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Best Floor Cleaners to Use with Microfiber Mops

Best Floor Cleaners to Use with Microfiber Mops

Many people ask us, “What’s the best floor cleaner to use with microfiber mops?” not realizing it’s a trick question!

The truth is microfiber is so effective it can remove over 95% of dirt and germs with just water, so any floor cleaner you use is just a booster to already great performance.  

Frankly, so long as you get a high-quality microfiber mop (note foreshadowing here), any floor cleaner will work, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to choose your floor cleaner carefully.

Different floor cleaners have different strengths, and some can cause damage on one floor while working great on the next, so it’s important to get advice from an expert.

 

To save you hours of research, we’ve asked cleaning expert Melissa Homer, a 20-year professional cleaning industry veteran, to share her vetted recommendations on the best floor cleaners for every type of floor.

Start with the Right Microfiber Mop

Before we reveal the best cleaners for every type of floor, let’s be crystal clear that none of these products can compensate for a bad mop.

Cotton string mops, sponge mops, and even spin mops all start you off at a HUGE cleaning deficit. When it comes to cleaning floors, the quality of microfiber and the more microfiber packed in per inch changes your results DRAMATICALLY, no matter what soap you use.

When you mop, the center of the fibers absorbs the water, and the surface of the fibers as well as the holes in the weave pattern traps the dirt. This is why microfiber always wins at mopping because its tiny size ensures 10x more little spots for dirt to get trapped versus cotton or any other material.

Even among microfiber mops, though, there is also a huge range of performance, because depending on the quality of the fibers and how it’s woven, some give you way less microfiber per inch, thus less dirt-holding power.

Microfiber Wholesale’s mops are the highest quality and densest microfiber you’ll find in the industry, and we have the independent research to prove it. The Spruce named our 18" Professional Microfiber Mop the best overall mop for 2021. Their product tester said, “I was skeptical about how well this mop could clean using just water. However, when I rinsed the pad out, it was like a mudslide coming out of the microfiber fabric.”  

If you want to get your floors as clean as possible, regardless of the soaps you select, upgrading to a Microfiber Wholesale Mop is the most important first step you can take.

 

18" Professional Microfiber Mop

 
This mop system combines premium quality microfiber densely woven into highly durable pads paired with commercial grade hardware giving you incredible performance that lasts for years.

Important Warning for All Floor Types

Before you select the right product for your floors, it is critical that you are sure what type of flooring you actually have. 

One of the greatest advancements in modern flooring is look-alike floors, such as laminates that look like tile, tile that looks like wood, vinyl that looks like concrete, and so on. While these look-alikes can mimic the appearance of other floors, they can’t copy their tolerance for certain chemicals or cleaning procedures. Mistaking your floor type can result in not just poor cleaning results but, in some cases, permanent damage, so double-check what you actually have before proceeding.

How to ID Your Floor

Inspect flooring by the edges along baseboards and under the floor transitions moldings, where you are most likely to glimpse the side of the flooring, revealing if it is real wood, vinyl, tile, or laminate. If you know who installed your flooring, it’s always best to ask them what was installed and what products they recommend be used going forward.

INSIDER TIP: Look-alike flooring is the main reason why most professional cleaners mop ALL floors with a high-quality microfiber mop and a neutral pH no-rinse floor cleaner like Mr. Clean or  Armstrong Once and Done, so they never have to worry about costly mistakes.

Hardwood Floors

All hardwood floors, both solid and engineered, can be damaged by strongly acidic or alkaline floor cleaners, as well as water dwelling on the surface too long, so you need a floor cleaner that is pH neutral and doesn’t require extra rinsing. We recommend Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner or Mr. Clean. These products are neutral pH no rinse floor cleaners, so they will lift away dirt without damage.

Pro Tip: There’s a common misconception that it’s unsafe to use cleaners not specifically designed for wood. But the truth is any neutral pH floor cleaner is wood-safe, so feel free to skip the extra price tag of gimmicky products that claim to only work on wood. If you have wood floors in need of intensive cleaning and polish removal, Holloway Quick Shine Deep Cleaner will strip off most polish and embedded soils without damaging the floor finish.

Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Bona is the gold standard for wood floors for a reason because it works extremely well and since it is ready to use, you never have to worry about local water quality creating spots. It is extremely expensive though, so if your water is filtered,, you can save money by buying a concentrate like Mr. Clean.

Mr. Clean Multipurpose

Mr. Clean has been one of the most popular floor cleaners for generations because it really is one of the safest and most reliably effective floor cleaners available. It’s neutral pH, so you can use it on any washable floor, and it rinses away dirt and grime fast.

Holloway Quick Shine Deep Cleaner

Holloway Quick Shine Deep Cleaner was originally designed to strip the polish off wood floors without damaging the wood floor underneath, but it works great in any deep cleaning situation.

Stone & Stained Concrete Floors

Stone floors have a huge range in durability depending on what type of stone is used. Stones like granite are practically bulletproof, while others like travertine scratch and dissolve with even a splash of lemonade.

Since most people aren’t geologists and may not know what type of stone they have, it’s best to treat all stone floors as if they were delicate and acid-sensitive unless you’re 100% sure. Stained concrete is stone’s second cousin and is often finished with the same sealants and thus also needs neutral pH floor cleaner to avoid damage.

