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Can you Sweep Hardwood Floors with a Broom?

Dust, dirt debris and grime can damage your hardwood floor. Dust particles and debris act as sand paper and keep scratching the protective finish whenever people walk around. Scuff marks and scratches on hardwood floor are difficult to remove. Grime on the other hand can react and destroy the wood finish. This will not only make your hardwood floor look cloudy and old but also become vulnerable to water. Dust and debris are also a health hazard, they can cause allergic reaction or harbor house hold germs and bacteria.

When wood finish is destroyed or broken by dirt and debris, water or other liquid spills can penetrate the wood, create stain spots or make it to warp. Therefore, regular sweeping or dusting of your wood floor is important as a way of protecting it and also making it to remain beautiful all time.

Sweeping is basically done using a broom although floor care experts recommend using dust mops to get dust and debris off the hardwood floor. The best dust mops for hardwood floors have a microfiber cloth that trap and hold dust and debris while dusting. It is easy to use a microfiber mop due to its lightweight nature. Those with washable microfibers cleaning pads are even more convenient and can save you money.

If sweeping with a broom is the only option, then ensure it has closely bound soft synthetic bristles. Brooms with hard bristles on wood floor will create scratches or damage the finish. There are plenty of brooms for hardwood floors on the market that can do the job but always use a soft bristle broom. What is essential is knowing how to use them well. A broom should be used at a specific area without mixing. Do not use the one you use in your kitchen or outdoor for your wood floor cleaning.

Apart from the nature of bristles, choosing the right broom will also depend on the size of area to be covered. Brooms with wide heads are the best for large floor surfaces. The size of handle for both the broom and dustpan determines how comfortable it is to use. Basically I like one with adjustable handle that can be set according to the height of the user.

How do you sweep hardwood floors?

Create a schedule and stick with it. Sweeping should be done on a daily basis or after two days. Here is the best technique to use while dusting:

  1. Begin by dusting higher areas such as the ceiling and windows. This is to ensure that, no dust will fall back to the area where you have swept.
  2. Virtually divide your room into segments running from one side towards the exit. You don’t have to use any items while doing this but rather in your mind.
  3. Get a nice broom that is soft with one directional bristles
  4. Start sweeping the furthest area from the entrance as you adhere to your segments. It will save you time and energy unlike random movement.
  5. Make fairly short strokes as you sweep every pile of dirt into a dustpan.
  6. If there are appliances and furniture consider lifting them off the floor and carry them to one side of the room. Dusting around them will cause some dirt debris to remain behind
  7. Once you are done sweeping, clean your broom by washing it with soap and clean water and dry it before storing.

It is good using a dry damp mop on your floor after sweeping. This will clear grime and the smallest dirt particles that couldn’t be swept. It will also give your room a fresh smell. On a weekly or monthly basis, vacuum your floor and deep clean your house by mopping with your favorite cleaner or steam cleaning.

Is it better to sweep or vacuum hardwood floors?

Vacuuming is an easy and effective way of dusting a hardwood floor as compared to sweeping. Vacuums capture every fine dirt particles and hair that are hard to sweep.  Advanced vacuums have HEPTA filters that trap allergenic particles. Cordless vacuums for hardwood floors comes with other attachments that can help you reach areas where other means cannot reach.

Sweeping with a traditional broom pushes dust around as some of it spread in the air. This can be a problem to people who are allergic. Although there are modern brooms with variations in types and functions that can comfortably be used on your wooden floor without causing any problem.

While a vacuum is better than a broom, a wrong type can damage your floor. Avoid using a vacuum with a beater bar on wood floor because it can scratch the finish. Most homes are using Robotic vacuums for wood floor cleaning. They create a lot of convenience due to their smart control and navigation features. You can operate them while you are away through Wi-Fi and an app in your phone.

Tips for Dusting a Hardwood Floor

  • Set a cleaning schedule and stick with it, daily or  weekly for deep cleaning
  • Use a dust mop or soft, fine bristle broom to clean regularly or before mopping
  • Vacuums once a week to remove fine debris and pet hair. Use a soft brush attachment to avoid scratching.
  • Immediately remove wet spills such as water using a dry towel and dry vacuum
  • When mopping, use a dry damp mop to avoid excess water on the polyurethane surface
  • Place rugs in sections with high traffic and frequently vacuum those area rugs.
  • Avoid walking with shoes on to prevent scratching
  • Do not drug heavy objects such as furniture and appliances across the wood floor
  • Install floor mats at entrance to avoid bringing in soil track in shoes
  • Fix minor scratches and install pads under legs of your furniture
  • Change filters of your vacuum cleaner on a regular basis
  • Follow care and maintenance of your wood floor as directed by the manufactures


Wood floor will always add value to your home and can last for many years if properly taken care of. Improper maintenance of a hardwood floor will attract a significant cost of repair through refinishing or replacing the entire floor boards. Cleaning techniques and products should be carefully selected to avoid detrimental effects on your hardwood floors.

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