The 8 Best Hardwood Floor Cleaners Money Can Buy

By Corrie Pelc


Real hardwood flooring will always be one of the most sought-after features of a time. Not only does it give a house a timeless and classic look, but it lasts forever and only looks better with age.


Although hardwood flooring is something to be desired, it definitely requires a bit of special love and care to keep it looking amazing. You want to use a cleaner specially designed for use on hardwood flooring, especially for flooring that takes a beating from endless human and pet feet walking over it.


This list of the best hardwood floor cleaners will not only properly dislodge any built-on dirt and grime from the cracks and crevices of wood floors, but will also moisturize and protect the flooring so it remains in excellent condition.

best hardwood floor cleaners, shiny dark hardwood floors photo via GrandmasHouseDIY
shiny dark hardwood floors / photo via GrandmasHouseDIY

Top Picks

How to Determine Your Wood Floor Finish

It’s important to know the finish of your wood floors before choosing a cleaner for them since some of the cleaners we list below aren’t safe for all wood floor finishes.


The two types of wood floor finishes are penetrating finish (oil or wax) and a film finish (polyurethane or shellac). If you don’t know the finish of your hardwood floors, there are a few ways to test it:

  • Run your hand over the surface of the flooring. If you can feel the texture of the wood, it is most likely a penetrating finish.
  • Put a drop or two of mineral oil on a clean, hidden spot. If the oil soaks in, your flooring has a penetrating finish. If the oil beads up, it is a film finish.
  • Using a sharp blade such as a utility knife, scrape up some of the finish from an inconspicuously hidden edge of the floor. If the shavings are transparent, you likely have a film finish. A penetrating finish won’t pull up anything.

Test Factors We Considered When Picking the Best Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Let’s take a look at the details we used in determining our list of the best cleaners for hardwood floors:

  • Bottle Size: How much hardwood floor cleaner do you get for your money?
  • Application: How do you apply the leather cleaner — is it a spray? A concentrated liquid you have to dilute before using?
  • What It Cleans: What types of flooring, other than hardwood floors, can this cleaner be used on?
  • What It Doesn’t Clean: Are there any types of flooring this cleaner should not be used on?


Here’s a look at our list of the best hardwood floor cleaners to buy in 2022.

Best Overall Hardwood Floor Cleaner: Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Bottle Size: 32 ounces Application: Spray bottle What It Cleans: All unwaxed, unoiled, polyurethane-finished wood floors What It Doesn’t Clean: Waxed or oiled hardwood floors

With over 7,000 ratings and 4.6 out of 5 stars, there's no guessing why Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is our overall best hardwood floor cleaner solution. Safe for use on all unwaxed, unoiled, polyurethane-finished wood floors, this water-based cleaning formula comes in an easy-to-apply spray bottle — just spray where you need it and mop the floor clean. The cleaner dries fast and with no stickiness or residue. Because the cleaner is made without harsh ingredients like formaldehyde and ammonia, it is safe for use around pets and kids. To top it off, Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is Safer Choice Certified by the Environmental Protection Agency because of the ingredients it uses.

Pros

  • Top-seller on Amazon
  • Safer Choice Certified because of the safe ingredients it uses
  • Comes in an easy-to-use spray bottle

Cons

  • Not for use on waxed or oiled hardwood floors

Best Concentrated Hardwood Floor Cleaner: Murphy Oil Soap Wood Cleaner

Bottle Size: 32 ounces Application: Liquid concentrate that needs to be mixed with water before using What It Cleans: Finished wood, laminate flooring, ceramic tiles, painted surfaces, vinyl What It Doesn’t Clean: Unfinished, unsealed, or waxed wood surfaces

A classic choice for over a century, Murphy Oil Soap Wood Cleaner is a super budget-friendly pick for those who prefer a concentrated hardwood floor cleaner. This hardwood floor cleaning solution contains 99-percent naturally-derived ingredients from water, coconut, and plants, and contains no ammonia or bleach. It's simple to use — just follow the directions to dilute the cleaner with water into a bucket and then mop. And Murphy Oil Soap Wood Cleaner is also extremely versatile — not only can you clean anything that's made of finished wood, like flooring, cabinets, and tables, but you can also use it to clean non-hardwood surfaces like laminate floors, ceramic, painted surfaces, and vinyl.

