Wood floor cleaner

The Best Hardwood Floor Cleaners of 2023

Our favorite hardwood floor cleaner is the Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner.

Wood floor cleaner

  • Wood Floor Cleaner
  • Wood Floor Cleaner

Wood Floor Cleaner

Our advanced Wood Floor Cleaner formula utilizes naturally derived cleaning ingredients and a touch of vinegar to gently lift away surface dirt without harming the floor’s finish. Safe to use on prefinished hardwood, and laminated, faux, and conventional wood floors.


  • Advanced formula
  • Cleans and shines hardwood and laminated floors
  • Great for cleaning hardwood, laminated, and ‘faux’ finished floors.
  • Spray on grease or dirt to clean and restore the floors natural look.
  • Product is not recommended for use on previously waxed floors.

Please note: Test on an inconspicuous area to ensure satisfactory results. Not recommended for use on previously waxed floors. Remove wax and acrylic build-up before applying this product. Do not mix with other cleaning products.

DIRECTIONS: Spray onto a section of floor and wipe with a mop, cotton toweling, or paper towels. Clean mop or change towels as needed. Spray onto a dust mop or floor dusting sweeper to pick up dust and dirt.

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The Best Hardwood Floor Cleaners of 2023

a dozen bottles of hardwood floor cleaners lined up together

Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases made through the links below may earn us and our publishing partners a commission.

a dozen bottles of hardwood floor cleaners lined up together

Product image of Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner

Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner

Want to clean your floors without worrying about your pet’s safety? Look no further than the Better Life Floor Cleaner. Read More


  • Cleans well
  • Smells good
  • “Pet safe”


Product image of Zep Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner

Zep Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner

For a fragrance-free cleaner that gets the job done right the first time, be sure to check out Zep Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner. Read More



Product image of Orange Glo Everyday Cleaner - Hardwood and Laminate Floor

Orange Glo Everyday Cleaner – Hardwood and Laminate Floor

Orange Glo Everyday cleaner lives up to its name both in its scent and in its brand’s reputation for cleaning hardwood floors. Read More



Product image of Shark VacMop Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner

Shark VacMop Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner

With or without the accompanying Shark VacMop, the Shark Multi-Surface Cleaner is a solid floor cleaner can cut through tough stains. Read More


  • Subtle lemon scent
  • Cleans wel
  • Greenguard Gold certification


Product image of Mrs. Meyer

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Everyday Cleaner

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Concentrate is a cleaning solution that cleans stubborn stains on many different surfaces. Read More



  • Smaller amount of cleaning solution in one spray bottle
  • Bubbly residue

Julia MacDougall

Updated October 17, 2023

Even if you’ve never been sucked into an HGTV house-flipping TV show marathon, you’ve probably noted that homeowners (and renters) are shifting away from whole-room carpeting and toward hardwood floors.

Hardwood floors are easier to clean than pulling out an upright vacuum, but they still need to be regularly maintained, lest some truly awful stains penetrate the sealed coating and damage them irreparably. Any jaunt to your local hardware store will tell you that there are many, many cleaning solutions.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

We tested many floor cleaners to determine which do the best job getting rid of tough stains. Most performed well, even on gross stains that had been sitting on the floor surfaces for days. While our favorite hardwood floor cleaner is the Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner (available at Amazon) , any of the products on this list will give you a clean, streak-free floor with enough elbow grease—the testing was that close.

a person squirts Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner on a floor

Our favorite hardwood floor cleaner is the Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner.

Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner

The Better Life Floor Cleaner is effective, smells good, and comes in a user-friendly squirt bottle. What more could you need?

It struggled a bit removing some of the tough stains from the more textured floor surface (i.e. the vinyl flooring), but so did almost every other cleaner we tested. Better Life easily removed all of the other stains from the other floor surfaces.

Whether you’re just doing some spot treatment or trying to clean the floor in an entire room, the Better Life squeeze bottle allows you to direct the solution exactly where you need it to go, without any extra mess or splashing. Its citrus mint scent is subtle and pleasant, rather than overwhelming and chemical-y, so you won’t mind how it makes your home smell.

Even better, Better Life is rated as “pet safe,” so while neither your kids nor your pets should be drinking or licking this floor cleaner, you don’t have to worry as much as you would with a floor cleaner that has more potent cleaning chemicals.


  • Cleans well
  • Smells good
  • “Pet safe”


a person sprays Zep hardwood floor cleaner on a floor

The Zep Hardwood Floor Cleaner is both affordable and effective.

