Hardwood is one of the most loved options for flooring in homes worldwide. They’re durable, beautiful, and versatile—and they’ll last for decades if you take care of them properly.
So how do you ensure your hardwood floors look as great as they did when you first installed them? The answer is simple: use the best hardwood floor cleaners and tools for your particular floor!
Why buy hardwood floor cleaners?
If you want to keep your hardwood floors looking great for as long as possible, it’s important to use high-quality cleaning products. The best hardwood floor cleaners remove dirt and grime while protecting your hardwood floors from damage caused by abrasive cleansers and harsh chemicals or warping caused by excess moisture or steam.
What should you look for in hardwood floor cleaners?
- Ingredients: The ingredients influence a cleaner’s performance and contribute to the product’s safety. Ideally, you’ll want to find an eco-friendly, pH-balanced cleanser. Bleach or ammonia should not be used on hardwood floors since they can cause damage over time. If you are allergic to strong chemical odors, choose an unscented floor cleaner or one with all-natural ingredients.
- Type and Application: Hardwood floor cleaners come in various forms, like bottled sprays, concentrated liquids, and spray mops. Some are designed to be safely used on a daily basis, while others are more suited to deeper cleaning. Different types of cleaners use different methods of application. Do you like using a mop, or do you prefer the convenience of a spray bottle? When choosing your cleaner, think about what application method feels most comfortable to you and is safe for your floors.
- Multipurpose Use: A hardwood floor cleaner that can be used on other surfaces is a great investment. For example, if you plan on using a cleaner on an area rug in addition to your hardwood floors, the cleaner must be safe for both surfaces. This will save money because you won’t have to buy separate cleaners for each area.
Should you use vinegar from your pantry as a hardwood floor cleaner?
When using vinegar as a hardwood floor cleaner, you have to be careful: Vinegar can damage your floors and cause them to dull if you use it improperly. If you choose to try a vinegar method, use half water and half white distilled vinegar as your cleaning solution so that it’s not too strong—you want just enough acidity to help break down dirt but not so much that it will damage your flooring. Always test a small area before applying the entire solution over your wood floor surfaces.
Our Picks for the Best Hardwood Floor Cleaners
Hoover Paws & Claws Hard Surface Floor Cleaner
Pet stains and odors on your sealed floors are no match for this hard surface floor cleaner.
Pros: The Hoover Paws & Claws Hard Surface Floor Cleaner is a hardwood-safe floor cleaner that makes cleaning up after your pet’s messes simple. This enzymatic cleaner breaks down the toughest messes and odors on sealed floors. Plus, its concentrated formula lets you use less product and save money in the long run. When used as directed, it is safe for use around pets and children.
Cons: This product isn’t the best at eliminating smells and leaving a pleasant one.
Bottom Line: This is a solid cleaner for your wood floors if you have a machine from Hoover’s FloorMate Series or if you have pets. It’s concentrated and can keep your hard floors clean and looking good.
Aunt Fannie's Floor Bundle
Instead of using harsh chemicals, this multi-surface cleaner fights dirt using vinegar, essential oils, and plant-based cleaners.
Pros: Aunt Fannie’s Hardwood Floor Cleaner is a powerful all-natural floor cleaner that breaks down dirt, food, grease, and grime without harsh chemicals to maintain safety for you and your pets. Use this multi-surface solution to clean hardwood floors, tile, concrete, and more. Each half cup of concentrated solution dilutes to make 2 gallons—so you can be sure you’re making a cost-effective investment.
Cons: Although the vinegar smell should dissipate and leave the aroma of an essential oil blend, some users may still notice a faint scent of vinegar, even when the product is diluted according to its specifications. If you’re very sensitive to the smell of vinegar, you may want to dilute it a bit more than the directions indicate.
Bottom Line: This may be a great option for you if you want a concentrated hardwood floor cleaner that’s safe and natural yet powerful. In addition to the multi-use bundle pack, you can get multi-pack sets of the floor cleaner in eucalyptus, lavender, or bright lemon scents. There’s also a five-piece variety bundle that includes a glass cleaner, carpet cleaner, vinegar spray, and cleaning wipes.
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray
Get a powerful hardwood floor cleaner that's safe for unfinished floors with the convenience of a spray.
Pros: Bona is a trusted brand in hardwood floor cleaning that’s formulated to clean and care for all hardwood floors safely. The powerful water-based cleaning formula is ready to spray to safely remove dirt, grime, dust, and allergens from all unwaxed, unoiled polyurethane flooring. It dries fast and leaves no residue behind, so your floors are left looking great.
Cons: While this formula is an excellent cleaner that’s safe for your floors, it may not do much to restore lost shine.
Bottom Line: Consider this hardwood floor cleaner if you’d like the convenience of spray application and the peace of mind of using a trusted brand that’s U.S. EPA product standards compliant. Although it may not restore shine to a floor that’s seen better days, you can feel confident that this water-based formula will clean your hardwood gently yet effectively.
Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Polish Restorer Combo
A hardwood floor cleaner and polish restorer in one convenient pack.
Pros: Clean, restore luster, and protect your hardwood floors with this handy combo. The Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner & Polish Restorer Combo packs a powerful punch in cleaning and restoring shine. The micro-filling technology removes scratches while forming a protective layer that prevents future damage. The ready-to-use formula can conveniently be used with refillable squirt mops and is safe around your kids and pets.
Cons: The description specifies that these products may be used on finished hardwood, engineered hardwood, vinyl, and laminate floors only. If you have unfinished wood, you may get poor results.
Bottom Line: If your wood floors have seen a lot of action, this may be the cleaning and polishing solution for you! It’s safe for use on any finished hardwood surface, rejuvenating a shine with no sticky residue. You may want to test it in a small, inconspicuous section of flooring to ensure compatibility with your wood before full application.
Bona Multi-Surface Floor Care Kit
Get your hardwood floor cleaning off on the right foot with this kit that supplies everything you need.
Pros: The Bona Multi-Surface Floor Care Kit has the supplies you need in one convenient kit for the best care and cleaning of your hardwood and hard-surface floors. This kit features a durable and washable microfiber cleaning pad that fits over the extra-large mop head and two full-size spray bottles of Bona Floor Cleaner. The kit also comes with bonus concentrate refills.
Cons: Some users mentioned some issues with the durability of the mop handle at the joints due to it bending or breaking when pressure is applied.
Bottom Line: Whether you’re just starting with your first hardwood floors or are a seasoned ace who’s restocking cleaning tools, this kit has everything you need to keep your wood floors looking their best at a great value.
The best hardwood floor cleaners aren’t just for the pros. If you want to keep your hardwood floors looking their best and maintain their longevity, keep a high-quality hardwood floor cleaner on hand. Among our picks are some great options that will give your floors a deep clean and protect them from scratches, scuff marks, and other damage, so they stay beautiful longer.