Easy Hardwood Floor Care: How to Clean and Protect Your Floors

While we were working on refinishing the hardwood floors we uncovered in our dining room, I was on the search for proper hardwood floor care.  Living with either carpet, tile, or laminate, neither my husband or I had any idea what the best way was to take care of our new floors.  I scoured the internet researching what we needed and why.  We were open to investing in a new floor cleaning system so we wanted to do our homework to find the right fit.

With all that research I kept on coming up with the same answer over and over.  Bona.

I found that there is a lot of confusion on the proper way to care for real hardwood floors.  I think because laminate has also become very popular, the use of the term hardwood gets confused between the two.  How you care for laminate and how you care for real hardwood are two very different things!  There were lots of warnings out there to not use water on hardwood (and specifically steam!) because the water can seep in and ruin the wood.  The same goes for water and vinegar because the vinegar strips the floor's finish.  Even if in tiny doses, I did not want to ruin any of our hard work refinishing our floors and the financial investment we put in. 

We looked into the Bona Hardwood Floor Care System that would set us up with the essentials we needed for keeping our floor both clean and protected.  Unlike all purpose cleaners, it does not dull the floor's finish or leave an oily residue.

After purchasing, using, and falling in love with our Bona product, a few weeks later I headed off to the BlogHer conference where Bona was one of the conference sponsors.  They were very quickly added to the top of my list of sponsors to visit.  A brand I already use and love that wants to work with bloggers?  A major win-win!  I told them all about how we recently refinished our hardwood floors and how much I appreciated their product.  After all the research I did, I wanted to be, yet another person, sharing the good word about Bona product and proper hardwood care.  Needless to say, they were on board with partnering with me! 

The first thing I do is vacuum or sweep the floors.  I love this vacuum that can be used on both carpet and bare floors.  The microfiber pad picks up extra dirt which is a plus.

Once the floor is clean of chips, rocks, and my hair (yes, these are the things we find on the floor) I pull out my Bona mop.  What I love about this mop is that it comes with a microfiber cleaning pad that is reusable and washable as well as a refillable cartridge that sprays out the cleaner.  I was very impressed with how well the solution sprays out with a generous reach.  

The reusable cartridge means that I can buy bulk size of the cleaner and reuse the cartridge.  No need for buying extra cartridges (unless you want to!) and it helps cut back on waste.  I hate when a product is so gimmicky you have to replace every little piece after awhile.  This is not the case with the Bona products.  

With the mop and spray cartridge, I am very meticulous about getting the floors clean.  It is a focused and normal speed of cleaning.  Then sometimes I want to be a crazy woman and only have two minutes to clean the floor because guests are coming over.  This is when the disposable wet cleaning pads come in handy.  You just whip out a pad and clean like a mad woman.  I know there are some crazy fast cleaners out there?!  Then you just throw away the pad and still have a second to yourself. 

The wet pads fit onto the same mop (no need for more than one mop!) making for quick and easy clean floors.

Now, just so you know, I am normal and never want to clean my floors.  Here is my dirt spread.  The pad on the far right is from the vacuum.  Gross.  Then I did about half of the floor with the blue Bona microfiber pad.  For this posts sake, I did the other half of the floor with the disposable wet pad.  Is anyone else constantly shocked how dirty floors get so quickly?  I don't even want to think about how dirty our carpets get.

But the point is, even with vacuuming and using a microfiber dust pad, the floor is still dirty.  I don't want to go to all that trouble only to continue to have dirty floors.  Plus, Bona is helping preserve my hardwood floors and leaves the floor all shiny and pretty.  If you don't have a microfiber pad on your vacuum, Bona also has a microfiber dusting pad for the broom that will help you do this same step.

Now if you want to really go all out, Bona also has a great hardwood floor polish.  This is not for using every time you clean your floors (which if you are like me, is not nearly often enough!).  But instead this is for the couple times a year when you have the extra time to really invest in your floors. 

