How to choose hardwood floor cleaners

Have you ever considered the contents in your floor cleaner if you’re keeping track of the glow-boosting elements in your skin-care products or the nourishing nutrients in your favourite recipes? (Be truthful.)

We asked John Schierlmann, director of research and development at Bona (because if anyone would know), to help throw some light on what, exactly, constitutes a good floor cleaner for those of us who have been plunging a mop into a bucket of water mixed with whatever’s under the sink.

Before we get to that, Schierlmann explains why using the appropriate product is so important—especially for hardwood floors—and it all boils down to not causing harm while trying to help.

“If the formula is overly aggressive in terms of solvency or pH, the finish may scratch or blush,” he warns. “Moreover, if the cleaner is not properly prepared, oils or surfactants may remain on the hardwood coated surface, dulling it or leaving slippery deposits.”

Look for a hardwood floor cleaner that’s devoid of bleach and other harsh or aggressive chemicals, as well as one that’s specifically developed for hardwoods, according to Schierlmann. One that ticks all of those criteria and then some? Bona® Hardwood Floor Cleaner is a gentle, yet efficient, fast-drying cleaner made with plant-derived components. Continue reading to learn more about the substances you should look for on the label.

These are the four most important hardwood floor cleaner ingredients to consider.


Surfactants lower a liquid’s surface tension, which aids in the removal of dirt, grease, oil, and/or sugar from a surface by suspending the contaminant in the cleaner’s water solution, according to Schierlmann.


When it comes to cutting through grease, solvents help surfactants, making them an essential ingredient in cleansers for use in places like the kitchen.

Agents that act as a chelating agent

Calcium and magnesium are beneficial to your health, but they’re not so good for your floors. Chelating compounds aid in the removal of these potentially harmful minerals while also increasing the efficiency of the cleaner.


Preservatives have a terrible rep, but they’re actually beneficial in floor cleaners since they keep the solution free of germs, yeast, and fungi, which aren’t exactly things you want on your floors.

Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner, for example, contains all of the above. “All of our floor cleaners are particularly developed to gently, yet efficiently care for those surfaces,” Schierlmann adds. “They are pH neutral, use water-based, biodegradable, and plant-derived components, making them a safer product for people, pets, and the environment.”

Finally, while natural, plant-based components are fantastic, depending on the type of floor you have, DIY versions won’t always cut it—vinegar solutions or floor steaming machines might damage floors or give a dull, hazy appearance, according to Schierlmann. “Excess liquid can damage the floor,” he continues, “so save the mop and bucket for something else.”

Tips for a successful floor-cleaning procedure

“Your cleaning schedule should be determined by the amount of foot activity and wear and tear your floors receive,” explains Schierlmann. “Because the floor is the largest surface in your home, it requires special attention and cleaning to maintain a healthy environment.” In a sense, floor maintenance is similar to full-body skin care for your house.

The optimal cleaning schedule, according to Schierlmann, should be broken down into daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly duties. “Your greatest daily defence against scratches and surface damage will be a good dusting with a microfiber mop or towel,” he advises. “Static electricity is frequently used by microfiber cleaning pads to capture dirt, particulates, and other irritants.”

He recommends cleaning and using a spray mop once a week, and then putting a floor polish on hardwood floors every couple of months to protect them. Finally, once a year, give your flooring a thorough cleaning and consider repairing any areas with scratches or heavy wear and tear. Next, brag about your improved understanding of what’s in floor cleaner.

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