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9 Best Wood Floor Cleaners to Buy in 2022, According to Cleaning Experts

Scuffs and sticky residue are no match for these wood floor cleaners.

best wood floor cleaners
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We updated this article in April 2022 to add more information about how we test and about each featured product based on extensive testing and categorical expertise by the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab. We removed products that are no longer available. Our top-tested picks remain the same.


Wood floors may look fragile and hard to care for, but nothing could be further from the truth. A well-maintained one can pretty much withstand the abuse of pets, kids, spills and tracked-in dirt. In fact, hardwood floors are pretty easy to clean. Regular vacuuming is the best thing you can do because it removes the fine, gritty, abrasive dust that can scratch the finish. Next, use products that both clean and protect the finish so it continues to resist wear and tear. Choosing the right product to suit your needs can help 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 to find the best cleaning products, including wood floor cleaners. When we test these cleaners, we evaluate how well they remove a sticky, dried-on gelatin mixture we precisely paint onto hardwood planks, how quickly and completely they remove scuff marks, ease of application and drying time. We’ve found that the best cleaners are those specifically formulated for use on hard, surface-finished or polyurethane-treated floors. These cleaners have 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 the best wood floor cleaners, plus two vacuum cleaners specifically designed for wood floors.

Our top picks:

Best Overall Wood Floor Cleaner
Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray Bona Read More
Best Value Wood Floor Cleaner
Oil Soap Original Wood Cleaner Murphy Read More
Best Wood and Laminate Floor Cleaner
Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner Black Diamond Read More
Best Disposable Mop with Cleaner for Wood Floors
WetJet Wood Starter Kit Swiffer Read More
Best Hardwood Floor Cleaner for Deep Cleaning
PowerPlus Hardwood Floor Deep Cleaner Spray Bona Read More
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      Best Overall Wood Floor Cleaner
      Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray
      Bona
      Bona
      Now 20% off

      • Removes sticky residue quickly
      • Removes shoe marks quickly

      Bona began as (and still is) a professional wood floor refinishing company, so it's no surprise Bona's Hardwood Floor Cleaner cut through sticky soil and erased shoe marks faster than all the other products we tested. Use the spray with Bona’s own cleaning pad, any plain microfiber pad mop or buy it in a pre-filled cartridge that snaps onto the Bona Spray Mop to get the job done even faster.

      Best Value Wood Floor Cleaner
      Oil Soap Original Wood Cleaner
      Murphy
      Murphy

      • Erases scuff marks
      • Removes sticky residue

      • Requires diluting

      Murphy’s Oil Soap is one of the lowest-priced 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 tests, this wood floor cleaner did a great job erasing scuff marks with just a few passes. It also was impressive in removing sticky soil, though it did take a little more scrubbing to completely remove residue.

      Best Wood and Laminate Floor Cleaner
      Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner
      Black Diamond
      Black Diamond

      • Removes scuff marks
      • Easy to spray for spot cleaning

      The trigger style of Black Diamond's Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner made it easy to apply, and its clear directions made it one of our top-scoring products for ease of use. Plus, 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 scuff marks — it only a few passes to remove them in our tests.

      Best Disposable Mop with Cleaner for Wood Floors
      WetJet Wood Starter Kit
      Swiffer
      Swiffer

      • Disposable pads for easy cleanup
      • Easy to navigate under furniture

      • Need to buy pad refills

      The Good Housekeeping Seal-holder Swiffer WetJet dispenses cleaner onto the floor through a battery-operated mop and uses textured pads with a scrubby strip to attack dirt and grime. In our tests, it received a perfect score for how easy it was to dispense product onto our hardwood floor test panels. Even better: The pads are disposable, which eliminates the need to store a dirty, germy mop. Lights on the mop head make it easy to navigate under furniture, too.

