The best mop for hardwood floors - Chicago Tribune

The best mop for hardwood floors - Chicago Tribune


The best mop for hardwood floors - Chicago Tribune

Posted: 07 Apr 2021 12:00 AM PDT

Hardwood flooring is a major selling point for homes, but with great natural flooring comes responsibility for homeowners. As the name implies, hardwood floors are made from wood, which is vulnerable to damage from excessive moisture. This is why finding the proper mop for hardwood floors is so important. Standard string mops tend to hold a lot of water, and they can also scratch the finished surface. An ideal mop for hardwood floors is more absorbent, easy to wring dry and uses softer materials to form the mophead.

If you have hardwood flooring you need to clean, read our buying guide. We provide helpful information as well as product recommendations. Topping our list is Bissell Spinwave Powered Hardwood Floor Mop, an upright stick mop with a powerful rotary scrubbing action and wet mop or dry buffing options.

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What to know before you buy a mop for hardwood floors

Commercial mops with wringer bucket systems tend to use cotton-based mop heads, which are gentle on the flooring but can be challenging to maintain over time. Household hardwood floor mops are more likely to be constructed from synthetic microfibers that use minimal water, resist mold and work well wet or dry. Microfiber mop heads can be more expensive, however.

Another option is a disposable mop pad made from absorbent cellulose material or synthetic sponge. The key word here is disposable, which means a trade-off between convenience and waste.

Mop head design

Open areas of hardwood flooring benefit from a flat rectangular mop head, often found in dry dust mops. A wider cleaning path can cut down on overall time, but flat mop heads are not powerful scrubbers. An angled mop head reaches deeper into corners and can be used more aggressively.

Many traditional cotton mop heads use loops of damp fibers to scrub floors, while microfiber spin mops tend to use a round mop head with a looser array of scrubbing fibers.

Mop for hardwood floors features

Cleaning solutions

While water and a minimal amount of detergent is recommended for hardwood flooring, some mopping systems include a special cleaning solution. An onboard spray bottle delivers the product on demand, usually with the push of a button or the pull of a trigger. These cleaning solutions are especially helpful when spot cleaning a dried-on or sticky mess.

Power scrubbing

Hardwood flooring can be damaged through aggressive mopping techniques, but there are times when a little more muscle is required. Some higher-end mopping systems feature electric motors that boost the scrubbing power of round cotton or microfiber mop heads. These spinning mop heads also wring out excess water before mopping begins.

Mop for hardwood floors cost

The least expensive microfiber or cotton mop suitable for hardwood floors cost $10-$15, but durability is definitely an issue. A better-quality microfiber mop costs around $15-$20, while complete mopping systems or electric scrubbers start at $30 and can reach $100 or more.

Mop for hardwood floors FAQ

I use a steam mop on my bathroom's tile floor. Can I use it for hardwood floors, too?

A. True hardwood flooring — not laminate with a faux wood grain — is still a natural wood product, and steam can penetrate the fibers and cause damage. This is especially true for unsealed hardwood floors.

How often should I mop my hardwood floors?

A. Finished hardwood floors benefit primarily from a daily sweep with a dry dust mop or vacuum with a "bare floors" setting. You should plan on wet mopping about once a week with a very diluted cleaning solution and a damp mop.

Which mop for hardwood floors should I get?

Best of the best mop for hardwood floors

BISSELL Spinwave Powered Hardwood Floor Mop: available at Wayfair

Our take: This spinner wet or dry mop has the convenience of an upright stick vac and the power of a scrub brush. Great for large areas of hardwood flooring.

What we like: Efficient power scrubbing motion. Very lightweight and easy to maneuver. Works on multiple types of hard flooring. Releases cleaning fluid on demand. Pads are gentle on floors.

What we dislike: Performs better as a dry buffer than a deep cleaner. Pads get dirty quickly.

Best bang for your buck mop for hardwood floors

Microfiber Wholesale 18-Inch Professional Microfiber Mop: available at Amazon

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Our take: For homeowners who prefer to use plain water instead of cleaning fluids, this absorbent microfiber mop offers both a wet and a dry mopping option.

What we like: 18-inch cleaning path is efficient on open spaces. Mop head can be wet or dry. Microfiber pads are machine-washable. Adjustable handle accommodates shorter or younger users.

What we dislike: Not easy to use in small, tight spaces. Some plastic components break easily.

Honorable mention mop for hardwood floors

O-Cedar EasyWring Microfiber Spin Mop: available at Amazon

Our take: The O-Cedar hardwood mop is a good option for those who prefer soap buckets to chemical sprayers, but still seek the benefits of microfiber mop heads.

What we like: Spin dryer creates minimal dampness. Triangular mop head reaches corners and crevices. No bending required; foot-activated wringer.

What we dislike: Bucket is oversized; challenging to fill from sink. Mop is smaller than expected.

Michael Pollick is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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