There's something so great about hardwood floors. They're absolutely classic in their old-world charm. They are quite a luxury too in this day and age of vinyl, laminated and concrete floors that are cheaper and more convenient for developers to install.
If you have hardwood floors because the house had them when you moved in, or you chose to refit your home with hardwood, then you'll know what a great feature they are.
Everything goes with hardwood floors, so you never have to worry about keeping the interior decor the same or overshadowing the unique grain pattern of your floor. Hardwood floors are a beautiful asset to any home, and few would dispute it.
Despite this, hardwood floors can take a little sympathetic maintenance to keep them looking their best. Cleaning them, polishing them, and getting them to show the signature glossy shine of real hardwood, can be challenging for those with time to spare and even more difficult for those of us with busy lives.
That's why we have put together a simple guide to caring for your hardwood floors. You'll soon have those planks gleaming like they never have before, and the next person through your door will surely ask you when you got a new professional cleaner.
We know you don't have the time or the inclination to spend hours trawling through the internet or poking through the shelves at the hardware store trying to find the best hardwood floor polishes, day-to-day floor cleaning solutions, or the best gadgets for maintaining your hardwood floors, so we've done it for you.
We'll start by finding some of the best hardwood floor polishes that are easy to apply yourself and give the best finish.
Best Hardwood Floor Polish
If you haven't found the right hardwood floor polish to seal and protect your hardwood from damage, then let us help you by showing you some highly rated, trusted brands that guarantee great results at home.
OUR TOP PICK
Rejuvenate Professional Wood Floor Restorer is a non-toxic professional wood floor restorer and polish that gives your wood floors a high gloss finish by filling in small scratches and smoothing out the surface.
Rejuvenate is a trusted American brand for maintaining your hardwood floors with ease. Wood floor restorer has been specifically developed to rejuvenate old, tired, and damaged wood floors back to life.
It's not recommended for use on laminated, tile, stone, or concrete floors as it is specifically designed as a hardwood floor polish.
There's no need to strip the old polish or sealant off the wood for this product, it firmly bonds to the existing varnish as long as it's not waxed or oiled. If you aren't sure what sealant was previously used, then it would be safer to prep the floor by stripping it of old wax residue.
Rejuvenate claims that it is a perfect hardwood floor polish for all residential and commercial hardwood floors, so it is certain to be able to handle heavy foot traffic in any room. In terms of application, it couldn't be easier.
Once the surface of the wood is prepped, you use a Rejuvenate microfiber mop bonnet to apply the sealant evenly to the floor. Multiple applications will improve the finish significantly, but you don't have to wait long.
You can walk on your floor one hour after application, and you can apply another coat two hours after. When the final coat is applied, wait 24 hours before moving the furniture back onto it. Then you're done.
We're impressed by the ease of application for this product. What is easier than mopping your floor like you would with your usual wood floor cleaner?
With a spare weekend, you could have all the wood floors in your house shining like new mirrors and without having to pay anyone to do it for you.
- Easy Application with a Rejuvenate microfiber mop bonnet or pad.
- Fast dry time- ready to walk on one hour after application.
- Proudly made in America.
- Professional grade product.
- One 32 Fl Oz container covers up to 525 sq. ft.
Bona hardwood floor polish is a trusted product for ensuring hardwood floors stay beautiful for a long time to come. Highly reviewed and widely used, Bona is one of the leading brands in hardwood floor maintenance.
Like the Rejuvenate one above, this is suitable for all unwaxed, unoiled, polyurethane finished hardwood. It has a few things that the Rejuvenate one doesn't, though, which is why it makes our pick as the best hardwood floor polish for a spectacular shine.
It doesn't give off an overpowering odor as other liquid polishes do, so that's great if it's not the kind of weather outside to make opening every door and window possible while you're applying the substance and letting it dry.
Bona hardwood floor polish also has a really neat ingredient in the polish which adds a layer of antimicrobial protection. This inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew on the surface. Maybe we should all be polishing our dining tables with Bona hardwood floor polish too!
There's never going to be a day again when having added protection against germs and bacteria isn't going to be a marketable feature of just about any product. If you like the idea of having clean hardwood floors as well as shiny floors, then this one is for you.
- Antimicrobial protection- forms a protective layer that discourages the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew on the surface of the floor.
- High gloss finish - Bona provides a product that is a professional wood floor restorer.
- Evens out floor finish by filling in micro scratches.
