How to Quickly Clean Hardwood Floors

A dust mop can clean 1000 square feet of hardwood floors in less than five minutes.

I wanted to find one that was extra wide and good quality, so I bought it at a janitor-supply shop. It has a machine-washable cotton head (air dry). It works without cords, without electricity, without motors, without noise, and without attachments. It’s just a dust mop, but it really works.

Because it’s so wide (24 inches, though it can be longer) the cleaning goes fast. As you push it, it glides across the floor and the head swivels to make the turns without your picking up the mop. I don’t use any sprays or treatments on it; the cotton fibers do a good job holding the dust. Then you shake it out, and wash the mop head once every few weeks.

I highly recommend it for caring for your hardwood floors, along with a good door mat.

How do you clean your floors?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Great idea! I use a dry Norwex mop and then to really clean them I just put the wet mop pad on the mop head. I also use my Dyson to vacuum the floors — 3 kids and a puppy over here :)
    Beth Young´s last post…Merry Christmas, lovers!!!!!

    • I too care for my 1400 sf of hardwood (what was I thinking?) with my norwex dry mop and wet mop. It is fast and good on my floors.

  2. My husband washes our stone floors that’s one of ‘his’ jobs (phew!). Your method for hardwoods is great, though. That’s what our family would do growing up in the houses where we had hardwood floors. I will say spraying Pledge/etc. on the cover will make for a super slick floor – pretty dangerous, but fun for sliding if you’re a kid…not that I would know ;-)
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  3. This may be the answer I need to trying to keep our hardwoods clean! Did you order yours online? I’ve been searching this morning but haven’t found any that are that size/material.

  4. I wish that would clean our hardwood! We have dark hardwood that shows every single drop of water on it, it always looks dirty. Because it’s in our kitchen the only thing that gets it truly clean is a good hand wash. In between weekly washings I sweep it several times a day and have a refillable spray mop I use vinegar and water in.

  5. I use a regular Swiffer and cut out rectangles of fleece that I change as they become dirty. I move thru each room with a spray bottle filled with water and a couple of drops of Lush’s “Happy Hippy”. It makes the hardwoods shine and it smells great! The used fleece rectangles go in the wash for the next time I clean. I love that it’s all reusable and keeping extras out of the waste stream.
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    • Flannel works really well, too! I did this years ago, when Swiffers first came out, but fleece wasn’t as available.

  6. Oh, my goodness, I never would have thought of that! It’s genius.

    We use one at work and the floors always look amazing. Another testament that simpler is better. I’ve been using a regular broom at home and it drives me crazy because it doesn’t really pick things up.

    Thanks for the idea!
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  7. The home we are currently renting has all hardwood floors- even in the kitchen! I love them but I’m overwhelmed at when and how to begin giving them a good cleaning. Our vents are in the bottom and with the heat running we have dust bunnies everywhere! All I’ve been doing is sweeping and I’m curious when I’ll have to do more and how I will handle it. What brand is that dust mop? Or does it matter? I bet it would work much better than the broom…
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    • I don’t think the one I have has a brand because it is commercial grade, not a household consumer brand that you would buy at places like Target. When I looked at Target all of the similar products were smaller and made mostly of plastic so they didn’t look as sturdy. I looked up “janitor supply” on Google to find a supply store near me, and I went and bought it there. I just told the man I wanted a 24″ dust mop, and he sold it to me. It was around $30 or less I think.

      It is so much faster than a broom, and it does work better, but I still use a small broom to sweep under the kitchen table and chairs.

  8. not hardwood, but laminate and i so need one of those giant mop heads!
    i have a swiffer (would love some better eco cartridges for it) and found a good microfibre pad which velcros to the head easily. washable and picks up all the grime, wet or dry
    pomomama´s last post…friday forte: out the other side

  9. We have all hardwood except for third floor. I used to use a swiffer, then bought a Miele vacuum which I’ve been using ever since. The only hard part is getting under the beds. I do love your mop! The size is great!

  10. We clean our 1300 sq ft of wood floors with a standard broom and dustpan.

    • Oh, and once every few months we mop with a standard sponge mop and water, because sweeping obviously doesn’t get everything perfectly clean.

