Teach me how to keep my floor clean, like I am a small child.
August 18, 2014 4:51 PM   Subscribe

Us: old farmhouse, wood floors, golden retriever, crawling baby. There is dog hair everywhere and the baby gets into it and I feel like I'm going about this all wrong. What do you do with your floors, and pets? The floors aren't very fancy, if that helps. Not as bad as the last AskMe about wood floors, but no high polish and lots of cracks that could really be tighter. I'd just like to keep everything clean and tidy so that baby can roam and my feet are happy. I grew up with carpet so this is totally foreign.
posted by checkitnice to Home & Garden (25 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Constant swiffering, basically. Like, the swiffer never actually gets put away, and I use it whenever I happen to walk past it. And acceptance that there's never going to be a totally pet hair-free household.
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:59 PM on August 18, 2014 [6 favorites]

I have a 3-n-1 stick vac from Bissell (very cheap at the big box stores). Basically, it's a dustbuster on a stick with a removable rectangular head.

I use it every day or every other day on the floors, to get up pet hair and dust.

For washing, I use hot water from the tap, a cup or so of white vinegar, and a small squirt of dish soap. I wring the mop as dry as I can get it, as you don't want to over saturate wood floors with water. I try to do mopping on dry days and use a fan to help speed drying.

My daughter swears by her Shark steam clean vacuum. I think getting a lab tipped her over the edge to buying one.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:02 PM on August 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

We just vacuum a lot, at least for the dog hair. We use a bagged canister vac with a 20' hose and a very simple head. We also have a little handheld for in-betweens. I wet-swiffer once a week or so, and I have a stack of microfiber cloths that are more or less the size of a large Swiffer cloth and I can tuck into the little cloth grippers and use to mop up big dog drools or to actually use some cleanser on the floor.

Also we use a lot of rugs.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:09 PM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

+1 to Swiffer, both the original and wetjet versions. Regular sweeping will help some. Also vacuuming regularly. Also not wearing shoes inside the house will cut down on some of the grit.
posted by little mouth at 5:09 PM on August 18, 2014

Maybe more often for you due to pet

Hoo boy, yeah. We have a shortaired dog and a shorthaired cat with a fraction of the combined surface area of a Golden, and still they can have tumbleweeds of fur drifting across the floor within hours of a thorough sweeping.
posted by jon1270 at 5:10 PM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

My family had a Golden and kept her out of the playroom with a baby gate. That one room was always pretty hair-free.
posted by xo at 5:11 PM on August 18, 2014

Use a Furminator on your Golden to help keep the shedding down, and then Swiffer Swiffer Swiffer.
posted by erst at 5:14 PM on August 18, 2014 [4 favorites]

Put rugs down. It helps a lot. Of course, then you have to vacuum them.
posted by woodvine at 5:15 PM on August 18, 2014

Do you brush your dog regularly?
If not, consider getting a shedding rake for the undercoat and maybe a bristle brush for the top coat. And then try to brush twice a week.

I have two cats and when i was living in a place with all hardwood floors i did the following:
X. Brushed the cats a few times a week in Summer.
x. Got a rug.
x. Vacuumed twice a week.

There was still some hair around- because i didn't always do a thorough job with the vacuuming - but it was a lot better.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 5:16 PM on August 18, 2014 [3 favorites]

Constant swiffering, basically. Like, the swiffer never actually gets put away, and I use it whenever I happen to walk past it. And acceptance that there's never going to be a totally pet hair-free household.

Basically this, which itself is a standard I never manage to meet, although I do brush the cat every day. One extra thing I've started doing is after I brush the cat I run one of those red velvet lint brushes over him afterwards and that picks up a little extra.

I'm not sure what your frame of reference is, but I've started to think my floors are slightly cleaner than I think they are, and it's just people with impeccable housekeeping skills (or impeccable housekeepers) that post pet videos on YouTube and make the rest of us look bad.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:19 PM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

We have 3 cats and a similar problem. If you don't like the disposable nature of Swiffer products, microfiber dust mops work just as well at corralling the pet hair and the removable mob part is machine washable. I got mine at Kroger for maybe $8.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:25 PM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Love my Roomba. Pricey but effective. I think they're available used/refurbished at a lower cost, and they have models specifically designed to battle fur. You have to pick up certain toys before running it, and you have to empty it, but it's a magical way to keep pet hair and dust at bay without working hard. And it entertains the baby too! Or you can set it to run every night at 3 am so you wake up to a clean floor every morning.
posted by equipoise at 5:29 PM on August 18, 2014 [5 favorites]

