been using one from Leifheit for bout 6 months that's working well. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the Swiffer, though it is more convenient. The kitchen is our busiest room in the city so I sweep it right before bed and vacuum the wood flooring almost as often -- thanks to our Jack Russell.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 12:15PM
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When you say your feet are dirty at the end of the day, it implies you are walking around barefoot. Perspiration from your feet might be what's causing them to appear dirty. You might try wearing white socks in the house for a day and see what they look like at the end of the day.
But you also might want to take a deep breath, relax, realize that you are keeping a clean house, and remember that dirt is part of life and subjecting a healthy child to normal amounts of everyday stuff isn't going to hurt. Look up the term "hygiene hypothesis."

What type of tile do you have in the kitchen - ceramic tile, vinyl tile, linoleum tile?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 5:12PM
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Jannie: this is what I basically do except it's after the baby has her bottle (she's my alarm clock). When she's in her play yard I use the stick vacuum to get the entire house (depending on how early bc I have people below me & they'll hear the wheels...then I'll just do the living room). I use a new pad all the time least 2 to do the entire house.

Wesrvillager: I'm thinking of getting a regular mop & really get down & dirty on these floors using some hardcore chemicals! My living room is busiest. I'm thinking I'll try a real mop.

Graywings: yes I'm barefoot this summer, in winter I'm wearing socks...I'll have to pay attention better. I'm real anal now because the past couple months my baby is all over the floor. I have brand new white socks so I'll see what happens. I know that dirt is a part od life & I am very clean it just drives me nuts because I'm always cleaning them! What am I wasting my time for, hehe! The kitchen floors are ceramic tile. I think this is where the filth is! I'll use the swiffer 3 times in a row using a clean pad each time & not be able to get a clean-ish pad when I'm done!

Any good cleaning supplies you can recommend for ceramic tile & hardwood floors?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 6:02PM
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I was reading something on another forum that they can't get they're floor clean good because the mop doesn't get into the textured floor...I guess that's my problem...the grooves in the ceramic floor keep the dirt there. I guess I'll have to get on my hands & knees & get it done with a brush. The dogs rarely go in there & neither do we with shoes so once I do it it won't have to be all the time...I can use the swiffer mop in between major cleanings.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 6:16PM
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For a ceramic tile floor, I like a steam cleaner. You have to vacuum or at least sweep first, but then steam, not chemicals or detergents, cleans your floor, leaving no residue (which might be the cause of your dirty feet).

Here is a link that might be useful: Wagner steam cleaner

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 7:54PM
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I'd love a steam cleaner! When I get a house in the next year (hopefully) I WILL have 1 of those! My kitchen & bathroom are so small & I really can't spend the $$ on one at the moment.....but you think that would really help on the ceramic? That would get into the crevices? Maybe it'll be an early bday/Xmas gift. If they could be used on wood I would already have one....that Shark infomercial almost gets me every time!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 7:02AM
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It's my opinion that those Swiffer mops leave residue. If you are using it daily it wouldn't surprise me that you have dirty feet. I used it once and hated the way the floor felt after.

I personally think those things push dirt around too (even if you use a fresh pad everyday) - do those things biodegrade??

I would try something with a cleanable pad (ie. Bona Mop - I use this for quick clean ups on hardwood, tile and laminate.

You still need to do a periodic, deeper clean with a mop and bucket (IMO). I use Shaklee Basic H2 which leaves no residue at all (leaves my floors streak free). I sometimes add Tee Tree oil for disinfecting (I like the smell too).

I use the Casabella Magnet Mop - it has a microfiber layer over the sponge and I find it cleans beautifully (I've tried MANY mops). It seems to get into the grout area too.

I've used steam too and it does clean them with absolutely no residue. I just find it more work to get out the steamer and get it all set up (that's just me).

Here is a link that might be useful: Casabella Magnet Mop

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 11:17AM
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Since a mop is my bane (and the housekeeper's) I have to agree totally with livebetter. The Swiffer one left residue but the Casabella mop is a good one too. Must be the microfiber.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 8:54AM
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I was given one of those Swiffer things and hated the residue that it left. Residue will attract and hold dirt IMHO.

When I have to do deep cleaning I fill a squirt bottle with water and cleaning solution, and then squirt it on the floor. Then use the mop to scrub the area. THEN, I have a bucket of clear water and rinse the area I just scrubbed. I go insections. Sometimes I have to change the bucket of clear water if it looks too dirty to rinse the mop clean.

No, or very little, residue is left.

This system beats pouring the cleaning solution into a bucket and then swishing it around the whole room. (My mother's method.)

For quick daily maintenance I just dampen a towel and attach it to my Swiffer duster. Or I use those disposable, blue, paper shop towels.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 1:38PM
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Yeah so maybe the swiffer is attracting's all I've ever used on my floors so that's probably why my feet are dirty. My mom always says how she doesn't mop very often & when she does she uses a regular feet are never dirty at her house & I mop a heck of a lot more than she does! It's gotta be the swiffer!
Livebetter: thanks for the recommended products..I'll check them out!

I like the spray bottle & put only regular water in the bucket idea. Before having the Swiffer I used to fill the bucket with water & soap.

I need to get everyone out of the house for a few hours, deep deep clean all the floors maybe on my hands & knees and get all new cleaning stuff (mops & solutions). Start new!

This is such a great forum! I've used this forum years ago a few times for the sewing section...I've never been in the cleaning section!


    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 7:57AM
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I don't believe you need a whole new set of cleaning supplies and products. Believe it or not, a vinegar and water solution will work just as well as cleaners sold in stores. It's cheap, it's natural, and you won't have to rinse the floor.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 9:17AM
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Don't get me wrong ... I do use vinegar for some things. I use it as a rinse in the laundry for some items, I use it to clean my fish bowl, etc ...

IMO vinegar is not a great "all purpose" cleaner.

Low pH cleaners (acidic, like vinegar) can dissolve hard water and mineral deposits, but canÂt tackle dirt and grime. Many people have heard "use vinegar" so they do but they donÂt really understand the chemistry behind cleaning.

Cleaning/laundry are really a lesson in chemistry. What will remove certain dirt/stains and suspend them in water so they can be removed completely. ItÂs really quite fascinating (to me anyway):)

High pH cleaners (more alkaline, like harsher soaps) are good at dissolving dirt and grime. Warning: these will also eventually dull the finish of some floors (ie. hardwood).

I like to use a neutral PH cleaner for all my floors. ThatÂs why I choose the Shaklee Basic H2. I have tried MANY cleaners for my tile floors (even vinegar at one time). They all left streaks. Basic H2 dries my floor with no streaks. I donÂt rinse or dry it.

I could use the Basic H2 solution in the Bona mop if I want (it is refillable). So far IÂve been happy with the Bona solutions for hardwood/tile&laminate as they are also PH neutral. I use the Basic H2 with mop and bucket for deeper cleaning and the Bona for quick clean ups.

When you do your deep clean and start "new"  rinse  rinse  rinse. Make sure you rinse with plain water several times and remove the residue and dirt that have probably built up.

The other bonus of these products is they are all non-toxic and certified "Green Guard" safe. Perfect for little ones crawling around. You donÂt have to worry about what chemicals they might be getting in and on themselves :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Shaklee Basic H2

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 10:11AM
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If you have tile floors and the grout is dirty, everytime you get it wet, like after you mop the floors, you are spreading the dirt around and picking it up on your feet.

There is a professional strength grout cleaner sold at HD (used with a grout brush) that will completely get it out. Then seal it. After that, you might want to invest in a Hoover floormate. It also has a grout attachment to keep it clean.
It scrubs then vaccumes the water up.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 10:35AM
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Read the side of the Swiffer bottle---it says that the chemicals in it can be harmful to your pets. I quit using it after I saw that and got a Shark Steam Mop. I love that thing! Best money I ever spent. Vacuum prior to steam mopping. It cleans and sanitizes. No sticky residue and no pushing dirt around. The steam mop can be used on tile and hardwood. The pads are supposed to be washed and dried without fabric softener, so keep that in mind.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 9:37PM
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I just read this press release and thought it was great news. Bona cleaner is GREENGUARD Certified (non-toxic, biodegradable ...). I didn't realize they had partnered with Healthy Child Healthy World ... awesome ...

"Bona Partners With Healthy Child Healthy World
Aurora, Colorado  August 3, 2010 - Bona US, the world leader in hardwood floor cleaning and care since 1919, is pleased to announce that they have become a Trusted Partner of Healthy Child Healthy World, the nationÂs leading nonprofit inspiring parents to protect children from harmful chemicals. This partnership signifies a mutual commitment in increasing awareness on indoor air quality and reducing childrenÂs exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), toxic chemicals and other pollutants emitted by household products. As part of the collaboration, Bona and Healthy Child will encourage consumers and parents to choose only third-party certified products for their children and homes.

"Indoor air quality is a major concern, particularly for homes with children, as infants take in two to five times more dust than adults, despite their smaller size. TodayÂs consumers are insisting on environmentally healthy products for their homes," said Chad Nordhagen, Director of Marketing. "Partnering with Healthy Child Healthy World will help us spread the message about the importance of indoor air quality and the health of families as BonaÂs floor care solutions are pH-neutral, biodegradable, non-toxic and GREENGUARD certified."

Here is a link that might be useful: Bona partners with Healthy Child Healthy World

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 5:25PM
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Awesome! I'll have to go with bona for sure then! Tomorrow I'm going to the store to get stuff because Tuesday I'm bringing the baby to my parents & the dogs to the groomers...I will have the house to myself!

Tomorrow I'm going to bed bath & beyond for the bona mop & hardwood cleaner.
I already have a hand scrub brush to get the ceramic tiles in the kitchen & bathroom.
I'm also getting a regular mop w/ bucket to use in the kitchen/bathroom tile for regular use.

I'm gonna get rid of the swiffer!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 4:20PM
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Good for you jen4t25! It's Tuesday and I'm wondering if you're hard at work ;)

Let us know how it goes!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 11:27AM
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I didn't make it to Bed Bath & Beyond for the Bona mop YET! but I did get a Libman mop since that's what stop & shop had & it wasn't expensive (& so I can still maybe get the Casabella magnet mop another time).
I did buy Greenworks multi-surface cleaner so I don't get a residue... I really think it was the residue that was attracting the dirt bc my floors are so shiny now! I never thought of that being the cause. After I cleaned I thought they were still wet, ha! I mixed the Greenworks into a spray bottle with water & had the bucket with just clean water...that was a great idea because you can change the water a ton of times & not waste the soap!

In the kitchen/bathroom tiles I got on my hands & knees with a scrub brush, a terry cloth, bucket of water & spray bottle of Clorox bleach spray & scrubbed/rinsed a section at a time. After the entire room was done I then went back over it with the mop & Greenworks cleaner.
Today I put on a brand new pair of white socks & will be testing my floors! I will be home relaxing all day! I literally cleaned for 9 hours straight & have a spotless house!
Yesterday at the laundromat a flyer on the wall caught my eye....someone was selling Shaklee products (household cleaning products was one of the items) & left their phone number to call. I may check it out.
I like the Greenworks stuff I got but I may get that tee tree oil to add to it. I like to disinfect my floors too. I never heard of that before.

Thank you all so much! I got so much great info & tips from you guys & used a little from each of you yesterday while I was cleaning! I'll update later after my "white sock test"!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 7:35AM
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My floors PASSED the "white sock test"!! They're pretty much just as white as they were this morning! I'm so happy that all my hard work paid off!

Thank you all so much :D

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 8:13PM
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Yeah!! I just knew it was the Swiffer ... happy for you :)

If you get a chance, try the Shaklee Basic H2 - it's good stuff.

I also have 3 spray bottles for it (I just love the graphics on them) and I mix 3 different cleaning products from the one (window/glass, all-purpose and degreasing). I add tea tree and sometimes eucalyptus or lavender too to my all purpose spray ... smells wonderful and no chemicals!

It saves buying lots of different products and you know it's no residue, non toxic and you can create your own scents.

I haven't tried the Greenworks so I don't know how it stacks up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Basic H2 spray bottles

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 9:30PM
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I have to wear shoes in the house. Don't want to and didn't for the first 25 years we lived here but now I'm paying for it :o I love LOVE L-O-V-E my Bissell Steam Mop! It makes my (matte and lightly textured) porcelain tile and my travertine tile feel so incredibly clean, smooth and irresistible that I HAVE to take off my shoes and walk around barefooted for awhile :)) No cleaners/chemicals, just fresh water and you CAN tell a difference! I highly recommend one when you can afford it :)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 1:17AM
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I stumbled on this video on Youtube that shows the Swiffer against the Bona. Thought some might find it interesting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Swiffer vs Bona

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 11:26PM
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"I mixed the Greenworks into a spray bottle with water & had the bucket with just clean water...that was a great idea because you can change the water a ton of times & not waste the soap!"

