Keeping hard floor surfaces looking their best is a matter of consistency. Whether it’s hardwood, vinyl, ceramic, stone, tile, or laminate flooring, manufacturers recommend sweeping and vacuuming several times each week as the primary cleaning method. Doing so removes the dust and grit that can damage the finish and make the floor look unkempt. You can damp mop, using a barely wet microfiber mop, as needed to pick up lightweight particles that tend to scatter while sweeping. Occasionally, however, something stronger than water is necessary to bring back the sparkle and shine.
Although steam mopping can help to cut through built-up dirt and effectively kill germs, excess moisture and high heat can damage some finishes. A good solution might be to use a floor cleaner specially designed for your type of flooring. The best floor cleaners are pH balanced to protect finishes while cutting through built-up dirt, stains, scuff marks, and residue. Ahead, this guide identifies important shopping considerations and reviews some of the best floor cleaners on the market today.
- BEST OVERALL: Rejuvenate All-Floors Cleaner
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Zep Neutral pH Floor Cleaner Concentrate
- BEST NATURAL CLEANER: Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner
- BEST FOR VINYL FLOORS: Quick Shine Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner
- BEST FOR WOOD FLOORS: Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner
- BEST FOR CERAMIC FLOORS: Black Diamond Marble & Tile Floor Cleaner
- BEST FOR STONE FLOORS: Black Diamond Limestone and Travertine Floor Cleaner
- BEST FOR LAMINATE FLOORS: Bruce Hardwood & Laminate Cleaner
Before You Buy a Floor Cleaner
Household floor cleaners are capable of cleaning and polishing flooring, but with so many products on the market today, there are some things to think about before selecting an option. For example, some cleaners currently available are made with synthetic chemicals and ingredients that may not be ideal for those who live near wildlife and waterways or have children and pets. However, there are also many products that are made with water-based, biodegradable, and hypoallergenic ingredients for safety and peace of mind.
When selecting the best floor cleaner for hardwood, laminate, stone, tile, and more, always consider the list of ingredients, the compatible flooring varieties of the product, and any safety concerns listed by the brand.
How We Chose the Best Floor Cleaners
We researched the most sought-after floor cleaners in their respective categories and discovered that the best options are determined by their application type and ease of use, ingredients, compatibility with different flooring types, effectiveness, and other special features included by top brands.
After extensive product research, we included options in our list of top picks that came with spray, liquid, or concentrated formulas that were either ready to use or could be diluted to an individual user’s preference. Plus, many of these floor cleaners were capable of cleaning multiple flooring types or were made to clean specific floors for excellent reliability.
As for safety, we were sure to include a list of products that were made with all-natural, water-based, hypoallergenic, biodegradable, or pH-balanced formulas, making them safe for homes near wildlife or with children and pets. Finally, this list of top picks also includes options that leave behind no residue or streaks, can polish while cleaning, and come in a large enough quantity for larger spaces or multiple floor cleaning projects.
Our Top Picks
Be sure to use the right floor cleaner to keep your floor looking its best. With the shopping considerations in mind, the following are some of the best floor cleaners available to help you decide.
Rejuvenate floor cleaner comes in a nonconcentrated, ready-to-use formula. No bucket is required; simply spray the cleaner directly on the floor and wipe it up with a microfiber mop. The pH-balanced, neutral formula is safe for regular cleaning of hardwood, plus most tile, vinyl, linoleum, and laminate wood flooring. It removes dust and tough dirt, along with chemical residue and old wax buildup, and does not leave a residue. The cleaner comes in a spray bottle that fits into the Rejuvenate Click n Clean Multi-Surface Spray Mop and in a refillable bottle (both sold separately).
- Type: Spray
- Main ingredients: pH-balanced water-based formula
- Compatible flooring types: Hardwood, tile, vinyl, linoleum, and laminate floors
- Ready-to-use formula; can be used in a spray mop, floor cleaning machine, mop and bucket, or with the spray nozzle
- Water-based formula is safe for homes with children and pets
- Suitable for routine cleanings, tough dirt, chemical residue, wax, and stains
- Smaller quantity compared to similar floor cleaners available
Get the Rejuvenate floor cleaner at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Menards (64 ounces).
