Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner (The Ultimate Review)

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Maintaining the natural beauty of hardwood floors requires the proper cleaning technique and the right cleaning solution.

But, how do you decide which floor cleaner to use when there are so many options on the market?

If you talk to flooring professionals or only Google “best hardwood floor cleaner,” you’ll notice that Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is consistently one of the highest-rated and most recommended options.

But what makes it so special?

In this ultimate review of Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner, you’ll not only get the answer to that question, but you’ll also learn how it’s used, what it’s made of, it’s key benefits, what customers complain about the most, and alternative Bona products to consider.

By the end, you’ll have all the important information to decide if Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is the right product for your home.

Bona has many floor cleaning products, so before I get started, I want to be clear that this review is of Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner. It comes in a spray bottle or large refill tank and is available at your local home improvement store or on Amazon.

Alright, let’s dive right in!

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Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Review: Quick Summary

If you only have a minute, here’s a quick summary of the important facts you need to know about Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner.

I dive much deeper into each of these items throughout the review.

What Types of Floors Does It Work On?: It is intended for unoiled, unwaxed, and sealed or finished wood floors. Floors with oil-based or waxed finishes need a specially designed product such as Bona Professional Series Natural Oil Floor Cleaner (see on Amazon).

Can It Be Used on Tile, Stone, or Engineered Wood?: According to Bona, you absolutely can use Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner on tile, stone, or engineered wood floors. But, since those materials can handle a stronger degreaser, I’d recommend buying Bona Tile & Laminate Floor Cleaner (it’s very inexpensive on Amazon). You’ll get a much better clean. Please note; you CANNOT use Bona Tile & Laminate Floor Cleaner on hardwood because the strong degreaser could damage the finish.

How to Use It: Spray the cleaner and wipe it up with a damp cloth or Bona Microfiber Cleaning Pad. You do not need to mix it with water or let it soak into your floors.

Ingredients and Safety: All ingredients are safe for your family, your home, and the environment. Low VOC emissions have earned this product the GREENGUARD Gold seal, distinguishing it as a safe formula to use around pets, children, and vulnerable people. The neutral pH of the product preserves your floor’s finish, unlike home remedies typically endorsing vinegar.

Common Complaints: Customer complaints include a lack of fragrance and streaking or cloudiness (although rare).

Impressive Endorsements: It’s considered the best hardwood floor cleaner by respected publishers like The Good Housekeeping Institute, The Spruce, and Real Homes, and it’s trusted by some big names, like the Boston Celtics.

Other Bona Products: Besides floor cleaner, Bona also carries a selection of polishes, dusters, spray mops, and cleaners intended for other tasks and floor types. The most useful complementary product to their Hardwood Floor Cleaner is the Hardwood Floor Spray Mop (see on Amazon). As its name suggests, it’s a microfiber mop with a built-in system to hold and spray the cleaner as you go.

What Types of Floors Does It Work On?

Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is designed for floors protected by a surface finish like polyurethane. This product won’t work for waxed floors or floors that have an oil-based finish.

Fortunately, most hardwoods installed since the 1920s are protected by a surface finish rather than an oil-based finish. If you’re not sure what type of finish your floor has, you can find out very easily by using the Water and Scraping methods that I outlined in a recent article.

One of the most common questions people ask is: Can Bona be used on tile/laminate/porcelain/vinyl/engineered hardwood?

Although it’s designed for natural hardwood floors, you can use Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner to clean tile, laminate, porcelain, vinyl, and engineered wood. However, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Why?

Because Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is designed to be gentle on hardwood floors, those other materials can handle a much stronger cleaner without issue.

Instead, I’d use another product like Bona Tile & Laminate Floor Cleaner (see on Amazon), which is essentially the same formula but has a much stronger degreaser and will more effectively knock out dirt and stains.

 

Bona Tile & Laminate Floor Cleaner
Bona Tile & Laminate Floor Cleaner (see on Amazon)

It’s important to understand that you can use the Hardwood Floor Cleaner on other materials but NEVER use the Tile and Laminate Cleaner on hardwoods. The formula is too strong and can cause damage over time.

How It Works

Using Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is simple:

Step 1: First, vacuum your floors to remove loose dirt and dust.

Step 2: Next, spray Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner liberally on your floor using the spray bottle that it comes in or apply it using the Bona Hardwood Floor Spray Mop (see on Amazon).

