Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Spot Shot® Instant Carpet Stain Remover.
When I shared the design choices for our new home I saw your virtual eyerolls and head shakes. You couldn’t hide the smirks and knowing smiles. But I did it anyways– we chose dark hardwoods and light colored carpets. What can I say? The heart wants what it wants, and I know dirt shows up on those choices quicker than if I’d selected light hardwoods and dark tan carpets. But in the end, I’m a clean freak who doesn’t want to hide dirt but rather be forced to keep things clean. I’d rather know my enemy than allow it to hide (yes, this is what I tell myself whenever I spot the random dust bunny rolling across the floor.) Honestly though, we’ve been using several easy strategies to keep our floors clean despite our active home with two kiddos and a cat, and so far, it’s working!
Just don’t drop by unannounced on a Friday afternoon, or else our home looks like mayhem personified (wink!)
We’ve become the house everyone visits after school and on weekends, and I couldn’t love that more. Except maybe when the doorbell rings at 8:30 AM on a Sunday. Regardless, this is the reason we wanted to live in a kid-friendly neighborhood so we need to make our home kid-friendly as well.
We had light carpet in our previous home, and they did not look bad despite the beating they took. The key is to take small steps to keep them clean daily, which means less work in the long run. I’ve teamed up with Spot Shot® Instant Carpet Stain Remover to share tips we’ve used keep our hardwood floors and carpeting in great shape; here’s lessons I’ve learned about caring for floors over the years!
Floor Care Tip #1: Stop dirt before it enters the house.
We have dual doormats by each of our doors, one inside and one out. This method catches the majority of dirt and grass clippings on both sides. This is especially helpful if you have pets, because it grabs whatever is on their paws before they have a chance to track it through your home. Those little doormats can catch a ton of dirt.
Floor Care Tip #2: Institute a ‘no shoes’ rule in your home.
We have a ‘no shoes’ rule in our house and I have zero guilt about it. This is a common practice nowadays, so people are used to slipping shoes off when they enter homes. To encourage it, I have a basket and a boot tray by the door to collect them. Not only does this stop dirt at the door, but also reduces the chemical load in your home. Think about all the things your shoes touch on any given day– carcinogenic chemicals from lawns, residue on the streets, animal droppings, whatever is in a public restroom– and trust me, you’ll take your shoes off the door too if you don’t already do so. This also helps with wear and tear from shoe treads and protects hardwoods from accidental scratches and dents. If you really want to go the extra mile, put some slippers out and your guests will feel like they’ve entered a spa. In my home it feels like a loud, kid friendly spa. Ha.
Floor Care Tip #3: Vacuum often, THE EASY WAY.
Dirt and debris are not only unsightly, but can cause damage to carpets and hardwoods by being crunched into the floors and weakening fibers or scratching the surface. Vacuuming has never been my favorite chore, and after crowd-sourcing a solution people have been raving about robot vacuums such as Neat-o and Roomba. An easy way to make sure each room gets vacuumed once a week is to set up a schedule and move the robo-vacuum from room to room. You can even shut the door and it will just do that room, or set it to run in your house while you are away (not recommended if you have a dog outside of a crate, just in case there’s a mess on the floor if you catch my drift.) Regardless, there are effortless ways to vacuum nowadays and I am taking full advantage of that.
Floor Care Tip #4: Spot clean daily.
Spot cleaning high-mess areas means I need to deep clean less often. For example, I check our eating nook to see if it needs a quick sweep after every meal, and doing so keeps crumbs from getting tracked into other rooms. One minute of vigilance can save your floors if there’s a blueberry gone rogue. I then mop the hardwood floors once a month using a two-bucket method and so far that’s kept or floors looking like new (granted, they ARE new but they look as good as the day there were installed.)
Floor Care Tip #5: Tackle carpet stains ASAP.
If that stray blueberry does manage to roll onto the carpet, or if a muddy shoe makes its way upstairs (oh boy, the RED CLAY soil down here will get you!) then the sooner you can get it out the better. Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain Remover works on old stains, but I like things easy and it doesn’t get easier than tackling it when it’s new. Simply spray, blot, and repeat if needed. We keep a can on hand at all times for red clay and blueberry type situations! Grab your $1 off coupon and head to your local retailer– find one here. Also, join the Stain Fighting Community on Facebook for more tips.
Floor Care Tip #6: Enlist help.
Train the kids early to help with the floors, and it will greatly reduce the strain. My kids actually love to sweep and vacuum, so it’s part of their daily chores to sweep the floor after meals or hit the litter box area with the handheld vacuum if needed a few times a week. It takes the stress off of me and transfers responsibility to the whole family which divides the workload a lot.
While these tips may sound like a lot of work, honestly they take just a few minutes a day and can keep your floors looking like new. I think of it like ‘STOP and SPOT’: stop dirt at the door, and spot clean as needed. Those two methods mean less deep cleaning and more free time for enjoying your home!
Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with the WD-40 brand on behalf of Spot Shot Instant Carpet Stain Remover.