  11. Ok, this is what I need to have and to pretend not to have so it looks like it’s taken me all day to work on those floors!
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  12. We have one of these too! I try to use it every night before bed to help keep the dust down. Then once a week (or more often as needed) I use a steam mop to wet mop the floor. The steam mop has been my favorite household cleaning tool ever! I was always so frustrated at the amount of work it took to clean our floor and it never felt clean after the work – there was something sticky left over. But with the steam mop it dries quickly and looks great with no residue left over.

    • I used to have a janitorial service and I definitely agree that a large dustmop is awesome. I have a tile floor in my rather large kitchen dining area. I also have 3 dogs, one of which has long hair. Using the dustmop works so much better than a broom, which stirs up so much dust and hair, or a vacuum even, because of the air that blows out the back!
      I would really love to have one of the steam mops! I currently use a larger string mop to clean my floors several times a year. With a steam mop I am sure I would do much more often!
      Successful Woman’s Resource Center´s last post…Divide and conquer to get more done

  13. This is a great idea! It seems like it would be a good solution for picking up the dust from underneath the furniture (which is too heavy to move). The vacuum won’t quite reach, but that’s what we’ve been using so far. Also once a week, we mop with an eco-friendly (plant-based) floor cleaner. But those dust bunnies keep building up under the sofa and sideboard. I have added dust mop to my shopping list – thanks!
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  14. I don’t know what I would do without my Electrolux electric broom vac. Its one product that just really earns it’s keep. I do a once over with the broom vac once or twice a day and do a quick glide with a swiffer like reusable mop a couple times per week. We are also a no shoes household but we have little one underfoot. We eat at the table only buts it’s amazing how much kid debris accumulates daily…. Facinating really

    • I know, we do the “food only at the table” rule too, but there are still crumbs everywhere and I usually sweep every day.

  15. Does anyone have suggestions for good entry doormats? Just had our hardwood refinished and the outside door opens up into our kitchen/eating area. Lots of debris gets tracked in with 3 little boys. I have been researching a Waterhog matt because I want to protect the floors from moisture and scratches from sand and salt. Any opinions on this particular mat? I don’t want something too industrial looking. Need to buy one soon as it’s almost time for the rock salt to get tracked in:)

    • This is not a suggestion for an indoor mat – I use a cheap one that can go in the washer, with a rubber-type back so it won’t slip – but just to recommend if you don’t already use an outdoor mat, using one will cut your indoor tracking a lot (cocoa-fibre or similar).

    • I bought some nice ones from LLBean. They are expensive, but long-lasting. I got over the price when I realized how expensive redoing the floors would be, so we use a waterhog mat outside the door and a washable cotton mat inside the door.

      • The main entry we use as a family is located at the back of our house, off the backyard. There is no roof/awning to protect an outside mat from getting hit with all of the elements, wondering how effective it would be to place the waterhog there for our entrance? Also, do you have a non-slip surface under your interior cotton mat? I’ve heard certain rubber bottomed mats can discolor your hardwood? Thanks for your insight!

  16. I ask my husband to do it.
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  17. I just wanted to say how much I love your photo – those little feet add enormously to that shot!

  18. I used to use this when I worked in a retail store. They get pretty nasty, but if you flip it upside down and just vacuum the dust mop you can get a lot more uses without washing or anything. Good luck
    Jennifer Spadaro´s last post…Plan for now.

  19. When we had our floor boards sanded and oiled, the business who did them sold us one of these mops (12 years ago) and it’s still being used daily.

    We were told to give it a good shake (outside) immediately prior to use to add static electricity which then helps the dust particles to attract and stick while “sweep-mopping”. I pull off any large amounts accumulated dust and hair when done and can give it a little shake outside again if you wish. We rarely vacuum of wet mop.
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  20. Brilliant! If only I had hardwood floors! Just one of those things to tuck into the back of the ol’ noggin for a later day. :D
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  21. I use the same concept but use my swiffer sweeper but attach microfiber clothes from the automotive department to them. It works out great!
    Jolene (Homespun Heritage)´s last post…~*I’m Going Home*~

  22. DUH!! Why have I never thought of that? We have wood floors throughout our house, and 4 boys, so it needs sweeping daily (even though we take shoes off at the door!!)
    Thank you! I want one for Christmas!! hehehe!

  23. We use our Dutch rubber broom – sweeps up way better than a regular broom, it traps animal hairs fabulously, you can rinse the head off if it gets dirty, and if you throw a rag under it and use a spray bottle with home made cleaner in it, you can wash the floor better than any mop I’ve used, without really getting the floor too wet (essential with laminate, and great for water conservation). Highly highly recommend it.

