photo: sally schneider
photo: sally schneider

Over the years, just about every place we’ve lived has had hardwood floors. They’ve ranged from prewar bleached and polyeurathaned oak to white “pickled” new oak and lately, off-white, high-gloss painted slightly rough plywood. For all those years, we’ve searched for the best way to clean our floors without damaging the protective surface. Since New York City is a fairly dirty place, a simple dry-mopping won’t do; the dust that settles on the floor needs to be washed away or it will get ground into the surface (and our bare feet). The classic string mop is hard to wring out and doesn’t seem able to handle shoe marks very well.

Last week we came across an awesome combination: a Starfiber Star Mop whose heavy-duty chenille mop pad is made of hundreds of tightly twisted soft microfiber strands. It adheres to the flat base on the mop handle via velcro. When you want to rinse the pad you just rip it off, swish it around in soapy water and wring to achieve just the right level of barely-damp that wood floors need. We found it able to clean off marks, and get into the tiny grooves of our slightly rough floor with much less effort than we used with a string mop.

We use it in tandem with Bona hardwood floor cleaner, which is the best things we’ve found (along Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap, our second favorite).


Starfiber Star Mop Pro Microfiber Cleaning Kit comes with the chenille cleaning pad so you’re good to go for about $22.

starfiber mop

The Starfiber Star Chenille Cleaning Pad can be used damp for mopping, or dry for dusting. It can be thrown in the laundry for washing. And if it wears out, a new one costs about $10.

starfiber chenille mop head


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3 replies on “we finally figure out the best way to clean wood floors

  1. I’ve been using a similar mop in my pottery studio for a couple of years with great results. Mine is just a cheap microfiber dust mop from the grocery store though. It works great – there is no where more dusty than a pottery studio!

  2. Upon your advice I purchased the mop and cleaner in Peppermint. I love it and after mopping my house smells so fresh. It is a very easy way to keep the floors looking good. Thanks for the GREAT tip!

  3. Hey, I’m so glad to hear that. My hope is that everything we feature as tested will guide readers to reliable, honest, worth-it goods.

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