How I Get My Hardwood Floors Clean

Of all the decisions we made when we built our house, whenever I was asked, “If you had to do it over again, what would you do differently?” My answer used to be, “I would choose different wood floors.”  Ours are so pretty, bamboo, and I love them when they are clean, but because they are super dark without much variation in the wood tone, and also very smooth, they show dirt, dust and footprints very easily.

The entire downstairs level of our home is hardwoods and we have to sweep and mop weekly. I used to use a broom to sweep or sometimes if I needed to sweep quickly, I’d use the vacuum, then when I finished sweeping, I used a mop with wood floor cleaner to get the floors shiny clean.  It took forever and was not my favorite chore!

When I got the opportunity to review a Braava iRobot, I couldn’t say yes fast enough.  Have you heard of it? It has the ability to dry sweep and damp mop BY ITSELF! As in, you can be painting your nails or sitting on the couch drinking a latte while your floors are being cleaned.  Yes, please!

When our iRobot Braava 380t Floor Mopping Robot arrived in the mail, my 3-year-old son was as excited as I was to open it up and use it. The iRobot is small and cute, super easy to assemble, but had to charge before the first use, so we waited until the next morning to try it out.

The iRobot cleans the floor by going up an down in rows until it finishes the entire area.  It uses either disposable cleaning cloths, including Swiffer brand or Braava’s specially designed reusable microfiber cloths.
It uses a navigation system (like an indoor GPS) that keeps track of where it has been and where it needs to go.  When Braava is done cleaning, it returns to the place where it started and powers down automatically.  After the small area by our garage door, look at how much dirt it picked up.  Ewww!  But awesome!! You can change the pads mid-cleaning and the iRobot will remember where it was and where to start back up at. 
The other cool thing is that it’s super quiet. Because it’s so small, it can get under sofas and tables where other cleaners can’t reach.  I love this!  Have you ever moved your couch and been grossed out by all the dirt and dust trapped under there?  It will get right up to the baseboards, walls and edges too, but won’t damage them because it has a soft bumper.  
Although we have hardwoods throughout the downstairs, I can also use it upstairs in the bathroom where we have tile floor because it works on tile, vinyl, hardwood and laminate.
I love a clean floor!  The Braava 380t sells for $299.99.  After using the iRobot, I’m happy to keep our bamboo hardwood floors because I don’t have to clean then anymore!  I’m letting my handy little helper do all the work. 🙂  Sometimes I feel like we’re living in the “Jetson’s age” with these awesome gadgets that help make our lives easier.  

Go HERE to learn more about the iRobot and how it can make your life easier too. 

What would you rather be doing than cleaning your floors?
*Thank you to iRobot for sponsoring today’s post.  

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. I have the iRobot Roomba and love it so I will have to try this! Does this mop your rugs as well? I think we may have the same floors, is this the Qing Kobra strand bamboo by MorninStar? I agree, very beautiful when clean!

  2. I just saw this at Bed Bath and Beyond and I was wondering how accurate they are. We have a lot of hardwood and it's so much work to keep clean. Seriously considering getting one.

  3. That looks good…how does it "damp mop"? I have hardwoods that stay pretty clean (no footprints, etc.) however every other week, I have to mop, then steam mop, then spray on the cleaner/polisher (Bellawood floor cleaner); I also dry mop daily.

    My concern with the iRobot for damp mopping is whether the damp mopping is enough to clean the floor assuming it's not too wet. Technically, I am not supposed to steam mop my floors but I use a really hot steam mop so no water is left on the floors hence none get in the grooves. When I first moved in, the instructions I had were to just dry mop and then clean/polish with the Bellawood but I could tell they weren't really clean (meaning I could feel some dust when I walked barefoot) so I added the steam mop. I've been looking at the Mint (like the robot but for hardwoods). My friend has the iRobot for carpets and loves it. Thanks.

    1. Hi Dream Mom! I am interested in what steam mop you have. I have very dark floors like Megan and despise cleaning my floors. But I have an 8 month old who is about to crawl so I know I am going to have to start doing it more often. I tried a steam mop in the past but never felt like it got my floors really clean. With two small kids I just don't have a ton of time being on my hands and knees each week cleaning these floors!

    2. I haven't tried the damp mop feature yet- but it uses a damp cloth to mop. Sounds like you really put a lot of effort into keeping your floors clean- I bet they are gorgeous!

    3. Rachel-I have the Eureka Enviro Steam Mop…you can read the reviews on Amazon. It cleans really well. This mop heats the water up hotter than most, 212 degrees if I recall, so it sanitizes better than other mops that don't heat the water up as much (like the Shark…at least when I did my research a few years ago, they may have changed since then). I am not crazy about the way the floor pads attach but it does a great job and I know everything is sanitized. It doesn't leave water on the floor either; just make sure it's fully heated before you start. I dry mop my floors first with the O Cedar Dual Action Dust Mop (blue microfiber loops), then steam mop with the Eureka, then finish the floors with Bellawood Floor Cleaner (spray on floor and mop) with the O'Cedar flip mop-it's a microfiber smooth cloth. I do this every other week and mine stay clean and look great. I don't wear shoes in our house and the floor installer said just using the Bellawood floor cleaner was fine but I couldn't stand the fact that I could feel some dust! Now it's great when I do the 3 step system, lol. I feel like my floors are really clean. Of course they tell you not to use a steam mop on wood floors and not to spray the cleaner right on the floor itself but I've have no issues. The key is not getting water on the floor; steam yes, water no. Hope this helps.

      Megan-thanks for the review. I saw the video and may consider it. Even if it just mops the floor, that would save a step. I like to mop daily or every other day. And this Braava would be great.

  4. Hi Megan!

    Thanks for the post – I was actually just considering buying this for Christmas! I have one quick question – Does it go up over the area rugs and clean them as well, or does it just go around them? Also, how long did it take to program/set up for your house?
    Thanks and Happy Turkey Day!

    1. Great question Ann. It does not go onto the rug, it will softly bump into the rug, then switch direction. It didn't take long at all to set up, just had to charge before using.

  5. Oh, I think we need one of these! We have bamboo floors as well and with everyday footprints and our dog the floors get messy quickly. I love clean floors but balk at times at the task of cleaning them. This would make our lives a bit easier! James is so cute in the video, Megan.

  6. Hi! I have travertine floors throughout my lower level. I am wondering about the damp mop, does it leave streaks? Also how wet is the floor after the damp mop? My 3 year old takes a tumble anytime there is any water on the floor.
    Your floors are beautiful by the way.

  7. Thanks so much for posting this! We just built a house this last year with hardwood floors and I haven been googling and asking around about the best way to clean them, so when I saw your post it made my day! I will definitely be purchasing this! I'm so excited to try it! 🙂

  8. OMG! Really? I've shown my husband your blog last week because I want the wood floors just like yours!!! I'm so glad that you shared the issue with the tone…. What tone should I choose? Any advices?

  9. Wow. I think you found a goldmine right there. I do agree with you. Hardwood floors are a nightmare to clean and is simply time consuming. It is a good thing that you were able to find a machine that does the cleaning by itself, and is actually smart enough to stop when it’s done. That’s so great. 

    German Zollinger

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