Are you looking for a non-toxic floor cleaner that will clean your hardwood floors without disrupting your indoor air quality? After ranking 40 floor cleaners via ingredients and transparency, Mamavation has the answers to your inquiry. You’ve trusted Mamavation to bring you topics like non-toxic carpet & upholstery cleaners, safer window & glass cleaners, & safest disinfectants also certified by the EPA, now join us for an investigation on the safest non-toxic floor cleaners for hardwood floors. Scroll down close to the bottom to see over 40 ranked products.
Disclosure: This post was medically reviewed by Sondra Strand, RN, BSN, PHN. This post contains affiliate links.
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How to Clean Your Floors Without Polluting Your Indoor Air with Toxic Chemicals
The whole goal behind this investigation is to help you clean your floors without polluting the air inside your home that your family breathes. But before we get to all the non-toxic floor cleaners, we need to talk a little about what additional actions you can take TODAY to make your indoor air cleaner.
- Leave Your Shoes at the Door: It starts with leaving the shoes that you use to walk around the world at the front door. The reason behind this is your shoes typically are dragging into your home lots of toxic contaminants from the asphalt and wherever else you go. These contaminants get dragged onto the carpet or your flooring.
- Get a Mat for the Front & Back Door. If you can’t get your family to keep their shoes outside, the least you can do is get a really good mat where they can wipe the soles of their shoes on before you go inside the home. This should decrease what is brought into the home.
- Open the Windows: It’s estimated that air quality inside the home is 2-5x more polluted than outside. Part of the reason for this is there is no natural wind system inside your home to blow contaminants away like outside. So contaminants get trapped indoors if the windows are not open daily. This is recommended even on cold days.
- Dust Often: One study found detectable exposure to toxic flame retardants was reduced by half in as little as 1-2 weeks through routine house cleaning and handwashing!
- Wash Your Hands: Make sure to wash your hands before you cook and before meals.
- Get a Powerful Air Purifier: If you get a powerful air purifier, you’ll be able to place them strategically where you need them the most like in the living room, bedrooms, or office. Mamavation looked at the most popular air purifier brands and settled on a couple of brands that had independent studies done on their low particle efficiency data we will share below.
Mamavation’s Favorite Air Purifiers
I know we are here to talk about non-toxic floor cleaners, but if you are concerned about indoor air quality, you also need a good air purifier machine. These brands are our favorite. They offered particle efficiency data and consumer studies from a 3rd party independent lab when asked. These systems are more powerful than HEPA because of their ability to trap contaminants as small as SARS-COVID-2 and eliminate them. To see the full investigation and list of brands go here.
- Air Doctor 3000 ($629)–(Use this link for an automatic $280 off each system) We rate this model the highest for the family room next to the entertainment center. Powerful enough to protect the air in bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and more. Circulates the air in 638 sq. ft. 4x/hour or in 1,274 sq. ft. 2x/hour. Offers 3rd party results on particle efficiency, filters down to 0.003 microns, effective at killing SARS-COVID-2. Air Doctor sent a study conducted in September 2021 looking at how their machine handles particle efficiency. This machine was studied against the EXACT virus (SARS-COVID-2) that troubles us now and passed with flying colors. Here is the study for you to see yourself.
- Air Doctor 5000 ($999)–(Use this link for an automatic $300 off each system) We rate this model the highest for the family room next to the entertainment center. Most powerful performance yet is also the quietest. The pure air solution for extra large spaces, high ceilings and open concepts. Circulates the air in 1,001 sq. ft. 4x/ hour or in 2,001 sq. ft. 2x/hour. Offers 3rd party results on particle efficiency, filters down to 0.003 microns, effective at killing SARS-COVID-2. Air Doctor sent a study conducted in September 2021 looking at how their machine handles particle efficiency. This machine was studied against the EXACT virus (SARS-COVID-2) that troubles us now and passed with flying colors. Here is the study for you to see yourself.
- Air Doctor 1000 ($399)–(Use this link for an automatic $120 off each system) Small but mighty purification that’s perfect for small bedrooms, nurseries, home offices, laundry rooms and more. Circulates the air in 285 sq. ft. 4x/hour or in 570 sq. ft. 2x/hour. Offers 3rd party results on particle efficiency, filters down to 0.003 microns, effective at killing SARS-COVID-2. Air Doctor sent a study conducted in September 2021 looking at how their machine handles particle efficiency. This machine was studied against the EXACT virus (SARS-COVID-2) that troubles us now and passed with flying colors. Here is the study for you to see yourself.