Pros

  • Product has been around for over 100 years
  • Formula contains 99-percent naturally-derived ingredients
  • Can be used to clean finished wood and other non-wood surfaces

Cons

  • Has to be mixed with water before use

Best Eco-Friendly Hardwood Floor Cleaner: Better Life Floor Cleaner

Bottle Size: 32 ounces Application: Squirt onto floor and mop What It Cleans: Hardwood, tile, bamboo, marble, vinyl, laminate, and other sealed floorings types What It Doesn’t Clean: Unsealed flooring

If you like the idea of naturally cleaning your hardwood floors, then Better Life Floor Cleaner is for you. This cleaner uses 100-percent plant-based cleansers and all ingredients are completely biodegradable. There are also no synthetic fragrances or dyes to worry about, and the floor cleaner is even Leaping Bunny-certified meaning it’s not tested on animals. Easily squirt the cleaner straight from the bottle onto the floor and mop until it’s clean. Better Life Floor Cleaner can be used on not only hardwood flooring, but also tile, bamboo, marble, vinyl, and laminate. And it's also safe for use around both children and pets.

Pros

  • Formula uses 100-percent plant-based cleansers
  • Leaping Bunny-certified
  • Safe around kids and pets

Cons

  • Squirt bottle may be a bit hard to control, causing you to use more cleaning solution than you need

Best Hardwood Floor Cleaner for Those With Allergies: Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Bottle Size: 36 ounces Application: Spray bottle What It Cleans: Unwaxed, unoiled, polyurethane-finished wood floors What It Doesn’t Clean: Waxed or oiled flooring

If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies, you know that not only do you need a cleaner that removes most allergens from your home, but you also want a cleaner with harsh smells that can trigger allergies. The Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner is specially formulated to not only remove about 93 percent of allergens from hard surfaces, but the water-based solution is completely hypoallergenic, free of scents and dyes. Apply the solution through a spray bottle and clean up without leaving any residue on your flooring. The Bona Free & Simple Hardwood Floor Cleaner is also safe for use around pets and is even certified asthma- and allergy-friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Pros

  • Removes 93-percent of allergens when used
  • Completely hypoallergenic formula is certified asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

Cons

  • Bit pricey

Best Multipurpose Hardwood Floor Cleaner: Rejuvenate All Floors Cleaner

Bottle Size: 32 ounces Application: Spray bottle What It Cleans: Hardwood, laminate, tile, vinyl, and linoleum flooring What It Doesn’t Clean:

While many of the hardwood floor cleaning solutions on our best-of list can be used on some other types of flooring, Rejuvenate All Floors Cleaner can literally be used on any type of hard flooring, making it an easy way to clean your entire home if you have lots of different flooring types. Easily applied through a spray bottle, this non-toxic floor cleaner works by neutralizing old wax on hardwood flooring and removing any residue left behind, leaving hardwood floors squeaky clean and streak-free. And the Rejuvenate All Floors Cleaner also effectively cleans laminate, tile, vinyl, and linoleum flooring.

Pros

  • Cleans not only hardwood flooring, but also laminate, tile, vinyl, and linoleum flooring
  • Non-toxic formula
  • Can be used to neutralize old wax and cleaner residue on flooring

Cons

  • Bottle does not specify what flooring types it can’t be used on

Best Hardwood Floor Cleaner for Large Areas: Pledge Gentle Wood Floor Cleaner

Bottle Size: 27 ounces Application: Squirt bottle What It Cleans: Sealed hardwood flooring, wax-free floors, and laminate flooring What It Doesn’t Clean: Furniture or unfinished, unwaxed, oiled, or worn wood floors

If you have a large home with the majority being hardwood flooring, then you will want a cleaner that is not only easy to apply but is also super budget-friendly since you'll be going through a lot of it. Pledge Gentle Wood Floor Cleaner is just that product as it comes ready-to-use in a squirt bottle and at an affordable price point. This hardwood floor cleaner easily removes grime from your flooring and leaves behind shiny, residue-free floors with a light classic lemon scent. The Pledge Gentle Wood Floor Cleaner can be used on sealed hardwood flooring as well as wax-free floors and laminate flooring.

