**This is a sponsored post on behalf of Swiffer WetJet Wood. All opinions are my own.**
Two springs ago we decided to build a home.
It was such an exciting process—so many things to choose and think about as we designed what will probably be the last home we live in as a full family.
My husband and I both had things that were important to us—he wanted a two car garage, a corner lot, and, after years of mowing on a hill, a flat, easier to mow yard.
I wanted a larger kitchen, with an island, lots of windows for natural light, a large closet with space for both of our clothes, and hardwood floors throughout our first floor.
I love the look of hardwood floors and, with a dog and three dudes who drag all kinds of dirt and grime into my life, I needed flooring that wouldn’t succumb to stains quickly. So the hardwoods were nonnegotiable.
I immediately fell in love with the dark hardwood floors that we saw in the model home we toured—they looked modern and sleek and elegant—so we decided to have our home built with those exact same floors.
They. Are. Beautiful!
I love how they make the rooms look.
But sometimes, if I’m honest, I also hate them a little.
Thanks, of course to my kids and my dog and their combined ability to filthy up all of the things without even trying that hard.
I swear I spent the first six months in our new home cleaning the dark hardwood floors at least 30% of every day—sweeping dog hair, mopping up muddy shoe and paw prints, chasing people around with a broom.
I became borderline obsessed with finding just the right tools to keep my dark hardwood floors looking immaculate and I’m certain I spent a small fortune in cleaning gear and supplies.
At this point, I’ve come to the conclusion that I will never have perfectly clean floors all of the time, but I have found some great products and ideas that have helped for those days when shiny floors help complete me.
10 Things to Know About Caring for and Cleaning Your Dark Hardwood Floors
Understand that dark hardwood floors are inherently more challenging to clean.
There are some things about dark wood floors that tend to make them more challenging to clean and care for.
For example, they show more dirt than light wood floors, so footprints, dog hair, dust, and the like will show up more easily. They also tend to make things like scratches and scuffs stand out more.
It’s nothing you’re doing, so just get right with those facts in your mind—these, what I like to call “character elements” are bound to be found in the homes of even the best of us who stay on top of our cleaning and care routines meticulously.
Note: I am not in the “stays on top of our cleaning and care routines” category and I still love many things about my wood floors.
But there are things you can do to help keep them clean.
At our house, we take off our shoes to avoid muddy footprints and scuffs from heels. We keep the dog’s nails trimmed and make sure she gets her paws wiped when she comes in as well. We also try to wear socks inside to help eliminate footprints on the floors from barefoot sweat which is kinda gross when you think about it anyway.
You can also make good choices for your home that will help reduce some of the excess dirt that dark hardwood floors seem to highlight.
Like, if you aren’t already a pet owner when you acquire your dark wood floors, you may not want to become the pet owner of an animal that sheds light colored fur. Dark wood floors covered in light brown dog hair is NOT a good look.
Also, keep your home as dust free as possible. Dust on the dark wood floors shows up quite well.
We live in a state where the pollen covers everything in the spring, so as much as I can I try to keep the windows closed during those heavy pollen days so it doesn’t blow in and all over everything. Keeps us less sneezy too.
Sweeping and mopping regularly don’t have to be horrible.
First, I have a confession to make: I am a robot vac user. I asked for one the very first Mother’s Day we lived in our new home and it is the best appliance I’ve ever owned. It saves me from the daily grind of sweeping up all of the dog hair. But, it’s not my go-to answer at all times because, sadly, my dog thinks my robo vac it is an alien invader there to capture her soul. If you’ve ever seen a dog stressed out and afraid you know it can’t be a daily part of life.
That’s how the Swiffer WetJet Wood has become my jam.
It makes daily cleaning, spot cleaning, and deep cleaning super easy. It’s an all-in-one system that cleans thoroughly using specifically formulated cleaning solutions that can tackle tough messes my Dudes and my dog are notorious for creating, while also being gentle enough for my beautiful hardwoods. And not scary to my favorite four-legged sidekick.
Be careful with your furnishings.
Felt furniture leg pads are lifesavers. We put them on all of our furniture, particularly chairs and stools that get scraped around a ton. We also use the moving pads when we want to rearrange things to avoid scrapes and scratches.
Think about using rugs to protect your dark hardwood floors.
They don’t just look pretty. They also protect high traffic areas and help prevent fading and discoloration from sunlight.
Don’t soak your floors with water.
This is bad. Even if your floors are sealed. You don’t want them soaking wet.
You’re going for damp here. You want enough wetness and moisture to clean off the dirt and glide the cloth around easily, but your floors don’t need a bath.
Stay away from oil and furniture sprays.
Let me show you what happens if you don’t…
Not to mention these products tend to leave a residue on your floors that keep them from living their best life.
Don’t just listen to me.
I am not a hardwood floor manufacturer or installer. I am a mom, who can tell you what makes life easier. And, while I am the boss of several people and countless things, I am not the boss of dark hardwood floors.
Read the handbook that goes along with your flooring. It’s the boss, not me.
It would be very unawesome if you ruined the seal and damaged your floors, or voided a warranty by using the wrong type of products or process to clean your floors. And, for the record, saying DudeMom told me to do it is NOT a viable excuse!