Ingrained dirt, scuff marks, slippery residue, and a deteriorated finish are some common reasons for dull, old looking wooden floors.
To maintain, restore, and make your hardwood floors look beautiful again, you need to clean them on a regular basis. You will need a safe and effective cleaner that is nontoxic, gentle on floors, and tough on dirt and stains.
While there are plenty of hardwood floor cleaners out there, most of them are neither safe on wood or effective for cleaning. That makes it very difficult to identify the right cleaner solution for your floors. So, you'll need to find one that's right for the job.
Fortunately, we've gone and done the legwork here to save you plenty of time.
The following are the best hardwood floor cleaners that are highly effective and gentle on floor:
Top 9 Best Hardwood Floor Cleaners (2021)
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Bona is a renowned company in cleaning and their products live up to the expectations.
Their water-based cleaner for finished hardwood floors is among the top rated cleaners in the world. The formula lifts dirt and grime gently and dries fast without leaving a residue.
This product is certified as nontoxic by Green Guard Gold and is thus safe to use around family and pets. There are no dangerous fumes or residue it leaves behind. It effectively cleans without leaving streaks and is our choice for best.
Bona hardwood floor cleaner gives you convenience while using since you don’t have to dilute it with anything. You simply spray it directly on the mess or the entire floor and mop it up. You don’t need to rinse the cleaner from the floors.
Besides making your floor sparkling clean, Bona will reveal the natural shine of your floor and make it look new again. The spray bottle can be refilled so there's no need to buy another bottle.
- A cleaner that gives your floor a natural shine
- Convenient to use without need to rinse
- Safe and nontoxic
- A spot and entire floor cleaner
- Does not disinfect your floors
- Does not give high shine
Bona is an impeccable cleaner suitable for household cleaning. If you prefer natural shine and sparkling clean hardwood floor, then this is the right formula for you.
Here comes another effective wood floor cleaner for both laminate and non-wax urethane finished floors from Bruce, the wood floor experts.
Best for overall and spot cleaning, this cleaner easily dissolves dirt and grime, giving you a spotless clean and shiny surface.
For convenience, this product does not require diluting. It is ready to use and you only spray it on the surface and mop it up with a microfiber without rinsing it out. It dries out quickly without leaving behind a residue.
In our testing, we used a hardwood floor with tracked-in mud from kids and pets. Without repetitive passes, this cleaner cuts through the spots and stains leaving a shiny floor with no streaks.
Bruce Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner is safe to use around family and pets.
- Effective for removing soil, stains and scuff
- Easy and ready to use trigger spray
- No residue and streaks
- Dries faster
- Non-toxic thus safe to use
- Can leave a filmy residue when wrongly used
- Not a disinfectant
An impressive cleaner from wood floor manufacturers that cleans and shine at the same time. A good choice for your finished hardwood floors without worry about streaks or residue.
Swiffer Wet Jet is a water-based floor cleaner that releases cleaning fluid on the surface to dissolve dirt and grime.
It has an attached wet pad that wipes and attracts the dissolved dirt. The pads also wipe out the extra solution as you make passes, thus making the surface dry faster.
Apart from leaving your floors sparkling clean, this cleaner has a nice scent that makes your hardwood floors smell fresh. For an effective outcome, Swiffer dry refill cloths may be used to remove debris and pet hair before mopping with a wet pad. You may also sweep or vacuum to remove large dirt debris.
According to the manufacturer's recommendations, Swiffer Wet Jet is safe on all finished wood floors. However, they discourage the use of wet refills on unfinished, waxed, or oiled floors since they are water-sensitive.
Swiffer does not contain toxic ingredients and thus is safe for household cleaning. However, it is important to store away any cleaning solution from children and pets. Chewing the pads and drinking the solution is harmful.