Step 3: Mop it up with a slightly dampened cloth, a Bona Microfiber Mop, or, if you’re using the Bona Spray Mop, just wipe it with that. If you’re cleaning a large area, you might need to rinse off your cloth or microfiber pad a few times to avoid spreading dirt from one area to another.

Bona Microfiber Floor Mop
Bona Microfiber Floor Mop (see on Amazon)

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when using Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner:

  • Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner does not need to be diluted with water, and there’s no need to wait for the cleaning solution to dissolve dirt.
  • As I explained in a recent article, How to Deep Clean Hardwood Floors, excess moisture can absorb into your wood floor and lead to cupping, warping, and long term damage. So when you use Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner, be sure to apply it with the spray bottle rather than pouring it on straight from the refill container.
  • Although it’s formulated to dry quickly, mop it within a few minutes of applying it to your floors—you do not need to let it sit and soak in.
  • It’s best to mop in the direction of the floorboards. This helps avoid streaking and allows you to pick up the dirt that’s stuck between floorboards.

Deciphering the Ingredients List

Before you spray Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner all over your floors, it’s important to understand what ingredients it’s made up of and what purposes those ingredients serve.

Here’s a quick breakdown.

Water: Water is the first ingredient in the cleaning solution, replacing chemicals that could be harmful to you, your family, or pets. It acts as a solvent for other ingredients and could work wonders all on its own when paired with microfiber cloths, which are designed to clean and sanitize using only water. The water Bona uses is completely free of impurities.

Co-solvents: Besides water, the most important ingredients are the three co-solvents (PPG-2 Methyl Ether, Butoxypropanol, and Ethoxylated alcohol), which are all body-safe and typically used in cosmetics at a significantly higher concentration than in Bona’s cleaning formulas. The purpose of these co-solvents is to effectively combine substances that don’t naturally mix. In simple terms, these substances lift those greasy cooking spills from your floors instead of smearing it around.

Chelators: Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner also includes chelators like trisodium salt, which is an organic compound used to stop hard water formation. The opaque streaks on faucets are a common example of what hard water can do, leaving crusts of a metal-rich solution on your home’s surfaces. Chelators act as an agent for removing these metal ions.

Isothiazolinones: Isothiazolinones are other ingredients that Bona uses to preserve organic, biodegradable products and eradicate harmful bacteria. This type of compound is often used in fuel storage, cooling systems, shampoos, and cleaners.

Colorant: Bona uses Liquitint(R) Blue HP in their cleaner so that you can differentiate it from water and other spills. Don’t worry, this won’t stain your floor or your rugs, it’s purely aesthetic, water-soluble, and washes out easily. You’ll find it in many cleaners, detergents, and soaps.

To learn more about the special formula Bona uses to make its Hardwood Floor Cleaner, check out the ingredients tab on this page of Bona.com.

Key Benefits

Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is one of the top hardwood floor cleaners on the market because it’s highly effective, pH-neutral, safe for your floors, and the environment.

Let’s first talk about how well it works.

I’ve tested a lot of floor cleaner, including products by Rejuvenate, Pledge, Weiman, Swiffer (check out my in-depth review of Bona vs. Swiffer), and several others. Since I don’t have an affiliation with any of these brands, including Bona, I can say unbiasedly that Bona did the best job.

Hardwood floors cleaned with Bona
My hardwood floors cleaned with Bona

It cleans wonderfully without leaving behind residue, streaks, or a harsh chemical odor. Best of all, I’ve been using it for years, and it has NEVER caused any damage to the finish of my floors, unlike some DIY solutions (more on this in a minute).

I realize that my opinion on its cleaning performance isn’t exactly scientific, so instead of taking only my word for it, I highly recommend checking out the dozens of other reviews by satisfied customers on Amazon.

Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner also advertises that it’s a pH-neutral cleaning solution – but why is that so important?

DIY blogs might have you sold on the idea of using water and vinegar on your hardwood floors, or some similar combination.

Vinegar is a smart choice in some regards: it’s cheap, biodegradable, safe for your family, and it’s an effective disinfectant. However, you might find your hardwood floors looking dull or cloudy after using this trick for a while.

Even worse, anything mildly acidic like vinegar will gradually wear down your floor’s finish allowing moisture to penetrate and damage the wood.

Although vinegar can cut through hard water and be effective in VERY DILUTED amounts to spot clean tough stains, the same job can be done by a pH-neutral cleaner, like Bona. But, with Bona, you don’t have the stress of wondering whether you’re slowly giving your beautiful floors white, cloudy marks.

