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The 10 Best Hardwood Floor Cleaners of 2019

Get your hardwood floor glowing with the best hardwood floor cleaners on the market

One of the biggest problems with owning hard-surface floors (especially true hardwood floors and other tricky and needful surfaces) is that you’ve got to invest in the right cleaning products to keep them looking nice. The problem there is that many of the cleaning products you invest in aren’t necessarily designed to be used on anything else.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day All Purpose Cleaner not only solves that problem, but it brings quite a bit else to the table. After a little mixing, it’s easy to use Meyer’s to clean large hard-surface floors. The cleaner is designed to accommodate the needs of such surfaces and won’t damage the floors or leave behind unwanted streaks.

Considering that this is a Meyer’s brand product, you can also rest assured that the solution itself is safe and environmentally friendly. It also offers a pleasant smell that is far from the chemical leftovers that you get with some other cleaners but isn’t so subtle that you’ll fail to appreciate it a few minutes after the solution dries.

The real selling point here, though, is that Meyer’s is truly a multi-surface product. It not only works well on a variety of hard-surface floors (even the most demanding ones), but you can use it to effectively clean and polish counters, dressers, and just about any other kind of surface you can think of.

That certainly makes this one of the most appealing all-in-one cleaning options on the market for those who don’t feel like breaking the bank on a variety of cleaning products.

Key Features
  • A cleaner for just about any surface
  • Environmentally friendly option with safe formula
  • Powerful cleaning without powerful chemicals
Specifications
  • Type: Liquid Concentrate
  • Package Size: 32 oz.
  • Manufacturer: Mrs Meyer's
Pros
  • Incredible multi-surface solution
  • Truly cleans all surfaces
  • Safe for the environment
Cons
  • Not quite as good as dedicated hardwood floor cleaners
  • May require extra rinsing after cleaning
  • Not the best option for certain spray mops

Many of the best hard-surface floor cleaners out there are designed for thorough cleanings that usually involve a mop and other specialty equipment. What happens, though, when you need to spot clean a few areas of your floor or just do a quick cleanup?

Well, that’s where Orange Glo Hardwood Floor Everyday Cleaner Spray comes in.

It’s important to understand what Orange Glo Hardwood Floor isn’t before you can appreciate what it is. First off, it’s not the cleaner you’re going to turn to if you’re looking for a cleaner for your monthly deep cleans. It’s also not going to be a great option for homes with lots of hardwood floors. For that matter, it’s not a great option for non-hardwood floor surfaces.

What Orange Glo offers, though, is a tremendous way to either clean a small hardwood floor surface or just spruce up your floors in certain situations. For instance, let’s say your dog has an accident or someone drops some food on your floor. Instead of busting out all of your cleaning equipment, you can just clean up the mess, spray the spot in question, and give it a quick wipe.

What’s truly impressive is that the area you wiped down may end up shining brighter and smelling nicer than the rest of your hardwood floor surface. Again, the abilities of this spray are limited by its size, but it’s a tremendous companion piece for your more thorough hard surface cleaning products and your collection of mops and accessories.

Key Features
  • Spot-clean spray
  • Quickly cleans hardwood floor stains
  • Leaves behind a pleasant scent
Specifications
  • Type: Spray liquid
  • Package Size: 32 oz.
  • Manufacturer: Orange Glo
Pros
  • Easy spray delivery system
  • Fantastic scent
  • Great at removing stains
Cons
  • Won’t work for large areas
  • Not a mop solution
  • Best for certain types of surfaces

Unless you stick to a rigid cleaning schedule, most of us know that it’s time to clean our floors when we start to see a little too much dust and dirt start to pile up. It’s natural that we don’t otherwise think about how dirty our floors are if we don’t see anything that makes them appear dirty.

The truth is, though, that your floors are almost always dirty to a degree. Even worse, they can harbor germs that increase the risk of catching that dreaded cold or just not feeling your best. That’s especially true of kitchen floors that can harbor things that are even worse.

While there are many hard-surface cleaners that tackle germs, few so proudly boast their ability to remove germs as Lysol.

You probably know Lysol from their cleaning pads, sprays, and other germ-killing products, but did you know they so happen to make one of the better hard-surface floor cleaners on the market?

Lysol Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner is affordable, excels at killing germs, works on a variety of surfaces (including different types of floors), boasts an excellent smell that isn’t overwhelming, and is even fantastic at getting out stains and other small scuffs. Basically, imagine the great job that the wipes do at cleaning your countertops and apply that to your whole floor.

