How To Clean Hardwood Floors + The Best Cleaning Solutions

Are you looking for the best Hard Floor Cleaners? Not sure where to start? You've come to the right place. Our team of experts reviewed the top floor cleaners and have posted the top options below. For additional guidance on what to look for when buying a hard floor cleaner, please see our Hard Floor Cleaner Solution buying guide below.

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Hard Floor Cleaner Solutions Overview

When you walk into a home, there a few things that give it that Wow! factor, but after spending some more time in one room, a clean and spotless hardwood floor can make or break your perception of the space. For as much as a high-quality hardwood floor adds value to a room, unkept and aged hardwood can have an equally as powerful negative effect. Thankfully, with a regular cleaning routine and the right products, you’ll have anyone who comes to your home asking how you keep the floors in such great shape.

In the past, we have lacked both an understanding and the necessary means to produce an efficient and safe cleaning solution for hardwood floors. Today, we have cleaners that are specifically tailored for hardwood and with proper use, will help you get the most out of your floors for years on end. The cleaners we’re talking about—bottled solutions that have the power to remove even the most serious of dust, dirt and general filth buildup without causing and lasting damage. 

The Science Behind Floor Cleaners

Among the most important components of bottled cleaners are chemical solvents that reduce moisture without reducing the ability of the liquid to spread. This characteristic prevents you from “flooding” your floors which could lead to long term damage since it would be difficult to dry completely. Another part of the concoction are surfactants which loosen up dirt and debris that have become one with your floor. Finally, citric acid is utilized by blending all the ingredients together to regulate pH level so that the liquid is not harmful to the natural wood, yet strong enough that it makes an impact.

In many professions, being proactive, rather than reactive is an ideal way to stay ahead of competitors. With hardwood floors, being proactive is just as valuable if you want your floors to remain clean and healthy. Even though liquid cleaning solutions are powerful and extremely capable of adding much-needed sheen to neglected floors, it is not a one-product-fixes-all solution. 

Tips On Keeping Your Floors Clean

If you want to get the most out of your cleaning efforts, you will need to regularly sweep your floors using a soft-bristled broom or brush to remove dirt and dust. If you use anything with too tough of bristles, it could damage the floor by removing its protective coating or leaving scratch marks. Another big way to stay ahead is to use a damp mop or cloth to gather sticky spills, visible dirt, and other things that have been tracked in on your shoes (or a dog’s paws). As an added bonus, these strategies will help you get into corners and hard to reach places where buildup tends to be most severe.

While those “maintenance” cleaning methods are good and well, there will be a time (should be a few times a year) when you need a more aggressive approach to your cleaning, which is where liquid cleaners come in. We’ve got you covered with a breakdown of five industry-leading cleaners and a buying guide that will help you assess your needs and make an informed decision for your floors.

Here are the best hard floor cleaner solutions:

1. Best for multi-room: Armstrong 64 oz Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill 1.9 L Citrus Fusion (Pack of 2)

Where to buy:

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See Product Walmart

4.5 out of 5 stars

Armstrong 64 oz Hardwood Floor Cleaner Review

When you need to resupply on your cleaner, Armstrong Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill Citrus Fusion provides a high-quality option to treat your floors. This particular product is designed to be placed in a spray bottle and applied directly to the floor before being spread with a mop. The superior product does not come cheap, retailing for $47 which broken down into price per ounce comes to about .37 cents.

Capable of treating both no-wax, urethane coated hardwood and laminate floors, you’ll likely be able to use this cleaner in multiple rooms of your home spreading the value (and cost) of the product. Even though having a cleaner that is designed specifically for your type of hardwood floor is nice, the economical consumer in all of us loves that we won’t have to buy a million products for every room in our house.

Armstrong Flooring has long been a name that consumers could trust for anything involving the surface within a home that is walked on. In fact, the company has been around for more than 150 years, preaching the same motto today as they did their first year in business; “Let the buyer have faith.” Founder Thomas Armstrong knew that if his company was to maintain a loyal following, they would have to deliver quality products day-in and day-out, something they have no trouble with many years later.

While the bottle tells you that the product is meant to be placed in a spray bottle and effectively be swept up using a mop or cloth, this is not your only option. To make things a bit easier, consumers have had success using this product with mops where you load your cleaner into it directly are able to spray in front of the mop part, taking a step right out of the equation. 

One of the main highlights of this product is that it will not leave streaks or residue when applied correctly. Even if a product is the best in its class at removing stains and cleaning, if it leaves behind evidence, it can be seen as a metaphorical “stain” on your floors that if not cleaned, could lead to permanent staining. Besides leaving no mess behind, this cleaner comes in a ready to use state, meaning you will not have to mix or dilute anything before use.

