10 Best Wood Floor Cleaners

best cleaners for wood floors

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Wood floors can seem fragile and difficult to maintain, but nothing could be further from the truth. A well-maintained device can pretty much withstand the abuse that pets, children, spills, and dirt can bring. In fact, hardwood floors are quite easy to maintain. Vacuuming regularly is the best thing you can do, as it removes fine, gritty and abrasive dust that can scratch the finish. Then, use products that clean and protect the finish, so it continues to stand up to the wear and tear of your family dishes. While it’s relatively easy to clean hardwood floors, choosing the right product to meet your needs can help you get the job done faster and easier.

That’s where the Good Housekeeping Institute’s cleaning lab comes in: we test hundreds of soaps, sprays, and stain removers every year for the best cleaning products, including wood floor cleaners. When we test these cleaners, we evaluate how well they remove a sticky, dried gelatin mixture that we paint with precision on hardwood planks, how quickly and how well they remove scuffs, ease of application and the drying time. We have found that the best cleaners are those specially formulated for use on hard, surface or polyurethane treated floors. These cleaners contain ingredients to dissolve dirt and grime without damaging the coating or dulling the shine. Note: None of the cleaners we list here are recommended for floors treated with wax or other penetrating finishes. Here are our top picks for best cleaners for wood floors, plus two vacuum cleaners specially designed for wood floors:

How to maintain wood floors

You may have read that wood floors should only be cleaned with vinegar – we do not recommend it. Vinegar cleans the surface, but it is acidic and may dull the finish over time. The best way to give your wood floors some attention is to leave your shoes at the door, vacuuming regularly to remove abrasive dirt and dust (with a straight vacuum or with the brush. rotary off to avoid scratches), quickly clean up spills and keep your pet’s nails clipped.

When it’s time to clean your floors, use a light application of one of our recommended products and work in small, three-foot square sections to avoid over-wetting the floor. Make sure the area you just cleaned dries quickly before moving on to the next section, as too much moisture on the wood for too long is damaging. For quick touch-ups, clean in the direction of the wood planks. For a more thorough cleaning, work with and through the planks to catch the dirt trapped in the crevices. Only moist, clean floors when they need it, depending on the traffic they receive. It is not necessary to wash them too much; in fact, it can do more harm than good. Here is an overview of the best wood floor cleaners you can buy:

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1

Best overall cleaner for wood floors

Spray cleaner for hardwood floors

Bona started out as (and still is) a professional parquet finishing company, so it’s no surprise that Bona’s Hardwood Floor Cleaner cut sticky dirt faster and erase shoe marks than any other product we have tested. Use the spray with Bona’s own cleaning pad, any regular microfiber mop, or purchase it in a pre-filled cartridge that snaps onto the Bona Spray mop (below) to get the job done even faster.

  • Quickly removes sticky residue
  • Quickly removes shoe marks
2

Best Value Wood Floor Cleaner

Oil soap wood cleaner

Murphy’s Oil Soap is one of the cheapest cleaners on this list, and since it’s concentrated, it will last a long time, giving you the best value for your purchase. In our testing, this hardwood floor cleaner did a great job erasing scratch marks in just a few passes. It was also impressive to remove the sticky grime, although it took a bit more friction to completely remove the residue.

  • Erases rub marks
  • Eliminates sticky residue
3

Best hardwood floor cleaner for big jobs

Gentle cleaner for wood floors

Because it comes in a squeeze bottle, Pledge Clean It Gentle Wood Floor Cleaner is our first choice when you have large open areas of wood floors to clean. IIt’s easier than a trigger to dispense over large areas and faster than a concentrate which requires mixing. Simply squeeze the bottle to distribute the liquid in an “S” shape on the floor. Pledge not only did a really good job dissolving our sticky test soil, but it also required the fewest hits of any of the other products we tested to completely wash away any remaining residue.

