You need not be a Suzy (or Sammy) Homemaker type to keep your hardwood floors dust free and shiny. Here’s how to do it.
To collect dust: Vacuum? Dust mop? Broom? If you do use a vacuum to collect dust, use a canister vac. These are good vacuums for bare floors (but not the best for carpeted areas).
And maybe you have industrial maple floors from 1910—with a ton of gaps. A Miele canister vacuum does a good job of pulling up dust and dirt from the grooves; it’s so compact and quiet, you can talk on the phone while you vacuum. But a modest Hoover canister from Sears might be all you need.
If you’re especially bothered by pet hair (and, really, who isn’t?) and don’t want to get off the couch, you might consider a Roomba, a robot vacuum really meant to supplement your regular vacuum cleaner since they tend to miss spots (but in terms of hair can suck in a good way). The trouble with the Roomba: there must be 20 or so different models and a variety of applications and prices.
Stay away from steam cleaners, which can warp floating wood floors.
A regular dust mop (without wax) or a broom will work, too, although it seems that brooms never quite get everything, especially all of the dust.
Mopping: Once you’ve cleared the dust (and, of course, the furniture), you might try the water-based, nontoxic Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner plus a slightly dampened (not soaking wet) Bona microfiber mop; the cleaner and mop can be bought together as a kit if you like. Mist the floor lightly (in about 4 x 6 foot areas) with the Bona spray. Be sure to rinse your mop pad with water when it gets dirty and wring it out well before you continue mopping. When the pad gets too dirty to use, replace it with a fresh mop pad and continue your work. The Bona kit works well and leaves no residue. The cleaning pads can be laundered and reused.
Call us for advice when in doubt about products to use on your hardwood.