Swiffers aren't cutting it. Suggestions please??

hobokenkitchenJanuary 5, 2013

We have hardwood in our kitchen and in past kitchens we've always used dry and wet swiffers to clean them with no trouble.
However this kitchen is a lot bigger and I'm going to have to buy stock in swiffers because I'm going through so many.

Any suggestions on what to switch to? I'm thinking some kind of mop? With sponge? Or a washable pad? Do you use water or cleaner? I've heard of Bona - is that any good?

Any other suggestions? What do you use?


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I use a cedar mop which can use swifter mop pads, but I prefer the microfiber pads it came with for they are washable and can be used dry or wet. The cedar mop has a refillable squirt bottle attatched and I fill it with just soap and water to clean my wood floors. It is also made for a taller person than my swifter mop and as a 5'8 woman that is a big plus for me. I also love my cordles linx by hoover vac for quick clean ups.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 11:19AM
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We invested in a Roomba (790), schedule it to clean daily while we are out of the house, and use that in conjunction with the Bona floor cleaner. The Roomba will easily go from carpet to hardwood and we like it a lot. (I call it 'The Help'). Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 11:28AM
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Your kitchen is so beautiful.

I have a Hoover Floormate Widepath that I like very much on our tile (lots and lots of tile). It's supposed to be used on hardwood also, but our hardwood in the living room badly needs to be refinished and has some gaps (it's the original 1950s cabin floor) so I've been reluctant to try it (or "Hoover" it, as my grandmother used to say about her rugs but I digress). It comes with cleaners but you can use your own solutions if you'd like or just hot water.

I'm sorry that this isn't a ringing endorsement for the Floormate on hardwood as I don't have experience there but I thought it might be an option for you to consider.

Something else that may be helpful is that the Cleaning forum has lots of info on steam mops and these types of things.

ps: I understand from friends that a dog is wonderful for cleaning up under-high-chair messes...just get one that's shorter than the chair or it'll help with the meals too lol.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 12:13PM
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Lol, we have a tiny dog who is very happy to clean up under-high-chair messes. We've only just getting to that stage though. Bought a highchair last week. It's my most loathed piece of baby gear, but the one we got is actually pretty nice. Less of an eyesore than most!

I'll take a look at the Floormate. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 12:30PM
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A commercial size swiffer with large felt . Got the felt at Walmart and cut it bigger than swiffer. It picks up dirt better and is quick and washable. Been doing this for years!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 2:06PM
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We use Bona and a swifer-like product that has a washable pad. Kind of like the one in the link, only mine is neon pink and green. Good thing it stays in the closet most of the time!

Here is a link that might be useful: Rubbermaid product at Amazon

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 2:11PM
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I vacuum my hardwood with the floor attachment; spot clean by hand with a sponge; when it needs overall washing I have found that the mops with the blue ridged heads (I don't know what the material is) OR using an old piece of terry towel or microfiber shop towel on the old swiffer holder work qeually well. The company that refinished these old floors told me to use only vinegar in water to wash, so I do.
I agree, the swiffer system is wasteful.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 2:32PM
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A former Swiffer user, I eventually went looking for something else -- I found swiffers inconvenient, ineffective and poorly built and too expensive long-term.

Now for dry dusting the floors I use the 3M Scotch-Brite Microfiber Hardwood Floor Mop. Love it! It does a great job of attracting and picking up dust, has a large head (= less work), and is well made. I have a couple of the mop head covers for it, so it's easy to toss it in the wash. Have had it years, and still looks and works great. A nifty huge-button-head-splits-in-half system for putting the clean cover on makes it oh so easy to do. Love everything about it.

I also used to use Swiffer wet (jet, pads, and all the various knock-offs) -- and felt frustrated by them (expense and inconvenience). After reading around some forums I ended up trying the Eureka Envirosteamer and have had great results, I really love how clean it gets the floors and that it does it entirely with steam and no chemicals. However, some opinions expressed by others on the forum have lead me to believe that it may not be the best thing for all wood floors/finishes, so YMMV. That hasn't deterred me from using it because it's worked wonderfully on my floors. We have heavy traffic and a lot of use and really need a good cleaning solution for the wood floors -- I've used it weekly for 3 years now. Floors look brand new each time I use it.

