Vacuuming Hardwood Floors – Top Tips to get it right

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If you thought you could vacuum clean only your carpets, curtains and upholstered furniture, think again. It’s as easy to clean your lovely wooden floors with a vacuum cleaner as it is to clean all these other things. There’s nothing like a good, powerful and efficient vacuum to clean your wooden floor of all that dirt and debris that gets stuck in the numerous cracks and fine crevices where no mop can reach. A vacuum can suck all kind of dirt from the nooks and corners of such floors, making vacuuming hardwood floors quite a necessity. But using the vacuum on a hardwood floor requires certain special precautions to be taken. So, unless you want to end up with an even bigger mess than you started with, you’d do well to take due care before embarking on the chore, and also while carrying out the vacuuming operation.

What kind of vacuum to use

This is, naturally, the first thing you need to find out when taking on the task of vacuuming a hardwood floor. Ideally, it’s a canister vacuum that you need when working on a wooden floor. That’s because of its long, oval brush that can easily get into the cracks and crevices to suck out the dirt. An upright model is also not a good idea for another reason. It has a rotating brush which could scratch and spoil your floor. But in case you have only an upright vacuum, make sure that the brush is turned off before you get on to the job of vacuuming with it.

Your choice is made easier by the fact that there are special hardwood floor vacuums available on the market, as well as online. These are designed similarly to a standard vacuum cleaner but, like a canister vacuum, they are lightweight and compact. They also use the same amount of power.

Special features of hardwood floor vacuums

The exclusive hardwood floor vacuums actually have a range of special adjustable features that can be worked around to make them suitable for this purpose. The important thing is that your vacuum should ensure that it doesn’t damage the hardwood floor, and hardwood floor vacuums are designed to do just that. Such cleaners usually come equipped with suction control settings that can be adjusted to meet the needs of the surface needing to be cleaned. Height is another adjustable feature of these cleaners, and you can easily adjust the height, either manually or through an automatic function, to use it most effectively for the hardwood surface you want to clean.

If you're looking for the best vacuum cleaner to use on your hardwood floors, our recent roundup of five of the best vacuums for tile floors is worth checking out. Whilst the article is aimed specifically at vacuums for tiled floors, all of the models in the review will work equally well on hardwood floors also. 

Of course, as mentioned earlier, a brush roller is one thing that your vacuum shouldn’t work with. If the cleaner has a roller of this kind, it should have a feature for turning it off at the touch of a button. Of course, you might like to have a soft brush for better cleaning but, by and large, the brushes that vacuums have are equipped with hard bristles.

Another thing that can damage your wooden floor is the wheels of the vacuum, so make sure they are made of rubber and not plastic or metal that could leave your floor marred forever. An extra bit of padding on the wheels will be a definite plus.

Other factors to be kept in mind

Apart from those discussed above, there are certain other important considerations to be kept in mind before deciding on a vacuum for hardwood floor cleaning. Considering the fact that these vacuums need to suck out the minutest traces of dirt from nooks and crevices, it’s important for them to have a strong technological edge. Superior cyclonic action is a must-have for an effective hardwood floor vacuum to ensure that it does a good job of removing all particles and dust from the floor surface before scraping it.

Then there’s the cost factor you’d need to check out too. After all, while it’s ok to pay a little extra for a hardwood floor vacuum, as compared to a regular cleaner, you’d naturally not want to pay exorbitantly more.

Another essential feature that you’d need to check out before buying your vacuum is the noise it makes. A powerful suction device can generally be expected to make a significant amount of sound. So you’d better have a demonstration before choosing the one you want. Generally speaking, the battery-operated, cordless models are found to make less noise than other vacuums. The only problem with the cordless type is that they have a short battery life and you’ll probably need to recharge the vacuum after just 15-20 minutes of cleaning.

The size of the dirt collector is another material aspect of the vacuum you need to take into account when choosing a machine for hardwood floor cleaning. The collector should have a large capacity so you needn’t keep emptying it out every few minutes.


So what you really need is a powerful suction vacuum cleaner that will not leave your wooden floor scratched, and you need it at a price that’s very much affordable and will not leave a big hole in your pocket. Even if you feel your standard canister vacuum will adequately do the job, it’s probably a good idea to buy a vacuum that’s specifically designed for use on hardwood floors.

And of course it needs to be light, since you don’t want to lug a heavy machine around your house and also because a lightweight and compact piece of equipment will sit lightly on your delicate floor. A heavy vacuum can accidentally scratch your floor, leaving permanent marks on it, hence the importance of going for something light. If the vacuum has an additional mop and sweep function, it’s definitely an advantage you should go for. You can use this function to clean the floor with water after vacuuming it, thus ensuring that your hardwood floor always shines.

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