- Covers 500 sq ft of hardwood per bottle of Bona hardwood floor polish.
- 1 hour fast drying time. 24 hours for the final layer to fully dry.
- USA brand.
- Suitable on polyurethane finished wood floors.
We all love our pets, but their little claws can wreak havoc on our glossy hardwood, especially when they are excited.
Fortunately for all canine and cat-lovers, there are special floor polishes that are developed with little claws in mind and offer enhanced protection against pet wear and tear even in areas of heavy paw traffic.
Weiman Wood Floor Polish and Restorer is a proven product that removes the appearance of surface scratches and applies a protective layer of sealant to prevent future scratch marks from happening.
The revitalizing formula restores shine to tired wood floors and is safe to use around kids and pets without causing them harm.
Zero sticky residues are a bonus for this product, as a buildup of waxy residue on your wood flooring can build up with repeat applications of many products. With pleasant scents of cherries and pine wood, this is ticking all our boxes so far for a pet-friendly floor polish.
Verified reviewers highly recommend it, and we are particularly impressed by the drying time. The merchant suggests just 30 minutes drying time and 45-60 minutes between coats.
Do not apply more than three coats of Weiman wood floor polish in a 24-hour period, or use on unfinished wood floors. As if all this weren't enough to convince us, but they do not specify a particular own-brand piece of equipment such as a mop or floor pad to apply the polish.
It only specifies a "clean mop". What's more, their prices are incredibly reasonable for the wood floor polish and their brand of hardwood floor cleaner for continued protection between polishes.
- Budget-friendly - this hardwood floor polish is extremely reasonable, as are other products from Weiman.
- High gloss finish.
- Eliminate scratches and other micro-fissures.
- Prevents future floor damage with a protective layer over your wood flooring.
- Pet and child-safe formula.
- Superfast drying time - wait just 45 minutes to 60 minutes between coats.
Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is an all-round cleaner that can tackle tough marks and sticky residue. Just spray and dry-wipe or mop. This is a great alternative to freshen up your floors between wet mopping as too much water on hardwood floors isn't good for its longevity.
Bona's water-based formula is better for the environment than some chemical-based products. Bona Hardwood Floor Spray comes in unscented, or an attractive Cedar Wood scent.
The Bona Sustainability ethos means that there are no parabens, ammonia, phosphates, or Formaldehyde in their formula, making it safer for people, pets, and the planet.
The handy spray bottle is refillable and means that your regular floor cleaning routine doesn't involve measuring or mixing chemicals. It's definitely a time-saving cleaning solution we like.
Bona has cinched this one too with a Hypoallergenic Formula of their classic Hardwood Floor Cleaner Spray. While much more expensive than their alternative product, we suppose you can't put a price on the wellbeing and comfort of your family.
If you know there are allergy sufferers in your household, or if a new family member will soon be making an appearance with a delicate newborn nose, then this is a great gentle alternative product. Better safe than sorry, after all.
It is certified Asthma and Allergy Friendly and contains no dyes or scents so your nose won't detect it and theirs won't be running.
This spray cleaner is also Greenguard Gold certified which equates to very low VOC emissions. This means that very few chemicals are being released into the atmosphere when using this product.
In addition, it contains the same benefits as the above Bona hardwood floor cleaner in that it leaves no sticky residue and is fast drying. As if that weren't enough to impress us (which it is) their formula claims to remove over 93.3% of allergens from hard surfaces.
So not only does the product not cause irritation in allergy sufferers, but it removes other allergens from their homes. That's amazing.
If the environment is a consideration in your decision-making process, then consider this concentrated cleaner. It's a little less convenient to use than a cleaning spray but then a little goes a long way.
This cuts down the carbon emissions of the product in terms of transport and travel and also the packaging. Libman Hardwood Concentrated Floor Cleaner is our pick for a concentrated floor cleaner.
You can use it diluted in a sprayer mop or just top up your own spray bottle with some of this and top it up with water.
This is a floor cleaner specifically designed for use on hardwood floors so it should bring out that glossy sheen nicely between polishes. It's competitively priced considering that it will go a long way and last longer than a ready-mixed product.
If you want a hassle-free delivery system, why not get the Libman Freedom Dispensing Microfiber Mop? It has the correct reservoir capacity to fill per cap full of floor cleaner.
Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner is a reasonably-priced floor cleaner, designed specifically for use on finished hardwood floors without streaking or dulling the shine.
