The 8 Best Hardwood Floor Cleaners of 2022

The Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner is our top pick

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Method Wood Floor Cleaner

The Spruce / Sharon Lehman

Properly maintaining your hardwood floors helps them look great and last longer, and it can also buy you time between routine maintenance projects like refinishing. Brett Miller, vice president of technical standards, training, and certification for the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), says that successful maintenance is easily attainable. Sweep or use a dry, soft microfiber dust mop on a daily basis, vacuum (on the bare floor setting, if possible) once a week, and use a professional-quality floor cleaner monthly. “But be sure to use the right cleaning solution, and avoid over-wetting or leaving behind a residue on the floor,” he adds.

We researched and tested dozens of hardwood floor cleaners, judging them on ease of use, effectiveness, and ingredients. Our top pick is the Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner, because it’s easy to use, it performs, and it's made with a plant-based formula.

Here are the best hardwood floor cleaners.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner

4.8
Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner

Walmart

What We Like
  • Plant-derived cleaning agents

  • No rinsing required

  • Cleans basic dirt and grime

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Easy to use too much

  • Cap tends to leak

  • No spray applicator

Who else recommends it? Bob Vila, Reviewed, and This Old House also picked the Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner.

What do buyers say? 88% of 6,300+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

We’ve sung the praises of this floor cleaner for a while now, and we’re still impressed. Better Life’s Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner is our top pick, because it’s great for an everyday clean, and it excels in the face of grease and grime. The product cuts through just about any mess, leaving behind a streak-free clean on all sealed floors—not just hardwood. Use it on tile, bamboo, ceramic tile, laminate, and more. (There’s no need to stock multiple cleaning products for all of the different surfaces in your home.)

The formula is plant-based and doesn't require any dilution. Simply squirt and mop for clean floors without all of the elbow grease that other products require. Thanks to its essential oils, it doesn’t leave a strong scent behind. Instead, you’ll be left with a soft, clean citrus scent that our tester said reminded her of a day at the spa. She was also impressed with how quickly the cleaner dried and left a finish ready to be walked on: “Within minutes of cleaning one portion of the floor, the surface was dry as we began cleaning another. It left a smooth finish without any tackiness, too, which was a pleasant surprise."

Price at time of publishing: $17

Type: Liquid | Dimensions: 8.75 x 3.45 x 3.45 inches | Weight: 4 pounds | Amount: 32 fluid ounces | Scent: Citrus mint

Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner

 The Spruce / Elizabeth Rago

Best Budget: Murphy Oil Soap Concentrated Wood Cleaner

Murphy® Oil Soap Liquid Wood Cleaner - 32oz

Courtesy of Target

What We Like
  • Largely plant-derived

  • Easy to use

  • No rinsing required

What We Don't Like
  • Requires dilution

  • Scent may be too strong for some

When a cleaner has been on the market for over 100 years, you know it’s a good one. Tack on a budget-friendly price, and it’s sure to become one of your go-to products. Murphy Oil Soap is beloved for its price point and its cleaning prowess. The solution is suitable for everyday cleaning, but it can also tackle built-up grime for a deeper clean.

You do have to dilute the concentrate, but it’s simple: just mix with water, and follow package instructions. Then, mop the floor with the solution—no need to rinse it. You’ll leave behind squeaky-clean hardwood floors with an impressive look. As a bonus, the recognizable citronella—while too pungent for some—lends a fresh scent that lingers, making your house smell just as clean as it looks. For maximum mileage, you can also use the classic cleaner to refresh tile, linoleum, vinyl, and other flooring materials.

Price at time of publishing: $11

Type: Liquid | Dimensions: 10.69 x 7.13 x 5.13 inches | Weight: 7.1 pounds | Amount: 32 fluid ounces | Scent: Citronella

Best Mop: Shark VacMop Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop

4.9
What We Like
  • Cordless design

  • Budget-friendly

  • Very quiet operation

What We Don't Like
  • Short battery life

  • Need to buy replacement pads

Experts recommend both vacuuming (to get the crumbs up) and mopping (to really get that deep clean), but you don’t have to stock two tools to get the job done. The Shark VACMOP is a vacuum and spray mop combo that uses powerful suction to pull dirt and debris into its disposable pad. Once it vacuums all the loose debris in its path, you can use the spray cleaning solution from the on-board container to mop on the shine. Our testers say it's just as easy as it sounds. The tool is lightweight and maneuvers well in tight areas (like under a bar cart). It even has a light on the head so you can see those typically dark, hard-to-reach spots, which is great for making sure you get the whole mess up!

