House Tour Alumni on Their Dirty-Floor Culprits and How They Deal with Them

House Tour Alumni on Their Dirty-Floor Culprits and How They Deal with Them

May 25, 2017
Sponsored Post
The floor is their domain.
(Image credit: Rikki Snyder)

One of the most fun parts about working at Apartment Therapy is flipping through all those pictures of real families' beautiful homes. The downside is that we don't always get to see the (literally) dirty truth. The toddler's pasta sauce on the floor. The paw prints. The playdough. But psst...all these homes are full of that stuff!

So, we called up some of our House Tour alumni and asked what their challenges are to keep clean floors, and how they deal with them. When life does get in the way of a spotless floor, we're glad to have Bona free & simple® Hardwood Floor Cleaner. It's free of dyes and scents, so we know it's safe to use with with those little harbingers of destruction — some might call them pets or children — that share our homes.


(Image credit: Sponsored Post)

Danielle and Justin

Lives with: Taylor (just 3 months old), and Charlotte (a Great Dane)
Lives in: Charlotte, NC

What are the biggest culprits that get in the way of keeping your floors clean?
Myself and Charlotte! I'm constantly bringing in vintage finds while Charlotte is just so large she can't help but leave paw prints and hair around the house.

What's your strategy for keeping your hardwood floors clean?
Prior to us having Taylor, my husband was always sweeping the floors and we would joke that he just needs to follow Charlotte and me around all day with a broom. Now, though, I'm constantly cleaning the floors too. We use a sweeper-mop on the wood floors with Bona to really get them clean and smelling nice. About once year (don't judge!) we pull up all the rugs and do a traditional deep clean.

What's your best advice for keeping a clean and beautiful home?
Try to keep up with small tasks so that it doesn't get overwhelming...but also realize that sometimes life is simply too busy to keep up with it all and there is nothing wrong with that! We also like to make it a joint effort and keep it fun — so music and a few beers are necessary for a deep scrubbing session!


Heidi and Erik

Lives with: Frankie (almost 3)
Lives in: Cleveland

What are the biggest culprits that get in the way of keeping your floors clean?
Toddler. Playdough. Salt in the winter. Mud in the summer. Dust. Life.

What's your best advice for keeping a clean and beautiful home?
On weeknights and weekends I want to spend my time with my family, not cleaning. So my advice is: enlist help. I know it can be costly, but, if you can work it into your budget, even every couple months, it's worth it.


(Image credit: Sponsored Post)

Alissa and Thomas

Lives with: Tibbie (age 1) and Jackson (a shepherd/collie/chow mix — they think)
Lives in: Newton, MA

What are the biggest culprits that get in the way of keeping your floors clean?
My son learning to feed himself, aka, throwing food on the floor and my 60 lb dog that sheds excessively.

What's your best advice for keeping a clean and beautiful home?
I tidy up daily. I also do one deep clean a week, usually on Sunday/Monday night when my son is sleeping to start the week off right.

Do you have a strategy for keeping your hardwoods clean?
Yes, with a child and a dog that sheds a lot ("a lot" is actually an understatement) I vacuum frequently — at this point it should probably count as my cardio — and we use a Bona Mop once a week to clean the hardwood and tile floors.


Jess and Andrew

Lives with: Gus (7 months old), Lynus (a long-haired cat), Levon (a basset hound/black lab mix), and Maebelle (a blue tick coon hound)
Lives in: Raleigh, NC

What are the biggest culprits that get in the way of keeping your floors clean?
The physical obstacles. Between baby swings, jumpers, toys, and an actual baby on the floor, it's pretty hard to work around everything! Nap-time cleaning is the name of the game.

Have your cleaning habits changed since having a child?
Yes! I'm cleaning all the time! Spilled milk, baby drool, and the countless other mystery spots I find are far easier to wipe up after the floors have been cleaned with Bona products. We're also more critical of the cleaners we choose now that we have Gus. I don't want him crawling around on a bunch of harsh chemicals. He spends about 60 percent of his time on his tummy with his face 6 inches from the floor, so it's pretty important!


Catherine and Lionel

Lives with: Winnie (1.5 years old)
Lives in: Toronto

What are the biggest culprits that get in the way of keeping your floors clean?
A toddler and a dog! Sometimes the dog hair feels like it never ends. Also, muddy or wet paws are pretty bad too. We have our dining table on the hardwood floor so we often find ourselves scrubbing sauce off the floor.

Have your cleaning habits changed since having a child?
It's so easy to feel overwhelmed by the constant mess when you have a little one. Our daughter is at the age that she basically leaves a path of destruction in her wake so I do my best to stay on top of it, but of course it still gets out of control sometimes. I never used to clean daily at the end of the day, but I do now because it's worth it to start the next day in some kind of order. Also, for the sake of my floors and protecting my little ones, that maintenance is key. That being said, there are certainly days that I'm way too tired to care!


If there's one common theme, it's to do what little you can on a daily basis. If there's a second common theme, it's to spend more time with the people in the house and less time cleaning it. Which makes us appreciate Bona's free & simple® Hardwood Floor Cleaner. It's water-based, hypo-allergenic, and free of ingredients like unnatural dyes or added scents. Best of all, it provides the option for a simple daily clean that offers your floors a lifetime of protection.

(Image credit: Rikki Snyder)

This post is sponsored by Bona® and was created by the Apartment Therapy Creative Studio. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Apartment Therapy possible.

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