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The best Floor Cleaners for High-Traffic Homes

floor cleaner

Dirty Floors? The Frustrating Reality

There’s nothing worse than looking around your beautiful home and seeing dirty floors marring the picture. Whether it’s tracked-in dirt, sticky spills, or just general dust and grime, dirty floors have a way of making a space feel less inviting. But fear not, with the right floor cleaner and cleaning techniques, you can get your floors sparkling clean in no time!

Types of Floor Cleaners: Your Cleaning Arsenal

Not all floors are created equal, and neither are floor cleaners. Using the wrong product can damage your floors or leave them looking worse than when you started. Here’s a look at the most common types of cleaners:

  • All-Purpose Cleaners:Versatile options for basic cleaning on various hard flooring types.
  • Specialized Cleaners:Formulated for specific surfaces like hardwood, tile, laminate, or natural stone, guaranteeing optimal results.
  • Commercial Cleaners:Offer heavy-duty cleaning power for very dirty floors or large areas.
  • DIY Cleaners:Made with natural ingredients like vinegar and baking soda, providing a cost-effective, eco-friendly alternative.

Floor Types & Cleaners

Hardwood Floors: Protecting the Beauty

Hardwood floors bring warmth and timeless elegance to a home. Here’s how to keep them at their best:

  • Best Hardwood Cleaners:Opt for cleaners specifically labeled for hardwood like Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill or Zep Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner. These gentle formulas protect the finish and promote shine.
  • How to Clean Hardwood Floors Safely:Always sweep or vacuum before mopping to remove loose debris. Dilute the cleaner according to instructions and use a damp (not soaking wet) mop to avoid excess water.

Laminate Floors: Durable & Low-Maintenance

Laminate is affordable and easy to care for, making it popular in busy households.

  • Laminate Floor Cleaners for Streak-Free Shine:Similar to hardwood floors, choose products designed for laminate to protect its finish. Zep and Long Life 1L Timber Floor Cleaner are good options.

Tile & Grout: Battling Grime in the Gaps

Tile is durable, but the grout lines are dirt magnets. To keep tile and grout clean:

  • Grout Cleaning Solutions:Look for cleaners made for both tile and grout. Zep offers an effective choice. If you have stubborn stains, dedicated grout cleaners might be necessary.

Vinyl Floors: Affordable & Versatile

Vinyl offers a budget-friendly way to achieve a variety of looks. A cleaner like Pledge Expert Care 1 Litre can handle everyday cleaning tasks on vinyl.

Natural Stone: Restoring the Elegance

Stone floors need specialized care. Cleaners formulated for specific stone types (marble, granite, etc.) are a must, as harsh cleaners can etch the surface.

Choosing the Right Wood Cleaner

Ingredients Matter: What to Look For (and Avoid)

Read the labels! Opt for PH-balanced products, especially for wood and natural stone. Avoid ammonia, bleach, or harsh chemicals that could damage your floors. For a safer cleaning experience, look for options with plant-derived ingredients or those that are EPA Safer Choice certified, like the Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill.

Your Floor Type is Key

This can’t be overstated! Using the wrong cleaner is a recipe for damage. Always match the cleaner to your specific flooring type.

Reputable Brands


Bona, Zep, Murphy Oil Original, and other well-known brands offer reliable cleaning products often backed by extensive testing.

Spotlight on Brands When selecting floor cleaners, it pays to choose reputable brands known for quality products and a focus on floor care. Here are a few of the most popular and trusted options:

The Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill is a convenient and eco-conscious way to refill your Bona spray bottles or mop cartridges. This residue-free cleaner safely and effectively removes dust, dirt, and grime from unwaxed, unoiled, polyurethane-finished hardwood floors. The formula is water-based, biodegradable, and lacks harsh chemicals, making it a safer choice for your home and the environment.

Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Refill

Bona Wood floor claner

Features Table






A trusted name in hardwood floor care





128 Fluid Ounces

Large, economical refill


Unwaxed, unoiled, polyurethane-finished hardwood floors

Specifically designed for hardwood protection


Compatible with Bona spray bottles and mop cartridges

Easy integration with existing Bona system

Spray Mop Compatible


Convenient for cleaning with spray mops


No buildup or streaks

Leaves floors clean and shiny

Fast Drying

Quick and hassle-free cleaning


Water-Based & Biodegradable

Gentler on floors and the environment


Safer Ingredients

No harsh chemicals like formaldehyde, ammonia, etc, USDA-certified Biobased, EPA Safer Choice

Safer for homes with children and pets

Plant-Derived Ingredients

Eco-friendly formulation


Plastic Reduction

Refills reduce plastic waste

Environmentally conscious choice

Key Takeaways:

  • Safe for Hardwood:Specifically formulated to protect hardwood floors.
  • Eco-Friendly:Plant-derived, biodegradable formula that’s Safer Choice certified.
  • Convenient:Refill design saves money and fits seamlessly into the Bona cleaning system.

Zep floor cleaner

Zep netural PH Industrial Floor Cleaner

Features Table






Known for cleaning products


Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner

Versatile for different surfaces


Varnish, acrylic, & polyurethane-finished wood & laminate



1 Gallon






Ready-to-use, spray & mop

Easy to use

Spray Mop Compatible



Other Features

Fresh scent



Long Life Product Details

Long Life Floor Cleaner

Features Table





Long Life

Focuses on timber floor cleaning


Timber Floor Cleaner



Sealed timber, sealed cork, other sealed timber surfaces






$11.99 (verify)


Other Features

Superior shine, no residue




Pledge Expert Care Wood Cleaner

Pledge Expert Care Wood Cleaner

Pledge Expert Care Wood Cleaner is a gentle cleaner designed for sealed wood and wood laminate floors. It promises to clean effectively without leaving behind a sticky residue. Importantly, this cleaner should not be used on furniture, unfinished, worn, waxed, or oiled wood surfaces.

Features Table

BrandPledgeWell-known household cleaning brand
Size1 Litre 
Price$4.94Costs may vary
SurfacesSealed wood floors and wood laminateDesigned for specific floor types
UsageDilute 2 capfuls in 5 Litres warm water. Apply with sponge, cloth, or mop. No rinsing needed. Test on a small area first.Provides clear instructions
FeaturesGentle, removes dirt, no dull residueLeaves floors clean and residue-free
ScentUnspecified (likely a fresh, clean scent)Many cleaning products have a pleasant fragrance

Important Notes

  • Prices Fluctuate: Costs listed are approximate.
  • Scent: While unspecified, cleaning products like this often have a fresh or clean fragrance.
  • Always Test First: Test on a small, inconspicuous area before applying to the entire floor.


Application Tips

  • The Right Tools for the Job:Microfiber mops excel at dirt pickup. Specialized tools can help with grout or hard-to-reach areas.
  • Pre-Cleaning Prep:Always remove loose dirt by sweeping or vacuuming to prevent scratches.
  • Manufacturer’s Instructions: Your Cleaning Guide:Every floor cleaner is slightly different, so follow the directions on the label for the best results.

Beyond the Basics

  • DIY Floor Cleaners: Eco-Friendly OptionsSimple vinegar and water solutions can be surprisingly effective, especially for basic maintenance.
  • Stubborn Stains: Targeted SolutionsKnow your stain culprits and have appropriate cleaners on hand (e.g., enzymatic cleaners for pet stains).


Q: Can I use a hardwood floor cleaner on laminate floors?

A: It depends. Check the product label for compatibility and always test on a small area first.

Q: How often should I deep-clean my floors?

A: Deep cleaning frequency varies by household traffic. Aim for a thorough clean every 1-3 months.

Q: Are DIY floor cleaners effective?

A: Simple vinegar-water solutions work for light cleaning, but lack the power of specialized cleaners for tough stains.

Q: My floors look dull after cleaning. Why?

A: This could be caused by using too much cleaner, the wrong type of cleaner, or a dirty mop.


Choosing the right floor cleaner and following proper cleaning practices are essential for maintaining beautiful, long-lasting floors. Always read product labels, start with gentle cleaning methods, and address spills promptly to prevent damage. If you have any doubts, consult the flooring manufacturer’s recommendations for the best care practices.


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