I want my floors to continue to shine and show it's pretty grains off.  It is worth it to me to take the extra time to polish the floors every few months.  Just like when my husband insists on waxing our car, taking that extra time to polish the floors is a time investment at keeping your floors protected for years to come.  We can choose to polish and protect or have to refinish our floors again in ten years.  You saw what we did to have to refinish our floors, right?  I think I choose polish over refinishing again any day.  

Of course, like everything else Bona does, its super easy.  You squirt out some of the polish, slap on a microfiber applicator pad (made for polishing) on the SAME mop, and sweep it on just like when cleaning.

The thing about the polish is that it holds me accountable to taking care of my floors.  We have had our floors finished for about three months so far and I have yet to move the dining room chairs out of the room to clean the floors.  I just clean around them like a lazy woman.  Having the polish and taking the time to really care for my floors encouraged me to get all the chairs out of the room and actually really clean under the table.  I am thankful for the motivation to actually clean the correct way!

Now that the floor was all clean, my poor dining room table was feeling left out.  To clean our wood table, I used Bona's wood furniture polish to clean and shine the table.  The unique formulation actually enhances the natural beauty of the wood.  I just went ahead and reused my microfiber mop pad to wipe down the table.  We are all about simplicity around here.

This table has been passed on through three generations so far.  We received this table from my sister in law's mom who had this table passed on by her mother in law.  They lived in the generations of plastic covered couches.  They both used padded covers and table cloths preserving this table for many many years.  I am so thankful for how much care was taken to preserve this table but it doesn't mean I am not going to use it's bare wood.  I want to show off the beauty of the table and I want to feel like I can use, and sometimes scratch, the furniture we have in our home.  Lucky for me, I have Bona to help me preserve the beauty of this table while still fully using and enjoying it.

Bona also has a line of stone, tile, and laminate cleaners.  The products work exactly the same as the hardwood ones and can be used interchangeably with the same mop.  One mop that does multiple tasks?  Yes, please.  I don't need more than one mop in my house!

Our kitchen, bathrooms, and entryway all have tile.  And if you are paying attention at all, you can probably guess I do not enjoy or take as much time as I should cleaning these floors!  I love that with the Bona mop, I already have all the supplies out, I do not have an excuse to not also quickly clean the other floors of the house.  I just switch out the cartridges and get mopping.

With the light tile we have in combination with water and food, our kitchen floors get dirty fast.  The tile has the tiniest little crevices that the dirt gets stuck in.  I have used other sweeping mop like products before and Bona definitely does a much better job.  Between the microfiber pad and solution, dirt gets mopped up much quicker and easier.

In order to help motivate me to keep the floors in my house clean, I tuck the mop to the side of our refrigerator so that it is always easily accessible.

Besides taking proper care of my floors I have also started to think more strategically about dirt prevention.  To be realistic, we are going to live in our house and track in dirt but if I could make a few small changes that prevents how much we track in, I could buy myself more time in between cleanings.  To not track in so much dirt from our back yard, I have my work boots (that are rain boots) that I can easily slip on an off when watering the plants in the backyard that I would usually track in mud.

I also recently picked up a new rug to put in front of our sliding back door.  I choose a forgiving print that would hide dirt and would allow me to not feel bad about wiping my feet on.  Plus I am totally in love with the black and white contrast against the wood color.

See, talking about cleaning floors can be stylish as well.  Because at the end of the day, I stop enjoying my cute decor when I am overwhelmed with the dirt that collects in my house.  Thankfully I have noticed a substantial change in the cleanliness of our home with the addition of this little rug.

At the end of the day, having hardwood floors does require more upkeep than carpet if I don't want to constantly feel dirt on the bottom of my feet all day everyday.  But knowing how much cleaner my home is makes it definitely worth it.  Bona has made it an easy transition into the world of bare floors.  Plus that wood shines at me when I clean it.  Yeah, those carpets give me those pretty vacuum lines but those do not stay nearly as long as shiny hardwood.  If you are in the market to finding a new care system for your hardwood floors, I cannot help but continually recommend Bona products. 

This post was written in partnership with Bona.  As always, all opinions are mine.  Thank you for supporting the brands that make Domestic Fashionista possible.