Toxic Ingredients to Avoid If You Want Non-Toxic Floor Cleaners
Mamavation evaluated the ingredients of over 40 different floor cleaner products so you don’t have to. Finding non-toxic floor cleaners was a bit challenging, but as we were doing that, we noticed some of the toxic ingredients tended to present themselves over and over again. This is what we found:
- Fragrance or Perfume: Fragrance sounds wonderful, but it’s actually a “catchall” term used to hide ingredients brands don’t want you to know about. Fragrance can hide phthalates, a potent endocrine disruptor, and several other types of chemicals that can alter hormonal signaling.
- PEGs or Polyethylene Glycol: PEGs are used as penetration enhancers. They allow the other chemicals to penetrate more quickly. PEGs are typically followed by a number. The lower the number, the easier the penetration of other chemicals. However, the rub in the manufacturing process of PEGs may use ethylene oxide and 1,4 dioxane, which are known human carcinogens that may interfere with human development and can harm the nervous system.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): This is a surfactant that helps the oils bind with the water in the formulation. Surfactants work to weaken the defense mechanisms of our skin and that can lead to issues. Not only does it irritate the skin, but it can also penetrate the skin and that is what makes it problematic to certain people.
- Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, & Benzisothiazolinone: These preservatives are very commonly found in dish soap and floor cleaners in “not our favorite” and “better” brands. Rats exposed to these chemicals had neurological damage, but mostly they are very common skin allergens and are poisonous to aquatic life.
- Quats – These are preservatives and antimicrobial agents preventing the growth of fungi, yeast, and harmful bacteria that can make people sick or give them rashes. The problem is it slowly releases small amounts of formaldehyde over time. Formaldehyde is cancer-causing. (Quats use various names based on formula and concentration, but look out for ingredients like this: Benzalkonium chloride, Cetalkonium chloride, Cetrimonium chloride, Lauryl dimonium hydrolysed collagen, Stearalkonium chloride, Diethyl ester dimethyl ammonium chloride, DMDM Hydantoin, Dialkyl dimethl ammonium methyl sulfate, Hydroxethyl methyl ammonium methyl sulfate, Chemical DTDMAC (ditallow dimethyl ammonium chloride); also called quaternium-18, Quaternium-18, Quaternium-26 and other numbers like Quanternium-)
- Polysorbates: This chemical starts out harmless, but then is processed with ethylene oxide. It’s usually followed by a number to demonstrate how much ethylene oxide it’s processed with. For instance, “polysorbate 20” means it’s treated with 20 parts of ethylene oxide, which is a chemical contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a human carcinogen. Animal studies have also demonstrated developmental and reproductive toxicity.
- Undisclosed alcohols: Some alcohols are used as a solvent, viscosity-decreasing agent, masking agent, and fragrance ingredient. It helps to dissolve the other ingredients evenly in a formulation without chemically altering other ingredients. This ingredient can also be toxic. We would have no way of knowing because of non-disclosure.
- Chemicals ending with -eth like Laureth-7: These chemicals may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane which is a human carcinogen.
- Cocamidopropyl Betaine: This is a detergent and surfactant. It is used to reduce static in the formulation and condition the skin & hair while increasing the foaming action of dish soap. This chemical earned “Allergen of the Year” in 2004 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. It’s also a suspected environmental toxin.
- Coal Tar Dye & Petroleum in Pretty Colors: In the case of dish soap, it’s just silly that we need colors because they aren’t really worth the hassle. The issues will vary with the color but may include cancer, organ toxicity, and aquatic destruction.
Favorite Mops to Use on Hardwood Flooring
We realize you may need some tools to help you mop the floors because there are about three different ways this can go. You can (1) Spray & Go using non-toxic floor cleaners, (2) Bucket & Mop using a concentrated product, or (3) Steam and Spray Mop to get the job done. For each section, we will try and suggest some products for you to try. Then at the end of this post is when we will rank all the floor cleaner products. But here are some of our suggestions for those larger tools you will need:
Reusable Microfiber Mops
These reusable microfiber mops can be washed and used over and over again. Microfiber is made from petroleum products, but Mamavation feels okay about this use of petroleum because it’s reusable and very useful in keeping those contaminants in the microfiber. There are many such mops you can choose from, but these had some of the highest ratings.
