Hardwood floors are a timeless element of home design, exuding elegance and warmth in any setting. Whether your home boasts solid hardwood, prefinished planks, or engineered hardwood, maintaining the luster and integrity of these surfaces is paramount. The key to longevity and aesthetic appeal lies in the regular and proper cleaning of hardwood floors. But not all cleaners are created equal. This article delves into the essentials of hardwood care, highlighting the best cleaners on the market, their characteristics, and the pitfalls of using substandard products.

Understanding Hardwood Floors and the Importance of Cleaning

Hardwood floors, whether solid, prefinished, or engineered, are all coated with a finish that protects the wood and adds shine. The primary rule of thumb for hardwood care is consistent cleaning. Debris, when left unattended, can scratch and dull the surface, accelerating wear and tear. Clean floors not only last longer but also maintain their beauty, enhancing the overall ambiance of your home.

Characteristics of an Effective Hardwood Floor Cleaner

pH-Neutral Formula

The ideal hardwood floor cleaner should be pH-neutral. Products with high or low pH levels can damage the protective film finish of hardwood floors, leading to dullness and deterioration over time.

No Additives

Additives, though they might promise ease of use or extra shine, often do more harm than good. They can lead to build-up, making floors sticky and dull. A good cleaner should be easy to mop without leaving any residue.


Acrylic components in floor cleaners can create a layer that, over time, may flake off or create an uneven sheen, detracting from the floor’s natural beauty. The best cleaners avoid these components, ensuring the floor remains pristine and true to its natural finish.

Top Hardwood Floor Cleaners on the Market


Glitsa stands out for its pH-neutral formula devoid of any harmful additives. This cleaner is compatible with all types of finishes, rejuvenating floors to look as good as new. It’s the go-to for those seeking a thorough clean without the risk of damaging their floors.


Squeaky is the industry standard for hardwood floor cleaners, boasting a long history of excellence. Its pH-neutral formula ensures no damage to the floor’s finish, while its effective cleaning properties leave a pleasant smell without any residue. Squeaky is versatile enough to be used on mirrors, highlighting its streak-free quality.


Arboritec offers a cleaner called clean n’ coat that not only leaves floors spotless and residue-free but also boasts anti-microbial properties. This makes it an excellent choice for homes looking to maintain cleanliness and hygiene.


Bona cleaner is one of the most used cleaners and it is decent. However, it does leave behind a slight residue.

The Risks of Using the Wrong Cleaner

Subpar cleaners can cause a myriad of issues for hardwood floors:

  • Additives: Meant to ease the cleaning process, they often lead to a build-up that can attract more dirt and dull the floor’s finish.
  • Acrylic: This component can create a superficial layer that eventually peels or chips off, leading to uneven sheen and an unattractive appearance.
  • Sheen Problems: Once the sheen is compromised by poor-quality cleaners, restoring the floor’s original luster can be challenging, if not impossible.
  • Need a Hardwood Floor Refinish: If the issue is from a cleaner or polish that is bad, you might need a hardwood floor refinish to fix the issue.

Right Way To Clean a Hardwood Floor

We suggest looking at this article “How to Clean LVP & Hardwood Flooring” in our knowledge base. This article has all the info to correctly clean a hardwood floor for the best results.


Choosing the right cleaner for your hardwood floors is crucial for maintaining their beauty and longevity. By selecting a pH-neutral, additive-free, and acrylic-free product like Glitsa, Squeaky, or Arboritec, you can ensure your floors remain in pristine condition. Avoiding cleaners with harmful components will not only preserve the finish and sheen of your hardwood but also prevent the need for costly repairs or refinishing. Remember, the right care and maintenance can make your hardwood floors a lasting and beautiful aspect of your home.