Thanks. Not only does it get the floors cleaner but it does save $$$ on detergent. I'm frugal.

I didn't mention using the Hoover Floormate. I invested in one a while back, but I really use it more as a rinse aid. It cleans the floor like advertised, but not as well as I like. Now what I do is, I squirt the cleaning solution onto the floor and scrub, scrub, scrub with a mop. Then I use the Floormate to rinse and pick up. The Floormate is pricey but you may want to consider getting one. Read the online reviews.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 5:55AM
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Livebetter I'm going to check out that video when I get on a computer, for some reason it's saying the movie format isn't supported by my iPad. I can't wait to see it!

Dilly_dally thank you so much for that idea! It's 100x better than putting the soap in the bucket! I like to change the water a lot & I don't mind doing it a lot more when it's just regular get cleaner floors that way :)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 12:04PM
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Don't bother with a Hoover Floormate. I bought one online (used,refurbished) For $175 . It worked the first time or two, then quit working. Nobody services them, Hoover no longer makes them, and it's not easy to find the cleaning solutiuon. Again, Hoover no longer makes. I wasted $175.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 8:17AM
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Yes but you got a GREAT DEAL on it right!!!? Price is the consumers primary concern. How it works, repairability, usefulness of it's warranty etc., all that a qualified sales person could have told you about were of little importance in your purchase.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 11:43AM
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9 hours cleaning floors?? That makes me want to cry.

You should get a good quality microfiber mop with at least 3 or 4 pads. You can use them dry to pick up dust, fine dirt and hair. Then vacuum off the crud and soak them in water, wring out very well, and then mop the floors - no cleaners needed. It's quick, easy, the floors dry very fast, and boy are they clean when you're done! The mop head even swivels so you can get into all sorts of tight spaces and under furniture easily. Then the pads can be laundered (no bleach or fabric softener) and reused several hundred times before they need replacing. I spent about $27 dollars on my commercial quality 18" aluminum MF mop with 3 pads including shipping. I also have a Haan steam mop, and a Hoover Floormate, and to be honest, I love the MF mop best! No hassle, no mess, no cord, no chemicals, low cost and IMO does the best job. I have both tile and hardwood floors throughout my home. I can get my 1700 sq feet done in no more than an hour, if that.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 2:05PM
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I have a steam floor cleaner and I end up using my Hoover Floormate more often. It removes the dirty water, instead of spreading it around. That's what I use for serious cleaning. For quickie cleaning, I throw a damp microfiber cloth on the floor, set my mop on it and swish it around, then toss it in the wash. Or, I use my Clorox mop and actually attach the microfiber cloth.

Warning: I did ruin the finish on my wood floor in my last house with a steam cleaner. I'm very reluctant to use one on wood again.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 5:29PM
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When you always walk Barefoot before you go to bed as you guys do and I also do, it's natural to go to bed with your Feet dirty. I always go to bed with my Barefeet dirty because I am always Barefoot, including outdoors. Most people I know go to bed with dirty feet and think it's no big deal.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 2:23AM
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My sister works as a chambermaid in a local motel. They sure clean a room fast, don't they? She told me one of their "secrets" is they take a Swiffer dustmop and safety-pin a damp towel over it, use that for cleaning tile bathroom floors. You could add a little disinfectant or soap or detergent to the water. I like tea tree oil, which I keep in my medicine chest and use as an all-round disinfectant. Also dab it on my cuticles as a moisturizer. Love the smell.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 7:56AM
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A good quality Vapor stam cleaner (always Vacuum first) works great and no chemicals..Less VOC's in your home..

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 3:49PM
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Sorry, that is vapor steam cleaner above post.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 7:22PM
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I used to clean my floors with swiffer jet mop but the cost of the pads and solution added up, also I did not like the residue it left behind. I purchased rubbermaid and I love love it, you don't have to buy refill pads because the pads are washable and I just use water and a few drops of peppermint for the solution. My feet are always clean by the end of the day(that's how I know whether I need to remop my floors) i vacuum once every morning and mop right after, haven't had any problems with dirty floors. I always make sure my floors are clean since I have a 1 year old running around =)

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 6:08PM
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