Broom, swiffer, or microfiber mop. Don't do those wet swiffer thingies, my mom uses those on her hardwood floors and they make the floor sticky and gross after a while.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 5:32 PM on August 18, 2014

I don't like Swiffers for environmental reasons but get good results using a microfiber dust mop in a home with all wood floors and 4 shedding animals. I've got this double-sided kind, and every so often I splash down some dilute Murphy's oil soap and wet mop with the smooth side. My cycle is like twice a week dry, twice a month wet, but with a crawling baby you could certainly do it more often.
posted by drlith at 5:35 PM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

But a BISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Corded Vacuum, 81L2T. They're like $40 on Amazon and are straight from Gods hands to yours if you own pets and wood floors. Spend 5 minutes a day vacuuming, clean the filter in the vacuum and mop once a week and you are SET!
posted by fshgrl at 5:42 PM on August 18, 2014

If it offers you any comfort, according to the Hygiene Hypothesis, babies raised with dogs are much less likely to develop auto-immune disorders (like asthma) when they grow up. In other words, dogs are inherently dirty and this is healthy for your baby.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:46 PM on August 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Stage rugs at common transition zones (doorways, bottom of the stairs, right by the bedside, etc) and wipe your feet on them every time you walk past to get rid of crumblies on your feet. If you have an upstairs, make it a shoe-free zone, although of course the dog will track dirt/bits/fur all over the house. Gate dog out of some rooms that you don't want to vacuum as often.

Get a vacuum or attachment that is really good at hard floors - I just did this for my vacuum and holy hell does it make a huge difference.

I also wear socks or slippers - they're like portable carpet that you can wash!
posted by bookdragoness at 6:00 PM on August 18, 2014

Response by poster: All of these are great! The dog could stand to be brushed more often for sure. He's on like a once a weekish schedule. I'm totally okay with the germ aspect (baby and dog spent half an hour playing with a Kong tonight, FWIW) but the hair covering the poor boy's clothes is getting old.

Also, rugs. It didn't occur to me that they would help. I don't know why.
posted by checkitnice at 6:21 PM on August 18, 2014

Seconding erst. Furminator every day. We have pretty much the exact same scenario and once we started brushing our dog daily, the hair went down TREMENDOUSLY. And the added benefit is that once you are on the daily schedule, the brushing is 10x easier and faster. Morning poop/pee, brush for 3 minutes and done.
posted by wile e at 7:04 PM on August 18, 2014

Roomba, Roomba, Roomba. Daily.
posted by shazzam! at 8:01 PM on August 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

My cousin has this robotic vacuum that trawls around the house on autopilot, banging into walls and sucking up dog hair. It might be called a robomaid. Anyway, I have never heard anyone praise an appliance as much and I have to admit it's pretty impressive.
posted by Under the Sea at 8:37 PM on August 18, 2014

I should add, it's always on, when it gets low on battery it finds its portal and recharges itself before trooping off around the house again on its merry way.
posted by Under the Sea at 8:40 PM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Synthetic fibres tend to acquire the opposite electrostatic charge from protein fibres; cotton is somewhere in between. So if you choose acrylic rugs, and stick with 100% cotton and 100% wool for little checkitnice's clothing, you should find that more dog hair ends up clinging to the rugs than the baby.
posted by flabdablet at 4:02 AM on August 19, 2014

Another vote for the roomba. We have a short haired Chihuahua mix and I didn't know a little dog could shed so much hair, it was everywhere all the time. It didn't matter how much I swept (granted it wasn't as often as I should have). That little robot vacuums every day and it is a god send no more blanket of white hair. Love Love Love it. Expensive but worth every dime.
posted by okieangel at 2:50 PM on August 19, 2014

yea we have 2 long-haired cats and hardwood floors and oh by the great flying spaghetti monster the endless tumbleweeds of cat hair they do shed. Despite daily brushings, even. I can't imagine how much a large dog would produce.

Like many others above we finally sucked it up, shut our eyes and procured a Roomba (robot vacuum). It has made all the difference in the world and I would buy it again at twice the price.
posted by lonefrontranger at 3:29 PM on August 19, 2014

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