Original Retail $47
UPC 00042369844628
Brand Armstrong
SKU S907S907

2. Most popular: Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill, 128 Fl Oz

Where to buy:

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4.5 out of 5 stars

Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Review

As the #1 Household Floor Cleaner on Amazon, the Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill is a product that delivers at the two most important levels, price and effectiveness. It often goes understated, but to be able to call yourself #1 in anything on Amazon, a marketplace with thousands upon thousands of sellers is a feat worth celebrating. With a price tag of just under $18, this cleaner won’t hurt your pockets or floors. 

A big pro for this cleaner refill pack is that you can set up recurring delivery in one-month increments beginning at every one month and maxing out at every six months. According to company data, ordering every four months is the most common selection by consumers. At this time, there is no pricing discount for setting up an ordering schedule—only peace of mind knowing that when you need a new bottle, one will be on its way.

This Bona product contains its Original Formula. A liquid that dries residue-free is a great selling point, but even better is that it is water-based. Due to its base of water, and not a chemical concoction, it is safe for people and pets. Furthering its status as a top environmental cleaner due to its ability to be effective without being comprised of all chemicals, the cleaner is Greenguard Gold certified and has very low VOC emission levels. To give a google definition of what you’re protecting yourself from “Volatile organic compounds are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects”.

We already told you about this cleaners’ ranking, but to throw in a few more numbers that solidify this Bona product as being upon a pedestal by itself are reviews from consumers just like you. Having been rated more than 1900 times, it totes an impressive 4.6-star rating. Even more impressive is the 4.7 stars it boasts for Easy to Use, For Hardwood Floors, and Easy to Clean.

Original Retail $18
UPC 00737025008154
Model BNA-001
Brand Bona

3. Best Pro-Grade: Bona Professional Series Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill 128 oz

Where to buy:

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See Product Lowe's

4.5 out of 5 stars

Bona Pro Series Hardwood Floor Cleaner 128oz Review

When you need a little boost in your cleaning strength, sometimes you need to upgrade to professional levels. Cleaning up the worst-kept floors is hardly even a challenge with this professional blend of Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill. Unlike most brands where their pro-strength products cost you an arm and leg, Bona, however, keeps things affordable charging just $20 for a 128-ounce bottle.

When the professional series cleaners were first introduced, they were for commercial janitorial use only. Recognizing the need for a stronger cleaner for individual consumers, Bona started selling this formula just as it does its’ original formula. The main difference between the two blends is that the professional formula contains a stronger degreaser, but is still safe for use in homes. 

Like the original formula, this cleaner is Greenguard Gold certified for indoor air quality. Even with an aggressive degreasing element, the formula remains pH balanced. This is critical as the stability within the formula helps you maintain the fine finish on your hardwood floors and prevents any kind of discoloration. The exact types of floors this product is made for include unwaxed, unoiled, and polyurethane finished wood floors. 

Even though it is specified for these types of floors, consumers have reported using this cleaner on laminate floors without harming them. With something like floors where a replacement can be costly, we recommend proceeding with extreme caution when not using a product for its intended purpose.

With just under 1000 consumer ratings, the Bona Professional Formula is amongst the most popular and well-liked cleaners on the market owning a 4.5-star overall rating. 

Original Retail $24
UPC 00737025000554
Model BNA-006
Brand Bona
SKU BNAWM700018174

4. Most "Green": Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner, Citrus Mint, 32 Fl Oz

Where to buy:

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4.5 out of 5 stars

Better Life Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner, Citrus Mint Review

Founded by two fathers who wanted to deliver safe products to the general consumer, Better Life sells cleaning solutions that are good for you and the environment. Other than being non-toxic and biodegradable, the Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner gets the job done for an affordable cost, which is just under $12 when making a one-time purchase.

When you purchase this product, you have the option to set up an ordering schedule. As with most scheduled ordering, you can order in one-month increments ranging from one to six months. For this particular product, receiving a delivery every two months is the most popular. Besides not having to worry about running out of product, you will receive a 5% discount when you set up automatic deliveries, a figure which jumps up to 15% if you order enough within a short amount of time.

The “greenest” product on our list did not earn that title by accident. Better Life products have packaging that biodegrades two-to-five times faster than other natural cleaners. Additionally, their cleaners are derived from plants, free of dyes and petroleum solvents and the packaging is made of recycled materials. While most eco-conscious products have reduced VOCs, this product is free of them entirely.