Zep Neutral pH floor cleaner is a neutral cleaning formula that maintains the floor’s polish without stripping the protective coating. Dilute this 1-gallon concentrate with water to mix up to 128 gallons of ready-to-use product. It has a neutral pH balance and low-foam formula that is suitable for use on vinyl, marble, granite, and stone floors. The no-rinse formula saves time and effort. Do not use on hardwood floors or wood surfaces.
- Type: Concentrate
- Main ingredients: Surfactants and glycol ether
- Compatible flooring types: Vinyl, marble, granite, and stone floors
- Comes with ample quantity; makes up to 128 gallons of cleaner
- Maintains the floor’s natural appearance and adds a protective layer; suitable for homes with heavy foot traffic
- Low-foam formula should leave behind no residue or streaks
- No-rinse formula saves users time and effort while cleaning
- Contains some chemicals; not as eco-friendly as comparable options
- Requires dilution before use; not as user-friendly as comparable options
Get the Zep floor cleaner at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.
Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying floor cleaner is made with 100 percent plant-derived cleaning agents, from corn and coconut, and contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), alkylphenol surfactants, or petroleum products. The pleasant natural mint scent is made with botanical extracts. It safely cleans and restores a bright shine to hardwood, ceramic tile, stone, vinyl, laminate, bamboo, and other sealed flooring. A great choice for daily cleaning, this natural product requires no rinsing and leaves no residue.
- Type: Liquid
- Main ingredients: 100 percent plant-derived cleaning agents
- Compatible flooring types: Hardwoods, ceramic tile, stone, marble, bamboo, vinyl, laminate and other sealed floors
- Comes with an ample amount of cleaner; suitable for multiple uses or large interior spaces
- Contains no VOCs, alkylphenol surfactants, or petroleum products
- Fresh mint scent left behind; made with botanical extracts
- No-rinse formula leaves behind no residue or streaks
- Some users have reported issues with the packaging of the product; may not be very durable
- Does not come with an applicator; must be mixed before use in a spray bottle or bucket
Get the Better Life floor cleaner at Amazon (2-pack) or Better Life.
Vinyl plank flooring can be a difficult flooring type to care for, especially when there is a lot of foot traffic on a daily basis. For those who struggle with keeping their vinyl flooring clean, try out the Quick Shine multisurface floor cleaner. This 64-ounce cleaner is plant-based, dirt dissolving, streak-free, and ready to use right out of the box.
Though it restores the luster and shine of vinyl plank flooring with the help of natural baking soda, this option also works on hardwood, laminate, tile, and stone. Simply apply with the lockable squirt-top bottle and spread with a sponge or use with a mop. Plus, this option is recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safer Choice Program, making it ideal for homes with children and pets and safe for the environment.
- Type: Liquid
- Main ingredients: Plant-based ingredients
- Compatible flooring types: Vinyl plank, hardwood, laminate, tile, and stone
- Comes with a large quantity of cleaner; suitable for larger spaces or multiple cleanings
- Dirt-dissolving, streak-free, and ready-to-use formula; restores the shine and luster of floors
- Can be used with a mop or applied with the lockable squirt-top bottle
- Recognized by the EPA Safer Choice Program; adds reliability and peace of mind
- Some users have reported defective packaging; may not be as durable as comparable options
- May leave some residue behind after use and require a rinse or wipe
Get the Quick Shine floor cleaner at Amazon.
Bona hardwood floor cleaner uses a water-based formula and residue-free cleaning ingredients to keep hardwood floors looking their best. The cleaning solution is safe for people, pets, and the environment. Apply the ready-to-use Bona floor cleaner with a spray bottle before wiping up with a microfiber mop, or load a refillable cartridge into the reservoir of your spray mop. It is safe for unwaxed, unoiled, polyurethane finished wood floors. This 128-ounce bottle can refill spray bottles and mop cartridges.
- Type: Liquid
- Main ingredients: Water-based solvents and surfactants
- Compatible flooring types: All unwaxed, unoiled, polyurethane finished wood floors
- Residue-free cleaning solution; safe for humans, pets, and the environment
- Ready-to-use formula does not require dilution before use; simply apply and wipe with a cloth, spray mop, or regular mop
- Suitable for most wood flooring types
- Large quantity required for larger spaces and multiple cleanings
- Some users have reported inconsistent results after repurchasing
Get the Bona hardwood floor cleaner at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.
