When you think of vacuuming, you think of carpet, right? Unfortunately dog and cat hair knows no flooring boundaries. You can find a heap of fur on your dining room's hardwoods just as easily as you can in your family room's Berber. Thankfully, hardwood cleaning doesn't have to be done solely with a broom and a dustpan.
When it comes to vacuuming hardwood floors, you have two major concerns: removing debris and pet hair effectively, and protecting your floors. Let's start with cleaning first.
Hardwood floors have an advantage over carpeting when it comes to pet hair in that everything rests on the surface. Therefore, removal of debris from bare floors can be easier -- but it's not without its challenges. If you've ever run a vacuum cleaner over a hardwood floor, you know that almost as much pet hair blows away from the cleaner as gets sucked into it. This can happen due to the large path of a vacuum cleaner's head. Sometimes more concentrated suction is ideal. To achieve this, simply pull out your vacuum cleaner's wand and switch to one of its tools.
The other important part of cleaning hardwoods is protecting the floors. Hardwoods can be a beautiful investment to a home, and you don't want to mar them with scratches from your vacuum cleaner. Fortunately these days, it's easy to find a vacuum cleaner that's easy on bare floors.
The top feature of a hardwood floor cleaner is the absence of a roller brush. The roller brush, also known as a beater bar, is essential for cleaning carpets because it acts as an agitator that dislodges and loosens pet hair. Not only is a roller brush unnecessary for hardwood floors, it can also scrape them. So, if you only have hardwoods and other bare flooring in your home, skip the roller brush. If you have a combination of carpeting and bare flooring, find a vacuum cleaner that will allow you turn off the roller brush when you need to. If you don't have this function on your vacuum, try using one of its tools instead. Many canister vacuum cleaners come with a hardwood floor tool.
Another hardwood-friendly feature on some vacuum cleaners is rubber wheels. The rubber is easier on hard surfaces than traditional plastic wheels.
In our final section, we'll go over the cleaners with the really hard work.