When I started this blog and began asking people what's on their Dread List, I was surprised when two people in the same day cited the same thing: dealing with hardwood floors. Both were new to hardwood floors--one co-worker had recently installed his, while the other had just moved to her first hardwood floor appartment. "Nothing gets it clean," she complained. "I'm afraid chemicals will ruin it," he said.
We'd installed our own hardwood floors when we bought our place eight years ago, but it's only in the last year that I've found a solution I like: the omop by method--sort of like a swifter only much, much better. For one thing, it's completely green: the same ergonomically-curved mop handle is use for both steps of the sweep-first-then-mop process. The compostable sweeping cloths are 100% derived from corn, while the rinse-and-resue mop pad is microfiber. The mopping step involves squirting onto the floor one of two ambrosically-scented cleansers--almond for wood, or a lemon-ginger concoction for use with everything else. When the pad is dirty, just rinse to reuse; no pailfuls of ambiguously clean water to deal with.
Just how clean does the method get the floors? There's a reason why the manual comes with recipes--that's right, recipes--with titles like "grilled filet of teriyaki salon on polished cement" and "sauteed thyme chicken breast atop a bed of dark wood." Lest the microbiologists with whom I work get alarmed, let me reassure them: I haven't tried the let-the-floor-be-your-plate part. Yet.