View Full Version : Baby-Friendly floor & household cleaners

08-13-2002, 10:04 PM
Our entire home is hard floors (finished wood everywhere, and linoleum kitchen). Does anyone have any recommendations on cleaning products that are effective at cleaning, and safer for crawling babies who may pick up some residue, or breath in the fumes that linger after typical moppings, etc? (We've never yet really even washed our wood floors - we just Swiffer them). Any special mops or vacuums that make this repetitive chore all the easier??

I'm not too domestic yet!

08-14-2002, 01:09 AM
I'd have to ask my SIL to get you the details, but she has a floor steamer (cleans with steam) that she just loves. A friend of hers recommended it to her. If you want, I can get the details about it, but that's all I know at this point. I have too much rug for it to be a practical purchase in my home!

08-14-2002, 08:56 AM
Thanks. Yes, I would certainly appreciate any details about her steamer when you have a moment.

08-14-2002, 03:12 PM
90% of my home is hardwood floor as well. I used the Swiffer for a while, but the pushing around of the dirt on the pad made me nervous that I would be scratching the surface (I can hear dirt grinding sometimes), so I pretty much only use it for emergencies. I also keep a small broom and dustpan with long handles for quick pickups (or use my broom vac or Shark). We have well water here and mopping was leaving water marks on the floor making it look dirtier than before I mopped so I bought a Hoover Floormate a couple of months ago and I LOVE it!! It vacuums up the dirty water right away so the floor is pretty much dry once you vac over it (sometimes it takes a couple of sweeps to suck all the water up depending on how much spraying you do). My mom just bought one for her all-tile house and she loves it too. The Floormate is a dry pickup vacuum as well, but I don't use it for that as I prefer my canister vac (Eureka Mighty Mite - another vac I LOVE :)). I usually just vacuum the whole house as normal then use the Floormate to wash the floors. I don't use the solutions it comes with though, I use Murphy's Oil Squirt & Mop (because this can be used on tile too - my 2 baths are tile - also no strong odor). I didn't want to deal with using one cleaner for wood, another for tile. My kitchen is also wood so there can be some heavy duty dirt in there sometimes, but I can just hold the Floormate over the spots and let it scrub a bit longer and out they come (I use VERY hot tap water in it). I think the Floormate vac is a much cleaner system of washing the floor than mopping because you are always washing with clean water and the dirty is sucked right up. You are actually not supposed to wash wood floors too often (and I have heard varying recommendations about what to wash them with from water only, water with vinegar only, various recommended wood floor cleaners, etc.) Our home is over 70 years old with old (though fairly newly refinished) wood floors and I have found that washing about once every month or two has been good (sometimes I spot wash if necessary in between) for me and the floors :). You do not want too much water coming in contact with the wood or sitting on it for any length of time or it will eventually damage it. Which is another reason why I like the Floormate since it vacuums the water right up. I do dry vacuum very frequently though as you don't want dirt to be ground into the floor and the finish get scratched. With dry vacuums you do not want to use any with a rolling/beating brush - these will damage the wood. I believe most uprights will let you turn off the brush function (but I only have one upright - a Kirby and I would never use it on my wood). This is why I prefer the Mighty Mite - no rolling brush, perfect for hard floors. I love the look of hardwood, but it is much harder work to keep up with than I ever would have thought!! HTH (and sorry so long), I did a lot of research on wood floor upkeep a couple years ago when we bought our house, so most of this info is based on recommendations I've read online plus my personal experiences. Good luck to you...


08-14-2002, 05:29 PM
Hi. We have an Oreck vaccuum, which works beautifully on wood floors. Sometimes we also damp mop. As far as cleaning products, you might check 7th Generation's website for non-toxic cleaning products, or check in an organic supermarket if you have one in your area. HTH!

08-15-2002, 01:13 PM
Appreciate your very thorough information. I'll greatly benefit from your learning curve!

08-16-2002, 05:15 PM
Here is the info from my SIL:

"It's a Eureka Deluxe Enviro Steamer. I bought mine at Target. It's so great that the part of the floor that I clean first is dry before I finish. I used to have my house cleaned, and she liked it so much, she went out and bought one for her house cleaning business."