- Conliwell Professional Microfiber Floor Cleaning System/Mop
- Turbo Microfiber Floor Cleaning System & Mop
- Rejuvenate Microfiber Floor Cleaning System & Mop
Spray mops are similar to reusable microfiber mops, but they have the added function of spraying a formula on the flooring as well. There are many spray mops you can choose from online but here are some of the more popular ones. We highly recommend using products inside them from our “better” and “best” categories only.
- Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop & Reusable Microfiber
- Panda Grip Spray Mop & Reusable Microfiber Floor Cleaning System
- O-Cedar Spray Mop & Reusable Microfiber Floor Cleaning System
Steam Mops & Steam Cleaning: Pros & Cons
Steam cleaning of wood floors makes them look absolutely beautiful, but this type of cleaning comes with some caution. With improper use, a steam cleaner can damage your floors by making them spread and warp. Special care must be taken when using a steam mop in order to get the benefits without the issues. This is what we recommend you do if you decide to start steam-mopping your floors.
- Use a special setting. Most steam cleaner products have a sensor you can adjust for the temperature of the unit and the amount of steam it will produce. For hardwood, you should go with the lowest setting with the least amount of steam. This will give you a powerful cleaner without the worry of damaging your floors.
- Make sure the floors are dry after you steam. Even the smallest amount of water left standing could result in permanent water spots and floor damage. To ensure that all water is removed, use a soft microfiber cloth and gently soak up any excess water. You can then buff the floor to remove any residue that may have been left behind.
- Do not use your steam mop daily. Even though it might be tempting to use your steam cleaner every day, don’t. The sealant will eventually break down from the hot exposure to the steam. Instead, clean your floors once a week or once every two weeks for optimal shine and cleanliness.
What steam mops does Mamavation recommend? We’ve partnered with Dupray and they offer multiple machines that you can use around the house for all sorts of steam cleaning jobs. Here are the machines that are recommended for flooring.
- ONE PLUS Steam Cleaner $899 (Link makes machine on sale for $699) — Heavy-duty steam cleaner for home use with easy refills during use. Dual-tank system: add water while in use for non-stop cleaning. Tools include: 1 x Floor Tool, 1 x Steam Lance, 1 x Triangular Tool, 1 x Window Tool, 2 x Extension Tube, 1 x Connector, 1 x Refiling funnel, 1 x Brass Brush, 2 x Nylon Brushes, 1 x Microfiber Cloth, 1 x Microfiber Bonnet (small and large), 1 x Hose, & 1 x Plunger Tool.
- Dupray Tosca Commercial Steam Cleaner $1297 (Link makes machine on sale for $997) — a commercial grade steam cleaner for home or commercial use. The Tosca™ is a professional steam cleaner that will definitely change the way you clean. Designed for efficiency and ease of use, this italian-made, commercial-quality steam cleaner features a robust enamel-coated steel casing for added durability. Superheated low-moisture steam easily blasts through a wide range of cleaning tasks: all you need is a little tap water for the magic to happen.
- Dupray Hill Injection Commercial Steam Cleaner $2497 (on sale for $1,997) — portable commercial steam cleaner for home or commercial use.
Classic Cotton Mop or Sponge Mop
The final tool is the old-fashioned mop and bucket approach or sponge mop. There are numerous options you can select in this category, but here are a few we spotted:
Mamavation’s Investigation of Floor Cleaners
Mamavation ranked about 40 popular floor cleaning products that are used to clean hard floors, clean hardwood floors, & possibly clean vinyl floors, but mostly these products are the best hardwood floor cleaners. All cleaning solution products are likely able to clean up a mess from pets, spills from the kids, stain removal, footprints, dirt, dust, grime, & debris. Most of these products are available in a convenient spray bottle or can be used as a formulation on sponge mops, spray mops, or mop pads. Some of these products can be used on ceramic tile, stone floors, or ceramic tile floors but not all.
Not Our Favorite Floor Cleaners
We do not recommend you purchase these products for your indoor air quality. We spotted several ingredients in this category that are toxic to humans and the planet. We also found lots of undisclosed ingredients in this category as well. Problematic chemicals were explained above in this post but examples below are problematic ingredients like undisclosed fragrances, Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS), unknown surfactants, ethoxylated ingredients, etc. We went over most of the ingredients we were looking for in the post above.
