The hardwood floor cleaners we discuss on this site are specific to solid hardwood floors with a urethane finish.
It is important to understand that you are cleaning the protective coating, or finish, on your floor – not the raw wood itself. Therefore, products which claim to be safe for hard surfaces or even wood floors are not necessarily safe.
Select Hardwood Floor Cleaners Carefully
There are a lot of misleading retail products on the market that have caused irreparable damage, loss of warranty, or additional maintenance expense that would not have been necessary if the proper cleaning products were used.
1.) Read product labels
This is imperative. Read package labels and instructions carefully to be sure they can be used for urethane finished floors (if that’s your floor’s finish).
Some labels actually say they can’t be used for urethane finishes (in fine print) though they market themselves to wood floor owners.
Many products don’t make themselves clear. They might state “safe for hard surface floors” or even “safe for wood floors” – a very generic description as that could mean solid hardwood, engineered or even laminate (like Pergo®) – all of which could have different finishes.
If you aren’t sure, check with your hardwood flooring manufacturer.
2.) Review your hardwood flooring manufacturer’s warranty
Your manufacturer’s warranty will detail the correct care, maintenance and cleaning product to protect your floor investment.
Flooring contractors tell frequent tales of being called back to a recently installed or refinished hardwood floor that the homeowner considers damaged or defective.
Only to discover that the culprit was a non-recommended, inappropriate cleaning agent. There’s nothing a wood floor owner can do but live with the damage – or pay for a full sand and refinish.
Don’t Void Your Warranty
Manufacturer warranties do not cover damage caused by non-recommended floor cleaners or cleaning equipment.
Choosing the Right Products
Even if a warranty is no longer a concern for you, protect your hardwood floor investment and keep them looking their best.
Some of the manufacturer recommended cleaners include:
Review our cleaning products guide as well as what NOT to use, such as oil soap, wax or ammonia-based products.