Is It Better to Vacuum or Sweep Hardwood Floors?

You take your broom and clean your gorgeous hardwood floors to keep them tidy. However, no matter how well you clean the floor, some dust and dirt still manages to escape. Then you grab your vacuum…

It’s not as outlandish as it might be. Vacuuming, rather than sweeping or using a dry mop, will get the hardwood floor cleaner if done correctly.

Is It Better to Vacuum or Sweep Hardwood Floors?

Dust mops and brooms work by sweeping dust and dirt around on the floor and into a dustpan. It’s not rocket science, but it’s also not the most efficient way to clean the floors of dirt and gravel.

Any dust becomes airborne as you vacuum, while other pieces of debris slip into crevices and corners. If you mop after sweeping, the moisture will stick to the dirt left behind and turn into mud. Which is why, when mopping a floor with a wet mop, the water seems dirty or cloudy after a few swipes.

A cleaner, on the other hand, suctions particles from crevices into a self-contained canister, resulting in less dispersed dust and less dust on the surface in general.

But hold on! Any vacuum would not suffice.

Hardwood Vacuums That Are Safe

You wouldn’t scrub wood floors with a bucket of water and a sopping wet mop, and you shouldn’t clean them with a regular vacuum cleaner either.

Most of them have a beater bar that practically pounds the carpets and stirs up dust and dirt. You risk scratching the hardwood floor’s finish and losing the luster if you use one with a beater bar.

For others, the beater brush may be turned off or removed entirely. Since they normally don’t have a beater bar, a stick vacuum made for bare floors or a canister vacuum are a safer option. Stick vacs have become common because they clean bare floors better than a broom or wet Swiffer-style mops.

You’ll want to make sure your vacuum has plenty of suction power. Many vacuums made for wood flooring provide incredible suction, and some are also sold for use on both carpets and bare floors. However, great suction isn’t as efficient on carpets without some form of irritation.

How Often Can Hardwood Be Vacuumed?

When you have cats, you can use that as much as you will a broom, which is every couple of days.

Then, once a week (or more if necessary), clean any stains that your vacuum couldn’t get rid of with a wet mop. If you follow these steps, your wood floor will look brand new for decades with little effort.