From Carpet to Hardwood
Not all floor cleaners are alike because not all floors are alike. What works for carpeting is not going to be the best choice for wood flooring. More and more, people are choosing non-carpet types of flooring, as carpets can retain allergens and odors. Alternative flooring can be a little pricey, but you can keep your investment from decreasing by using proper cleaning and care.
Common Floor Cleaner Choices
Many people choose any bottle that says "carpet and floor cleaner" on the label in order to clean any type of flooring. These generally include combinations of soaps, bleach and ammonia, with perhaps a dash of essential oils in order to improve the smell. They can come in a dry powder that you have to brush or vacuum, or a wet solution that you either blot with a sponge or use with a carpet cleaning machine.
Despite their name, carpet and floor cleaners are best for carpeted floors only; they can strip floor wax and other finishes off of other flooring types. When choosing a carpet cleaning product, be sure it will penetrate to the bottom of the carpet for best results.
One of the most attractive features of laminate flooring is its relative ease of maintenance. Even though it is relatively easy to care for, you still need to pay attention to the relative merits of the various laminate floor cleaner brands on the market. The best laminate floor cleaner is not a general-purpose solution, but a specially formulated product that is uniquely tailored to the care needs of this flooring type. Shopping around, you'll find a lot of options, from top-selling brands to generic no-name alternatives and premium cleaners.
A Comparison of Laminate Floor Cleaner Brands
These brand names are among the best-reviewed and top-selling laminate floor cleaners on the market:
- Hoover detergent. While the Hoover name is most closely associated with carpet care and vacuum cleaners, the company also manufactures effective and affordable detergents and cleaning products for hard floors. Its line of FloorMate detergents are ideal for everyday maintenance and cleaning of laminate flooring.
- Swiffer WetJet. If you want the utmost in convenience, the Swiffer WetJet is tough to beat. These units feature long handles, outfitted with spray nozzles for cleaning solutions and tipped with removable absorbent pads for the gentle yet effective cleaning of laminate floors. Simply spray the cleaning solution and run the pad over the flooring, and leave it to dry!
- Bona laminate floor cleaner. While Bona has made its name with its line of hardwood floor cleaning products, the company also offers a wide range of treatments and cleansers for laminate flooring. While these products are priced in the premium range, they offer comprehensive and effective protection for laminate surfaces in addition to unsurpassed cleaning power.
- Bruce laminate floor cleaner. Like Bona, the Bruce name rose to prominence in the world of hardwood floor care. However, like Bona, the company offers a comprehensive line of laminate floor cleaning products and equipment, forming a complete laminate floor care system that provides outstanding protection.
Recommended Laminate Floor Cleaning Products
- Best total laminate floor care system: Bona Pro Series and Bruce laminate floor cleaner (tie)
- Best everyday maintenance product: Swiffer WetJet
- Best laminate floor cleaning solution: Hoover FloorMate detergent
Do not use regular carpet and floor cleaners as part of your hardwood floor care. They will damage and discolor your expensive flooring. Instead, choose products made specifically for hardwood floors.
You need to know what kind of finish your flooring has in order to pick a hardwood floor cleaner and wax. If your hardwood floor has a urethane finish, you cannot use floor wax on it. Most wood floor cleaners are thicker than those for carpet and are not water or petroleum based.
For grit or mud, wait until it dries and then sweep it up. Use a dust mop rather than the usual wet mop. Wipe up liquid spills right away to prevent water damage. Using protective coasters on your furniture legs and keeping your pet's nails trimmed will help prevent cracks and scratches, and having your floor buffed every now and then will help keep its shine.
A Comparison of Hardwood Floor Cleaner Brands
Here is a closer look at the features offered by the most popular hardwood floor cleaner brands on the market:
- Pledge wood floor cleaners. An excellent all-purpose hardwood floor cleaner that is widely available and very affordable, Pledge wood floor cleaner offers excellent floor maintenance and protection properties while leaving behind the company's trademark lemon-fresh scent.
- Bruce hardwood floor cleaners. Bruce's "No Wax" and "Fresh Finish" products are ideal for everyday maintenance, providing professional-quality hardwood floor protection with added convenience. If you're looking for all the protection and shine offered by hardwood floor waxes without the labor, Bruce hardwood floor cleaners may be the best solution.
- Bona hardwood floor cleaners. The Bona Pro Series is highly recommended for routine care of your hardwood floor. Encompassing a variety of cleaners, floor treatments, stain removers and application tools, the Bona Pro Series is, perhaps, the most complete hardwood floor care package on the market.