Lysol isn’t going to be the first choice for those who prioritize an environmentally-friendly solution, nor is it necessarily the best option for surfaces like true hardwood floors. It’s certainly one of the best in class for its price point, though.

Key Features
  • Attacks germs with trustworthy Lysol formula
  • Deodorizing solution for clean smell
  • Designed to go from Floors to counters
Specifications
  • Type: Liquid Concentrate
  • Package Size: 40 oz./pack of 3
  • Manufacturer: Reckitt Benckiser
Pros
  • Attacks germs
  • Leaves a clear shine
  • Works on a number of surfaces
  • Comes in a variety of scent options
Cons
  • Chemical-heavy solution
  • Not great for true, older hardwood
  • Not everyone loves the scent

It’s rare that a product like a floor cleaner gets people genuinely excited, but the reactions you see time and time again for Method Squirt Hardwood Floor Cleaner confirms its ability to do what similar products simply can’t.

As with many Method products, part of the appeal of this cleaner is that it offers a toxic-free, environment friendly cleaning option. At a time when we’re more aware than ever of the consequences that continuously using certain chemicals can have on our environment, there’s more incentive than ever to turn towards a friendly solution.

Practically, though, we understand that you also need to actually clean your floors, which is why we’re happy to say that Method Squirt is also a surprisingly effective cleaner. Method excels at bringing out the shine in floors without leaving behind film or any waxy residue. Of course, that does mean that some extra drying time may be required.

Many users also love Method for its distinct scent which some describe as a light floral aroma. The smell won’t linger longer than it’s welcome, but it certainly makes Method and appealing option for those who like to give their floors a quick clean before company comes over.

What’s the catch? Well, if you have deep set stains or floors which are badly damaged, there’s really only so much Method can do. It’s great for keeping generally well-maintained floors looking great, but it’s not a miracle worker. It’s also slightly more expensive than some alternative and may require a thicker mop.

Still, Method’s clean formula and incredible fragrance put it in a class of its own.

Key Features
  • Non-toxic formula
  • Perfect for simple mop cleans
  • Works brilliantly for various hardwood floors
Specifications
  • Type: Liquid
  • Package Size: 25 fl. oz.
  • Manufacturer: Method
Pros
  • Safe for the environment
  • Incredible for hardwood floors
  • Smells fantastic
Cons
  • May struggle with blemishes
  • Not a multi surface product
  • Not the best “deep cleaning” option

Better Life doesn’t necessarily have the name recognition of some of its contemporaries. It’s also somewhat alarming to look at the product for the first time. It’s so clear and thin that you might swear you’d accidentally received a bottle of flavored water.

Yet, you hear more and more people turn to Better Life for an environmentally friendly cleaning solution, and a quick look at the product’s attributes reveal the many reasons why.

First off, Better Life (much like Method and other top brands) does offer an environmentally conscious cleaning solution that is healthier for the planet and you. If you have made the decision to switch to such an alternative, Better Life should automatically shoot up near the top of your list.

Even if that isn’t your primary concern, Better Life has quite a bit to offer. It works on a variety of hard-surface floors ranging from vinyl to hardwood which makes it one of the best options for anyone who owns multiple types of hard floor surfaces and wants a reliable all-in-one cleaning option.

Better Life’s pleasant aroma is certainly one of its biggest selling points, though. Citrus Mist is one of their most beloved options, but the consensus on Better Life is that it’s one of the few floor cleaners in its class that actually smells like you want a home to smell and not like you just used some powerful cleaner on your floors.

For the cost, we might lean towards Method for its cleaning power, but those looking for an environmentally friendly product with a fantastic smell will love Better Life.

Key Features
  • Multi-floor solution
  • Great for daily use or monthly cleans
  • A clean scent
Specifications
  • Type: Liquid
  • Package Size: 32 fl. oz.
  • Manufacturer: Better Life
Pros
  • Works on various surfaces
  • Natural smell
  • Great for the environment
Cons
  • Maybe not the best "pure" hardwood option
  • Limited scent options
  • Doesn’t do as much for set-in stains and blemishes

Even the best hardwood floor cleaners can fall short when it comes time to clean a larger hard-surface. If you’ve got a big home with a lot of floors to clean, you might find yourself going through expensive cleaners rather quickly without feeling like you’re even really getting everything clean.