Black Diamond Marble & Tile floor cleaner is specially formulated for use on marble, limestone, travertine, granite, slate, ceramic, and porcelain tile. One gallon of this concentrated formula makes up to 64 gallons of cleaning solution; only a few ounces go into each gallon of water when ready to mop. The no-rinse formula leaves a streak-free finish with no residue. It is hypoallergenic, biodegradable, and safe for use around children and pets.
- Type: Concentrate
- Main ingredients: PPG-2 organic solvent and C9-11 surfactant
- Compatible flooring types: Marble, limestone, travertine, granite, slate, ceramic, and porcelain tile
- Suitable for use on any tiled flooring variety; leaves a streak-free finish
- 1 gallon of this concentrate makes 64 gallons of cleaning solution
- Hypoallergenic, biodegradable formula is safe for use in homes with children and pets
- Some users have reported an unpleasant lingering smell after use
Get the Black Diamond marble and tile floor cleaner at Amazon or BDStoneworks.
Black Diamond Limestone and Travertine floor cleaner is specially formulated to clean pH-sensitive stone surfaces like limestone, travertine, marble, slate, and porous stone surfaces. It enhances color to highlight the beauty of natural stone. It also works well on polished concrete. The formula is pH neutral, biodegradable, and safe for use around children and pets. The 1-gallon concentrated formula makes up to 32 gallons of cleaning solution.
- Type: Concentrate
- Main ingredients: Potassium hydroxide, limonene, and citral
- Compatible flooring types: Limestone, travertine, marble, slate, and porous stone surfaces
- Enhances the color and texture of natural stone varieties
- pH neutral biodegradable formula is safe for homes with pets and children
- 1 gallon of concentrate makes up to 32 gallons of cleaning solution
- Some users have reported some residue left behind after use
Get the Black Diamond limestone and travertine cleaner at Amazon or BDStoneworks.
Bruce Hardwood & Laminate floor cleaner lifts dirt from the floor’s surface and leaves no film behind. Apply this ready-to-use formula with a spray bottle or spray mop directly to the surface and wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth or floor scrubber for spot cleaning and everyday, routine cleaning. It requires no rinsing. The product is suitable for wood laminate flooring as well as unwaxed urethane-finished hardwood floors.
- Type: Liquid
- Main ingredients: Isopropanol, butoyethanol, and other surfactants
- Compatible flooring types: Laminate and unwaxed urethane-finished hardwood floors
- Works to lift dirt from the flooring and leaves a streak-free finish
- Can be used with a spray bottle, spray mop, or regular mop
- No rinsing required after use for convenience
- Comes with ample quantity for multiple cleanings or larger spaces
- Some users have reported an unpleasant odor after using
Get the Bruce floor cleaner at Amazon (2-pack), Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.
Or, DIY Your Own Floor Cleaner
Buying a floor cleaner is a viable option for dirty flooring. But, there are also simple ways to make a household floor cleaner with basic ingredients that can be found around the house. Here is Bob Vila’s basic recipe for DIY hardwood floor cleaner:
- Gather 1 teaspoon of pure castile soap, 5 to 10 drops of essential oil (optional), a spray bottle, and a mop.
- Combine the castile soap and the essential oils with 4 cups of water in a spray bottle or mop bucket. Screw on the top and shake well or mix well with a mop.
- Test the mixture with a microfiber cloth on a spot of flooring to ensure the mix provides the desired effect.
- Spritz the mixture all over the floor and wipe with a mop in a back-and-forth motion along the grain of the wood. Tip: Ensure that the flooring is lightly misted with cleaning solution to prevent damage.
For other flooring varieties such as ceramic, vinyl, and even carpeting, there are a few other recipes that can be used.
Floor cleaners are capable of restoring the luster of floors while removing dirt, wax, grime, and stains. While researching for our list of top picks, we were sure to include options that were made with natural and safe ingredients for homes near wildlife or with children and pets. However, we did come across some options like the Swiffer Wet Jet Spray Mop that contained synthetic chemicals and tended to leave streaks and residue behind.
What to Consider When Choosing a Floor Cleaner
When choosing a floor cleaner, match the cleaner to the floor type for best results. Read on to learn more about the different kinds of floor cleaners and how to select the best one for your floors and lifestyle.
Floor and Cleaner Type
Each type of floor covering has unique characteristics that require slightly different treatments. Some cleaner formulations could be used for general household use and different floor types, while others are made for specific surfaces.
- Vinyl floors are easy to clean with any pH-neutral cleaner. Avoid film-forming cleaners, abrasives, and ammonia-based products to protect the finish.