- Swiffer floor cleaners. The Swiffer WetJet has become very popular for its ability to quickly and effectively clean kitchen floors. Designed with a removable mop pad and a handy spray attachment, the Swiffer WetJet is excellent for tile and laminate floors, but is not the best option for hardwood floors, since you need to apply specially formulated chemicals which aren't compatible with the WetJet system.
Recommended Hardwood Floor Cleaning Products
- Best general purpose hardwood floor cleaner: Pledge wood floor cleaner
- Best preventive maintenance hardwood floor care package: Bona Pro Series products and floor care tools
- Best no-wax hardwood protection product: Bruce No Wax floor care solution
You've invested a lot in your carpet, and to keep it looking its best, it's vital that you take the time to clean it regularly. Today, carpet cleaning appliances offer professional-quality care in a compact, easy-to-store and easy-to-use package about the size of a regular vacuum cleaner. However, navigating the claims made by the various carpet cleaner brands can be tricky, so to make your search for the best carpet cleaner easier, here is an overview of the major carpet and floor cleaning systems on the market.
A Comparison of the Best Carpet Cleaning Products
Here is a closer look at the best-selling home carpet and floor cleaning systems:
- Hoover carpet care products. A trusted name in carpet care for decades, Hoover offers a variety of systems at numerous price points, including the Hoover SteamVac with Clean Surge and the Hoover Platinum Collection of carpet care products. In general, Hoover's carpet cleaners are effective at thoroughly cleaning and quickly drying carpets, but can be tricky to repair and usually have fairly small reservoir tanks for dirty water.
- Bissell carpet cleaners. Best-known for budget, spot and portable carpet cleaners, Bissell's products are reliable and effective. The Bissell 2X carpet cleaner is excellent for all-purpose use, and its QuickSteamer, SpotBot and Little Green 14007 products are excellent for getting rid of spot stains and the quick treatment of spills and accidents.
- Ninja Warrior carpet cleaners. The Ninja Warrior Carpet Cleaning Machine is larger, with a generously sized reservoir and advanced features including a parallel motor system for vacuuming power and easy maintenance.
- Bona Pro Series floor cleaners. The Bona Pro Series line of products are for use on hardwood floors and laminate surfaces only. While they are not intended for use on carpets, they are among the world's leading hardwood floor cleaner brands and merit mention as an important supplementary tool in your cleaning product arsenal.
Recommended Floor Cleaning Brands
- Best budget carpet cleaner: Bissell QuickSteamer
- Best overall carpet cleaner: Hoover Platinum Series
- Best general-purpose carpet cleaner: Ninja Warrior Carpet Cleaning Machine
- Best hardwood and laminate floor cleaner: Bona Pro Series products
Slate and Tile Floor Care Products
It's always good to sweep up before using cleaners. A good broom and dustpan should always be part of your cleaning arsenal.
For cleaning, warm water applied with a wet mop tends to be the best cleaner in many instances. However, stubborn stains can often be removed with a combination of half hydrogen peroxide and half water. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then wipe up with a clean, damp cloth. Commercial grout cleaner is available at stores, but plain shaving cream and a small nail brush can often do the trick.
A Comparison of Tile Floor Cleaner Brands
In the world of tile cleaner brands, four names stand at the top of the list:
- Hoover FloorMate: While Hoover is among the best-known carpet cleaner brands, the company also manufactures a wide range of cleaning products designed for use on other surfaces, including laminate and tile flooring. The FloorMate SpinScrub product line is excellent for use on multiple hard flooring surfaces, making it ideal if you want an all-in-one solution for the different floor surfaces throughout your home.
- Bona tile cleaner: Bona is best-known for its hardwood floor cleaning products, but the company also manufactures tile cleaners and laminate floor cleaners that are intended for regular maintenance applications. While their prices range towards the higher end, they offer specialized protection that's hard to match without professional care.
- Granite Gold: If you have granite tile flooring, you need a product that is designed to lift away dirt and debris without damaging the sensitive texture and finish of the tile itself. Granite requires specialized care, and Granite Gold tile cleaners protect and restore shine and brilliance to travertine, quartz, marble and granite surfaces alike.
- Mop & Glo: The Mop & Glo product line is famous for its "triple action" claim of cleaning dirt, restoring shine and protecting tile surfaces. It's versatile and safe for use on a wide range of hard and no-wax floor surfaces, and is one of the most affordable yet effective products on the market.
Recommended Tile Cleaner Brands
- Best laminate floor cleaner: Bona Pro Series.
- Best ceramic tile cleaner: Bona Pro Series.
- Best granite tile cleaner: Granite Gold.
- Best tile cleaner for everyday use: Hoover FloorMate.