Weiman should know a thing or two about maintaining a glossy hardwood floor because we featured their Hardwood floor polish earlier. We're just about as impressed with their hardwood floor polish as we are with their hardwood floor cleaner. By which we mean: very.
Sticky residue-free and plant-based ingredients make it safe for general house cleaning around your family and pets. Weiman claims to be the leading wood care expert in homes since 1941, which is a pretty impressive pedigree.
They describe their product as a professional hardwood floor cleaner and it's easy to see why. If the Weiman Hardwood polish was used to seal your hardwood floors then you could do much worse than investing in their other products.
It's a good idea where possible to stick to one brand on your hardwood floors so one doesn't undo the work another has already done.
Each brand uses its own blend of chemicals and ingredients, so if you find a brand you trust to keep delivering great results for your hardwood floor maintenance then great. Stick with them.
Best Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Polish Buying Guide
How to Care for Your Hardwood Floors
If you haven't had to maintain a real hardwood floor before, then listen up. We've got everything you need to keep your wood floor gleaming with a mirror-like shine and a glossy sheen all year round.
The best news is, it's really not that hard. Unlike carpet, there's no vigorous shampooing, scrubbing out stains, or slowly pushing a carpet cleaner around the room to refresh the fibers and remove the dirt involved with caring for wood floors.
Compared to carpet, it is very easy to maintain. Here are the steps you should follow to keep your hardwood floor in tip-top condition and be the envy of all.
It sounds obvious, and it is, but vacuuming your hardwood floor consistently and regularly is one of the absolute best ways to protect your wood floor from damage.
We all know that vacuuming helps keep the floor clean and the house tidy. For that reason alone, it's worth doing, but fine dirt and grit is one of the top things that can scratch and visibly mark your floor.
Therefore, it's a really good idea to vacuum every day to reduce the risk of causing micro scratches in the polish, wax, or sealant.
Mop with Hardwood Floor Cleaner
Between polishes, you'll want to mop your hardwood floors with a dedicated hardwood floor cleaner.
We have suggested some good ones in our section about the best cleaners for hardwood, but the polish brand that you get will always recommend their own brand of floor cleaner to compliment the polish. Aim to mop your floor with a little water and hardwood floor cleaner every week.
Do not use too much water in one area as it is not good for hardwood floors to be wet for too long. Dampness can eventually distort the structure of the wood if it's not properly sealed, so make sure you only wet mop when it needs it.
You may have to clean high-traffic footfall areas of your wood floor, like the hallways, more often than others.
Polish every 3 months
If you have a hardwood floor, then it's a wonderful idea to polish it every 2-3 months. If you're new to this, don't panic. It is not as bad as it sounds.
Banish the vision of Monica from Friends getting twisted up in a floor buffer's cable from your mind. What you do is this: Take the furniture out of the room, then clean the wood floor of all debris and dirt.
Buy a hardwood floor polish like one of the products we've mentioned above, spread it around the surface with a clean floor pad or mop, and let it dry.
You can put on a second coat of floor polish after around 2 hours have elapsed, and then check the label to see how long you need to wait before you can slide your furniture back across your beautiful streak-free wood floor.
Try to keep your kids, your pets (and your spouse) off the newly polished floor while the sealant dries, which is usually between 30 minutes to an hour after you've finished applying a coat.
Then it should be dry enough to walk across, but not dry enough to put the furniture back yet.
Refinish Your Hardwood Floors every 10-15 years
Refinishing your hardwood floors is the biggest annoyance with hardwood floors. The time it takes before a hardwood floor needs refinishing varies on how diligently you protect them with the first three steps.
You can also keep your pet's toenails trimmed, use area rugs in high foot-fall areas and use anti-scratch pads on the legs and bases of heavy furniture like the legs of your coffee table or couch which are likely to get knocked about on the floor from time to time.
Despite your best efforts at diligently polishing your hardwood floors and vacuuming them regularly with floor cleaner, your hardwood floors will eventually need refinishing.
Getting your hardwood floors refinished is usually a professional job, unlike the other steps. It involved stripping the wood of old sealant and polish residue until the bare wood is exposed.
Any damaged wood is removed or replaced and then the wood is resealed with long-lasting, durable polish. Domestic polish can then be used when scratches or marks next occur or the shine fades.
It sounds complicated, but you'd likely replace your carpet every 5 years or so and pay for someone to deliver and fit it. Hardwood isn't nearly so wasteful, as the original wood is still used over and over again for decades.