Wooden surfaces, as easy as they may seem to appear for cleaning, require quality cleaning to ensure longer lifespans and to prevent health hazards. The days where people would endlessly mop all across the floor are thankfully behind us due to the advancements of technology and we now have good hardwood floor cleaners that help to alleviate this burden.
Available in plenty on the market with five-star ratings stickered all over their packaging, they may seem like another item on the checklist when you go shopping, regardless of offline or online, but require just as much thought as any other cleaning product. Before you go on another shopping spree of cleaning products, I’m here to educate you on hardwood floor cleaners and what’s best for you and your floor.
Top 5 Hardwood Floor Cleaner Machines
BISSEL has been a household and well-respected name in the cleaning business for years and their PowerFresh Hardwood Floor cleaner is another example of just why they are held to such a high standard. The cheapest entry on this list billed at 95$, it’s a solid choice for your hardwood floors.
PowerFresh like most newer cleaning machines uses a cleaning solution that uses little to no harmful chemicals ensuring that your floor stays clean and lustrous for a longer period. Despite the absence of the standard chemicals synonymous with cleaning solutions, it’s quality is not one bit hindered as it’s efficient at eliminating 99% of bacteria and germs with the natural power of steam. The steam can be customised in power settings of high, medium or low depending on your cleaning needs. A scrubber attached to it allows you to power through those stubborn stains that continue to persist despite valiant efforts. It features swivel steering which makes the cleaning process smoother and a 23 ft power cord that enables usage over a range and readiness in 30 seconds. The package also includes a microfiber scrubby pad, spring breeze fragrance discs which leave a pleasant fragrance after the cleaning is done and a carpet glider.
Efficient and easy cleaning coming at a fair price make PowerFresh an excellent choice for your cleaning necessities. And if you also want to feel good about yourself, part of the proceedings going towards BISSEL are invested into pet care needs as part of BISSEL Pet Foundation.
- Microfiber scrubby pad
- “Spring Breeze” fragrance discs
- Swivel steering
- Carpet glider
- Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 7.1 x 28.6 inches
- Product Weight: 6.2 lbs
- Brand: BISSEL
- Model: PowerFresh
Hoover’s FloorMate Deluxe is the only non-BISSEL entry on this list but has more than earned its place on the list and holds its ground just fine.
The FloorMate Deluxe is fantastic at cleaning hardwood floors but is not limited to just those. It is just as capable on tile, marble and other floor types.
Billed at 150$, it comes equipped with SpinScrub brushes which aid in cleaning efficiently. The scrubs remove stains gently and safely. Its dual tank technology helps separate the clean and dirty water ensuring you never end up accidentally using the dirty water over the floor. It has two cleaning modes, wash and dry, which permit the usage of water depending on what you choose to operate on. Its Clean Boost Control applies extra detergent to stains and heavy traffic areas. It is also very light in weight which makes the operation easy. It also allows you to easily place and move it around.
A fair price, dual cleaning modes and lightweight make this a very good choice.
- Dual Water Tank
- SpinScrub for easy cleaning
- Clean Boost Control
- Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 12.8 x 32.8 inches
- Product Weight: 23 lbs
- Brand: Hoover
- Model: FloorMate Deluxe
The amount of BISSEL products on this list may make it look like a paid promotion but the quality of the products they put out warrants it. The CrossWave is no different from its siblings in the level of quality but is fairly expensive.
The CrossWave is a multi-surface machine that cleans efficiently across both sealed hard floors and area rugs. Its dual-action brush roll uses microfiber and nylon brush to mop and pick up dry debris simultaneously. Similar to the Hoover Floormate it features a dual tank system that separates the clean and dirty water. Smart touch controls present on the handle allow the user to easily cycle between the cleaning modes at a moment’s notice. The only thing detrimental to the quality of the product is its high price.
- Dual Tank System
- Multiple cleaning modes
- Smart touch controls
- Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 12 x 46 inches
- Product Weight: 11.02 lbs
- Brand: BISSEL
- Model: CrossWave
The Spinwave is more like a mop when compared to other models on the market and that is intentional by design. Billed at the standard 95$, and a 0.9 Amp rating that doesn’t go ham on your circuit boards, it is a solid product.
The Spinwave is a powered hard floor mop cleaner that is safe for cleaning sealed hard surface floors. Unlike the CrossWave mentioned above, the Spinwave is limited to a larger single tank instead of two separate tanks due to its smaller size. Soft touchpads attached to the cleaning ends allow the cleaning process to be gentle on the floor. This paired with the spin pads makes for efficient and easy cleaning. On-demand spraying allows you to disperse the desired amount of solution while cleaning.
- Single Tank System
- Spin pads
- On-demand solution spray
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 16 x 45 inches
- Product Weight: 9.5 lbs
- Brand: BISSEL
- Model: Spinwave
The Sapphire PowerFresh Deluxe is quite similar to the original PowerFresh in both design and price partly due to them being from the same lineage of models.
Billed at 99$, the PowerFresh Deluxe is a steam mop which comes equipped with an onboard spot boost brush which aids in the removal of tough stains.
It also comes with a measuring cup that allows you to fill the water tank sufficiently. Operation is available in both high and low steam settings depending on how you want to clean. A pleasant spring breeze fragrance emanating from the cleaning solution makes the cleaning process much more enjoyable.
- Single tank system
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 13 x 46 inches
- Product Weight: 6.2 lbs
- Brand: BISSEL
- Model: PowerFresh Deluxe
Buying Guide: Hardwood Floor Cleaner Machine
Before we get you all dwindled up in the complicated stuff I’ll just explain the basic layout of the information you’re about to be fed and how and why it is useful to and for you. The first thing you need to know is the type of flooring your home has and these vary for everyone. After that, I’ll go over what’s best for you as per the type of flooring that you house. The type of flooring used is very important to know as some cleaners are far more effective against certain types.