- Convenient and easy to use
- Safe on finished or sealed hardwood floors
- Does not leave residue
- Does not clean large debris, thus sweeping or vacuuming is required
- Refills and purchase of moping pads can be costly
- Not a disinfectant
This is a nice cleaner for finished hardwood floors. Before using Swiffer WetJet mop ensure that the floor is properly sealed and there are no openings or cracks that can expose the wood to water. I would advise you to stick to the Swiffer dry refills if you are not sure about the nature of your wood floor.
For large floor coverage, Pledge is all you need for easier and faster cleaning. Pledge FloorCare Wood Squirt & Mop dispenses more solution easily that spreads evenly on the floor surface.
This cleaner does not require diluting — all you need to do is to squirt it directly on the floor and mop it up as it lifts dirt and grime.
A nice scent of lemon scent is what makes most households talk about this product. It leaves a pleasant smell everywhere in the home. Pledge is nontoxic and safe to use around families and pets.
- Effective for cleaning large areas
- Squirt and spreads evenly
- Ready to use without diluting
- Mild citrus scent
- Not too shiny for people who prefer less sheen
- Does not disinfect surfaces
Pledge is a reputable cleaner that has been on high demand in many stores in the United States. Other than effectively cleaning dirt and grime, this formula is ever ready and easy to use especially if you want to clean large floor areas.
Suitable for a range of floor types from wood, laminate, and engineered flooring, the Black Diamond Stoneworks Floor Cleaner provides a streak free finish after every use. With a no-rinse formula, you can clean your floor with speed and ease.
This cleaner is eco-friendly and biodegradable, effectively working to remove spills, stains, dust, and footprints with a simple spray and wipe application. Lightly scented, this product isn’t overpowering and it is also safe for use around children and pets.
Impressively, this cleaner creates a clear shield with noticeable results from initial use. In fact, the manufacturers of this Black and Diamond Floor Cleaner claim for this to be the best product — with money back if it does not achieve the expected results.
There are also multiple sizes of this cleaner available from 1 quart to 4 gallons so you can choose the appropriate size for the area that you are intending to clean.
- Eco-friendly cleaner
- Multiple size options of the cleaner available
- Provides a streak-free finish
- No-rinse formula makes this cleaner easy to use
- Can leave a sticky residue on the floor if used incorrectly
- Some may be dissatisfied with the scent
This is a commercial cleaner for hardwood and laminate floors that families have also found to be useful for household cleaning.
It is gentle on floors and tough on stains and scuff marks. Consequently, customers recommend it as one of the best hardwood floor cleaners for spot and overall floor cleaning.
Zep is a spray and mop formula that does not require diluting with water. It dries fast and leaves a pretty clean surface. It is also scented to give your room a fresh smell. Besides floor cleaning, it can also be used for cleaning baseboards, cabinet doors and crown molding.
This product is not for use on waxed, unfinished, or oiled surfaces. Correctly used, it does not leave residue or streaks.
- Effective for cleaning spots, stains and scuffs
- Ready and easy to use formula
- Does not streak or leave residue
- Has a fresh scent
- Only available in 1 gallon (128oz)
- Not a disinfectant
A great commercial and household cleaner for tough stains and scuff marks. Having a great scent, this cleaner is ideal for rejuvenating your dull, old looking hardwood and laminate floors as well as introducing a fresh smell.
This is perhaps the best all natural non-toxic cleaner that is safe for family, pets, and your hardwood floors.
Method Squirt + Mop cleaner is an eco-friendly formula with plant-derived ingredients. The bottle is also made from purely recycled plastic materials.
The sweet almond smell will be lingering in your streak-free room. It is ready to use: You simply squirt and mop with your microfiber cloth to get sparkling floors.
You don’t have to worry about the safety of children and your furry friends around when using this formula. Being all natural and non-toxic, this product can be used comfortably around family and pets.
- All natural and non-toxic
- Easy and ready to use
- Smell sweet and fresh
- Not everyone is fascinated by the almond smell
- May leave a filmy residue if not mopped correctly
Natural cleaners are the way to go. Besides being ecofriendly, the safety of your family, pets, and floor is guaranteed. Therefore, this is the right formula if you really advocate for environmental conservation.