If you find yourself burning through other cleaners but love the results they get on the little surface area they do properly cover, then you may want to consider Pledge Gentle Wood Floor Cleaner.

Pledge isn’t known as the most environmentally friendly cleaning option out there, nor does it have a reputation for being the best deep cleaning option. Those looking for either of those things have plenty of other options.

However, Pledge has gained a reputation over time for being one of the absolute best cleaners for those who have a lot of ground to cover. Its squirt format means that it’s easy to only use as much as you need to use whether you're using it as part of a solution or you’re applying directly. A few bottles of this stuff purchased for a very, very reasonable price are going to last you a long time.

Plus, it’s not exactly like you’re having to sacrifice quality for quantity to an unforgivable degree. Pledge boasts a pleasant scent, respectable cleaning power, and the ability to leave floors shining long after you’re done cleaning them.

As a budget cleaning option for those who have larger homes to clean and aren’t worried about fully-restoring their floors, Pledge is about as good as it gets.

Key Features
  • Quick cleaning option for large floors
  • Distinguishable lemon scent
  • No streaks or residue
Specifications
  • Type: Liquid
  • Package Size: 27-oz, 3 count package
  • Manufacturer: Pledge
Pros
  • Fantastic for large surfaces
  • Easy to use
  • Excellent scent
Cons
  • Not a natural formula
  • Not as multi-surface friendly as other options
  • Perhaps not the deepest cleaner

Having a clean hard-surface floor is important, but if you’re being honest with yourself, sometimes, you really want a floor that shines and captures the attention of anyone who looks at it. The aesthetics of these floors is part of the reason that so many people converted to them in the first place.

Well, when you want to ensure that your floors look as presentable as possible, you should consider cleaning them with Quick Shine Multi-Surface Floor Finish and Polish.

Actually, it’s not entirely accurate to label Quick Shine as a cleaner. It can help your floors look like new (and it's a tremendous companion to other cleaners on this list), but you can’t expect it to completely clean your floors all by itself. For that, consider Quick Shine Concentrated Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner.

However, it feels necessary to highlight this product with other cleaners because it does things that more traditional cleaners cannot do. Namely, it restores the shine to a variety of floors and ensures that your efforts to keep them clean also results in floors that are actually restored to their former glory.

Even the best floor cleaners out there can’t promise that or execute it in the way that this product does. Yes, the best floor cleaners will remove dirt and grime, but nothing comes close to making a floor look brand new quite like this stuff does.

Quick Shine is an economical investment in ensuring that you’re able to keep floors looking brand-new after many cleanings and a lot of traffic.

Key Features
  • Restores shine to floors and protects them
  • Works on various types of hard-Surface floors
  • Free from ammonia, formaldehyde and parabens
Specifications
  • Type: Liquid
  • Package Size: 64 oz.
  • Manufacturer: Holloway House Inc.
Pros
  • Makes floors look better than ever
  • Adds an extra layer of protection
  • Works on many types of floors
Cons
  • Not a great standalone cleaning option
  • Not a quick cleaner
  • Requires you to be cautious with cleaning and application

Different types of floors require different types of treatment, but discovering the right cleaner isn’t all about understanding your floor and its needs. Sometimes, the person cleaning it has needs of their own that need to be accounted for.

That’s especially true of any hard-surface floor owners with kids. Not only do kids have a habit of dirtying floors faster than adults, but they run the risk of being exposed to harmful chemicals even if you’re careful with your cleaning habits.

When you’re cleaning with kids around, you may need to consider Babyganics Floor Cleaner Concentrate.

As you’ve probably already gathered, this isn’t necessarily your best option if you don’t have to worry about the health of kids in the home. It’s certainly not a bad one, but you can get a more thorough cleaner if that’s what you’re looking for.

However, Babyganics’ plant-based cleaning formula means that it’s incredibly safe to use even if you have little ones crawling over your freshly-cleaned floors. That also means it’s safe for the environment, which is really just a considerable plus.

What’s the trade-off for that safety? Well, the mixture itself is a little thicker, which means you might have to play with the dilution process in order to ensure that it’s effective without leaving streaks. It also doesn’t feature any kind of built-in smell, but that might actually be a positive if you’re someone who doesn’t want their home smelling like chemicals no matter how good those particular chemicals may smell.