      Best Hardwood Floor Cleaner for Deep Cleaning
      PowerPlus Hardwood Floor Deep Cleaner Spray
      Bona
      Bona
      Now 11% off

      • EPA Safer Choice certified
      • Leaves no residue behind

      • Not for use on waxed or oiled wood floors

      Another impressive product from our Lab tests' best performing hardwood floor cleaner brand, Bona's Powerplus Deep Cleaner Spray wowed the Cleaning Lab experts: "When I tested it in my home last year, my wood floors were so clean and shiny after using it that they looked like they had been refinished!" This deep cleaner performed so well during testing by our experts and consumer testers that it earned an award in Good Housekeeping's 2021 Cleaning Awards.

      Certified by the EPA's Safer Choice program, its ingredients won't harm you or the environment. Its oxygenated, fast-drying formula penetrates grime and heavy build-up on hardwood floors. Plus, it comes in a convenient spray bottle that requires no extra diluting step and can be used on all polyurethane finished wood floors. When it's time to re-purchase, you can buy this formula in a 128 oz. size to refill the spray bottle and reduce your plastic waste.

      Best Concentrated Wood Floor Cleaner
      Hardwood Concentrated Floor Cleaner
      Libman
      Libman

      • Dissolves scuff marks
      • Removes sticky residue

      • Requires diluting

      This Libman hardwood floor cleaning formula is made to be mixed with water for use either in your own bucket or with Libman’s Freedom Dispensing Microfiber Mop. It did a very good job quickly dissolving our sticky soil and scuff marks, and because it can be diluted, a little goes a long way. The bottle top has a handle for easy carrying and a built-in cup for mess-free measuring. Simply squeeze the bottle to fill the measuring cap with the recommended dose of cleaner, and pour it directly into a bucket or the Freedom Mop canister. One little bottle makes four gallons of cleaner, and this innovative package prevents spills and eliminates the need for a separate measuring cup.

      Best Microfiber Mop with Cleaner for Wood Floors
      Hardwood Floor Premium Spray Mop
      Bona
      Bona

      • Large cleaning head to clean faster
      • Reusable microfiber pad
      • Refillable cleaner cartridge

      This easy-to-use spray mop has an oversized head, so it covers more ground quickly (You’ll finish faster!) and cleans floors with a washable, reusable microfiber pad. The onboard cleaner cartridge is refillable for less waste and the mop dispenses a wide, fine spray evenly onto the floor. The long rectangular head maneuvers easily into narrow spaces, and the corners on each side are soft and flexible, so they flip up when you go along walls and baseboards to catch every speck. Bona offers deep-cleaning and even dusting pads that can also be used with this mop.

      Best Stick Vacuum Cleaner for Wood Floors
      Omni-glide Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
      Dyson
      Dyson

      • Moves in any direction
      • Soft rollers do not scratch floor

      Our Home Appliances and Cleaning Products Lab Executive Director tested this Dyson stick vacuum at home and says, "It's amazing for wood floors! It has soft, fluffy rollers, goes in any direction and is just the perfect size for stair treads, the edges of the room and around area rugs." The soft rollers pick up large debris and fine particles with ease, all without scratching the wood floor. Plus, it's lightweight and rechargeable.

      Best Vacuum Cleaner for Wood Floors
      Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team Bagged Canister Vacuum, Obsidian Black
      Miele
      Miele

      • Great for hardwood floor and carpets
      • Six suction power options

      • Pricey

      While we haven't tested this model, we've tested other vacuums from Miele with the same attachments and features and found that they perform well. In fact, a similar model we tested was our experts' pick for the best overall canister vacuum! Miele models are consistently at the top of our lists for their ease of use, smooth gliding across floors and their performance in cleaning up all kinds of debris.

      This canister vacuum can clean all types of hard floors, plus low and medium-pile carpets. The brush roll controls are easily located on the handle so you don't have to stop cleaning to reach down to the main body of the vacuum. It has a three-filter system to make sure that all of the dust cleaned from your floors isn't just redeposited into the air (and eventually back on the floor).

      Why trust Good Housekeeping?
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      Carolyn Forte, the Good Housekeeping Institute's Home Care and Cleaning Lab Executive Director, has a B.A. in Family & Consumer Sciences from Queens College, City University of New York, and is a consumer products expert. She has been testing, speaking and writing about appliances, textiles, cleaning products and more at Good Housekeeping for more than 40 years.

