How to Clean Hardwood Floors Without Streaks!

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Floors, the bane of the diligent cleaner’s existence. Floors are prone to mess, dirt, dust, grime, etc. And hardwood floors pose a particular challenge, as they have particular cleaning needs. 

I get a lot of questions about cleaning hardwood floors. Specifically, I get a lot of questions about how to clean hardwood floors without streaks. Cleaning and mopping hardwood floors correctly is the secret to cleaning them without leaving streaks behind. 

And using the best hardwood floor cleaner is key to clean and polished hardwood floors without streaks. So if you’re struggling with hardwood floor cleaning, this is the article for you. We’re talking about how to clean hardwood floors, the best hardwood floor cleaners you can buy, and the best DIY hardwood floor cleaners you can make at home, plus the best mop for hardwood floors!

DIY Hardwood Floor Cleaner

We published our DIY Hardwood Floor Cleaner in 2015, and it remains our all-time favorite six years later. And while writing this reminds me that yes, I am, in fact, getting older, at least I can find comfort in clean floors (insert eye roll here). 

To make this recipe, you need three ingredients that you probably already have in your home. 

  • 1/2 teaspoon dish soap 
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar 
  • 2 cups water 
  • 5 – 10 drops essential oil (optional)

The essential oil isn’t for cleaning purposes. It’s just a nice way to customize the scent of your cleaning product. So if you don’t have essential oils or you don’t like them, skip them. 

If you love DIY cleaners, you’re in luck because we have so many resources for DIY cleaning products. Read our article Save Money With These 7 DIY Cleaners. Or, if you need even more DIY cleaners, check out our printable 50 DIY Cleaning Recipes. 

Best Hardwood Floor Cleaner (Store-Bought)

I get it; not everyone wants to mix their own floor cleaner. So far, all of you non-DIY cleaners, I want to recommend my favorite store-bought cleaner. The Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is my go-to when I use a store-bought cleaner. 

It’s eco-friendly, uses splashless technology, and is Safer Choice certified, meaning it’s safe for people, pets, and the planet. Plus, the water-based solution is residue-free and dries fast. Meaning with the right cleaning technique and the right mop, this cleaner will leave your hardwood floors streak-free and shining.

Melissa watering a plant in her living room

Best Mop for Hardwood Floors

If you’re like me, you hate mopping! It’s time-consuming and awkward, especially if you use a wring mop. That’s why I searched far and wide to find a mop that wasn’t a pain in my butt. And when I couldn’t find one, I decided to make my own. 

The Maker’s Mop is my own product, and it is the best mop I have ever used. Now you might be thinking; Melissa, aren’t you a little biased about your own product? And that’s fair, but the Maker’s Mop has quickly become one of our most popular items on Maker’s Clean and received rave reviews from many happy cleaners.  

Jeanette said, “I love my new mop. Very versatile. I’ve cleaned walls, baseboards, floors, even my tub. It’s wonderful.” And Veronique said, “I really love it! No streaks, easy to use, lightweight. It was design[ed] with care! I clean all the floors in half the time that I used to do with a mop and it dried so fast too! I’m excited to use it more on the glass door of the shower too! Never thought I’d be excited to clean….”

So if you want a super easy-to-use, versatile mop to tackle all types of finished floors in a short time, try the Maker’s Mop! Please note this mop is not safe for unfinished floors as they may be water sensitive. 

Maker's mop and microfiber cloths and pads

How to Clean Hardwood Floors Without Streaks

Cleaning your hardwood floor without leaving streaks is as simple as knowing how to mop them correctly. The key is making sure your mop isn’t too wet. In fact, you actually want your mop quite dry. Yes, you want cleaning solution on your mop, but just enough to clean, not enough to saturate. 

Then you want to work in what I call the “S pattern.” Start at one corner, move your way to the other corner, and then come back to create an “S pattern.” What this does is ensure you’re cleaning all areas of the floor, top to bottom and left to right. 

Keep your bucket right behind you. That way, you never have to walk over mopped areas to get your bucket. This will save you from having to reclean footprints and blotches and help your floors stay streak-free. 

Now, for that extra shine, I’ll let you in on a professional cleaning secret. When you’re done mopping, grab a microfiber cloth. Give your floors a quick wipe down to make sure there is absolutely no water left on the floor. Drying your floors ensures they dry without streaks. 

Clean Your Hardwood Floors!

To get your floors looking great, you should be sweeping and vacuuming at least once a week and mopping every two weeks. But when your hardwood floors are clean and shining, it really makes a difference. You, your household, and your guests will notice that little extra shine.

And I’m not going to claim that mopping can be pain-free, but using a good-quality cleaner and a great mop can make the experience a lot more pleasant. So go forth and mop! Or don’t, the choice is yours.

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.