Types of Flooring:
Floorings are differentiated based on construction, the materials used, the type of engineering and the type of finishing.
Based on construction, they’re classified as solid or engineered. This is often an overlooked aspect when people go around purchasing machines but are just as important as you want to get the most out of the machine you purchase. This is often also not known by people who live in rental apartments but a look over the construction manuals often owned by the landlords will help you know so. Solid hardwood floors are milled from a single piece of wood whereas engineered hardwood boards are multi-layered and are topped with a layer of real hardwood. Solid hardwood floorings tend to develop “wood gaps” as they age and the wood contracts and they become harder to clean. Engineered boards have expansions installed around their perimeters that prevent contraction of wood preventing wood gaps and are thereby easier to clean.
Based on the materials used, they come in 5 types.
- Oak: Comes in two desirable distinct types- Red and White Oak. Red is lighter and offers a softer flooring. White is used for high traffic houses.
- Cherry: Softer than most types with a 950 Janka rating thereby requiring more precision and care in cleaning.
- Walnut: Best suited for medium to light traffic and has a Janka rating of 1010. Tends to show wear in high traffic.
- Hickory: This type has absurdly high durability due to its Janka rating of 1820 and can be comfortably cleaned up.
- Maple: A moderately high Janka rating of 1450 with very good durability and feasibility while cleaning.
Based on finishing, there are unfinished types that you can order and add your custom finishing touches or have them engineered by a local worker. Pre-finished types come done straight from the factory finished and sealed and don’t have a lot of room for personal customization. They’re much easier to install when compared to unfinished types.
Based on engineering, they are either solid or engineered. Solid types are all wood and come 5/8 to 3/4 inches thick. Because they are solid wood, they can be sanded and refinished many times. The engineered types are multi-layered and have excellent stability and durability as a result of it.
Now that we’ve gone over the various types of flooring and the levels of difficulty they fall into in terms of cleaning we can now move onto how all hardwood floorings should be maintained and cleaned in a general sense.
How should hardwood floors be cleaned?
During the earlier centuries, people believed that hardwood floors were best cleaned with vinegar. Though that holds to some degree it is misleading as well. Despite being fairly efficient at cleaning, vinegar is the prime suspect when it comes to hardwood flooring losing their luster. Modern-day hardwood floor cleaners employ vinegar to some extent in their formulas, it is now a mere add-on to the various other chemicals used that aid in maintaining luster.
Though before we go to the actual cleaning part it’s best to avoid dirtying it up in the first place to make the most out of your hardwood flooring. Simple things such as leaving your shoes outside and vacuuming it regularly go a long way in maintaining its quality and longevity.
As ar as cleaning is concerned, cleaner sprays such as bona hardwood cleaner spray or cleaner machines such as the Hoover ONEWPR vacuum cleaner, both of them functioning differently but equally efficient. When using sprays, one should work on small three-foot sections at a time to avoid over-wetting the floor which could dampen it. Before moving on to the next section, ensure that the section you just worked on dries up as letting moisture rest over a wooden surface for long periods damages it over time. Clean in the direction of the wooden planks to get it done quickly and efficiently. As efficient as cleaner sprays may be, they’re too much of a hassle and it is better to invest in a cleaner machine to keep your floors clean as they are easier to use and do just as good of a job if not better.
Benefits of Hardwood Cleaner Machines
Hardwood Cleaner Machines are designed to protect the flooring and they do just that during the cleaning process. The lack of inadequate wetting ensures that the wood is never exposed to the wrong amounts of moisture over long periods thereby increasing its lifespan. Having a good hardwood cleaning machine at hand also ensures you don’t spend massive chunks of time just cleaning the floor and minimizes the effort required to keep the flooring clean and makes the process overall more fun.
Factors to consider when purchasing a cleaning machine:
- Speed of cleaning/time required to clean: This varies on the type of flooring and the stubbornness of the stain and dirt persisting on your floor. These machines don’t specify the duration of the cleaning period but a star rating on the packaging gives you a general idea of how ideal it can be. Good drying times are also a must. This depends on the cleaning solution used.
- Solution and recovery tank capacity: The solution and recovery tank capacity is quite an important factor if you’re like me and not a fan of frequent refilling. Having a larger tank also allows the cleaning process to go smooth and uninterrupted.
- Water Usage: Naturally it is best to go for machines that consume the minimal amount of water which is not only environment friendly, but also makes the process less messy and leaves out less wet surfaces to dry.
- Motor Rating: This one’s rarely mentioned on the product packaging so you’ll have to look them up online but having a machine with a good motor increases its longevity noticeably and stops your machine from being a problem-child, or worse- a waste of money.
- Ease of maintenance: Before purchasing one, I’d recommend looking up how these machines are cleaned. Sometimes the companies themselves upload the videos of the cleaning process making it easier for you to follow. Instructions on the back are helpful but it’s best to see it for yourself to get the feel for it. When not maintained properly, you could run into quite a few problems. The more advanced products, by nature of their design, are harder to clean. Settling for a simpler, yet effective machine would be my recommendation.
- Warranty: Last but not the least, the warranty being long and having well-running customer service is important when buying a machine. Buying from good brands BISSEL or Hoover is one way to ensure you get these.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it viable to use vinegar to clean floors?
Vinegar is pretty commonly used to clean floors but depending on the floor type you have may unintentionally reduce your floor’s lifespan and luster. Cleaner machines are a much safer and effective alternative.
How do I get my hardwood floor to shine?
Polishing the surface with olive oil after cleaning is a good way to maintain the shine and luster.