For this reason, we recommend Black Diamond Stoneworks Limestone and Travertine Floor Cleaner. This product is specifically designed for limestone, travertine, porous natural stone, marble, and slate and is also great for polished concrete. It won’t strip the protective coating or leave a residue and, with regular use, can enhance the natural colors in your stone. Mr. Clean is also safe for all stone floors but will not provide the color enhancement effect.

Black Diamond Stoneworks Limestone and Travertine Floor Cleaner

The entire Black Diamond Stoneworks line is top-notch, with deep cleaners and sealants that provide professional quality results without damage risk. This product is best for daily mopping, but for restoration, be sure to check out their grout cleaner and intensive stone cleaner,

Mr. Clean Multipurpose

Mr. Clean has been one of the most popular floor cleaners for generations because it really is one of the safest and most reliably effective floor cleaners available. It’s neutral pH, so you can use it on any washable floor, and it rinses away dirt and grime fast.

Vinyl & Laminate Floors

People often confuse vinyl and laminate for one another, so we’ll address them together. Both types of flooring are artificial layered materials designed to mimic the look of other floors like wood or stone. The key difference is vinyl is all synthetic, while laminate has a wood fiber core.

As a result, vinyl tends to be more waterproof and durable than laminate since water can seep into the wood core of the laminate at the seams (though some premium waterproof laminates escape this stereotype). Even though vinyl is waterproof, it can still let water leak into the subflooring at the seams, so it’s best to only damp mop with a microfiber flat mop for both vinyl and laminate and not use harsh chemicals that can dissolve glue or damage subfloors.

While vinyl and laminate top layers can technically tolerate a little alkalinity and acidity occasionally, over time, it’ll dull the finish, so harsher cleaners should only be used as a last resort, not for ongoing mopping. We recommend Mr. Clean and Rejuvenate Luxury Vinyl Tile Plank Floor Cleaner, as both are neutral pH and residue free.

Rejuvenate Luxury Vinyl Tile Plank Floor Cleaner

Rejuvenate’s vinyl plank floor cleaner is neutral pH and will not streak or leave a residue. It comes pre-diluted, so you never have to worry about local water quality leaving spots and streaks. This makes it expensive, though, so if your water is filtered, you can save money by using a concentrate like Mr. Clean.

Mr. Clean Multipurpose

Mr. Clean has been one of the most popular floor cleaners for generations because it really is one of the safest and most reliably effective floor cleaners available. It’s neutral pH, so you can use it on any washable floor, and it rinses away dirt and grime fast.

Tile Floors

Tile floors are by far the most durable and chemical-resistant flooring you can choose. They can be mopped by alkaline and acidic floor cleaners and tolerate good solid scrubbing with lots of water.

There is a catch, though. The sealants you need to protect the grout from absorbing stains are not as chemical resistant as the tile and grout. So for daily mopping, you want to use a pH-neutral floor cleaner to keep the sealants intact as long as possible, and using a mop pad designed for grout will also help reduce the need for intense chemicals down the road.

For daily mopping, we recommend Mr. Clean and Armstrong Once and Done Floor Cleaner. If you have tile floors in need of intensive cleaning and restoration, Holloway Quick Shine Deep Cleaner will remove embedded soils without risk of damage.

If your tile grout requires rescue, read up on the easiest way to clean your grout without scrubbing. If you have to use an intensive cleaner or a grout restoration product to deep clean the floor, be prepared to re-seal immediately with a sealer like 511 Impregnator Sealer.

The Mucho Mop

Premium microfiber woven into plush chenille fingers allows the mucho mop to dig deep into crevices and uneven surfaces like tile floors, HVAC vent covers, baseboards, and more. Check price

Armstrong Once and Done Floor Cleaner

Armstong Once and Done is a strong yet gentle floor cleaner that can maintain tile and porous grout while still being safe for even marble. It is slightly alkaline in concentrate but is still a very low risk when diluted.

Mr. Clean Multipurpose

Mr. Clean has been one of the most popular floor cleaners for generations because it really is one of the safest and most reliably effective floor cleaners available. It’s neutral pH, so you can use it on any washable floor, and it rinses away dirt and grime fast.

Holloway Quick Shine Deep Cleaner

Holloway Quick Shine Deep Cleaner was originally designed to strip the polish off wood floors without damaging the wood floor underneath, but it works great in any deep cleaning situation.

511 Impregnator Sealer

A DIY-friendly water-based sealer that’s as simple as applying, waiting five minutes, wiping up, and letting dry. Safe on most tile and grout and last for years with normal usage. Best of all, it’s invisible, so it doesn’t change the look of your tile or grout.

Conclusion

Remember, when possible, cleaning floors with just a microfiber mop and water is still the most environmentally friendly and cost-conscious choice.

However, when the soil load on the floor is too great, and you need the boost of floor cleaner, the most important part of that decision is committing to following the manufacturer’s instructions. A lot of floor cleaners are concentrated and require dilution, so using too much at best wastes chemicals that damages the environment and, at worst, can ruin your floors.

The key to keeping your floors in their best shape is to maintain them by frequently dust mopping and light damp mopping. To learn more about how to effectively mop your floors, check out our mopping best practices here!

Not currently using microfiber mops? Check out some of our best-selling microfiber mop kits today.

Easiest Way To Mop Your Floors


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