As one of the most affordable products on our list, Zep Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner is a no-brainer. Zep breezed through most of our cleaning tests with ease. While we did notice that it left teeny tiny red wine stains behind in the grain of the engineered hardwood flooring, this was only the case after the stain had been sitting on the floor surface for days. As long as you use Zep to clean up dark stains before they set in, keeping your floors looking shiny and new won’t be a problem.

The 32-oz version comes in a nice spray bottle that is easy to wield and store. We didn’t notice any particular smell while using it, so if you have people in your home who are sensitive to fragrances or certain scents, Zep may be the best floor cleaning option for you.



How We Tested Hardwood Floor Cleaners

A woman applies stains to hardwood floor surfaces for testing purposes.

I got to make a mess out of the hardwood floor testing surfaces.

The Tester

Hi there, my name is Julia MacDougall, and I’m the Senior Scientist here at Reviewed. In addition to overseeing our testing labs in Cambridge, Mass., I also get to test a ton of cool products. I know way more than I ever thought I would about air purifiers, water filter pitchers, coding toys for kids, fire extinguishers, and slime.

While I wasn’t really keen on scrubbing floors, I did so for science and in the end, it wasn’t so bad. Plus, getting the floors intentionally dirty was pretty cool. (Oh, right, like you’ve never wanted to smear chocolate sauce on something and get away scot-free with no consequences.)

The Tests

different types of hardwood floor panels lined up with stains on them, ready to be tested

We needed a place were people wouldn’t be bugged by the strong scent of fox urine, so we tested hardwood floor cleaners in our creepy basement.

As you might guess, the bulk of the testing for these hardwood floor cleaners centered around actually removing stains from hardwood floor surfaces.

Two bottles and four bowls full of our testing stains, from chocolate to tomato sauce

The stains used in our hardwood floor testing. Clockwise from left: fox urine, milk, red wine, chocolate sauce, dirt, and tomato sauce.

As such, I applied six representative stains (chocolate sauce, tomato sauce, dirt, milk, fox urine, and red wine) to three “hardwood” floor surfaces (engineered hardwood, laminate hardwood, and vinyl flooring that looks like hardwood). I wanted to get a good mix of the different types of stains that might land on your floors due to kids, pets, or just normal usage. The fox urine stain was particularly, uh, potent, but fortunately, all of the floor cleaners we tested removed not only the stain itself, but also the accompanying smell. (Trust me, I would have noticed if this wasn’t the case.)

Samples of the three floor types and six stain types used in our hardwood floor cleaner testing.

Samples of the stains and floor types used in our hardwood floor cleaner testing. The six stains are tomato sauce (TS), chocolate sauce (CS), fox urine (U), dirt (D), milk (M), and red wine (RW).

After letting the stains set in for multiple days, I set to work scrubbing the sections of flooring with paper towels and the various cleaning solutions we wanted to test.

During testing, I favored paper towels over the more traditional wet mop because these stains were tough, set-in stains; in this scenario, it’s much more likely that you’d have to get down on the floor and scrub the stain out, since a few passes with a wet mop would most likely not get the job done.

In addition to assessing stain removal, I also scored the hardwood floor cleaners on their drying speed, residue left behind, scents, ease of use, and other subjective factors.

What You Should Know About Hardwood Floor Cleaners

What are the different types of hard floor surfaces?

Hardwood: The OG. Hardwood floors are made with real wooden planks (of many different types of wood) and sealed manually, once installed, with one or more coats of polyurethane or another type of sealant.

Engineered Hardwood: A thin layer of hardwood superimposed on one or more layers of plywood. These boards have been pre-finished, so they do not require the coating and sealing of more traditional hardwood floors.

Laminate: A man-made material that is a composition of multiple material layers, where the strongest and most reinforced layer is the top layer. Laminate flooring comes in many styles, but the most common ones attempt to reproduce the look of stone and wood.

Tile: Ceramic tiles secured in place with grout. This surface is more common in rooms that need to be more resistant to water, such as a bathroom or a laundry room. We did not test the products on our list on tile, but in most cases, you can use these cleaning solutions to clean the tile in your home (as long as it is rated for “sealed surfaces”).

How do I clean a hardwood floor?

Woman cleaning the wood floors in her home.

Less is more when it comes to cleaning your hardwood floors with water.

Make sure that your hardwood floor surface is sealed and protected before you do anything. In general, we recommend that this is a task best left to professionals (ditto for re-finishing and re-sealing). Coating and sealing not only helps to prevent stains from penetrating the wood, but it also protects your floor against other types of physical damage (e.g. furniture scratches).

When picking a cleaning solution, it’s a good idea to check the ingredients listed on each product. Professionals recommend staying away from solutions with oils, soaps, or ammonia, which can leave your floors looking less than pristine.