A cordless construction allows you to venture wherever you need to, even in a large room. No need to worry about the battery life, either. After an overnight charge, our tester found it strong enough to complete several small tasks or one big deep clean of a townhouse. Do note, though, that you’ll need to purchase refill pads to continue using the VACMOP.

Price at time of publishing: $80

Type: Mop and vacuum combo | Dimensions: 47.87 x 9.5 x 5.3 inches | Weight: 5 pounds | Capacity: 0.1 quarts | Power source: Cordless electric

Best Eco-Friendly: Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray

4.3
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Walmart

What We Like
  • EPA Safer Choice product

  • Doesn’t leave behind any residue

  • Works on glazed or unglazed floors

What We Don't Like
  • Spray isn’t always consistent

Keep sealed hardwood floors in tip-top shape with this pH-balanced cleaner from Bona. Since the formula is water-based, it’s also safe for other types of flooring like porcelain and laminate. But don’t be fooled: it’s just as powerful as concentrates. In fact, with this product in hand, you should only need to do a weekly (or even bi-weekly) clean to keep your floors spotless.

Spritz and wipe, and then watch as the fast-drying formula effortlessly eliminates dirt, dust, and stuck-on grime. Despite the shine, the product won’t leave floors slippery and doesn’t leave behind any residue that can leave floors tacky or looking cloudy and dull. The cleaner is also an EPA Safer Choice product, meaning that it meets certain requirements for being people- and planet-friendly.

Our product tester said that Bona not only cleaned her floors but also improved them: “We were also happy to notice some minor scuffs and surface scratches in our aged hardwoods were less noticeable after cleaning with Bona."

Price at time of publishing: $11

Type: Liquid spray | Dimensions: 50 x 115 x 30 inches | Weight: 1.5 pounds | Amount: 32 fluid ounces | Scent: Unscented

Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner

The Spruce / Sharon Lehman

Best Smelling: Method Squirt + Mop Wood Floor Cleaner

Method Floor Cleaner

Walmart

What We Like
  • Plant-based and biodegradable

  • No rinsing required

  • Wax-free formula

What We Don't Like
  • Squirt bottle is hard to regulate

Method Squirt + Mop Wood Floor Cleaner stands out for its formula. It’s entirely plant-based and biodegradable, and it's wax-free, so it won’t coat floors in a substance that might make it look cleaner in the short-run but actually dull and even damage floors in the long-run. Instead, it cleans with a blend of water, coconut oil, organic solvents, and baking soda. There’s no dilution required, saving precious time. Just squirt it onto your hardwood floors, and mop away to reveal clean, deodorized, shiny planks. There’s no rinsing required. Just note that while it's convenient, the squirt functionality can release unpredictable amounts of cleaner, so you’ll want to go slowly until you get the hang of it.

Once it's dry, you’re not just left with cleaner floors. The sweet almond scent is another huge draw to this cruelty-free cleaner. It’s pleasant enough to notice, but soft enough not to overpower, and it’s a welcome departure from the typical citrus scent you typically find in floor cleaners.

Price at time of publishing: $15

Type: Liquid | Dimensions: 10.25 x 4.36 x 4.36 inches | Weight: 3.04 pounds | Amount: 68 fluid ounces | Scent: Unscented

Best Heavy-Duty: ZEP Commercial Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner

Zep Commercial Hardwood and Laminate 128 fl oz Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Courtesy of Lowe's

What We Like
  • A little goes a long way

  • Subtle fragrance

  • Works with spray mops

What We Don't Like
  • Not ideal in homes with kids or pets

When your whole house has wall-to-wall wood hardwood flooring, you’ll need to stock plenty of cleaner to keep those surfaces clean. A commercial solution, like this one from Zep, is an excellent option. The heavy-duty formula is made for high-traffic industrial spaces, but it works exceptionally well in homes, too. (Just use caution if considering the product for a home with kids and pets, since it’s not quite as gentle as other options.)