      Jodhaira Rodriguez joined the Good Housekeeping Institute in 2021. She tests and writes about home appliances, cleaning products and tips on cleaning. She holds a B.S. in forensic science from Hofstra University and previously worked in an environmental lab where she sharpened the analytical skills she applies in her testing of vacuums, dishwashers, detergents and more.

      How we test wood floor cleaners
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      In the Good Housekeeping Cleaning Lab we’re continuously testing floor cleaning essentials like vacuum cleaners, mops, robot vacuums and steam mops. During our experts' initial test, we tested twenty-four wood floor cleaners exactly the same way, cleaning 216 stains and scuff marks from wood flooring panels. We tested how well each product cleaned after an equal amount of passes and how many passes had to be made with each product to completely remove scuff marks and stains. In addition to performance tests, we also analyzed ease of application. All product labels were reviewed for proper safety and precautionary notices. Since then, we have continued to test new wood floor cleaning products as they become available, updating this story with the latest and greatest wood floor cleaners.

      The two vacuum cleaners on this list are models we tested or from brands that we've tested before and performed well in our ongoing tests, which we test on different flooring panels using our custom-built, automated machine.

      What to look for when shopping for the best wood floor cleaner
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      ✔️ Product Type: Hardwood floor cleaners come in various different forms like sprays, creams, concentrated liquids and spray mops, not to mention all the different kinds of vacuums to choose from for picking up dust and debris, like canister vacuums, stick vacuums and robot vacuums to name a few. During our tests in the Cleaning Lab, our experts found that all of the wood floor cleaners we tested were able to remove at least some stains and scuffs regardless of how they are dispensed. For the easiest products to use, spray bottles and spray mops are the best choice because they can be sprayed directly on hardwood floors and require no diluting, plus they topped our tests in performance and ease of use.

      ✔️ Additional Uses: Some wood floor cleaners also double as wood furniture cleaners, like best value pick, Murphy Oil Soap, making it perfect for homes with lots of wood furniture and hardwood floors. You'll likely clean most (or all) of your home's rooms with these hardwood floor cleaners, so choosing a product with a fragrance you enjoy enough to smell all throughout your home is also something to look out for.

      What is the best thing to use to clean and care for hardwood floors?
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      The best way to give your wood floors some TLC is to leave your shoes at the door, vacuum regularly to remove abrasive dirt and dust (with a straight suction vacuum or with the rotating brush turned off to prevent scratching), clean up spills promptly and keep your pets' nails trimmed.

      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’ve just cleaned dries promptly before moving on to the next section, as too much moisture sitting on wood for too long can be damaging. For quick touch-ups, clean in the direction of the wood planks. For deeper cleaning, clean both with and across the planks to nab dirt trapped in the crevices. Only damp-clean floors when they need it, depending on how much traffic they get. There’s no need to over-wash them; in fact, doing so can do more harm than good.

      What should you not use on a wood floor?
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      You may have read that wood floors should only be cleaned with vinegar — we don’t recommend it. Vinegar cleans on the surface, but it's acidic and can dull the finish over time. Steam mops should also never be used on hardwood floors, even sealed ones. Excessive water and humidity cause water to penetrate the finish of the wood and warp hardwood flooring. Solid wood flooring is more easily affected by factors like humidity, water and extreme temperature changes. Abrasive cleaners, waxes, oils, furniture sprays and products containing ammonia should also be avoided to prevent damage to the seal of hardwood floors.

      Why trust Good Housekeeping?
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      Carolyn Forte, the Good Housekeeping Institute's Home Care and Cleaning Lab Executive Director, has a B.A. in Family & Consumer Sciences from Queens College, City University of New York, and is a consumer products expert. She has been testing, speaking and writing about appliances, textiles, cleaning products and more at Good Housekeeping for more than 40 years.

      Jodhaira Rodriguez, Home Appliances & Cleaning Products Reviews Analyst, joined the Good Housekeeping Institute in 2021. She tests and writes about home appliances, cleaning products and tips on cleaning. She holds a B.S. in forensic science from Hofstra University and previously worked in an environmental lab.

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