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Nebraska Furniture Mart | January 20, 2019

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How to Keep Your Floors Looking Tip-Top


I don’t consider myself a neat freak in any way. My wood floors almost always have dog prints on them and my ceiling fan blades have a moss-like growth on the edges. I do not mean to say I am a filthy pig… I put dishes in the dishwasher and scrub toilets… but I fall in the middle of “Those-That-Like-to-Relax-and-Watch-Entire-Seasons-of-Game-of-Thrones-on-Netflix” and “Those-That-Make-Homemade-Flower-Scented-Bleach-That-Just-Happens-to-be-Eco-Friendly!”

My goal is to clean well enough that I don’t have to do it every day. It seems like a pretty clear goal and I have found, with the right supplies, it’s achievable!

Besides my personal rule of at least “picking up” each night before bed, I have two staples that make my goal possible: a checkbook and a good house cleaner.

Just kidding… although I do have a person help with house cleaning!

Seriously, a good vacuum cleaner and a steam mop make all the difference in how I feel about my home when I walk through the doors each evening after work.

Having (ill-behaved) dogs, a good vacuum cleaner is a must. At first, I avoided purchasing a heavy duty “pet friendly “model because I thought they would cost a week’s worth of pay. But I discovered the Dyson Animal Vacuums that are designed for heavy use (read – gobs of dog hair and the occasional mud chunk) really do come in a wide range of prices. Paying a little more for a vacuum with extra suction is worth it. I also use the attachments that came with my vacuum on my sofa to, you guessed it, remove dog hair. A good vacuum cleaner with the right attachment tools can make all the difference.

Being from the South, I relate most everything to something my mother told me when growing up. The idea of “Never leave the house without lipstick.” equates to “Never go more than 3 days without a quick vacuum.” Vacuuming is the single best way to “freshen up” in a really short amount of time. Also, make sure to get a vacuum that goes form carpet to solid surface flooring.  The beater really does a great job on my area rungs, but scatters debris on the wood floors. Side note- I was amazed to see the house cleaner use the vacuum tool on the drapes, as I really never considered that an item that required cleaning.  She also sucks the moss off the fan blades. Who knew!?

My second most favorite cleaning tool is a good steamer. Often called a steam mop, this tool not only removes the dirt from the wood and tile, but provides a level of sanitization I would never achieve with a towel and my hands and knees. I use the Shark Pro Steam Pocket Mop which has different heat settings, but since I steam about every two weeks, I always go for the highest temp. When the process is complete, the tile floor in my old house glows (despite repeated drips from the dog’s water bowl that could form a small ice rink in the winter). This is one item I bought on a whim and now wonder how I ever got along without one! Make sure to check with the manufacturing recommendations as not all floors mix well with heavy steam.

We all want a great looking home, and cleaning and upkeep is part of the deal. Since floors and walls are generally the biggest surface areas in your home, and floors collect more dirt, take the time to clean them. You’ll feel better when you do.

Oh yeah… and put on some lipstick!



  1. Ann Whitman

    I noticed that Megan mentioned about using a steam mop, but are they okay for a wood laminate floor?? I too have drips from the dog and want to clean my floors more thoroughly after I vacuum. Our laminate flooring is not glued, but floating. I have a large mop with a removable cotton cover and wondered if theirs something I can spray on the mop?? Thank you, Ann Whitman

    • Hi Ann, I did a little research this morning and found a little trick for determining whether or not your wood laminate floor was ok to steam mop. If you put a few drops of water on the floor does it soak up or bead? If it beads then you are good to go as far as the steam mop goes.

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