Regarding its safety, it has the GREENGUARD Gold stamp of approval for its stringent safety measures, which is a benchmark for a product to be used in schools, healthcare facilities, and other environments where harmless cleaning supplies are crucial for sensitive individuals.

GREENGUARD is a non-profit, third-party research group that measures volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are carbon-based chemicals that linger in the air, irritating asthma and causing a range of other health concerns. According to the EPA, immediate symptoms that sometimes occur after exposure to VOCs are eye and respiratory irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, and memory impairment.

Some VOCs are even carcinogenic—suspected or known to cause cancer in humans and animals. The concentration of VOCs is typically 10 times higher indoors than outdoors, which means the threat is most often lurking around your home.

Common goods saturated with these chemicals include paint, aerosol sprays, air fresheners, automobile emissions, dry-cleaned goods, disinfectants, and more.

For the safety of you and your family, it’s always important to know that the cleaning solution you’re coating your home with is low in VOCs and other toxins. The GREENGUARD Gold seal gives Bona customers confidence that they are making the smart, healthy choice in floor care products.

Bottom line—Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner does the job well, it has a neutral pH, and it’s biodegradable and safe for your family. Although it’ll cost a little more than vinegar and water, your hardwood floors will thank you in the long run.

Common Complaints

Like any product that’s used by millions, Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner has its naysayers.

Here are the most common complaints about Bona.

Some customers are discouraged by the price, although Bona is average within its market.

Pledge Gentle Wood Floor Cleaner (check the current price on Amazon), for instance, typically costs less by the gallon than Bona (check the current price on Amazon).

However, Black Diamond Stoneworks (check the current price on Amazon) makes a more expensive hardwood floor cleaner that will cost you an average of 22% more than Bona’s, with the same overwhelmingly positive reviews.

Although rare, I have also seen negative reviews from owners of Brazilian hardwood floors who have noticed streaks or a film-like residue when they clean.

Although these reviews are rare, it’s always worthwhile to spot-test with the product before committing on cleaning your entire home with it.

If you’re a person who loves the lemon-fresh scent of most household cleaners, then you might also be disappointed in Bona’s unremarkable fragrance.

Mixed reviews leave the impression that the scent is pleasantly subtle at best and boring at worst, with some reviewers claiming that there is no smell at all. However, if you have sensitivities to cleaning fragrances or you find them too perfumey for your tastes, this could be a perfect solution for you.

I love the fact that this product has little to no smell. There’s nothing worse than choking on harsh lemon scent after mopping down a room. Although some reviewers see this as a negative, I put this in the ‘win column.’

Impressive Endorsements

If you’ve been shopping around online for hardwood floor cleaners, you might have noticed that Bona consistently ranks #1 on most Top 10s lists.

Bona is praised so often for one main reason; its superior cleaning performance. Customers are looking for a streak-free, hassle-free product, and Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner delivers.

The Good Housekeeping Institute ranks it as the best out of 24 floor cleaning products because it was easy to use, and it decimated their scuff marks and Jell-O spills faster than any other brand.

Good Housekeeping_Best Floor Cleaner_Bona
Good Housekeeping Best Floor Cleaner: Bona

The Spruce officially named it their Best Overall for hardwood floor cleaners in 2019, singing its praise, “No streaks, no residue, just your floor’s natural beauty shining through.”

The Spruce Best Floor Cleaners: Bona
The Spruce Best Floor Cleaners: Bona

Real Homes shared the same sentiment, dubbing the product “a bona fide streakless cleaner for a flawless finish.”

Real Homes Best Floor Cleaner: Bona
Real Homes Best Floor Cleaner: Bona

Bona isn’t just backed by online listicles, though; it has partnered with some big names and is used by trusted professionals.

Bona is the Official Hardwood Care Partner of the Boston Celtics and is an allied manufacturer and proud member of MFMA (Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association) for several decades.

Bona and Boston Celtics Partnership

Bona’s portfolio also comes with some impressive references from places like the UK’s National Portrait Gallery and Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, where a clean, polished environment is essential to keep anything from detracting from the beautiful displays.

But no organization’s voice is louder than hundreds of consumers dealing with the same problems you are, and their opinion on Bona is almost unanimous: they love this hardwood floor cleaner. Don’t take my word for it; check out the many positive reviews it gets from real customers on Amazon.

Most reviewers cite the gentle clean and streak-free shine as reasons for their loyalty to this product, plus the knowledge that Bona is pet-safe and child-safe. The trigger spray on the bottle is easy to use, and most people find the fragrance to be pleasant and subtle.

Bona’s Other Products

If you’re looking for something more than Bona’s classic Hardwood Floor Cleaner, there are still a lot of different options in stock.

For surfaces other than wood, they carry a special brand of aptly-named Stone, Tile, and Laminate Floor Cleaner (see on Amazon), which essentially is tougher on grease but slightly less safe for hardwood floors.

For a “revitalizing” clean, you can try Bona Clean & Refresh (see on Amazon), which is supposed to amp up the shine on your hardwood floors while still mopping up messes. It seems to have missed the mark for a lot of reviewers, who prefer the original Hardwood Floor Cleaner formula over the Clean & Refresh. Most people who made a switch to the newer product were disappointed by a milky film it left on their floors.

Bona also carries a hypoallergenic, scent-free, and dye-free version of their cleaner called Simple & Free (see on Amazon). Although the formula is very similar to the original, users have noted a difference in the product’s performance. It’s effective for obliterating your home’s allergens, but some people also feel as though the cleaner is stickier and more likely to leave a residue, particularly on high-gloss floors.

Other products with positive feedback include the PowerPlus Hardwood Floor Deep Cleaner (see on Amazon) for tougher messes, the Pro Series cleaners, floor polishes, furniture polishes, and disposable dusting cloths (see the Pro Series on Amazon).

Although it’s not a requirement for using Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner, the company highly recommends purchasing its spray mops and reusable microfiber cloths (see on Amazon).

The mops receive high praise for their even distribution of cleaning solution and their eco-friendly reusable pads, but customers have run into issues with leakage of the cleaning solution or fracturing at the mop joints.

For a full review of the Bona Hardwood Floor Spray Mop, check out our article measuring it against the popular Swiffer WetJet.

Bona’s 100-Year History of Floor Care

Bona had its start in Malmö, Sweden, where a man named Wilhelm Edner owned a small, mom-and-pop coffee shop. For extra income, he jumped on the burgeoning “bonvax” business – translating to “floor wax” or “floor polish” – and began crafting his own floor maintenance products.

Excited by the potential of this new endeavor, Edner officially registered his company, Aktiebolaget Bona, in 1919 and began developing a wider variety of merchandise dedicated to home care.

Bona consistently seeks new and innovative ways to meet the needs of customers. They have been leading most other floor maintenance industries through developments such as UV and water-based finishes.

They were one of the first companies to swap out toxic chemicals for water-based finishes. They were early champions of dust containment systems during floor sanding processes. And they were the first to comprehensively offer waterborne hardwood floor products certified for indoor air quality.

By 1953, Bona was exporting its supplies to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Their influence continued to stretch across the globe and finally hit the U.S. in 2002 when its Hardwood Floor Cleaner became available in stores. Within just 9 years, the top 5 largest U.S. retailers began carrying Bona.

Today, Bona offers products for most hardwood flooring needs, in addition to stone, tile, and laminate flooring solutions.

Their services have been tested on basketball courts, airports, restaurants, and a century’s worth of homes.

Yet, no matter how much Bona has grown, they still remember their roots. You can pick up a bag of Edner’s Private Reserve Coffee from their Products page while you’re browsing for spray mops.

Bottom Line: Is Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Worth It?

There are plenty of products out there to help you erase the week’s dusty pet paw prints, food spills, and scuff marks from your hardwood floors.

But is Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner the best option?

In my opinion, yes. Here’s why:

Cleaning Performance: Most importantly, it’s second to none in terms of cleaning performance. I know this because I’ve been using it for years in my own home (tested out several other brands in the process). But don’t just take my word for it, check out the overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon.

Easy to Use: It’s simple and easy to use. You just spray it and wipe it. If that’s not easy enough, Bona has other products that make the job even easier (like their spray mop).

Safe: It’s pH neutral, environmentally safe, and has the GREENGUARD Gold stamp of approval.

Impressive Endorsements: It frequently gets voted the best hardwood floor cleaner by trusted publications like The Good Housekeeping Institute, The Spruce, and Real Homes.

Focus on Floors: Bona has been dedicated to floor care for nearly 100 years, and millions of people across the globe trust it on their floors.

Sure, you could save money by using a mixture of water and vinegar, lemon, tea, or whatever the DIY blogs are telling you these days. But in doing so, you put your precious hardwoods at risk of serious long-term damage.

Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner is available at most home improvement stores, big-box stores, and on Amazon.

You can buy it in a 32-ounce spray bottle, but if you plan to clean frequently, you might want to pick up a 128-ounce refill too.

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