Floor cleaner buying guide: How to find the best floor cleaner for you

With the right floor cleaner, you can get sparkling results on just about any surface.

Whether you're giving your kitchen floor a quick mopping or planning to clean the whole house from top to bottom, a quality floor cleaner can make your life easier.

A clean floor looks great and is a crucial part of a healthy home, but choosing a floor cleaner can be a challenging task. Whether you're looking for a tile, hardwood, laminate or multi-surface cleaner, this guide will take you through the key features you need to consider.

Keep reading to find out how to buy the best floor cleaner for your home.

Compare some of the best floor cleaners

Data obtained December 2018. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Name Product Average Price (AUD) Size/s Solubility Physical description & colour Odour Purchase today
Glitz Sugar Soap
Glitz Sugar Soap
$21
750mL
Completely soluble in water
Clear blue liquid
Citrus
The Glitz Sugar Soap is designed for tough stains.
Clorox Handy Andy General Purpose And Floor Cleaner Pink 5L
Clorox Handy Andy General Purpose And Floor Cleaner Pink 5L
$23.95
5L
Completely soluble in water
Pink, slightly viscous opaque liquid.
Mild citrus
The Clorox Handy Andy General Purpose And Floor Cleaner comes in a large 5L size and is suitable for hard surfaces including floors and benchtops.
Long Life Mop & Glo
Long Life Mop & Glo
$24.30
1L, 5L
Completely soluble in water.
Opaque pink liquid
Lavender
The Long Life Mop & Glo is an all-in-one cleaner and polisher.
Natures Organic Earth Choice Floor & Surface Cleaner
Natures Organic Earth Choice Floor & Surface Cleaner
$26.99
1L
Readily soluble
Clear pale blue-green slightly viscous liquid
Eucalyptus
The Natures Organic Earth Choice Floor & Surface Cleaner is made from plant-based materials and 100% recycled plastic.
Selleys Tile Floor Cleaner
Selleys Tile Floor Cleaner
$27.95
750mL
Miscible with water
Colourless liquid
Pine
The Selleys Tile Floor Cleaner cleans dirt and grime on tile without leaving behind streak marks.
Long Life Timber Floor Cleaner
Long Life Timber Floor Cleaner
$29.99
500ml, 1L, 5L
Completely soluble in water
Clear colourless liquid
Lavender ice
The Long Life Timber Floor Cleaner leaves behind a protective film to protect timber from future damage and decay.
Selleys Multi Surface Floor Cleaner
Selleys Multi Surface Floor Cleaner
$29.99
750ml
Miscible with water
Colourless liquid
Pine
The Selleys Multi Surface Floor Cleaner is antibacterial for more hygienic cleaning.
Simple Green Floor Cleaner
Simple Green Floor Cleaner
$32.95
946mL
100% in water
Hazy Colorless Liquid
Citrus
The Simple Green Floor Cleaner is a non-toxic and biodegradable product.
Long Life Tile Cleaner
Long Life Tile Cleaner
$39.99
500ml, 1L, 5L
Completely soluble in water.
Clear colourless liquid
Lavender ice
The Long Life Tile Cleaner is designed to clean and extend the lifespan of a wide range of tiles.
Glitz Hardwood Floor Cleaner
Glitz Hardwood Floor Cleaner
$41.95
750mL
Completely soluble in water
Clear, colourless liquid
Lemon
The Glitz Hardwood Floor Cleaner works on hardwood and laminate floors and can be used with a dry mop.

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What is a floor cleaner?

Before going any further, we should point out that the floor cleaners compared in this guide are for use on hard floor surfaces. These are products you use to remove dirt, grease and grime from surfaces like tile and timber floors, and you usually need to apply them with a mop or a spray bottle.

If you're looking for ways to clean carpet flooring, check out our guide to the best carpet stain removers.

What types are available?

floor cleaner types
The main way to distinguish between the different types of floor cleaners is to look at the surfaces they clean. For example, some products are for use on timber or hardwood floors, offering safe and effective cleaning for these materials.

Hardwood floors in particular can be quite difficult to clean, as harsh chemicals can potentially strip the finish from the surface. As a result, a good hardwood floor cleaner needs to be gentle enough to use without damaging the look of your floorboards, but still powerful enough to remove dirt and other gunk.

Other products suit tile floors and laminate floors. For example, tile cleaners cut through dirt and grime (including in the grout) without leaving behind streaks or a greasy finish.

Then there are multi-surface floor cleaners, which you can use across a wide range of hard floor surfaces. Many products are liquids that you will need to dilute with water and then use a mop to distribute it one the floor, but there are other products that you can spray directly onto the floor and then wipe or rinse them away.

Whichever floor cleaning product you choose, read the label closely to make sure it's safe to use on your chosen surface and for the type of cleaning you have planned.

How to compare floor cleaners

Rather than just buying the first floor cleaner you find on the supermarket shelf, it's worth comparing your options to find a product that's right for you. Along with the type of surface you want to clean, you'll also need to consider the following:

Which floor cleaner is best for me?

The best floor cleaner for you really depends on the type of cleaning you're doing – what surfaces are you working on, is it a general clean or are you targeting specific stains, and how much are you willing to spend?

Once you know what you need, you can compare the prices and features of suitable products. To help make the comparison process a little easier, we've weighed up the pros and cons of five popular floor cleaners in the table below:

The good The bad
Clorox Handy Andy General Purpose And Floor Cleaner Pink 5L
  • Comes in 5L size
  • Can also be used on benchtops
  • Some users want more cleaning power
  • May not be completely effective on stubborn stains
Selleys Multi Surface Floor Cleaner
  • Solid all-rounder
  • Antibacterial
  • Not biodegradable
  • Can't be used on stone or on scratched/worn wooden surfaces
Glitz Hardwood Floor Cleaner
  • Easy to use
  • Suitable for hardwood and laminate floors
  • Pricey
  • Must wipe surface clean with damp mop after application
Earth Choice Floor & Surface Cleaner
  • Affordable
  • Plant-based ingredients
  • Not as effective as some other products
  • Some users complain of sticky residue
Long Life Tile Cleaner
  • Antibacterial
  • No rinsing required
  • Not biodegradable
  • Not as effective as some other products

Hard floor cleaners and steam mops

If you want to wave goodbye to your old-fashioned mop and bucket for good, a specialist hard floor cleaner might be the answer. Available in corded or cordless form, these appliances look much like a regular upright vacuum but allow you to wash, scrub, dry and vacuum hard floors. Prices range from around $100 to $500.

Another option you may want to consider to bring the shine back to your floors is a steam mop. These increasingly popular appliances allow you to use steam cleaning power on a wide range of surfaces, so check out our steam mop buying guide for more information.

But if you're ready to buy floor cleaner and get your hard floors looking spotless, start comparing the available options now.

Tim Falk

A writer with a passion for the written word, Tim loves helping Australians compare and find the right products. When he's not chained to a computer, Tim can usually be found exploring the great outdoors.

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