A Guide to Hardwood Floor Cleaning Machines

If you have a hardwood floor, it might be a challenge to clean it properly. Exposing it to copious amounts of water will ruin it in the long run. But there are a number of appliances for cleaning hardwood floors, which not only pick up dirt and debris, but will even disinfect, deodorize, wax, and buff. Some are suitable for other sealed hard floor surfaces besides wood, such as linoleum, tile, vinyl, and laminate. There are appliances that work on “dry steam”, heating water to over 100 ℃, which succeed in breaking up dirt and debris, without damaging your floor. There are also devices that use microfiber brushes to buff and polish the floor, or employ both a back-and-forth and a right-to-left motion to dislodge dirt and get your floor spotless.

We’ve composed this buyer’s guide to help you make the right decision when selecting a hardwood floor cleaning machine. It’ll help you:

  • Choose the right type of hardwood floor cleaning machine,
  • See useful tips about that particular type of hardwood floor cleaning machine,
  • Read reviews of different hardwood floor cleaning machines, and what customers are saying,
  • Select the right brand of hardwood floor cleaning machine, and
  • Compare prices and find the best deals.

Types of Hardwood Floor Cleaning Machines 

  • Steam–These have a water reservoir, and a heating element that heats the water to boiling. The steam that it produces cleans and disinfects–even without any bleach or detergent. The steam soaks into a microfiber pad, to help remove dirt from the floor. The Light ‘N Easy Steam Mop uses superheated steam to clean and disinfect.
  • Dry/Wet motorized mop–There are also motorized cleaners for hardwood floors. They have one or more microfiber cloth brushes that you put on the base. When you operate the machine, the motor rotates the brushes and cleans the floor. They can include a hard floor cleaner, polisher, buffer, waxer, tile scrubber, and floor mop. The Prolux Hard Floor Cleaner is such an appliance, that can mop hardwood floors with or without cleaning fluid.
  • Electrostatic–There are hardwood floor cleaners that work on static electricity. An example is the Fuller Carpet and Hardwood Floor Sweeper. It has a boar hair bristle brush that rubs against the floor and creates static electricity. The static picks up dust particles and other debris, on both carpets and on hardwood floors. It doesn’t require any motors, bags, batteries, or electrical cords.

What Reviewers Say 

  • Love the disinfecting power of steam mops: The Light ‘N Easy Steam Mop kills bacteria with the high steam temperature, and even without any cleaning fluid! You can let your toddler crawl on the floor without any worries.
  • Lightweight: Many consumers look for their hardwood floor cleaner to be lightweight. People who used the Bissell Spinwave Mop say that the machine with its rotating pads practically glides over the top of the floor. The item itself weighs 9.5 pounds, but the rotating pads make it seem weightless.
  • Swivel ability: It’s handy to have a hardwood floor mop that has swivel ability so that it can get into corners. The Light ‘N Easy Steam Mop has a 360-degree swiveling head, that essentially works as a triangular and square mop head. It can reach around furniture and into corners effortlessly.
  • Advantages to look for in a steam mop: If you’re looking into a steam mop for a hardwood floor, there are certain attractive features:
    1. Large water tank: The steam mop takes water from a water tank and converts it into steam. If your appliance has a large tank, it will let you wash the entire floor without refilling.
    2. Long power cord: This will let you reach every corner of the room, without having to disconnect the appliance and reconnect somewhere else, in order to reach every part of the room.
    3. Selective steam release: The best steam mops, such as the Light ‘N Easy Steam Mop, releases steam only when you are moving, and stops shooting out steam when you stop moving. (Other models have a button that you press to release the steam.) The advantage of this is that you don’t use any excess water, which could damage the floor.

Important Features 

  • Different pads for different cleaning needs: The Bissell Spinwave Powered Hardwood Floor Mop and Cleaner (Model 2039A) has a series of pads, each of which is appropriate for a different cleaning job. It has scrubby pads for stubborn, sticky dirt that takes more effort to remove, and soft touch pads for gentle cleaning jobs. The pads are also washable and reusable, which saves you the effort of always buying new cleaning pads. Some models, such as the SKG 1500W Hot Steam Mop has microfiber pads that are machine washable (others require you to wash the pads by hand).   
  • Clean the floor of large debris before polishing: People warn that the floor must be cleaned of large debris before you use a motorized mop. If there is any glass, sand, or grit on the floor, the pads will catch the debris and scratch circular patterns on your hardwood floor! So, you might have to use a floor sweeper, like the Fuller floor sweeper, before employing a motorized mop.

Top-Rated Brands 

  • Bissell was founded by Melville Reuben Bissell in 1876 in Walker, Michigan. They make vacuum cleaners and other floor care products, such as carpet shampoo, steam cleaners, cordless cleaners and more.
  • Prolux is a maker of vacuum cleaners, steam cleaners, air purifiers and humidifiers, and more. Their headquarters is in South Jordan, Utah. They have been producing home cleaning appliances for two decades, employing UV bulbs that purify the air and carpet as well. They have made a number of innovative products, such as bagless vacuums, garage vacuums, and air purifiers.
  • Light ‘N Easy are makers of steam mops, multifunctional steam cleaners, handheld steamers, steam mop accessories, and more. They were founded in 2002, and analyze consumers’ living needs in order to make the optimal cleaning appliances.
  • Fuller has been a manufacturer of brushes and cleaning appliances since 1906, when they were founded by Alfred C. Fuller in Boston, MA. Besides using their brushes in electrostatic sweepers, they also make degreasers and cleaning agents for home and personal care use. They also make bakeware, cookware, and cutlery.