With so many floor surfaces (and ways to get them dirty) there are literally thousands of tools and products to choose from. It’s not always as easy as just reaching for a broom, vacuum or this best-selling $30 mop. Fortunately, several cleaning experts recently shared their floor-cleaning favorites with Shop TODAY.
Whether you walk on carpet, tile or hardwood, here are their recommendations for getting a good clean.
Best expert-picked floor cleaners
"Sparkle" is the adjective cleaning expert Melissa Maker uses to describe floors that have been cleaned with this scrubber from Scotch-Brite. "To tackle grimy grout lines, mix up a paste of 2 parts baking soda to 1 part water, apply to grout lines and scrub with an edge of the sponge, wiping and rinsing as you go," explains the host of the Clean My Space YouTube channel. She likes the hexagonal shape because it's easy to grip and has plenty of edges to wedge into grout lines, baseboard grooves and other hard-to-reach places.
Navas is also a fan of the one-formula-fits-all approach when it comes to spot-cleaning floors. "Multipurpose cleaners are great!" he says. "They can be used on most surfaces, and they help break down the gunk and dirt that you need to clean." For floors, he prefers Windex's multi-surface cleaner which has a five-star rating from over 22,000 reviews.
"Lemon Fresh scented Pine-Sol is an absolute favorite of ours," says Michael Silva-Nash, executive vice president of Molly Maid of Greater Little Rock, a Neighborly company. He likes that this multi-purpose cleaner is safe to use on finished hardwood, tile, linoleum and even sealed concrete. But what he really appreciates is the scent. "Its deodorizing effect is a plus and leaves your home smelling so good," explains Silva-Nash before adding that it's best to always test a small area first.
When Abe Navas, general manager of Emily's Maids, a housecleaning service in Dallas, Texas, needs to clean a small area of the floor, he doesn't bother with bigger, bulkier supplies.
"Simply use a good microfiber cloth, and with a little elbow grease, everything will come out," he says. Navas recommends these cloths which have a five-star rating from over 600 reviewers. But remember, it only works if you use a microfiber cloth the right way.
Thanks to his golden retrievers, Ben and Jerry, Matt Clayton knows firsthand that pets cause a lot of wear and tear on flooring. "My all-time favorite cleaning product for pet homes is the Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator," says the founder of PetHairPatrol.com. "It's enzyme-activated, which means it contains natural enzymatic bacteria that feed on the organic material and urine crystals in the stain." In other words, it doesn't just cover the surface and mask the smell. It actually removes the stain and odor. (It is recommended with this, as well as all products, to start with a spot test on a hidden area of your floor to see how your surface reacts.)
Merry Maids — whose associates spend more than 6 million hours per year cleaning customers' homes — swear by 3M’s Sharpshooter No-Rinse Cleaner. It's best for easy removal of soil and grease stains on hard surfaces like wood and tile. Unlike bleach, it doesn't require rinsing. Thanks to its potency, it also requires less scrubbing than other cleaners. And it's a must for cleaning bathrooms. “Sharpshooter saves time cleaning the build-up on shower floors,” says one Merry Maids franchise owner.
When it comes to high-traffic areas and cleaning entire floors, Diana Rodriguez-Zaba, president of Chicago cleaning company ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba, calls this four-step commercial-grade cleaning kit highly effective. "It also provides floors with a long-lasting shine," she says. "The kit contains a floor stripper, sealer, polish and cleaner, all of which are critically important to maintaining beautiful, clean, polished floors." While it only has 154 reviews on Amazon, its average rating is nearly five stars. It should be noted that it is not made for carpet or wood floors.
When it comes to cleaning soft surfaces like carpets, Merry Maids suggests this best-selling vacuum which has a five-star rating from more than 4,000 reviews. They like it because it's compact, versatile and durable, telling Shop TODAY "it sustains great performance even when used on a daily basis." Thanks to its lightweight design (8 pounds) and long cord (33 feet), it's perfect for awkward spaces like steep stairs and long hallways.
To rinse or not to rinse, that is the question, at least according to Dr. Andy Cooper. "Everyone is busy, so eliminating the rinse step without sacrificing results is a key challenge for our formulation scientists," says the senior vice president of Research, Development and Engineering at Ecolab Inc. Take efficiency even further by trying this popular battery-powered vacuum-meets-mop.
The "powerhouse team of engineers, scientists, analysts and product experts" at The Good Housekeeping Institute gives its seal of approval to this canister vacuum. Amazon reviewers seem to give their seal of approval, too. It has nearly five-star average rating from over 5,600 reviews. Thanks to having six different power suction settings, it works on a range of floors including hardwood and carpet. And at just 13 pounds, it's light enough to hold while cleaning stairs. Also, it's quiet enough that your pets won't feel compelled to hide under your bed.