Other than hardwood floors, you’ll be able to use this cleaner on ceramic tile, stone, bamboo, vinyl, and laminate. With total reviews approaching 1000, this product maintains a 4.4-star rating. Its most impressive rated feature happens to be Easy to Use, 4.8 stars, a welcome sign to anyone with inhibitions about how using a natural product might differ from other chemical or water-based cleaners.

Original Retail $20
UPC 00895454002058
Model 24155
Brand Better Life
SKU GY0005

5. Best Protection: Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Polish Restorer Combo

Where to buy:

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4 out of 5 stars

Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Polish Restorer Combo Review

A unique product, or should I say products, on our list is the Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Polish Restorer Combo. Comprised of two bottles, this floor-cleaner option takes a unique approach to complete the age-old quest for the best-looking floors.

For a one-time purchase, the rate is about $19. When you choose to set up an ordering schedule, the price is reduced by 5%, which in this case is about a dollar. Should you require the use of many bottles per month, the discount rises to 10% when five bottles are purchased in a month. Most people, however, do not reach this threshold as the most common delivery is scheduled for every two months.

Most hardwood floor cleaners come as just one product, a cleaner that removes grime and restores floors to their original state. With the Weiman Cleaner and Polish combo pack, you’re getting two products that each serve a specific purpose, complementing each other and bringing out the best in your floors. An easy comparison for the effects of this combo is using shampoo and conditioner instead of a 2-in-1 product. While there is nothing wrong with the shampoo/conditioner hybrid, using two separate products for shampoo and conditioner will give your hair some extra shine and health. Even though the surfaces are dramatically different, hair and hardwood floors, the principle remains the same.

What separates Weiman from the competition is a micro-filling technology which fills in existing scratches and provides a protective layer engineered to make it more difficult for new scratches to develop. After more than 350 reviews, this cleaner combo holds a 4.7-star rating.

Original Retail $20
UPC 00041598005701
Model 570ZBP
Brand Weiman
SKU 8541814371

Hard Floor Cleaner Solutions Buying Guide

Where there’s a need, there’s a product being sold

There’s no simple way to put it—your floors take the brunt of everything bad that comes in your house. Think about the walls and ceilings in your home; they’ll gather some dust, and in events that are usually far and few between, something might get spilled on them. Your floors on the other hand are trounced daily, walked on with bare feet, and shoes that track in who knows what from outside. Adding to that, floors are regular victims of food and drink spills, dust buildup, and debris. To counteract these “evils” you’ll need something strong enough to combat the worst of it, that something is a liquid hardwood floor cleaner.

Liquid Cleaner compared to other methods

When you do your shopping, you need to be on the lookout for cleaners marked as safe for hardwood floors. Using an improper cleaner worse than not cleaning at all as it will lead to general destruction of your floors. Some other methods you should absolutely stay away from are steam cleaning, which should only be used on tile or vinyl materials or using just water which gets between and under your floor, warping the wood through constant shrinking and expansion with changes in the weather.

Protect everyone in your house

For the most part, you don’t need to worry about what chemicals are in your floor cleaner if you live with just adults. If you have kids, that’s a completely different story. Young children are constantly playing on the ground with toys and themselves. If you’re a parent, you’ll know it’s impossible to keep their hands out of their mouth, and by association with the ground, they could come into contact with harmful chemicals. 

Besides children, the most notorious living beings for licking floors and spending time on them are dogs. Animals have completely different immune systems than humans, and because of that, the chemicals in cleaners could have serious adverse effects on their health.  Since they are unable to effectively communicate with their humans, you might not catch any of the signs of sickness right away, which could lead to costly vet bills—or worse. 

If you’re like us, you’d rather not have to go down that road for your children or pets. Based on this, companies have started producing cleaners that are not safe for consumption, but if they come in contact with you, you won’t be heading to the hospital.

Subscription services

If you’re the kind of person who A) never quite remembers to buy something until you run out of it, B) tend to clean spontaneously (after finally having enough of looking at dirty floors), rather than on a schedule, or C) just like to be prepared, setting yourself up with a schedule to have your floor cleaner sent to you is probably a good choice. 

Never having to worry about picking up your floor cleaner at the grocery store is not the same as other subscriptions which you might forget about and then seeing the money leave your account. Instead, having cleaner sent right to you, you’ll be able to associate a physical product with the fee you pay. As an added bonus (we think we can call it that), when your new bottle of cleaner arrives, you’ll be reminded that it is time to clean.