    • I love my dutch rubber broom. I got it after reading about it in “Organic Housekeeping”. I love it for mopping because I can just use microfiber cloths and throw them in the wash.

    • We love our Dutch rubber broom, too! After years of trying to keep our hardwood & tile floors clean with vacuuming, sweeping & dustmopping, I read about the Dutch broom & ordered it from Amazon. It is the best! It picks up lots of “stuff” that normal brooms or dustmops leave behind.

  24. I have a household-sized one of those (12 inches wide?), had it for years. I prefer it to a big one because it fits between the furniture better, but I’m absolutely with you: this is the only way to go!

    To whoever was asking about door mats: a friend of mine makes braided rugs from fleece strips. They are gorgeous and incredibly absorbent, and, she tells me, easy. You just braid a long strip, coil it up, and stitch it together. Someday I might try.
    Frances´s last post…less is more. sometimes.

  25. This post and all the comments has been very comforting.

    I’ve been having a tough time with not being able to keep up with our floors with both the dust and our four children. The brush never seems to do a great job and the Dyson vacuum is too heavy and awkward to use more than weekly.

    I had thought of buying a lighter vacuum but now I’ll just get one of these. Sounds like it does the job well. Thanks for the tip.
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  26. For those looking for a pro dust mop like Rachel’s, Don Aslett’s website might be a good place to look around. I have used various products of his for years, but no, I’m not affiliated with him or his company in any way. Here’s a link to a 15″ model, and below it I see a link to a smaller one:
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  27. Thirkellgirl says:

    I’m once again a professional house-cleaner, and I use a microfiber cover to do the acres of hardwood floors each week. Once a month I dampen the cover and wring it out almost dry. But really, just the microfiber is good enough, dry. The mop has little teeth that hold the cover, and I bought some microfiber dish towels at TJ Maxx and cut them to use as extras. And whoever talked about how heavy the Dyson is, amen! It’s ridiculous!

  28. says:

    This is a great idea!!! But when there’s sticky stuff I have to pull out the regular mop and I use Method wood floor cleaner which usually does a great job, smells good, and doesn’t require rinsing afterwards with water! -Oh, and it dosen’t have any harmful chemicals. I usually just do this once every few weeks.´s last post…5 Simple Steps To A More Natural Way Of Life

  29. how I wish we had hardwood, or even laminate flooring. The UK is the land of wall-to-wall carpet, and we rent, so have no choice, carpet throughout except the kitchen and bathroom. there is always food debris somewhere on the carpet in our living/dining room. I pick big bits/crumbs every meal and hoover/vacuum every other day or so – but that takes 20 mins in that one room. I have a carpet washer too, and I use just dishsoap and vinegar in it and it works great, but its harder to do over winter as you need to air the rooms to dry the carpets. When we get OUR house, I’m getting hardwood.

  30. I have asked Santa (hubby) for Mint for Christmas. I see it advertised on TV and it looks like it does a good job. Does anyone have one? And if so, how do you like it?
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  31. I spritz my labradoodle with water and then chase her around the house. ;-) Nah, I’m being wise. I use Murphy’s Oil soap to wash it. But I was just thinking that dust mopping might be better than vacuuming.
    Dixie Redmond´s last post…Mini Izannahs in Progress

  32. I grew up using a smaller version dust mop on our hardwood floors, and honestly – the natural cotton isn’t as good as a vacuum for picking up particulates (sand, grit, etc.) as a very lightweight vacuum. (In New England, we get a lot of “sand, grit, etc.” tracked in the winter!)

    Nowadays, I use a damp Method OMop (which I believe is discontinued) on our hardwood floors – an absorbent microfiber pad velcro’d on to a handle after a quick runabout with the vacuum on the more “grit-prone” areas.