Here is a link that might be useful: 3M Scotch-Brite Microfiber Hardwood Floor Mop

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 2:39PM
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I just purchased a Bruce hardwood floor kit $20. I just used it once so I really can't say what I think about it. I worked pretty well. The floors were dirty. It comes with microfiber pads that can be used like swiffers but they are washable.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 2:43PM
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Cindy Noll

Just put hardwood in kitchen, dining room & living room this summer. I sweep everyday with my Bissell power edge pet (rubber thingys, no brush) for the grit and dog hair and mop once a week with the above mentioned Rubbermaid Reveal mop & Bona. Takes a few minutes a day. I have two dogs, so the sweeping is mostly for hair balls. Bona was recommended for my floor. Vinegar would be Ok too.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 3:25PM
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We have two large dogs and I am forever having to sweep up their hair. I use a purple rubber broom I purchased from the Flylady website. It works far better than the swifter or any other type of hard floor sweeper I have tried. It is excellent on small particles like sand as well as dog hair.
I have the 3M microfiber mop as well that I use with the Bona cleaner.
We added about 800 sq ft. of hardwood and though it shows the dog hair more I love it so much more than the carpet it replaced.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 6:39PM
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Robot vaccuum! I love my Neato XV-14 from Costco.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 7:46PM
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Use the Roomba to sweep and an old style mop and mop bucket to wash our tile floors.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 7:56PM
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wool dust mop

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 8:09PM
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Update: we went to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought the Bona dry microfiber 'mop' thing and the Bona hardwood floor cleaning system.

OMG what a difference this thing makes - why didn't I switch over years ago?! First the head is twice the size of a swiffer and in the case size DOES matter! Second it seems to really clean, really easily. I don't feel like I'm just pushing around the dirt like I did sometimes with the dry swiffer.

Thanks for your responses, they made me realize that there are better products out there and i'mbsuper happy with what we got and that it will now take me half the time to get the floors clean! Yay!!!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 9:14PM
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I like the Libman Wonder Mop and add a little Murphy Oil Soap to the water. I love the smell of Murphy when I have just cleaned the wood floor.
The mop is very hard wearing and costs around $13 from target.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 11:15PM
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I can't stand the residue of swiffer cleaners. On my hardwoods, I vacuum with a Miele a few times a week. Once or twice a week, I use a Quickie Microfiber mop that I dampen with a bit of water and white vinegar. Love it as it does the floorboards at the same time.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 11:25PM
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Vermont Country Store has a wool dust mop--remember these ?
I haven't purchased it yet but if it works like I remember, I will buy many for gifts !!!
My GF's swiffer STINKS so bad I had to leave the room.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 12:22AM
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Yay! Congrats on joining the swiffer-no-more club! Definitely agree that "size does matter" when it comes to a mop head. Sometimes I think about the size of the dust mops my old grade school custodians used to use (seemed to be miles wide...) and I wonder about hunting down something even bigger.....

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 5:20AM
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For cleaning supplies head to your local janitorial supply house.... Or I suppose you could buy pro equipment online.

I've been using the same huge dust mop with full swivel head that I bought back in the 80's. Head is removable, it doesn't scratch or leave residue and the metal attachment and wooden pole are built like a rock.

Btw the same thing goes for the wet mop. If you have big expanses to mop, get a rolling "squeeze" bucket and a 2 sided mop head that's removable for laundering.

I figured that since I was going to be doing my own house cleaning, I'd invest in the tools that the pros used and have never regretted my "splurge" at the janitorial supply house!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:02AM
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Shark Steam Mop on the "dust" setting. WONDERFUL!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:40AM
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I received a Flylady mop package as a Christmas gift and I love it- it has a 6x12 head and is very heavy duty.
Reusable microfiber cloths with water and a skosh of vinegar do a great job.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flylady Mop Package

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 10:55AM
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So timely as I need new mops- thanks!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 6:57PM
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For day-to-day, I use the Roomba. She is ah-maz-ing. One of my very favorite cleaning products EVER. I admit to wanting to check out the Neato one as well someday when my Roomba decides that she's not my happy housekeeper any longer. Although I've heard the the Roomba is better at getting the dust and hair that accumulates in corners, so that's a factor that I'll have to check into more when time comes to get another robot.