- Bissell Multi-Surface Floor Cleaning Formula
- Black Diamond Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner with PS3
- Bruce Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner
- Fer a` Cheval Floor Cleaner
- Glitsa Clean Concentrate
- K’a’rcher Sealed Wood Floor Cleaner
- Method Squirt + Mop Hardwood Floor Cleaner (Almond)
- Murphy Oil Soap Wood Cleaner Original
- Nellie’s Floor Care (DILUTED at least 1:3 ratio to water)
- OdoBan No-Rinse Neutral pH Floor Cleaner (Not recommended for unfinished or oiled wood)
- PALLMANN Hardwood Floor Cleaner
- Pledge Clean It Ready to Use Gentle Wood Floor Cleaner
- ProCare Citrus Floor Cleaner
- Quick Shine Hardwood Floor Cleaner
- Rejuvenate All Floors Cleaner
- Simple Green Multi-Surface Floor Care
- Weiman Hardwood Cleaner
- Woodpecker Hardwood and Laminate Cleaner
- Woodwise Concentrate No-Wax Hardwood Floor Cleaner
- Zep Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner
Better Floor Cleaners
This category is the middle of the road. This is where you are making strides into safer chemicals, but you’re not quite there yet. You may find these brands more effective in cleaning than the “best” brands based on the ingredients they still have. However, they have some issues that may add contaminants to your indoor air quality or may add unneeded pollution to the planet. We recommend if you use these products you get a good air purifier for the home and open your windows.
- Attitude Nature+ Floor Cleaner – For Tile & Wood Floors
- Begley’s Natural Plant-Based Hardwood Floor Cleaner
- Better Life Floor Cleaner Citrus Mint
- Bac-Out Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner
- Bona Hardwood Floor cleaner
- Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner
- Ecos Pro Floor Cleaner
- Puracy Multi-Surface Cleaner Concentrate (Use discount code “MAMAVATION20” for 20% off products)
- Young Living Thieves Household Cleaner (website says to the first TEST on wood surfaces)
Best Floor Cleaners
These are the safest floor cleaners for our Planet and for your indoor air quality, however, they may need more elbow grease and some may need to be diluted from a concentrate.
- Aspen Clean Hardwood Cleaner
- Aunt Fannie’s Hardwood Floor Cleaner Lemon
- Aunt Fannie’s Vinegar Floor Cleaner
- Back to Basics Cleaner Than Clean Cleaner (Use discount code “MAMAVATION” for 5% off products!)
- Branch Basics (get 15% off all Starter Kits, except the Trial Kit–use discount code “MAMAVATION”)
- Dr. Bronners Liquid Castile Soap Peppermint
- Eco Me Floor Cleaner Fragrance-Free(for sealed wood)
- Force of Nature Cleaner (get 40% off plus free shipping on bundles–use the discount code “MAMAVATION” at checkout. If you want a starter kit use “MAMAVATION30” for 30% off a starter kit. )
- Koala Eco Natural Floor Cleaner Mandarin & Peppermint
- Pure Haven Surface Cleaner (for finished wood)
- Supernatural Wood + Floors Concentrate
- Supernatural Granite & Counters Concentrate
- TrulyFree Wood & Furniture Polish (Click on this link and you’ll get 25% off the product at checkout!)
Additional Mamavation Investigations To Help Your Family
Mamavation also has many investigations on additional themes that will help guard your family’s health. We just helped you purchase the perfect blender, but we have so much more to offer you!
In fact, Mamavation has been working hard to discover where to find PFAS “forever chemicals” inside food & other products we purchase and bring inside our homes. This is why we have decided to commission our own consumer studies on indications of PFAS in different consumer categories and share that information with you.
- Pasta & Tomato Sauces
- Nut Butters (Peanut butter, etc.)
- Cooking Oils (olive oil, almond oil, canola oil, etc)
- Activewear (Yoga Pants)
- Sports Bras
- Green Beauty Makeup
- Toilet Paper
- Dental Floss
- Period Underwear
- Parchment Paper
- Bamboo Flooring
- Baby Strollers
We also have other non-toxic investigations on products for your children or the rest of your family. Here are some that we thought you may like.
- Best Waffle Makers
- Best Yoga mats
- Best Organic Mattresses
- Best Air purifiers
- Best Cookware
- Best Plant-Based Milks
- Best Water Filters for PFAS Filtration
- Best Collagen
- Best Electrolyte Replacement Drinks, Sports Drinks, & Coconut Water
- Best Infrared Saunas
- Best Bubble Bath
Other Cleaning Products Mamavation Has Ranked
- All-Purpose Cleaners
- Safe Disinfectants
- Carpet & Upholstery Cleaners
- Window & Glass Cleaners
- Laundry Detergent
- Fabric Softeners & Dryer Sheets
- Dish Soap
- Dishwasher Detergents
Click here for a complete list of product investigations.