When we first refinished the floors I was a paranoid mess that anything that touched them would scratch them and clearly, life would end. My mother-in-law passed along some advice she had received from the contractor that installed their floors - hardwood floors are not fine furniture. They will get scratched and people (and dogs) will walk on them. Such is life. We still do everything we can to protect them, but after a year and a half of living with them I've adjusted to scratches and muddy paw prints.

That doesn't, however, mean that I'm not somewhat obsessive about cleaning them.

Roomba does a fantastic job of taking care of the dog hair and dust, but there are still smudges and paw prints to contend with, especially on such dark floors.

Enter: Aquashine.

This power duo has become my bff when it comes to keeping our hardwood floors shiny. To be honest, I was originally cleaning the floors on my hands and knees, spraying AquaShine and rubbing away with a towel. Guys, we have nearly 900 square feet of hardwood on our main floor alone. That's a LOT of time on my knees and because it was so time consuming, floor shining sessions were few and far between.

I figured if a microfiber towel worked on my hands and knees then a microfiber mop should work just as well. Enter: $7 Michael Graves mop from Target. I'm dreaming of someday owning the Norwex mop, but until I can swing the $100+ for it I'm sticking with this version.

I tried using just water with the microfiber mop, but it made me nervous to leave that much water sitting on my floors so I ended up going back on hands and knees to dry it, which defeated the purpose of the mop. That would be the definite benefit of the Norwex mop - it dries really well as you go.

Anyway. It works, you guys. AquaShine dries really quickly, you don't need to use very much to get all the puppy prints off your floors and it leaves absolutely no residue! I know, right? And yes, it fits with my 2010 goal of eliminating toxic cleaners, as it leaves no toxic chemicals behind.

I buy it at Menards, so any of you in the Midwest can find it there. You can also buy it online, but I'm not sure what other stores carry it. If anybody knows please chime in!

So that's our floor-cleaning regimen. How about you? Any tricks to keeping hardwood (or any other surfaces for that matter) shiny and paw-print free? How often do you use cleaners versus a quick sweep or vacuum?


  1. Very interesting! We also have hardwood floors in our dining room and kitchen, which I was very paranoid about when we moved in. I'm better now, but I still don't clean them as much as I should. Usually just with the vacuum, and they're still looking pretty shiny (but we don't have any dogs, either... just a cat who sheds a lot).
    I'll have to remember this Aquashine stuff!

  2. we use that too! i love it. we use a different "mop" though. its more of a flat one.. it came in a "kit" when we bought our first bottle.
    good choice!

  3. I am also on a kick to stop using harsh chemically cleaners. I'm trying to make my own this year. So far, the laundry and dish detergent are working well. I'm about to make a spray cleaner.. once I can find the recipe again.. oops :)

    I"m REALLY curious about your floors.. I'm new here :) Did you refinish them yourselves? Our upstairs is carpeted with wood floors underneath. I'm dying to rip up carpet. But, it's in good shape and we're nervous about doing the floors.

    We also have wood floors that we ripped out of my husband's great grandparents' farm house. Those are going in the living room, but still... we are intimidated. (and too cheap to pay someone to do it for us)

  4. Good tip! We use murphy's oil soap in a big old bucket of water and a regular sponge mop. It dries quickly and leaves a nice shiny gleam to it. It is not non toxic but I like that it works well with our light oak floors.

  5. Wow that's a lot of floor space to clean! I certainly don't envy you... I'd also love to have hardwood floors once I buy a house, so this is a useful hint. I definitely need to keep this is mind!

    P.S.: Thanks for following my blog :)

  6. hehe... I'm lol at "clearly, I'd die" We just replaced our living room rug, I couldn't believe the difference in the floors under the rugs. The dogs are terrorizing our lovely refinished floors.

    Oh well, I'm over it. You are a better woman than I. (Although I still wanna try that stuff, just not on my hands and knees.)

  7. Shannon - Great question! This was one of the very few projects we actually contracted out. We were up to our elbows in grout and plumbing, trying to get the kitchen done and we needed to move in in 2 weeks because our current lease was about to expire. So, we decided to hire out the floors.

    If we wouldn't have been under such a time crunch we definitely would have refinished them ourselves. It's a huge task to take on but it's so do-able, really! Our friends just did their floors last year, and she was 8 months preggo at the time! Check it out here: http://omyfamilyblog.com/2009/04/dark-walnut/

    But, if it's something that's just totally out of your comfort range start stashing some pennies in a jar and call around. We found someone who came highly recommended but about 1k cheaper than anyone else in the area.

    Keep us posted!! We still have 2 bedrooms that haven't been re-done (upstairs) so maybe we'll both tackle some floors at the same time.

    I hope you decide to tackle it. The gorgeous floors are so worth it! A little high-maintenance, but so worth it!!

    Hope it helps!

  8. We've got three floors of original hard wood (that is not counting the 'whine' cellar). By original I mean 130 years old, so as far as the advice you were given about not treating it like fine furniture, I tend to agree.
    That being said, antique houses are very dusty so I vacuum/wash daily. I will have to give aquashine a try.
    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Thanks for sharing!!!

    Check out my tips including how to get pen off and couch!


  10. Thanks so much for sharing! I have been trying to find a good hardwood floor cleaner that is safe and natural. I'm SO buying this!! :)