Key Features
  • A safe cleaner for households with children
  • Cruelty free testing
  • Designed for a variety of floors
Specifications
  • Type: Liquid Concentrate
  • Package Size: 16-oz/pack of 2
  • Manufacturer: Babyganics
Pros
  • Safe for the environment
  • Safe to use around children
  • No chemical smells
Cons
  • Not a great deep cleaner
  • Not the best option for larger floors
  • May not be best for older hardwood floors

Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner is a strong soap mixture cleaner that focuses on not only cleaning your floors but, in some cases, restoring them to their former glory.

As with many floor cleaners, it’s important to manage your restoration expectations, but Weiman’s is one cleaner that promises restoration results which tends to stand out from the pack of similar products.

Part of the reason why Weiman works as well as it does can be traced back to the relative simplicity of the product. Its solution helps ensure you won’t have to worry about streaks or waxy floors. Weiman is simply designed to thoroughly clean hardwood surfaces in order to make them look as good as when they were first installed (or relatively close).

Better yet, Weiman’s simple solution means that you won’t need to wait all day watching the floors dry. Many users praise its quick drying abilities and how Weiman makes cleaning hardwood floors feel more like a regular upkeep task than an all-day adventure.

The real reason so many buy Weiman time and time again, though, is that this cleaner has the remarkable ability to lift stains and dirt which have seemingly stubbornly set in to surfaces. If there’s a particular spot that’s been driving you crazy, there’s a good chance Weiman can take care of it.

The trade-off is that Weiman is not a scented product and that it works best on certain types of surfaces. For a deep cleaning solution, though, it’s one of the best in its category.

Key Features
  • Works on a variety of hardwood floors
  • Safe formula
  • Easy to use
Specifications
  • Type: Liquid
  • Package Size: 32 oz.
  • Manufacturer: Weiman Products, LLC
Pros
  • Powerful cleaning solution
  • Simple formula
  • Little-to-no residue
Cons
  • Not scented
  • Lacks the versatility of other products
  • Not as environmentally friendly as other products

For quite some time, Bona has been one of the biggest names in hard-surface floor cleaning products amongst those who have tried the many options on the market. There are three good reasons for the brand’s popularity.

First off, Bona is a highly-affordable cleaning option. At a time when it’s easy enough for companies to charge more for a cleaning product so long as it carries a popular name or promises of being environmentally friendly (which some, sadly, are not), it’s nice that Bona presents a reliable option at a reasonable price.

Second, Bona works especially well on hardwood floors. The Bona team have even gone so far as to publish research results regarding what does and doesn’t work when you’re trying to truly clean hardwood floors. Their knowledge is evident to anyone who uses a Bona product compared to a slightly more common, lesser floor cleaning option.

Finally, Bona excels at tackling deep stains and other set-in filth thanks mostly to the Bona team’s experience and the ways in which they’ve been refining their products for years. When you want a cleaner that just gets to the heart of the matter, Bona is certainly one of the best.

Unfortunately, Bona is not the most environmentally friendly option, can leave behind some films and streaks if you’re not careful, and it doesn’t leave behind a smell other than “clean.” It’s an incredible budget option, but if you’re looking to spend a little more, you might be able to get a few more features.

Key Features
  • Fast drying
  • Tested For true hardwood floors
  • Safe formula
Specifications
  • Type: Liquid
  • Package Size: 1 gallon
  • Manufacturer: Bona
Pros
  • Powerful cleaning option
  • Reliable
  • Can make floors look new again
Cons
  • Limited multi-surface options
  • Unscented
  • Can leave residue and streaks

Congratulations: you’re the proud owner of a home with hardwood floors. While some still prefer carpet and other flooring options, the fact of the matter is that it’s almost impossible to find modern homes that don’t opt for hard surfaces in most rooms. That’s because hard surfaces are often more presentable, more resilient to things like spills, and don’t hold odors quite like carpeted and similar surfaces.

However, hardwood and other hard-surface floors come with a few downsides. They tend to show every piece of dirt, they can be scratched and scuffed more easily, and (for our purposes) they require more specific cleaning techniques.

That doesn’t mean that it’s harder to clean such surfaces. In fact, you could argue that it’s easier since you don’t have to meticulously vacuum them or worry about air fresheners and stain removers as much.

