How to Clean Floors: Our Best Tips to Keep Them Spotless
A Strategy for Cleaner Floors
If you lug your turbo-charged vacuum or trusty mop-and-bucket combo out of the closet once a week, you're not alone. According to a recent survey by Bissel, 32 percent of Americans wait at least one week to clean their floors. But thanks to some handy tools and a troubleshooting approach, you can keep yours spotless throughout the week without having to deploy the heavy artillery.
Start with a Solid Foundation
Vacuum once a week, and do it like you mean it. A good time is on the weekend, when you can spend a half hour or more removing accumulated dirt.
Kick Off Your Shoes
Take a cue from Martha and enforce a no-shoe policy inside your home. Outdoor shoes transfer bacteria like E. coli to floors, according to a study done at the University of Arizona. At the door, set out a basket of slippers or skid-resistant socks to encourage the habit for family members and guests alike.
Even if you cut down on the bacteria coming into your home, you have to address the mess your family creates. Whether you have a perennial trail of crumbs in the kitchen or muddy footprints in the hallway, identify trouble areas and spend a few minutes daily cleaning them. It's time well spent, considering that bacteria can make your family sick, and even the smallest of crumbs can invite critters and pests.
Floor Care 101
Martha shows simple ways to make floor cleaning easier and more effective.Learn This Technique
In the Kitchen
"The reusable microfiber of the Casabella Quick Double Sided Spray Mop worked great whether it was dry, for crumbs or cat hair; or wet, for spills. I filled the reservoir on the handle with just soap and water." -- Rory Evans, editor at large $35, casabella.com
Around the Toilet
"My little boys are still perfecting their aim in the bathroom. Seventh Generation disinfecting wipes made daily cleanup around the area easy." -- Fan Winston, deputy editor$6, drugstore.com
Around Pet Bowls
"I kept a Libman dustpan-and-brush set by my dog's bowl for stray kibble. And the teeth on the pan could be used to clean the brush fibers." —Kristen Flanagan, senior associate editor$9, homedepot.com
In the Entryway
"There's nothing like the feeling of freshly cleaned tiles under bare feet. After using the Swiffer Bissell Steamboost, I was confident that my entryway was super-clean." -- Katie Field, senior associate art director$50, swiffer.com
In the Dining Room
"After dinner, I used the Dyson Hard DC56 to vacuum crumbs under my table and wet-mop at the same time." -- Paulie Dibner, assistant managing editor$330, dyson.com
In the Living Room
"The iRobot Braava 380t worked well in tight spaces and reached under furniture. It picked up dirt and hair in its path, then separately mopped the floor clean." -- Andie Diemer, associate photo editor$300, irobot.com