If it’s right for you, the professional-grade cleaner will tackle everything from spots and scuffs to set-in stains in a flash. You can use it on hardwood or laminate flooring. Just spray it on (a little goes a long way, so be conservative), mop, and stand back to admire your clean floors in all of their glory. The light citrus scent is a nice touch, too.

Price at time of publishing: $22

Type: Liquid | Dimensions: 12.1 x 6 x 6 inches | Weight: 8.6 pounds | Amount: 128 fluid ounces | Scent: Citrus

Best Vacuum: Eureka NES510 Flash Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner

4.2
eureka-flash-lightweight-stick-vacuum

Amazon

What We Like
  • Quick and easy assembly

  • Floor head features a light

  • Easily swivels around obstacles

What We Don't Like
  • Cord is heavy and bulky

  • Emptying is a multi-step process

You may think of vacuums as tools for carpets, but the right one will make quick work of clearing dust and debris from surfaces like hardwood, too. For the task, our team of testers loved the Eureka Flash Lightweight Stick Vacuum, because it’s a simple but effective choice.

Assembly is easy—our testers gave it 4.5 stars for intuitiveness—and it has impressive maneuverability. While the 30-foot cord is a bit bulky and adds some weight, it’s ultimately a positive feature, since it allows you flexibility to move around large rooms without switching outlets. For even more versatility, the vacuum, which can be used on both wood flooring and carpets, can be used in one of two positions: upright or as a handheld model.

Emptying is a slightly cumbersome, multi-step process, but if you don’t mind sacrificing a little extra work for the payoff, the suction power is very impressive, especially for the price.

Price at time of publishing: $99

Type: Vacuum | Dimensions: 45 x 11 x 7.9 inches | Weight: 7.4 pounds | Capacity: 1 quart | Power source: Corded electric

Best Robot: Ecovacs Deebot T10+ Robot Vacuum and Mop

4.4
EcoVacs Deebot T10 Plus in white

Best Buy

What We Like
  • Scented pods

  • Smart mapping

  • Mop feature worked well

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Long initial charge

  • App could be more user-friendly

Mopping yields gorgeous hardwood floors, but all of that wringing and drying makes it a huge chore, and you don't want to over-wet your floors. Fortunately, the ECOVACS DEEBOT T10+ Robot Vacuum and Mop exists to make the task as breezy as can be. And though our tests show that most robot mops tend to make a bigger mess rather than effectively clean, this hybrid model was an exception. The DEEBOT T10+ cleaned up all of the spills we tested it on, leaving only a little bit of residue behind on its side brushes.

It’s a quality vacuum, too. The DEEBOT carefully maps its route and then shuffles along your floor while doing the hard work for you. During tests, it was very quiet when operating on hardwood—a great bonus if you have kids who nap or pets who spook easily. What’s more, it navigated around furniture very well, so you don’t have to worry about accidental dings and scratches.

The price is high, yes, but it’s easy to use, easy to empty, and overall very effective on both settings. You can even add scented pods. So, if you don’t have the time or the energy to carefully clean and maintain your hardwood floors, this is an excellent autonomous option.

Price at time of publishing: $949

Type: Vacuum and mop combo | Dimensions: 18.9 x 17 x 16.2 inches | Weight: 31.5 pounds | Capacity: Not listed | Power source: Cordless electric

Final Verdict

Our top pick for a hardwood floor cleaner is the Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner. It cleans floors with a plant-based blend and comes in recyclable packaging. There’s no rinsing required. If you're looking to spend less, Murphy Oil Soap is a great value. It’s a hardworking formula, and a little bit goes a long way.

What to Look for in a Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Type

Before purchasing a cleaner, consider how each product is used. For hardwood floors, you can use a variety of products, including mops, vacuums, and liquids. Mops and vacuums help you get debris off of the floor, while liquid cleaners remove any fine specks of dust and restore shine. You’ll likely need more than one type of floor cleaner, such as a vacuum cleaner that works well on hardwood floors, as well as a quality mop and liquid cleaner.

