Keeping a hardwood floor is amazing because of the timeless, classic elegance it gives to your home, but maintaining it can be a pain when you do not know what to do. Like any other floors, you want to keep your hardwood surfaces as clean as possible without damaging them, so you decide to grab your broom and sweep instead of mopping them (since water is quite risky on hardwood).
So, you decide to sweep, and sweep some more, then you notice there is still some dirt left – so you take your vacuum cleaner and vacuum the space. That sounds fine, right?
However, sweeping is not really all that when you think about it, and vacuuming is a more effective option. To understand why, it is important to know the differences between the two methods, even though they are both good in their own ways.
Why is vacuuming better?
Your dust mops and brooms will work through moving debris and dirt on the surface of your floor, until you move them into a dustpan. It is obviously good, but it is not the most effective way of removing dirt from your floors, whether you have bare floors or carpets.
Whenever you sweep, the dirt and debris becomes airborne, while there are some particles that will fall into corners and crevices along the walls and all around the floor. If you mop immediately after sweeping, the water will mix with this dirt and form leftover mud particles. This is why you will notice that the water you use to mop eventually becomes brown, cloudy or muddy after some swipes.
When you use a vacuum cleaner, you have less chances of having airborne dust particles, since it will pull out dust and debris from corners and crevices, and suck it inside a self-contained space. However, that does not mean that all vacuums will work well for you; you need to choose the right one that cleans the space as efficiently as possible.
What vacuum cleaners are safe for hardwood?
When you have a wood floor, you will find it absurd to use a bucket of water and a soaking wet mop. In the same way, it will be strange to use a standard vacuum cleaner on all floors, just because you want to clean up your house.
This is because many vacuum cleaners have beater bars, which is the part of the vacuum that pounds your carpets and sucks up as much debris and dust as possible. If you are going to employ this on your hardwood floors, you are going to ruin the varnish and removing the inherent luster it has.
You can get around this problem by entirely removing or turning off the beater brush. The other alternative is using canister vacuums or stick vacuum cleaners that are designed for bare floors, since they will not have a beater bar. They will eventually do a much better job than damp mops and brooms in cleaning the floors.
Summary of advantages for each
Broom method pros
- They are quiet, so you can quickly use them whether it is night or day
- They allow you to clean up immediately
- You do not need special attachments
- You do not need to worry about new bags to store the dirt after sweeping
- Does not rely on electric power
- The broom takes up less space
- Very inexpensive
- Can allow you to clean places that are hard to reach
- You do not risk damaging the broom while sweeping large debris
- Less likely to leave scruff marks on the floor
- It can be less labor intensive, especially for robot vacuuming
- They clean your floors faster
- Have attachments that take care of multiple surfaces and house scenarios
- No need to continuously bend over to empty your dustpan
- Less likely to leave dust particles airborne, so it helps for people struggling with allergies
- You can use it to clean other areas of your home
- Easy to transition to cleaning carpets and rugs
- Increases the lifespan of your floors
How often must you vacuum?
The ideal here is doing it as often as sweeping, which means after every few days, or even more if you happen to own some pets. Then, if possible, mop the floors once a week to take care of the spills and dirt that your vacuum did not get to.
So, all of this information brings us back to the question: should you sweep or vacuum your floors? Well, the answer really depends on the mess you are dealing with, as well as your own preferences and what you want to accomplish. For hardwood floors, a combination of vacuum and sweeping is ideal, but you also need to be careful with the vacuum cleaner you decide to use; in this case, the canister vacuum is best.