While most products indicate that they can be used on sealed surfaces, be sure that the label explicitly mentions that it can be used on hardwood floors before jumping into the cleaning process. In order to avoid worries about chemically damaging their floors, some folks prefer DIY hardwood floor cleaning recipes that consist of ingredients you can find in your pantry.

Once it’s time to get down to cleaning, most experts suggest removing any physical objects or solids (e.g. LEGOs or food crumbs) from the floor surface using a broom, a dry mop, a vacuum cleaner, or a soft microfiber cloth. Then, follow the directions on the cleaning product. Usually, these directions are some variation on “apply, rinse, and mop until clean and/or dry.”

For cleaning sprays, you may have to apply more to get the kind of cleaning power you require, but sprays typically dry faster and require less mopping. Conversely, with liquid cleaners (such as the classic PineSol), a little bit goes a long way, but you’ll have to expend more effort mopping up at the end to reduce the likelihood of leaving any residue behind.

When it comes to removing tough stains from hardwood, it’s best to remove the stains as quickly as possible. If you find yourself facing set-in stains, though, we recommend using the cleaning solution and a paper towel, a sponge, or a damp microfiber cloth to get rid of the mess. While scrub brushes may prove more effective at mechanical stain removal, there’s also a non-zero chance that they may scratch the finish on your floors.

While most professionals recommend using a water-based cleaner for your hardwood floors, it’s still good to keep in mind that less is more when it comes to mixing water and hardwood (particularly while mopping). Leaving large quantities of water on the floor for extended periods of time increases the likelihood of water getting between or inside the planks and warping your floor.

How often should you clean your hardwood floors?

While no one likes cleaning or washing their hardwood floors, this is one of those chores that is best done on a semi-regular basis to prevent the headache that comes with having to try to do it in the hours before your relatives descend upon you for a big holiday meal. The Home Depot’s guide to hardwood floors recommends dust mopping or sweeping hardwood floors weekly, mopping clean high traffic areas every 1-2 weeks, and using your hardwood floor cleaner to clean your floors once or twice a month.

Do hardwood floor cleaning solutions work on other types of hard floor surfaces?

Some hardwood floor cleaners specify that they are only to be used on hardwood floors. However, the directions in most hardwood floor cleaners indicate that they can be used on “sealed surfaces,” which includes sealed hardwood, engineered hardwood, laminate, and vinyl.

For other floor types, such as stone, tile, and bamboo, it is best to check the directions on the cleaning spray itself or on the manufacturer’s website to see if that cleaning solution is appropriate for your floor surface.

To be extra cautious, apply a bit of the cleaning solution onto an obscured section of the floor (e.g. under a piece of furniture, or in the corner of the room) to ensure that it won’t stain or otherwise affect the floor.

Are floor cleaning solutions dangerous for kids and pets?

Dog rolling on wooden floor near a fireplace

If you’re concerned about your pets or kids ingesting floor cleaning chemicals, it might make sense to choose a quick-drying hardwood floor cleaner that comes in a spray bottle.

Many cleaning solutions contain ingredients that are poisonous. If anyone or any pet in your household has ingested cleaning chemicals, call 911 or your regional Poison Control center immediately.

It can be difficult to protect kids and pets against floor cleaning products because in addition to the danger of them accidentally being ingested, these products can linger on floor surfaces. While no floor cleaning product is ever 100% safe for kids and pets, certain cleaning solutions are billed as “pet safe,” which indicates that the number and/or amount of the toxic ingredients are much lower than they are in typical cleaners.

In general, if you’re concerned about floor cleaning solutions being ingested or licked by children and pets, we recommend using a cleaning solution that comes in a spray form, as these products tend to dry faster.

If you have more serious concerns about the ingredients in floor cleaning solutions, we recommend checking the EPA’s Safer Choice products database for household products (not just cleaners) that have to meet certain standards in terms of their ingredients, packaging, and performance.

Other Hardwood Floor Cleaners We Tested

Product image of Orange Glo Everyday Cleaner - Hardwood and Laminate Floor

Orange Glo Everyday Cleaner – Hardwood and Laminate Floor

Orange Glo is another classic hardwood floor cleaner brand. While the Orange Glo 4-in-1 Monthly Hardwood Floor Polish is perhaps the brand’s best-known product, the Orange Glo Everyday Cleaner, which is the product we actually tested, is nothing to sneeze at.

It left behind a bit of red wine and chocolate sauce on the engineered hardwood floor, but the Orange Glo Everyday Cleaner made the task of cleaning up tough stains relatively easy.

Its expected orange scent is pleasant without being overpowering. However, due to the presence of bubbles in the sprayed cleaning solution, you’ll need to be a bit more scrupulous when it comes to mopping it away.