Damaged hardwood floors are a tragedy that no homeowner should ever have to deal with. So how do you make sure that you’re cleaning your hardwood floors appropriately? If you’re using water, or generic detergents, you could be contributing to the problem.
We found the seven best hardwood floor cleaning solutions so that you don’t have to worry. Our quick and easy guide will show you how to restore your floors to their pristine condition — and keep them that way.
Why Buy Hardwood Floor Cleaning Solutions?
Here’s the thing about hardwood floors: they accumulate a lot of dirt. Even if your floors look clean, there’s a good chance they’re harboring unseen germs. One study found that in high traffic areas, bacterial recontamination of hardwood floors occurred within an hour of deep cleaning (1).
How is that possible? Well, to put it simply, life happens. Your shoes and pets track dirt over your floors every time you walk on them. Think about where your feet have been, and it’s not so unbelievable that your hardwood floors are gross. hardwood floor cleaners can help with that.
Consider these important features:
- They disinfect your floors: Most hardwood floor cleaning solutions will combat tough dirt and grime to kill germs and bacteria.
- Water doesn’t cut it: Water isn’t anti-bacterial unless it’s at a searing 212 degrees Fahrenheit — so hot it will ruin your wood floors (2). Cleaning solutions, in comparison, work on dirt and germs. And, they still preserve the condition of your hardwood floor, no matter its style or material.
- Detergents cause damage: Generic detergents aren’t made for floors, so they could ruin or dull your wood. Many people use dish soap as an alternative to cleaning solutions, but we don’t recommend it. Dish soap and other detergents leave residue or trails that can be tricky to remove.
- They’re affordable: A good cleaning solution can save you money. They’re easily found at your department or hardware store and will last you a long time. This is a cost-effective method of floor cleaning.
- Your floors will shine: hardwood floor cleaners will do a bit of polishing too. If your floors are dull from wear and tear, buying a good cleaner could restore their shine.
Finding the Best Hardwood Floor Cleaning Solutions
Picking a hardwood floor cleaner is easy, but you don’t want to settle for the first one you find. Make sure you’re investing in a good product that will work for you, by keeping the following in mind:
- Wax is special: Not all cleaners are appropriate for wax-coated floors. These cleaners might break down and ruin your floor’s protective layer, which does more harm than good (3). So, read the labels, and make sure the cleaners suit your floors to avoid this mistake.
- Disinfectants are better: If possible, buy a cleaning solution that will disinfect or sanitize your floor. This way, your floors will look good, and your home environment will be healthier. This is necessary if you’re looking to deep clean.
- Review the ingredients: If you have allergies or sensitivities, check out the components of your cleaner. Remember that they often contain strong chemicals. Generally, these are safe, but take care as a precaution.
The Best Hardwood Floor Cleaner Solutions of 2020
The best way to clean and protect your hardwood floors is to use a solvent. We’ve selected our recommendations based on purpose, effect and customer feedback. We used customer feedback as well as wise words from industry experts in our research.
1. Method Squirt + Mop Wood Floor Cleaner
This product is a favorite for hardwood floors because it’s suitable for sealed wood.
It’s particularly popular because it is plant-based and environmentally friendly. Each of its components is non-toxic and biodegradable.
All you have to do is squirt some onto your floor and mop it up. There’s no need to rinse or pre-treat your floors, so this saves you time and effort.
An added benefit is the convenient packaging, so you can use it as a spray bottle.
- Environmentally friendly — plant-based and cruelty-free.
- Non-toxic since doesn’t have harmful additives.
- Good for laminate flooring.
- Some customers experienced white residue or haze after cleaning.
|Suitable for wax?||Yes|
|Features||Plant-based, cruelty-free, 100 percent recycled plastic packaging|
2. Lysol Clean and Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner
We recommend this product if you’re a multi-tasker. You can use it to clean all of your hard surfaces, from tiles and wood floors to kitchen countertops. On top of this, you can simply apply it directly to stains, or dilute it in water for easier mopping.
It’s antibacterial and antiviral, killing almost 100 percent of germs, even when diluted. It works on grease and grime and removes odors too.
- Multi-purpose for hard surfaces, stubborn grit, grime and grease.
- Cleans and sanitizes by killing bacteria and viruses.
- Deodorizes for a pleasant, fresher environment.
- May damage unsealed floors. Use Method’s squirt and mop instead.
|Suitable for wax?||Yes, but not recommended|
|Fragrance||Lemon and sunflower|
|Features||Sanitizes, deodorizes, suitable for all hard surfaces|
3. Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray
Here’s a hassle-free cleaner for you. It’s water-based, residue-free and comes in a handy spray bottle for your convenience. Just spritz some onto your floors and then mop; there’s no need to mix, dilute or pre-treat with this cleaner.