With hard-surface floors, though, you’ve got to know what you’re getting into. Whether you’ve got those true hardwood floors that many homeowners dream about or whether you're rocking vinyl or marble floors that make your home look like an art exhibit, the various types of hard-surface floors out there often demand unique cleaning solutions. What works on one type may not necessarily be the best forever.

There are certainly a few things you should know before cleaning hard-surface floors, but generally speaking, it’s all about owning the right products. By that we mean the right mop, the right vacuum, and most certainly the right hard-surface floor cleaner.

A good hard-surface floor cleaner doesn’t just help you clear some pieces of dust and maybe buff out a few scratches. A good cleaner goes deeper than that in order to not only clean some of the things you can’t always see but to help restore your floors to the glory they once featured when you first moved into your home. Some of them can even get your floors looking better than that.

The problem is that there are so many hard-surface floor cleaners on the market that it can be incredibly tough to know which cleaners are actually worthwhile and which ones are only going to do the bare minimum. The difference usually takes years to measure once you realize how well your floors have held up over time thanks to the help of a good cleaner (or in spite of it).

Since you probably don’t have years to measure the difference (or even the time or money to try every option out there) we thought we’d make the process a little easier for you. The fact of the matter is that there are a few hard-surface cleaners out there in the crowded cleaning market that distinguish themselves not just due to what your floors need but based on how you’d prefer your home to look once it’s well and truly clean.

So instead of fretting over the extra burdens that come from owning hardwood and hard-surface floors, rejoice in the fact that these cleaners will eliminate headaches as easily as they remove dirt and grime.

FAQ

How do I safely clean my hardwood floors?

Start by moving furniture and rugs out of the way. The key element involved in protecting your floors actually takes place before you even mop. Sweeping or vacuuming will help you to remove any natural buildup that would otherwise scratch or scuff your floors. Make sure to reach all the corners and crevices while you’re prepping to mop. Once you’ve appropriately prepper your hardwood floors, use a noncorrosive cleaning solution to mop your floors. Most cleaners that you’ll find in a store are going to be safe on your floors if you follow the instructions. But some people like to opt for a more natural cleaner in order to protect the environment from harmful chemicals.

Are there natural cleaners that can be used for mopping?

One of the most popular mopping solutions is just plain white vinegar mixed with hot water. The most common ratio is one cup of white vinegar per gallon of hot water. If you’d like a more pleasant odor, consider adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil into the solution. Experts suggest that vinegar be used in moderation on hardwood floors since it’s an acidic substance and can break down the natural fibers in your floors over time.

An option that’s substantial safer on wood floors is just standard dish soap and hot water. By combining ¼ of a cup of soap with 3 cups of hot water, you’ll create a solution that’s tough on grease but safe on your floors.

How frequently should I mop my hardwood floors?

One thing that’s really nice about hardwood floors is that you don’t need to mop them as frequently as linoleum or tile. Most people clean linoleum and tile about every two weeks. But hardwood floors only need to be mopped about once a month. In fact, mopping too much can damage your floors by encouraging the breakdown of natural materials. Everyone likes a squeaky clean household, but it’s best to limit mopping to make sure that your floors last. If you’re someone who loves to clean, you could dry mop more frequently. This option eliminates harmful solutions but still helps you to keep your floors spick and span.

How do I make my floors shine?

To polish floors naturally, you can combine ¾ of a cup of olive oil with ½ a cup of white vinegar. Mix this solution into a gallon of hot water, and enjoy! To avoid streaking of clouding, move your mop in a circular fashion. This prevents lines or noticeable tracks. And the olive oil gives your floors the glossy, polished feeling you love.

Other options include waxing, which will last longer than most natural floor shiners. Or you could make a solution that consists of lemon juice, olive oil, and hot water. This will have the same effect as olive oil and vinegar, but fill your home with a fresh scent.

How do I clean unfinished wood floors?

Unfinished wood floors can be damaged more easily than finished floors, which makes the cleaning process really important. While cleaning unfinished wood is important, it’s also possible to damage it from improper care. The safest cleaning method includes regular sweeping or vacuuming to eliminate dust particles and dirt that’ll scratch the wood. Unfinished wood floors can be cleaned with the same solutions as sealed wood floors. But mopping less is actually better, since liquids can accelerate the deterioration rate of these types of floors. Finished floors use a seal to protect the wood from breaking down. Unfinished floors lack this barrier, which makes them more susceptible to damage or deterioration.

Resources— Really Cheap Floors, This Old House

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