  • Easy to distribute over large areas
  • Dissolves sticky residue
  • Requires less scrubbing
4

Best cleaner for wood and laminate floors

Wood and laminate floor cleaner

Black Diamond
amazon.com

$ 12.98

The trigger style of Black Diamond Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner made it easy to apply, and its clear directions made it one of our top-notch products for ease of use. In addition, it can be used on finished hardwood and laminate floors. And because it’s in a spray bottle, spot cleaning is as easy as a spritz and a wipe, especially on scratch marks that only took a few passes to get rid of in our testing.

5

Best Disposable Mop with Wood Floor Cleaner

Wetjet Wooden Starter Kit

Swiffer
amazon.com

$ 42.00

Good Housekeeping Seal Holder Swiffer Wet Jet Mop Wood Starter Kit disperses the cleaner onto the floor using a battery operated mop and uses textured pads with a scouring strip to attack the floor. Even better: The pads are disposable, which eliminates the need to store a dirty, sprouted mop. Lights on the mop head also make it easier to navigate under furniture.

  • Disposable pads for easy cleaning
  • Easy to navigate under furniture
6

Best wood floor cleaner for allergy sufferers

Free and Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner

This version of Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is formulated without dyes or fragrances. This is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation to remove dust and other particles from hard floors, perfect for homes where family members are sensitive to irritants. In our testing, it quickly removed scuff marks and dissolved sticky floors well. The trigger spray is very easy to use, especially for targeting spots and spots. Plus, the large pitcher size means refills are always on hand.

  • No dyes or perfumes
  • Certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation
  • Eliminate friction marks
  • Eliminates sticky residue
7

Best concentrated cleaner for wood floors

Concentrated cleaner for hardwood floors

This Libman hardwood floor cleaning formula is designed to be mixed with water for use in your own bucket or with the Libman Freedom Dispensing Microfiber Mop. It did a really good job dissolving our sticky soil and scratch marks quickly, and because it can be thinned out, a little goes a long way. The bottle cover has a handle for easy carrying and a built-in cup for mess-free measurement. Simply squeeze the bottle to fill the measuring cap with the recommended dose of cleaner and pour it directly into a bucket or Freedom Mop can. A small bottle makes four gallons of cleaner, and this innovative packaging prevents spills and eliminates the need for a separate measuring cup.

  • Dissolves rub marks
  • Eliminates sticky residue
8

Best Microfiber Mop with Wood Floor Cleaner

Premium hardwood floor mop

This easy-to-use spray mop has an oversized head, so it covers more ground quickly (read: you’ll finish faster!) And cleans floors with a washable, reusable microfiber pad. The built-in cleaning cartridge is refillable for less waste and the mop distributes a wide, fine spray evenly across the floor. The long rectangular head moves easily in tight spaces, and the corners on each side are soft and flexible, so they lift up as you pass along walls and baseboards to catch every stain. Bona offers deep cleaning and even dusting pads that can also be used with this mop.

  • Large cleaning head for faster cleaning
  • Reusable microfiber pad
  • Refillable cleaning cartridge
9

Best vacuum cleaner for wood floors

Hard Floor Expert Canister Vacuum

Bissell
amazon.com

$ 209.99

To remove dirt and debris from crevices in the wood floor, you will need a good vacuum. This the vacuum cleaner performed well in our testing and we love its unique soft air brush. This soft brush sweeps away particles in crevices in the wood floor so they can be vacuumed up and won’t scratch the floor like other rotating vacuum brushes.

  • Soft air brush won’t scratch floors
ten

Best upright vacuum for wood floors

Omni-Glide

Dyson
bedbathandbeyond.com

$ 399.99

Our home appliance and cleaning supplies lab manager tested this Dyson stick vacuum at home and says: It’s amazing for wood floors! It has soft and fluffy rolls, goes in any direction and is fair the perfect size for stair treads, room edges and around rugs. “ Soft rollers easily pick up large debris and fine particles, all without scratching the floor. In addition, it is light and rechargeable.

  • Moves in any direction
  • Soft rollers don’t scratch the floor

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