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Best Hardwood Floor Cleaning Solutions of 2021

Updated
Shiny hardwood floors don’t have to be a far-fetched dream.

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.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features
Product Image of the Method Squirt + Mop Hardwood Floor Cleaner, Almond, 25 Ounce
Best for Sealed Wood
Method Squirt + Mop Cleaner
  • Cruelty-free and plant-based
  • Non-toxic
  • Good for laminate flooring
Product Image of the Lysol Clean and Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner, Lemon and Sunflower, 40 Ounce (Pack of 3)
Best for All Surfaces
Lysol Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface
  • Multi-purpose for hard surfaces
  • Kills bacteria and viruses
  • Deodorizes
Product Image of the Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner, 32 Fl Oz (Pack of 1), Original Formula
Best for Unwaxed Floors
Bona Hardwood Floor Spray
  • Water-based
  • Certified green alternative to harsh substances
  • Quick drying
Product Image of the Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner - 36oz Spray
Best for Allergies
Bona Free & Simple Cleaner
  • Removes more than 93.3% of allergens
  • Great for all unwaxed wood floors
  • Free of dyes and scents
Product Image of the Babyganics Multi Surface Cleaner, Fragrance Free, 32oz Spray Bottle (Pack of 3)
Best Child-Friendly
Babyganics Cleaner
  • Dermatologists & pediatrician-approved formula
  • No harsh chemicals
  • Multi-purpose
Product Image of the Pledge Wood Floor Cleaner Liquid, Shines Hardwood, Removes Dirt, Safe and Gentle, Lemon, 27 fl oz - Pack of 3
Best for Waxed Floors
Pledge Gentle Cleaner
  • Preserves natural sheen of wood
  • Pleasant and refreshing scent
  • Ready to use
Product Image of the Orange Glo Hardwood Floor Everyday Cleaner Spray - Orange, 22 Fl Oz (Pack of 2)
Best for Shine
Orange Glo Hardwood Spray
  • Value for money
  • Convenient spray bottle
  • Excellent for daily use

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.

Quick Tip

To preserve the condition of your hardwood floor, leave your shoes at the door. If possible, stop your pets from walking over them for an even greater effect.

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.

Be Aware

Some people use vinegar to clean their hardwood floors, but this can cause further damage. Vinegar can disinfect your floor, but it’s highly acidic and may deteriorate the integrity of wood and wax. It might also leave an unsightly residue that’s difficult to remove. (4)

The Best Hardwood Floor Cleaner Solutions of 2021

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

Best Cleaning Solution for Sealed Wood Floors

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.

Pros

  • Environmentally friendly — plant-based and cruelty-free.
  • Non-toxic since doesn’t have harmful additives.
  • Good for laminate flooring.

Cons

  • Some customers experienced white residue or haze after cleaning.

Additional Specs

Multi-purpose? No
Suitable for wax? Yes
Fragrance Almond
Features Plant-based, cruelty-free, 100 percent recycled plastic packaging
Volume 2 liters

2. Lysol Clean and Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner

Best Floor Cleaning Solution for All Surfaces

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.

Pros

  • Multi-purpose for hard surfaces, stubborn grit, grime and grease.
  • Cleans and sanitizes by killing bacteria and viruses.
  • Deodorizes for a pleasant, fresher environment.

Cons

  • May damage unsealed floors. Use Method’s squirt and mop instead.

Additional Specs

Multi-purpose? Yes
Suitable for wax? Yes, but not recommended
Fragrance Lemon and sunflower
Features Sanitizes, deodorizes, suitable for all hard surfaces
Volume 1.18 liters

3. Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray

Best Cleaning Solution for Unwaxed Hardwood Floors

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.

Pros

  • 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).

Cons

  • While it is effective at cleaning, you won’t be able to polish your floors with this one.

Additional Specs

Multi-purpose? No
Suitable for wax? No
Fragrance Original
Features Water-based, low VOC emission, ready-to-use spray
Volume 0.9 liters

4. Bona Free and Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Best Hardwood Floor Cleaning Solution for Allergies

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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • May leave a slight residue.

Additional Specs

Multi-purpose? No
Suitable for wax? No
Fragrance None
Features Water-based, low VOC emissions, spray bottle, hypo-allergenic, dye-free, scent-free
Volume 1 liter

5. Babyganics Multi Surface Cleaner

Best Child-Friendly Hardwood Floor Cleaning Solution

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, glass, stainless steel, granite, porcelain, or even walls and cabinets. What’s more, it’s plant-based and fragrance-free.

Pros

  • Babyganics boasts that pediatricians and dermatologists approve of this formula.
  • No harsh or toxic chemicals added to this cleaner.
  • It’s created not only for cleaning the floors but also the glasses or even the appliances, all with safe formula.

Cons

  • More expensive than other products.

Additional Specs

Multi-purpose? Yes
Suitable for wax? Yes
Fragrance None
Features Plant-based, glass and electronic cleaner compatible, scent-free,
Volume 0.946 liters

6. Pledge Gentle Wood Floor Cleaner

Best Hardwood Cleaning Solution for Waxed Floors

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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • A highly effective cleaner, but does contain some toxic components.

Additional Specs

Multi-purpose? No
Suitable for wax? Yes
Fragrance Lemon
Features Ready to use, residue and streak-free
Volume 0.79 liters

7. Orange Glo Hardwood Everyday Cleaner Spray

Best Cleaning Solution for A Shiny Hardwood Floor

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.

Pros

  • This formula attacks dirt while maintaining your floor’s finish.
  • Convenient spray bottle saves time and is hassle-free.
  • Excellent for daily use.

Cons

  • Some buyers report faulty packaging.

Additional Specs

Multi-purpose? No
Suitable for wax? Yes
Fragrance Orange
Features Ready to use, suitable for everyday use, residue and streak-free
Volume 0.6 liters

Hardwood Floor Cleaning Solution 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 0.946 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.

Headshot of Amy Anthony

About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy is a stay-at-home-mom, seasoned writer, and a home cleaning and organization aficionado. Amy enjoys having an absolutely spotless home and has worked hard to develop strategies to keep it that way, despite having 2 kids and 3 dogs!

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