new wood floors - vacuuming vs dust mopping plus mop questions

rosieoNovember 27, 2011

We're moving into a new home with brand new oak floors. We've never had hardwood floors and I need to buy a new vacuum and mop.

I'd like to make regular vacuuming and damp mopping a 'chore' for my 9 year old. So I thought I'd get a lightweight corded stick vac like the Bissel Power Edge Pet. I like that model because there's no beater bar to mar the floor. I know most vacuums have an adjustment to turn off the beater when you use it on hard surfaces but I don't want to risk that she'll always remember to make sure it's off.

Or would simple dust mopping work as well as vacuuming? If so, I'd rather let her use a dust mop. Then I would get a better vacuum with cleaning attachments.

And I'd also like some advice about regular wet mopping as well. I know you aren't supposed to leave the floor wet so it needs to be some kind of absorbent, barely damp mopping. I thought I'd get a Sh-mop for mopping. Or is there a better option?

Any advice for this new-wood-floor newbie? Thanks!

Here is a link that might be useful: Bissell stick vac

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I don't think your 9 year old daughter will be tall enough to hold the handle of a stick vacuum in the right position. A canister type vacuum would be better.

A vacuum will pick up the dirt/sand grit that mars wood floors. A dust mop will push the dirt/sand grit around but not pick it up, it is heavier than dust.

Check out the special sprays to use on wood floor to mop with rather than using water.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2011 at 3:00PM
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I do not quite understand how a "9 year old is not tall enough to handle a stick vacuum in the right position." At 9 years old, I was quite experienced with vacuuming as well as other children that age and slightly younger.

The Bissell Stick vac will do just fine for anyone. The handle will pivot up or down.


The Bissell in question is a good stick vac. I like how easy the dirt container is to empty. There is no filter in the bin, but you will have to clean out a filter below the bin occasionally. Depending on how often you use the vacuum, it could be cleaned every month or two.

This vacuum, with the "V" shaped floor nozzle, does require some relearning. With a regular, flat front nozzle, you can push the front of the nozzle straight into the baseboard. With this different design, you will have to turn the nozzle, so that you are vacuuming parallel to the baseboard. I do not find that a big issue

If you have alot of animal hair to pick up, the "pet" model would be a better choice, because it uses two strips of rubber instead of bristles. Hair will not get caught in the strips, whereas they would have a better chance of doing so with the bristle strips. Get is while you can, because it is being discontinued.

Whether to choose a vacuum or a dust mop for better cleaning would depend on what is picked up. If there is animal hair, dirt, sand, then a vacuum would work more efficiently. Not all hair and dirt are going to stick to a mop. I think that sometimes a vacuum is easier to use in a large area. Just pick it up and forget it. No need to go back and pick up any piles or hair that "got away".

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 3:11AM
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Thanks. My 9yo is tall and I don't think she'd have a problem. We don't have inside pets now and after spending several days perusing this board it's really scared me off having any pets in the house ever, lol. But with two children I'm guessing we'll end up with one sooner or later.

We live on a farm and we're all traipsing in and out all day so our floors do get used a lot. I'm more concerned with getting up gritty dirt, kitchen spills, and toddler crumbs than pet hair.

geguymw - it sounds like you're familiar with the Bissell. Two things bother me about the Bissell that maybe you can answer. One is I wonder how well it "lays down" to vacuum under furniture. The other is how well it'll get into tight spaces, say if you have a few inches next to an end table.

It looks to me like if I get the Bissell it'll just be for quickie cleaning 2-3 times a week and I'll also need a vacuum with attachments to clean area rugs and crevices. OR I can just buy a larger vacuum and pray she'll always remember to turn the roller brush off. (She's very blonde and she "forgets" a lot, lol.)

I guess I'm leaning toward a stick vac just to keep it easier/fun for her to manage that task. Getting out the big vacuum is a weekly chore I don't look forward to now, mainly because my current vac doesn't do well with edge cleaning.

Here's another stick vac I'm looking at. It's more expensive but I like that you don't have to buy replaceable filters for it, it lays flat for vacuuming under furniture, and looks easier to empty the dirt without spilling it. But I'm afraid I'll come in one day and find her vacuuming with the beater brush on by accident so maybe I'd better stick with the bissell.

ugh, I realize this is a dumb thing to be hung up on but those floors were expensive and I want them to last until she's an old lady. Thanks for the help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hoover cyclonic stick

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 8:39AM
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I use a Dyson DC35 vacuum on my new wood floors & the Bona mop. Our floors are very dark wood color & EVERYTHING shows up on them! The combo makes my floors look great.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 5:44AM
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Like I said earlier, the Bissell has a learning curve; with the different design of the nozzle head. It will not get in between furniture, if the space is minimal. But then again, there again, most others will not either. The Bissell will get the dirt around a furniture leg, if you run the nozzle up to it. The largest amount of suction is in the center. Check out the Bissell video demo.

The Hoover corded Stick vac, that you mentioned will clean well also. Both this Hoover and the Bissell have easy emptying dirt cups. filters which will need to be cleaned out regularly, so I would not leave it to your child to maintain it.

The corded Hoover does have a rotating brushroll, but it is very weak, so there should be no problem of it scratching floors. It has to be weak, because of its small motor. Do not expect it to do great deep vacuuming. Leave that to the big guys.

Eventhough the Hoover can lay flat, the body of the vacuum may get in the way. It all depend on how far you want to go under furniture and how low your furniture sits. You see, both vaccuums will go under furniture if it is only about 5"or 6".

I probably would pick the Hoover over the Bissell, because it has a slight advantage on carpeting, plus the Hoover will have available part longer than the Bissell.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 3:17PM
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rosieo-So glad you're finally moving in!!! Make sure you post some pics of the finished product! Like you, we're on a farm--45 acres & lots of hardwood floors in the house. After I got a light scratch on the floor using a Dirt Devil vac for hard surfaces, I decided to try the Swiffer Vac & I have to tell you, I love that thing!!! It vacuums and dustmops all at the same time. DS who is 6 years old can even use it just fine. It's super light & glides under the toe kick of the cabinets and under the edge of the sofas perfectly. The vac part is battery powered & picks up crumbs, chips, hair, dust, dirt, etc. with no problem. I'm able to vac the kitchen, mudroom, pantry, family room, hall, foyer & if I'm quick, the dining room & master bath before the battery runs out. You can pick one up at any Wal-Mart, KMart or Target. Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 11:00PM
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