This is best suited for all unwaxed wood floors. We love that this product is certified and produces very little chemical emissions. As a result, it’s safe around pets and children and is deemed environmentally friendly.
- Water-based, so won’t leave a residue on your finished wood floors.
- Certified as a green alternative to harsh substances and emits little gaseous chemical pollution.
- Consider this product if you have allergies or sensitivities (5).
- While it is effective at cleaning, you won’t be able to polish your floors with this one.
|Suitable for wax?||No|
|Features||Water-based, low VOC emission, ready-to-use spray|
4. Bona Free and Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner
This cleaner stands out because its gentle formula is hypo-allergenic. It removes more than 93 percent of allergens and is free of toxic dyes and harsh odors. Further, and as expected from Bona, it’s water-based.
You can use this on all unwaxed hardwood floors. Just spray it on and mop it up. It’s safe for the environment because, just like with our previous Bona selection, it leaves a small chemical footprint.
- Removes more than 93.3 percent of allergens and is free of unnecessary chemical additives.
- Suitable for use on all unwaxed wood floors.
- No mixing or diluting and is packaged in a handy spray bottle.
- May leave a slight residue.
|Suitable for wax?||No|
|Features||Water-based, low VOC emissions, spray bottle, hypo-allergenic, dye-free, scent-free|
5. Babyganics Floor Cleaner Concentrate
How about a cleaner that’s specially formulated to be child-friendly? This product from Babyganics is free from all harsh chemicals and fragrances.
It’s a multi-surface cleaner that you can use on vinyl, tiles, wood, laminate and even your carpets. What’s more, it’s plant-based and rinse-free.
- Babyganics boasts that pediatricians and dermatologists approve of this formula.
- No harsh or toxic chemicals added to this cleaner.
- The concentrated formula makes 30 liters when mixed correctly.
- More expensive than other products.
6. Pledge Gentle Wood Floor Cleaner
If you have waxed wood floors, Pledge has a product for you. This cleaner won’t leave streaks or residue and is intended for sealed, finished surfaces.
As a solution that’s ready to use, there’s no extra hassle needed. Just squirt some onto your floors, and mop it up. Apply it directly to stains for extra power.
It’s designed to preserve your hardwood floor’s shine and freshen your home with a nice lemon scent. Pledge is a customer favorite, and it’s no surprise.
- Preserves the natural sheen of your finished and sealed wood.
- Apply it directly to your floors before you mop.
- Happy customers note that the lemon scent of this product is pleasant and refreshing.
- A highly effective cleaner, but does contain some toxic components.
|Suitable for wax?||Yes|
|Features||Ready to use, residue and streak-free|
7. Orange Glo Hardwood Everyday Cleaner Spray
This cleaner is engineered to strip away dirt, oil and stains without affecting the sheen of your finished floors. The formula is gentle enough for daily use and comes ready to use in a handy spray bottle.
It won’t leave any streaks or residue and doesn’t leave a glossy film on your floors. We recommend it if you’re looking to preserve your floor’s shine and condition.
- This formula attacks dirt while maintaining your floor’s finish.
- Convenient spray bottle saves time and is hassle-free.
- Excellent for daily use.
- Some buyers report faulty packaging.
|Suitable for wax?||Yes|
|Features||Ready to use, suitable for everyday use, residue and streak-free|
Detailed Comparison Chart
|Product||Best||Multi-purpose?||Suitable for wax?||Fragrance||Volume|
|Method Squirt + Mop Cleaner||For Wood Floors||No||Yes||Almond||2 liters|
|Lysol Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface||For All Surfaces||Yes||Yes, but not recommended||Lemon and sunflower||1.18 liters|
|Bona Hardwood Floor Spray||For Unwaxed Floors||No||No||Original||0.9 liters|
|Bona Free & Simple Cleaner||For Allergies||No||No||None||1 liter|
|Babyganics Cleaner||Child-Friendly||Yes||Yes||None||0.47 liters (concentrated), makes 30 liters|
|Pledge Gentle Cleaner||For Waxed Floors||No||Yes||Lemon||0.79 liters|
|Orange Glo Hardwood Spray||For Shine||No||Yes||Orange||0.6 liters|
No More Hard Times
Cleaning your hardwood floors is effortless if you choose the right cleaner. It’s important to choose the best hardwood floor cleaning solutions based on your floor finish. This is the best chance to get your flooring restored to its best condition, as well as sanitized and spotless.
Which of our picks caught your eye? Do you have any hardwood floor cleaning tips for us? We enjoy hearing from you, so let us know your thoughts in the comments section.