The Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors If You Have Pets

Good news, pet owners! Living with man’s best friend (or our charming four-legged friends of the feline persuasion) doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your desire for beautiful, clean hardwood floors.  My sister lives in the country and is a devoted dog owner with 8 dogs.  Needless to say she has become an expert on finding easy solutions to clean up after pets and she has shared her tips with me. 

First things first, the best thing pet owners can do is invest in a  high-quality vacuum cleaner designed to tackle pet hair. My top pick in the vacuum category is the Shark Rocket ultra light bagless vacuum.

shark rocket vacuum

It is easy to maneuver and comes with several attachments that make cleaning up pet hair a breeze.  This vacuum is also very light, only 7 pounds which is a huge plus in my book. It is also much less expensive than a Dyson vacuum.  I know some people like cordless vacuums, but I find that they lose suction quickly. 

Another great way to clean hardwood floors is using a rubber broom.

rubber broom

This tool does wonders in removing pet hair, especially when dealing with a lot of dog hair. To use, simply sweep in the direction of the grain of the wood to gather hair and dust. You’ll be surprised at how much this simple tool can pick up!  

When it comes to mopping hardwood floors I have tried just about everything on the market and I have a few top picks and one to avoid.  My favorite mop for sealed hardwood floors and tile is the Bissel Power Fresh Stem mop.  

bissel steamer

This thing is amazing.  It comes with 2 microfiber pads that you can just throw in the washing machine after mopping.  It has a small removable water tank and 3 steam levels.  

I have also used the Bona hardwood floor microfiber mop and I like it a lot, but the steam cleaner seems to do a better job for me.  

bona mop

I would NOT recommend the Swiffer wet jet, even the one designed for wood floors.  I found that it left a dull residue on my wood floors that was not easy to get rid of.  

Now, as we all know, living with pets isn’t just about managing the hair. Pet stains and accidents are a part of the journey too. From water bowls overturning to the occasional litter box mishap or accident, hardwood floors can take a lot of wear if not properly cared for. But fear not, there are ways to handle these too.

When it comes to pet stains, steer clear of harsh chemicals that could potentially damage your flooring or harm your pets. Instead, opt for an enzymatic cleaner or a solution.  I like Natures Miracle and keep this on hand in a spray bottle at all times.  

You can also make a solution of hydrogen peroxide and warm water. Remember to always test a small area first, though! Also, try using paper towels or a clean cloth to blot up any excess liquid before applying any solution.

In cases of fecal matter or litter box accidents, pick up the mess with paper towels, then clean the area with an enzyme cleaner to break down any residual particles and odors. Also, as an added bonus, regular grooming of your pets by a professional groomer, coupled with keeping your pet’s nails (be it your dog’s nails or cat’s) short and blunt, can reduce the scratching and scuffing of your floors.

Preventative measures also go a long way in maintaining the cleanliness of your floors. Placing mats in areas your pet frequents can catch any loose hair or dirt they may carry. These are some of my favorite outdoor pet mats.

I also have couches and chairs with removable slip covers so I can just throw them in the wash.  You might find some helpful hints here: Best pet friendly sofas.  

While hardwood flooring may seem like a challenge with pets, remember that there are also other types of flooring like ceramic tile and laminate flooring that can withstand daily traffic and are easy to maintain.

Maintaining clean hardwood floors with pets in the house does require a little extra care, but it’s definitely possible and worth it for the joy our furry friends bring to our lives. I hope you’ve found these favorite tips helpful, and remember, keeping a clean house is not just good for our family members but also for our pets.

I use affiliate links so I can afford to keep doing this. Hope it saves you time. See my disclosure policy.

Remember, whether you’re a long-time pet owner or a new dog lover, the key to clean floors lies in consistent maintenance and using the right tools and products. Happy cleaning!

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