- Wood flooring is susceptible to damage from excess moisture. Finishes are damaged easily by acidic cleaners, scouring cleaners, and solvents. Instead of wet mopping hardwood floors, use a pH-balanced cleaner to spot treat soiled areas or in a spray-and-wipe solution while damp mopping.
- Stone floors are easily damaged by acidic cleaners, lime and scale removers, abrasives, and strong cleaners such as bleach. For everyday cleaning, use a damp cloth and a drop of pH-neutral soap. Only use products that are formulated specifically for natural stone. Use a soft bristle brush to remove crusted soil and soap scum.
- Ceramic tiles and grout are sealed to keep dirt from penetrating the surface, so it’s important to avoid using abrasives that would damage the finish. Clean tile floors with a neutral pH cleaner. Avoid abrasives and acidic cleaners.
- Laminate flooring is often made with wood, so it is important to limit moisture exposure. Avoid wet mopping and steam cleaning. Damp mop with a spray-and-wipe cleaning solution for routine cleaning. Clean up stains and deep clean with a neutral pH cleaner and a microfiber cloth.
Natural vs. Chemical
Conventional chemical-based floor cleaners have been around for generations. They use ingredients like chlorine, ammonia, alcohol, and others to dissolve dirt, disinfect surfaces, and remove odors. Household chemical cleaners are safe when used as directed. However, some users experience eye, nose, or throat irritation from the odors of these chemicals, especially when used in enclosed spaces. Also, a higher exposure level to some of these products is linked to a variety of chronic health problems.
Natural floor cleaners use concentrated forms of recognizable ingredients such as vinegar, citrus oil, baking soda, and essential oils to get the job done. These products can be as effective as chemical cleaners. They generally use less toxic ingredients and show reduced rates of user discomfort, although some ingredients might cause allergic reactions. Care must be taken to choose products that will not damage surfaces due to abrasion or acidity.
The smell of a just-cleaned floor shouldn’t be an irritant. While the smell of bleach may make you reminisce about days at the pool, a less potent aroma might be more desirable in your living space. Some of the more popular cleaner scents include citrus, pine, lavender, or floral. For those with a sensitive nose, fragrance-free cleaners might be the best way to go.
Floor polishes are products that leave a microfilm on the floor. This film serves to rejuvenate worn-looking floors by filling in tiny scratches, dings, and divots in the finish, leaving behind a fresh, smooth, clear coat. Polish is meant to be used infrequently. If used too often, these products cause a buildup on the floor, and might even trap dirt beneath the polish layer.
Daily and weekly cleaning should be done with a vacuum and a damp mop, using a floor cleaner that does not form a film. When the time comes to polish the floors, use floor polish recommended by your flooring manufacturer, following the instructions on the label.
The most effective way to apply floor cleaner for routine maintenance is to lightly apply the product directly to the floor with a squirt or spray bottle, then wipe it up with a damp microfiber mop. Concentrated products should be diluted before application.
For large rooms, dilute the concentrated cleaner in a bucket of water. Dip a mop into the solution and wring it out thoroughly before wiping down the floor. Rinse and redampen the mop frequently with this method and be sure to change dirty water as often as needed.
A new floor cleaner will help keep your place looking great day in and day out. Read on to learn more about buying, storing, and using the best floor cleaner.
Q. Do different floors require different cleaners?
Always check the label on the cleaner and know your floor’s needs. Some cleaner formulas are meant for general-purpose use, while certain floor types and finishes require specific treatments.
Q. Are floor cleaners harmful to people and pets?
Exposure to both chemical and natural cleaning products can cause side effects, including minor irritations, allergic reactions, and chronic illness. Be sure to read warning labels for specific hazards and possible side effects. Floor cleaners should always be stored securely where children and pets will not have access to them.
Q. Why does my floor have streaks after mopping?
Traces of loose dirt left on the floor before mopping or dirty mop water can lead to streaking. Always sweep and vacuum loose dirt from the floor before mopping. Damp mop several times per week to remove fine dust and debris that the broom leaves behind. If cleaning with a mop bucket and a wet mop, change the water whenever it becomes dirty.
Better yet, switch to a spray-on cleaner and microfiber mop. Spray the surface and wipe with the mop. Change the microfiber cover when it becomes visibly dirty.
Why Trust Bob Vila
Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.
Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.