We updated this article in August 2022 to ensure all picks tested and vetted by the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab were available, in stock and correctly priced.
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.
Our top picks:
Note: none of the cleaners we list here are recommended for floors treated with wax or other penetrating finishes. Read more about our top picks for the best wood floor cleaners, plus two vacuum cleaners specifically designed for cleaning wood floors: