Technology

Use a hardwood mop to clean and protect your floors

Hardwood flooring is a significant home investment, and you want to be careful to not only keep it clean but reduce the risk of damage. Typically cleaning a hardwood floor requires minimal water and lower or no heat, while laminate wood can tolerate a bit more. We’ve rounded up the best mops – both steam and spray mist – designed specifically for hardwood floors. Our favorite is the Shark Genius hardwood mop. This steam mop has three settings and uses unique mop pads that work to loosen and lift dirt from your floor’s crevices and grooves without damaging your hardwood.

Best Overall: Shark Genius Hardwood Mop

The Shark Genius is a steam mop specifically designed for hardwood floors. It has three different steam levels, so you decide how much heat and water you need on your floors. This helps ensure your woodwork doesn’t get too wet or hot, which could warp it. The included mop heads are designed to pick up dirt and grime from deep within grooves and crevices that naturally occur with hardwood flooring.

When one side of the pad gets dirty, the mop head flips over so you can use the other side and keep cleaning. And when you’re done, the pad can be dropped into your washing machine or laundry hamper by pushing a button rather than touching the dirty rag. The mop pads can leave streaks if you use them to wax your floors or wash them with fabric softener or dryer sheets. But washing with hot water and line drying should cut down or eliminate this.

Pros:

  • Three steam settings
  • Two-sided, reusable pads
  • No-touch pad removal

Cons:

  • May leave streaks

Best Overall

Shark Genius Hardwood Mop

The jaws of clean

This steam mop is designed for hardwood floors with multiple steam settings and textured mop pads for cleaning out grooves.

Best Value: PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop Cleaner

The PurSteam 10-in-1 steam mop is an excellent value because it is a great steam mop that works on all sorts of flooring, including hardwood. There is a handheld attachment that is easily removed and used to steam clean other surfaces like grout, faucets, mirrors, and appliances. You can add additional, included attachments, to use the PurSteam mop to steam iron curtains, upholstery, and clothing. It doesn’t require any cleaners or chemicals to use. It simply uses steam, heats up in 30 seconds, and is very efficient at killing most germs.

The head of this mop is long and it comes with several, interchangeable and reusable mop cloths. However, it isn’t good at getting into corners, especially those under countertops or behind furniture. Also, the handle is adjustable, but a lot of people find it to be too, low even at its longest.

Pros:

  • Multiuse steamer
  • Control stream
  • Good value

Cons:

  • Short handle
  • Not good at cleaning corners

Best Value

PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop Cleaner

Versatile value

This mop cleans hardwood, tile, laminate, and more. The handheld attachment is used to steam iron curtains and clothing.

Best Spray Mist: O-Cedar ProMist Max

The O-Cedar ProMist mop doesn’t use steam to clean hardwood. Instead, it has a dispenser where a cleaning solution is fed into the mop. You can control how much to spray on your floor while using the reusable, textured mop pad to pick up a lot of mess, including stuck on grime. You can use different solutions for waxing and polishing your hardwood. Or you can skip the cleaner all together and use the O-Cedar as a dry mop to simply dust the floor.

Because it isn’t a steam mop, you do have to use chemicals to clean, deodorize and sanitize your hardwood floor. This can leave some residue on your floor. The O-Cedar ProMist also doesn’t have a rotating mop head. This makes it more challenging to get close into corners. The handle does lay nearly flat to help reach far under countertops and furniture while cleaning. This spray mist mop doesn’t require any batteries to operate.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Stream control
  • No batteries needed

Cons:

  • No rotating mop head
  • Chemicals needed for deep cleaning

Best Spray Mist

O-Cedar ProMist Max

No heat, less water

You don’t need batteries, heat, or steam to wash your hardwood. This floor mop uses a spray mist of cleaner to clean up messes.

Best Robot Mop: iRobot Braava Jet M6

iRobot has stepped into the mop area with the Braava Jet M6. This robotic mop knows when to spray a mist and when to dry clean your hardwood floor. You can control the Braava Jet from your Android cellphone, but the iRobot also knows when to return to its base to charge on its own. The motion sensor knows when there is something in the way and avoids getting stuck in corners. It also senses when there is a drop so that it won’t fall down stairs.

The best part is the iRobot Braava Jet M6 uses learning technology to map your room or multiple rooms, and figure out the best path to take and which functions to use during cleaning. It also first vacuums your floors to pick up any loose debris, then goes back around to mop them. It is essential to choose a cleaning solution that works for your specific flooring type and a multipurpose cleaner if you have different types of flooring in multiple rooms that you want to be cleaned by the Braava Jet. This hardwood mop is expensive, almost three times the cost of most mops. But it is worth the price for the convenience and the vast area of clean you get.

Pros:

  • Learning technology
  • Control from smartphone
  • Automatic charging

Cons:

  • Expensive

Best Robot Mop

iRobot Braava Jet M6

Look! No hands!

The iRobot Braava Jet M6 uses learning technology and an app to control the know when to vacuum and when to mop your floors.

Best Wet Dry Mop: ITSOFT Microfiber Hardwood Floor Mop

This mop doesn’t use steam, so there isn’t any worry of getting your hardwood floor too hot. Instead, the ITSOFT Microfiber mop comes with five reusable pads to quickly pick up spills. The woven microfiber pads pick up dust from hardwood, too. When done, simply toss the pads into your washing machine and clean them for the next time you need them. The pads don’t have any scrub lines, so it is harder to pick up stains and mess that have sat for a while.

The mop head of the ITSOFT Microfiber mop rotates a full 360 degrees. This allows you to get into deep corners and under countertops and furniture. The handle can extend up to 59 inches long. The ITSOFT wet dry mop doesn’t have a dispenser like spray mops, so you will need to buy and use this separately, but this is a good way of controlling what and how much is used on your hardwood. However, because this mop also doesn’t use steam, you won’t be able to thoroughly sanitize your wood floor without using chemicals.

Pros:

  • Reusable pads
  • 360-degree rotating mop head

Cons:

  • Doesn’t spritz
  • No steam for cleaning

Best Wet Dry Mop

ITSOFT Microfiber Hardwood Floor Mop

Dust, wash and polish

The ITSOFT mop is good for both dusting and washing your hardwood floor. It doesn’t have any water or steam to ruin your wood.

Best All-in-One: Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop

The Bissell Symphony is a steam mop, wet mop, and vacuum in one, and you can use them all together at once or individually. All you need to do is press a button to turn on or off the function you need. Both reusable and disposable mop pads come with this mop that attach in a way to not get in the way of the vacuum suction if you wish to use it while picking up wet messes or mopping. The suction of the Bissell Symphony is strong enough to pick up pet hair, though some users feel it isn’t as effective when used at the same time as the mop.

This hardwood mop heats water in 30 minutes but lets you control how much steam or water to use to ensure your wood doesn’t get too hot or wet. Bissell sells scented discs that work with the Symphony steam mop that neutralize and eliminate pet odors as you clean. This is a larger mop compared to other models we reviewed weight over 15 pounds before water is added. The Bissell Symphony also a bit bulky because of the many features and functions included.

Pros:

  • Multiple cleaning functions
  • Control steam and heat
  • Good for pet hair

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Suction not as good when using with mop feature

Best All-in-One

Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop

Vacuum, steamer and mop

The Bissell Symphony picks up pet hair and lets you mop up wet messes and steam clean hardwood floors all at the same time.

Bottom line

The Shark Genius is the best mop for hardwood floors because it uses steam to clean and sanitize your floor instead of chemicals typically used in spray mist models. Unlike traditional steam cleaners and steam mops, you can control how much steam to use, which reduces the risk of using too much heat or water that tends to warp wood surfaces. You can forgo the steam altogether and use the Shark Genius as a dry mop instead.

This mop requires mop pads when in use. It comes with several reusable pads that can be cleaned and used several times before needing to be replaced. These pads are textured and designed to pick up dirt in the grooves and crevices that naturally occur in wood grains. You can also use reusable mop pads with the Shark Genius hardwood mop.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Nicole Johnston writes for multiple Future Publishing brands, including TechnoBuffalo. She has over 13 years of research and writing experience in both the public and private sector. She has a keen eye for pinpointing good products for consumers and businesses.

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