Parents with kids finds themselves strongly considering what type of cleaner to use. Most notably, they want one that will not affect the little kids crawling and playing on the floor. Babyganics Floor Cleaner Concentrate is specifically designed for such a scenario.
This is a non-toxic formula derived from safe and gentle ingredients that will give you a healthy clean floor. To use this cleaner, you will be required to dilute 1oz in a gallon of water.
Remember to completely wring your mop to avoid leaving water standing on your floors. After cleaning, you don’t need to rinse the cleaner. It will dry fast, leaving clean and healthy floors for family, children and pets.
- All natural, non-toxic formula
- No streaks and residue
- Tested as safe for children
- Can also be used on other surfaces
- Requires diluting
- Sticky residue if not diluted correctly
Safety for our children must be a priority when choosing a cleaner. This is the right formula to use with children around. If you have no problem diluting and using this cleaner, why not try it?
This is a healthy biodegradable formula for cleaning various surfaces such as hardwood floors, furniture, tile, vinyl, and more. Being an all-natural cleaner, it does not give you worries about effects on family and pets.
Murphy Oil Soap needs to be diluted before using. It clears dirt and grime to create a shiny, clean floor surface. What is important is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the ratio of mixing with water. Remember not to leave water standing on your hardwood floors to avoid wood warping.
There have been controversial remarks about this product. Some customers claimed that it leaves a cloudy residue on the hardwood floor after using. Others attribute this to wrong use of the formula.
- Multi-surface cleaner
- Plant based formula thus safe
- Biodegradable and ecofriendly
- Needs to be diluted
- Might leave a cloudy residue
Murphy’s Oil Soap is a healthy non-toxic formula that is used in many homes for household cleaning. With correct use, it gives you clean, shiny and nice smelling surfaces.
Best Hardwood Floor Cleaners Buying Guide
How do you choose a hardwood floor cleaner?
There are plenty of cleaning products in stores although not all of them have the right ingredients for the proper cleaning of hardwood floors.
A good cleaning solution should have the following qualities:
- Must be tough on dirt, stains and grime
- Should be safe and not contain dangerous ingredients or fumes
- Protective and gentle on the floor finish
- Should not leave a slippery residue or streaks
- Should rejuvenate the wood to make it look new
Choosing a cleaner will also depend on the type of hardwood floor in your home. Note that water-based cleaners can only be used on finished hardwood floors that have a protective seal such as polyurethane. It should not be used on unfinished floors, wax coated floors, or on floors with a penetrating finish.
Sealed hardwood floors have a protective finish that temporarily prevents water and spills from damaging the wood. Unsealed surfaces, on the other hand, lack the protective sealant and thus are vulnerable to water moisture and other solutions.
To test if your floor is perfectly sealed, splash a few drops of water on a small hidden area. If the water beads up, it shows that the surface is sealed. Conversely, if it penetrates into the wood, know that your floor is unsealed and should not be exposed to water and moisture.
How do you use a hardwood floor cleaner?
After purchasing your preferred cleaner cleaner, to get the best cleaning experience and results, you need to read any instructions provided. To be cautious, test the product on a small, hidden section of your hardwood floors.
Sweep your floor using a soft bristle broom to remove loose and large dirt debris. Apply your cleaner on the floor as directed and mop with a microfiber cloth. If the cleaner requires diluting, do so in the right proportions as directed.
Wood is water sensitive and whenever you are using water based solutions, ensure to completely dry any water or solution from the surface. Leaving it standing for long will lead to wood warping, growing mold, or decaying.
Does a hardwood floor cleaner sanitize?
While cleaning gets rid of visible dirt, sometimes it does not take care of bacteria and other invisible harmful microorganisms found on the floor.
Since most hardwood floor cleaners do not have antibacterial properties, here are effective ways to sanitize floors.
The correct use of cleaners should make your floor to remain clean, beautiful and shiny all times.
Protect your floors from water and scratching and your hardwood floor will last years without giving you any problems.