Recently a reader e-mailed me to ask how we keep our hardwood floors clean. Well, it is easier than you might think, considering we have two boys under 5 and a 40 lb. dog. Our big secret…water! But, there is a little more to it than that.
We have beautiful, dark pre-finished hardwood floors that run through most of the main floor of our home, with the exception of the laundry room, office, and family room. The hardwoods extend from the front door, through the dining room, spilling into the kitchen, and all the way to the back door leading out onto the deck.
With hundreds of square feet of hardwoods, we knew we needed help. Unlike many of our work friends, we don’t have a cleaning service. We do all the cleaning ourselves, despite both working full-time outside the home. Here is where I confess, because we do all our own cleaning our home is not in tip top shape everyday. We try to do some daily maintenance, but don’t do the deep cleaning often enough.
The one exception to our somewhat infrequently cleaned home is the hardwood floors. We made an investment over a year ago that is still paying off today. We have a personal assistant of sorts for sweeping and mopping…we affectionately call her Minty. She is the Mint floor cleaner and she works wonders. I am sure you have heard of robotic vacuums before. This is a similar concept, but for sweeping and mopping.
Minty came with a set of microfiber cleaning cloths. The white ones are for sweeping. The grey ones are for mopping. The cloths attach to a removable panel on the bottom of Minty. Every couple of evenings we put on a white cleaning cloth and set Minty on the floor. She sweeps all the wood floors. Once very 1-2 weeks we soak the grey cloth in water, attach it to Minty, and let her mop the floors. Afterward, we toss the cleaning cloths in with a load of towels to be washed.
The sweeping and mop actions are different. The sweep setting allows Minty to gracefully room the floors in straight lines back and forth picking up dirt and dust along the way. The mop setting makes Minty move in a scrubbing motion back and forth across the floor. You can use floor cleaners with Minty, but we thought she worked wonderfully with just plain old water and left a streak-free floor. With young kids running round, we prefer cleaning the floors without a cleaning solution.
Now if only we could get other robotic cleaning machines to scrub the bathrooms and keep Minty company!
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you mentioned that you have a dog, so I was wondering how it does with the vacuuming of dog hair. how does it handle the areas in your home that have area rugs? thank you!
Hi Jen. The sweeper picks up lots of dog hair that sticks to the microfiber cloth. The one notable mention is where the hardwood meets the carpet…Minty can detect it is the edge of the hardwood and turnaround, but the sweeper cloth touches the carpet at the edge and often deposits some of the dog hair. We have a border collie by the way…very hairy. If we sweep regularly with Minty there is not that much hair to worry about. If we go a weep in between, Minty will deposit hair at the edge of the carpet which we just vacuum up. With a dog that sheds so much we vacuum regularly, so it is no big deal. We have an area rug in the dining room and our kitchen and Minty just goes right around them. She s weeps or mops right up to the edge of the area carpet. If one of the boys leaves a toy on the floor, Minty detects it and gently navigates around it. The little black box in the picture helps Minty navigate. You put it on a counter or table and it gets data from Minty. She navigates around the room back and forth, meanwhile the black box learns the layout of the room, so at the end Minty goes around the entire perimeter of the room to sweep or mop the edges. We have lots of weird angles and obstacles and she handles them easily.
Salt in Suburbia says
So is there any reason you can’t use this on bathroom floors?
Nope. We use it to sweep and mop our bathroom floors too. The only area that is hard for Minty is around the back and sides of toilet, but she tries real hard.