Every once in a while, I need to do a manual sweep down and use a larger-than-swiffer type thing that uses reusable microfiber cloths and I've been very happy with it also. Our steps are hardwood as well and I use the "little bitty" swiffer on those. But, I'd go insane (okay, insane-r!) if I had to use the swiffer for all of our hardwood.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:01PM
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I just popped in here because I just became the last person on earth to buy a Swiffer. I thought I was all cool and all and I was going to ask for some tips on cleaning my hardwood floor. Now I discover that there are better options than a Swiffer.

So, Bona. Tell me more. I have plenty of cat hair and errant bits of cat litter to deal with on a daily basis. Dust, that too. I've had wood floors for a number of years so I'm way past dusting them once a day. They do need a good cleaning with vinegar and water periodically and I'd love a method where I'm not on my hands and knees, although they come out clean, for sure.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 2:03PM
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Confession: I do not clean my floor. However, my cleaning people do this which I have never seen other than them. They have been cleaning for me for more than a decade. They do 3 bedrooms, L/D/K rather quickly with this system.

My cleaning people clean the floor by vacuuming and then using an old wet towel wrapped around a broom which they use as a makeshift mop. They use a rubber band to wrap the towel around the broom head when the broom head attaches to the broom stick so the towel does not fall off. They put a bit of osmo cleaning solution in the water since that is what I have on my floor.

They rinse the towel as needed and wring out the towel quite a bit so that it is not dripping as many mops can be. It also has enough surface area so that the job is quick.

I once asked them why they don't use a mop and they said it works better. I am also thinking that a bit of "mass" on the broom head helps rub off the sticky bits that may be on the floor. This is what they do with all their houses. I am guessing that speed is of essence.

I am not sure if this helps but I thought I would toss it in since speed too maybe of essence to the poster.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 3:44PM
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If I may hijack a bit, how do you all get black scuff marks off wood floors? They're new to me and I'm a little reluctant to use the magic eraser, since I figure it will leave a residue.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 4:02PM
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Thanks, kaismom. Speed is always of the essence when it's not a fun thing to do. However, I do have the time and no cleaning staff besides myself. When I read on GW all the people who are vacuuming/Swiffering their floors every day and washing once or twice a week, I'm shaking my head. Either they have brand new floors or lots of dirt being tracked in, or too much time on their hands. Maybe all of the above. My red oak floors don't show dirt at all, until I really focus on it and realize there's a good amount of drips and stuff. I try to wash mine completely twice a year, using the Old Country hands and knees method, starting in a corner and scooting around knees on a thick towel.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 4:05PM
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Lots of great ideas
I use my Miele stick vac with the hardwood brush first - but looking at the mop ideas -

For black marks - learned this from the custodians at the hospital - just use the heel of your "tennis" shoe or running shoe or whatever rubber sole and it works just like an eraser!

Linelle - impressive - guess I make more of a mess than I thought when I cook - but I only wet mop about every couple weeks unless really bad.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 4:58PM
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I use the Rubbermaid Reveal mop with Bona cleaner. I use both the microfiber head and the mop head. I have two of each because one is always in the laundry.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 6:26PM
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Another vote for the Shark steam mop on the "dust" setting -- love it for the hardwoods all over the house!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 9:10PM
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Thanks so much, a2gemini, for the eraser tip!
Love our Bona system :-) I just had to get a new one because the old one broke (it did take a tumble down our basement stairs, so it's not Bona's fault!). What a difference when I didn't have the Bona for two months. Sooo happy to have it again. We use it ~2x/week and use an Electrolux stick vac 1-2x day, and the Sebo upright and bona with a mop for bi-weekly cleaning. I try for a shoe-less house but my boys somehow forget here and there ;-)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 9:19PM
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I use the Bona wood floor wet cleaner stick thingy that dispenses their cleaner too. I'm happy with the sturdiness, the long handle, and washable mop pad. I have two pads so one is always clean and ready to go. If you sneak into the box on the way to the register, you'll find a coupon. I know i wouldn't get the floors clean as often as i do without it. I loathed the swiffer mop, but do use the lightweight stick vac regularly to pick up the endless stream of cat hair and kid mess.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 10:14PM
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