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Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I was born without the ability to smell. Don't believe me? Read this :) It isn't something I think about very often. I've never known life with the ability, so I don't know what I'm missing. I do get sad if I think about it too much...especially as a mother because I have no clue how sweet my babies smell. But on a typical day, it's something I never give a thought about.

I know many people are quick to tell me how "lucky I am" but I promise you, I am not lucky to be missing out on the smells of the world...even the bad ones. A big downside of not being able to smell the bad smells is I can't tell when my own breath is bad. I can't sneak a fart b/c I have no clue if it stinks or not. My dogs have taken advantage of this. 

When we first got Levi I worked my butt off crate training him. He is very well trained! However, add in some kids and a new house and he is a totally different dog. I know Chihuahuas are prone to being possessive and I believe he acts out to get attention because he's not the "baby" anymore. Anyways. Ever since we've lived here he's gotten worse and worse. Barking like crazy. Getting into the trash. Basically being annoying all the time

His biggest annoyance has been doing his business in our dining room. It is the only area of our home with wood floors (like legit wood...not the laminate stuff) and it confuses me as to why he'd choose wood flooring? At first I wasn't too worried about it and even though it was a better problem than it would have been if he had chose the carpet: WRONG.

I started researching and found out that dog pee ruins wood floors. I'm talking have to rip it all out type ruining. This is our forever home. I want to treat it that way! 

Over the winter break I decided enough was enough. We made some changes! First step: prevent the problem. It's hard in our busy days to remember to let the dog outside since he doesn't ask anymore to go out. I know the "simple" solution would be to be more mindful of putting him out...but I know that isn't something we'll stick to. So I moved the food and water bowls outside. This way, the dogs ask to go out more often. Since there is no way to keep Levi out of the dining room, we are keeping him outside more often. So far it's working well! He appreciates being allowed in more than he did before and the dining room is in much better shape! Plus it may help him lose a little bit of weight that he's gained from a house with children who drop food ;)

If you have hardwood floors and you also have a dog who has his way with that is how you get the smell and stain OUT! It worked for me and was tough for me to find so I wanted to share it. Not only for yall but also for myself just in case down the road we deal with this again. Here is what you'll need:

  • LOTS of paper towels (I think I used three rolls)
  • Baking Soda (I used three boxes)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (I used two bottles)
  • Spray bottle (we had a beast of a time finding one that worked!)
  • Pee-Pee Super Stain and Odor Remover (I grabbed it at Publix. We did NOT end up using it on the floors...but did on our rug in that room...)

Since we had a chill week over Christmas break THIS was my project. Last year my project was setting up my new computer and this year it was getting the dog pee out of my floors. Yes, I preferred the new computer :)

Here are the steps to get the floors back to new!

1) Cover the ENTIRE floor (if your whole floor has been affected like ours...or you could just cover the stained area) with paper towels.

2) Fill the spray bottle with the hydrogen peroxide and spray the paper towels. You need to wait several hours. So I sprayed mine down in the morning time and then checked the paper towels every hour. If they start to dry, spray them again. I pretty much did another round of spray every hour that I checked. 
3) After 4-6 hours of the wet paper towels on the floor...check for dryness and once dry remove them. 

4) Cover the entire area with baking soda. Yes. The entire thing!
While we waited we made a fort under the dining room table :)
5) After an hour clean up the baking soda. If you still notice stains, pour more and let that sit for an additional 30 min. I didn't need to do that step, thankfully!

How it looked after an hour
Cleaning it up was easier said than done haha. I don't own an old school mop! So I swept it all up over and over and over again. This is still how it looked after a lot of sweeping:
I called Mrs. Charlotte because she was coming to town that day and I thought I could borrow a mop from her but she didn't have one either! She suggested a good ole bucket of water and rags. So that's the route I took! I'd do a session of hand mopping, wait for it to dry, and do it again. 
The kids were HUGE helpers during it all. Kye helped lay out all the paper towels, helped clean them up, and they both helped mop up the floor. 
With the table out of the room our prize for clean floors was building the biggest train track we could :)

It was a full day worth of work but it was SO worth it. Our floors are like NEW!!! No more smell and no more worries about being embarrassed if someone else smells it! Plus they look amazing :) 

When I bought our dining room rug I got an outdoor one for easy cleaning. Zach took it outside and hosed it off and legit the water was just running yellow. So, SO gross. Thankful we don't use that room often!!! Once he got it good and clean we let it dry outside and then covered it in the pee-pee stain and odor remover stuff. Fresh smelling dining room has arrived!!!

Crossing fingers that Levi continues on this path of good behavior so we won't have to deal with this again!!! And I'm thankful to have a great way to have some spotless wood floors!!! 

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