Application Method

Some liquids require dilution. Some require rinsing. If convenience is particularly important to you, consider the cleaner’s application method prior to purchasing. Floor-cleaning concentrate (usually sold in a 1-gallon container) may be economical, but you'll need to use a bucket or a separate container to mix the formula with water. You’ll also need to buy a mop to apply the cleaner to the floor. There are many squirt-and-clean options available that don’t require rinsing or dilution, such as the Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner, which is our top pick. Some will also need a mop or additional supplies, like cloths, to wipe the cleaner off of your floors.

If you opt for a vacuum or a robot mop, like the ECOVACS DEEBOT T10+ Robot Vacuum and Mop, you won’t need to buy additional supplies, but you’ll likely sacrifice cost for convenience.

Ingredients

Though ingredients impact a cleaner’s effectiveness, they also contribute to a product's safety and floor compatibility. For example, you should not use products with bleach on hardwood floors. Instead, Miller says it’s important to use a pH-balanced cleaner. What’s more, homes with young children or pets may prioritize EPA Safer Choice products like Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner. Some floor cleaners are also formulated with heavy fragrances to add a freshly cleaned scent. If you're sensitive to strong smells, consider an unscented floor cleaner or one made from natural fragrances, like essential oils.

FAQ
  • What is the best way to clean and shine hardwood floors?

    To keep wood floors in tip-top shape, use a dry, soft microfiber (or similar) dust mop on wood floors on a daily basis, and supplement with a vacuum on the bare floor setting once a week, or as necessary, says Miller. You don’t need much product—you can get away with using a wood floor cleaner about once per month.

    “Shine is not something you should try to achieve with any wood floor cleaning product, as products that claim to add shine may be damaging to the floor’s finish,” he explains. “If a homeowner thinks their floors have started to look a little dull, they can instead be renewed through a simple maintenance coat—something the NWFA recommends doing every three to five years.”

  • What should you not put on a hardwood floor?

    Though it may seem counterintuitive, avoid products that promise to polish, restore luster, or add shine, says Miller. These solutions leave behind a temporary, non-protective, shiny film that can interfere with any future coats of professional wood floor finish. Keep in mind that wood and water don’t mix. You should never use straight water on wood floors. Applying high volumes of water in any form—liquid or vapor (like from a steam cleaner)—to a wood floor can cause permanent damage to the wood and the finish.

  • Can you use a steam cleaner on hardwood floors?

    Most steam cleaners state that they are safe for sealed hardwood flooring, but Miller cautions against using this type of floor-cleaning device. “Never use a steam mop on any real wood floor,” he says. “Steam is the vapor form of water, which means it can travel deeper and faster into and between the cracks and cells of the wood itself. This can permanently damage the wood and the floor’s finish.”

  • How often should you clean your hardwood floors?

    Routine maintenance for wood flooring is fairly simple. According to Miller, you should sweep with a broom or microfiber mop daily to prevent debris from scratching the floors, use a vacuum (on the bare floor setting) once a week or as necessary, and clean monthly with a professional wood floor-cleaning product.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This roundup was written by Brigitt Earley, a freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience. She has written extensively about cleaning products, including floor cleaners, for various publications. Her home is almost exclusively hardwood, and she has personally tested a whole host of the cleaning products featured on this list. To curate, she leaned on her own experience, reviewed bestseller lists, read hundreds of product reviews, and spoke to Alicia Johnson, a cleaning expert and owner of Cleaning Green LLC. Additional insight was provided by Brett Miller, vice president of technical standards, training, and certification for the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA).

What Is Spruce Approved?

Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure that we fully stand behind every product we recommend and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all of these products ourselves, though occasionally we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut. We also pride ourselves on transparency and will always let you know if we received a product for free.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. The Best Hardwood Floor Cleaners of 2022. Bob Vila. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/best-hardwood-floor-cleaner/

  2. THE BEST HARDWOOD FLOOR CLEANERS OF 2022. Reviewed. https://www.reviewed.com/cleaning/best-right-now/best-hardwood-floor-cleaners

  3. The 5 Best Hardwood Floor Cleaners (2022 Review), This Old House. https://www.thisoldhouse.com/flooring/22691981/best-hardwood-floor-cleaner