There are so many flooring surfaces types, and hardwood is a classic.  There are many approaches to taking care of this luxurious finish, some of which has to do with cleaning, and some which goes farther into non-regular product maintenance.

When it comes to floor dirt, there are a lot of varieties:

Dust/Dirt:  A light dusting and micro dirt is the most common normal dirt, and it’s often treated best with a vacuum first.  This way the dust never gets wet and so, won’t leave thicker trails or residues among the clean areas.

Heavy Mud:  When the kids drag it in, or the dogs, the level of cleaning needed does increase, as does the caution of not creating a muddy residue if you are to take a damp mopping device to the surface.  While damp mopping is a great thing, it’s better to get as much up with a vacuum attachment first, or a little mud here and there turns into a thin layer of wettened dirt water all over the place.

Dust Bunnies and Hair:  This is one of the best reasons to vacuum first, because you can get the dust collections out from the edge of the rooms and under the lip of cabinets.  Dragging dust bunnies around with a broom to fall apart and get everywhere can be frustrating – though a broom does work just fine!  It’s all in the technique and user preference!

TIP: Textured Doormats

There are a lot of types of doormats but having a deep scrubber, with the thick nylon bristles may be the best ten bucks you can spend.  After running around the yard, or dipping into dirty snow trenches, shoes pick up a lot of muck you can leave at the door.  You can also have a rough scrubbing door mat on one side of the threshold, and a plusher absorbent doormat on the other side to absorb any remaining water on the shoe soles.  While this mat arrangement works great for all homes, taking care of expensive hardwood floors makes this imperative, especially because shoe tread can pick up tiny gravel, which can scratch wood floors dramatically.  So, the nylon fibers in the mat will knock most of those tiny rocks out of the way.

Don’t forget that these mats need cleaned themselves, and can be beaten vigorously on the ground, sprayed with a hose, or even power washed (specific to quality of manufacturing of course).

As long as you take care of your shoes, half the battle is done when it comes to the lowest surface in your house!  Having house shoes is another option as well, and if you buy them right, they might be even more comfortable than your high heels or winter boots!