  33. I’m amazed at everyone sweeping/mopping!! I thought nobody did that any more. We all use vacuum cleaners over here. Having said that, I might try the dry mop on mine, I usually only use it for damp mopping every couple of weeks. We had our oak parquet refinished 5 years ago when we moved in but dogs and people (without shoes mostly) and it looks awful. When I mop it, it stays nice for about 5 minutes. The dog dribbles water from her bowl, too! Whenever I try to dry sweep with the microfibre moptop, it just pushes the dirt around, and there is dirt and hair here more than dust, but I will try again.
    For 3 years I had white tile floors downstairs and was quite happy to damp mop them 1-2 x day, then I knew they were clean! Now I have rustic terracotta and it drives me crazy because the dirt collects in the uneven surface and I have to do a hands-and-knees scrub to get them clean, so not more than 1-2 x year and the doormats have to do the rest :(
    MelD´s last post…Advent (10)

    • I think one key about not pushing dirt around if doing it often, based upon the needs of your house. Plus some others are suggesting no shoes in the house, and good floor mats to keep the dirt from coming in the kitchen. Nowadays I only have 3 dogs who are inside most of the time, so I dustmop daily but mainly for the hair!
      Living the Balanced Life´s last post…Are you collecting rocks, or diamonds?

      • I will definitely try this out (busy weekend!!) and I do already have a mostly shoe-free house and floor mats etc. but maybe I really do need to try it out daily for a week to see if that helps… it wouldn’t take long, I have quite a small home!
        MelD´s last post…Advent (11)

  34. I use the same kind of dust mop on our tile floors. Perfection! When I need to damp mop, I absolutely SWEAR by the O’Cedar Flip Mop. It is the best thing EVER!The mop head has a machine washable microfiber cover, but the cool thing is how “swivel-y” the mop head is. I also love it because I DETEST dragging a cord around when I clean. I bought two mops and extra covers, because with my luck, it will no longer be available when I need to replace it!! I have used mats inside and outside every door for many years. I’m not sure that brand matters much, as long as the outside mats are made of a sturdy material with the stiff astro-turf type surface that knocks stuff off the shoes when stepped on.

  35. hey, loved the pic. Before we downsized we used to have a bunch of hardwood floors and I loved them. So easy to clean. My husband got a broom like that, and at first I thought he was crazy cause it was so big, but it worked really good.

    Thanks for sharing!
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  36. My family has two bowling alleys and we use those types of mops to clean the approaches and the gutters of the lanes. They work for everything.

  37. This is so helpful as we are about to have our hardwood floors refinished (we just bought a fixer house, and ripped up 1100 sq ft of seriously nasty carpet. We uncovered original oak floors (!) that are flawless in some places and very flawed in others).
    Rachel are your floors hardwood, or laminate? What liquid cleaner to you use for spots or sticky spills?

  38. We refinished our old wood floors and we are reasonably careful with them – we’re not perfectionists and we have children.

    I would not use a dust mop on my floors because I would be pushing little scratchy dirt across them – or sand, in the summer. I vacuum my floors at least twice a week. I use Bona spray to clean them. We usually take our shoes off at doors.
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  39. We also have hardwood floors in all other rooms except bathroom and we just vacuum every other week. We do have a similar mop as you, just a bit smaller. I use it only on special occasions like on spring cleaning and so. I must mention though that we don’t use shoes inside, like many Americans seem to.
    But when I do use the mop I always vacuum first since the mop does not pick up trash.
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  40. Ooh, I love the fleece and flannel ideas. And, a large broom head like this would make things so much easier.
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  41. I always loved the look for hardwood floor in a house, unfortunately we have carpet throughout the house with exception of kitchen, dining area and restrooms. In one way it kind of helped as my young kids when learning to walk has cushioning. Maybe one say when they are bit older. Love the little helper! :-)

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  42. I grew up with hard wood and I have in my own house now….we just vacuum, with the occassion spot-clean with a dishrag when somebody spills in the kitchn. I have a canister vacuum and it is great, not heavy at all. My four-year-old takes turns vacuuming with me. :)

  43. Don Aslett recommends this dust mop!
    Does anyone have any practical ideas for quick cleaning tiles?

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  44. Love it! I love our hardwood floors and use my dyson animal vac. to get the big stuff (3 kids age 4 and under equals lots of crumbs most meals.) Love that vacuum – I think it is pretty light. Inspired by this I just ordered a Slack Mop – a wool dust mop..they have lots of good reviews from customers some of who have been using them for decades! They are washable but since wool you have to handwash..but supposedly the wool help attracts dust. I will find out I guess!

  45. The next home I live in will only have hardwood floors. Half of my house has them and they always look amazing and take minutes to clean. I have two cotton heads from Bona for dusting and one microfiber that I get wet in the sink and spray some white vinegar on or some steeped rosemary water for a once a week mopping. So easy and I love it! No chemicals.