Pros

  • Very budget-friendly
  • Ready-to-use formula
  • Can be used on sealed hardwood flooring, no-wax floors, and laminate flooring

Cons

  • Squirt bottle may be a bit hard to control, causing you to use more cleaning solution than you need

Best Mop for Hardwood Floors: Bona Hardwood Floor Spray Mop

Bottle Size: Comes with 34 ounces of Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Application: Place floor cleaner into the refillable cartridge What It Cleans: All unwaxed, unoiled, polyurethane-finished wood floors What It Doesn’t Clean: Waxed or oiled hardwood floors

If you're looking for the best mop for cleaning your hardwood floors, then you'll want to check out the Bona Hardwood Floor Spray Mop. This spray mop was specially designed for cleaning delicate hardwood flooring and comes with a washable microfiber pad and an extra-large mop head capable of swiveling 360 degrees, making cleaning your hardwood flooring super easy. The mop head also has flexible rubber corners that keep it from damaging baseboards and furniture. And the included Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is easily applied through the Bona Hardwood Floor Spray Mop's sprayer and refillable cartridge.

Pros

  • Specially designed for cleaning delicate hardwood flooring
  • Comes with a washable microfiber pad and an extra-large mop head
  • Cleaning solution easily distributed through the spray mop’s refillable cartridge

Cons

  • Mop can only be used with Bona's Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Best Cordless Stick Vacuum for Hardwood Floors: Dyson Omni-glide Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Bottle Size: N/A Application: Cordless stick vacuum What It Cleans: Hardwood, vinyl, tile, linoleum, bamboo, ceramic tile, engineered woods, and laminate What It Doesn’t Clean: Carpeting

If you prefer picking up dirt on your hardwood flooring with a vacuum before or in between moppings, the Dyson Omni-glide Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is for you. This cordless stick vacuum cleaner has a specially-designed roller cleaner head that uses two soft rollers to pick up all dirt in their path without scratching up your hard flooring. The vacuum features an articulating neck so it can almost lay completely on the ground to reach dirt under low furniture. And the Dyson Omni-glide Cordless Vacuum Cleaner can be used on not only hardwood flooring, but vinyl, tile, linoleum, and many more types of bare flooring.

Pros

  • Specially-designed for use on bare flooring
  • Uses two soft rollers that do not scratch up hard flooring
  • Can be used on hardwood and tons of other bare flooring types

Cons

  • Expensive

Hardwood Floor Cleaning and Care Tips

Here are some general tips on both cleaning and caring for your hardwood floors:

  • Sweep, Dust or Vacuum First — Before mopping with a hardwood floor cleaner, use a dust mop, broom, or vacuum designed for hard flooring to remove any large specs of dirt and grime. While this may seem like extra work, it will make your mopping go faster and more effective. Plus, you won’t chance scratching up your flooring with larger pieces of dirt lodged in a mop head.
  • Use Cleaner Sparingly — Hardwood floor cleaner goes a long way, so be careful with how much you use. If you’re using a pre-mixed solution in a spray or squirt bottle, be careful on the trigger so as to not apply too much cleaner to your floors. And if you’re using a concentrated solution that needs to be mixed with water, follow the directions carefully to get the best mix possible.
  • Keep Flooring Protected — While sweeping, dust mopping, and vacuuming are great ways to keep hardwood floors clean during the week, you should mop them once a week to twice a month with a hardwood floor cleaner to keep them shiny and well-maintained. Keep rugs and doormats in high-traffic areas to help add a bit more protection. And make sure to have your hardwood floors professionally refinished about every four to six years so they continue to look their best for many years to come.


Do you have a hardwood floor cleaner that keeps your flooring looking its best? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Karen Karen on Mar 14, 2022

    What can be used to clean a waxed hardwood floor?

  • M M on Mar 14, 2022

    • Under test factors for wood floors, “Application: How do you apply the leather cleaner — is it a spray? A concentrated liquid you have to dilute before using?”
    • leather cleaner?


Comments
Join the conversation
 1 comment
  • Joan Joan on Mar 14, 2022

    I used Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner on my hardwood floors and after drying, they were somewhat streaky and sticky. I was disappointed in its performance.

    • See 1 previous
    • Lou Lou on Mar 15, 2022

      Hi Joan,

      Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner was a disaster for my floors. I've taken years to try and get the streaky sticky mess off that it created on my beautiful floors. I would NEVER use or recommend Bona!

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