Polish your floors to perfection and bring back the shine
Hardwood floors give your home a feel of luxury, but they take a lot of wear and tear. And finding the best polish to remove any wax buildup and maintain that glossy shine isn’t easy.
But we’ve got a few tips on the best products to use and how to clean your wood floors with them. Whether it’s a light oak or dark mahogany, there’s something for every surface.
Say goodbye to scuffs and dull patches. It’s time to check out this list of the best hardwood floor polishes on the market in 2023.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall - Bona Hardwood Floor Polish
- Best Budget - Zep High Traffic Floor Polish
- Best Cleaner and Polish - Orange Glo Hardwood Floor 4-in-1 Monthly Polish
- Best High Gloss - Rejuvenate Professional Hardwood Floor Restorer
- Best Natural - Quick Shine Hardwood Floor Luster and Polish
- Best For Removing Scratches - Weiman Wood Floor Polish and Restorer
- Best For Dark Finishes - Howard Restor-A-Finish Dark Walnut
- Durable high-gloss shine
- Straightforward to use & apply
- Safe for all types of wooden floors
- May leave streaks
- High square footage
- Versatile to use on non-wood surfaces
- Fast drying time
- Chemical smell
- Natural look with some added shine
- Super quick to dry
- Safe and effective to use on an older wooden floor
- Waxy buildup or dull residue if the product is underused
- Rich color and smooth finish
- Buffs out scratches and scuffs
- Easy to spread
- Shine is not as durable as expected on high-gloss hardwood floors
- Beautiful and natural fragrance
- No sticky residue
- Works on old and new floors
- Can leave floors slippy
- Leaves a durable finish
- Floors stay longer and cleaner
- Doesn’t leave streaks
- Can leave a cloudy finish on darker floors
- Fast drying time
- Boosts the natural color of wood floors
- Restores the floors
- Difficult to find the correct color match
- Measure the floor and work out how many square feet it is by multiplying the length by the width. This way, you know how much floor polish to buy.
- Prepare the room. Remove any furniture and rugs, then clean the floor by sweeping or dust mopping.
- Keep water away from your floor polish! Otherwise, you could end up with a milky-looking floor. Always keep the product in the original packaging, too.
- Use a microfiber pad to apply the polish to your floors. Avoid using a sponge, string, or wring mop. It’s hard to apply it evenly with these, so you’ll end up with streaks.
- Pop some polish onto the pad first to dampen it. But remember, never use water!
- Always spot test a small section of floor first. This way, you can make sure you like the floor polish you’ve chosen.
- It’s safe to pour the polish straight onto the floor from the bottle. Use an “S” or zigzag shape, depending on what the label recommends.
- Work your way around the floor in sections. It’s easier to keep on top of removing residue before moving onto the next area this way.
- You don’t need to apply much pressure or scrub when putting your polish on floors. A light sweeping action is more than enough.
- Apply an even layer as per the instructions. But make sure it’s not too thin so it doesn’t turn patchy as it dries.
- Wear socks if you’re walking on your floors within a couple of hours of applying polish. It might feel dry, but it needs time to fully cure still.
- Leave your floors for 24-hours to fully dry. Then you can replace furniture and rugs, let your pooch back in, and go sock-less ‘til your heart’s content. Or, apply another coat!
- Mix one cup of ammonia per gallon of hot water and use this to dissolve any buildup.
- Bear in mind that it’s easy to damage hardwood floors with excess water, so use the solution sparingly. And use it for occasional treatment rather than everyday cleaning.
- Always carry out a spot test on a discreet area first.
- This is a more aggressive technique that requires some elbow grease on your part.
- Sand your floors to get rid of any polish product.
- When there’s no polish left, refinish your floors to get them back to normal.
For dull floors in need of a refresh, this Bona hardwood floor polish is your saving grace. The high gloss finish not only leaves your floors revitalized, but it helps to protect them too.
The protective formula fills in micro scratches and scuffs, leaving an even appearance and protecting your floor from future wear and tear.
There’s even an antimicrobial additive, helps to prevent any mold or mildew from forming and leaving a musty odor.
It’s safe to use around your children and pets, and you don’t need to keep them out the way for too long. You can walk on it again after about an hour and enjoy the beautiful shine.
Finally, it leaves a durable high-gloss shine that still looks great after a few months.
What Customers Are Saying
Many customers appreciated the fact that they didn’t have to apply much pressure for polish application. Plus, they reported that it only takes a few basic steps to achieve a glossy finish.
But some were disappointed to find streaks after application unless they applied the floor polish along the wood grain. Also, some users noticed the Bona hardwood floor polish left a wax buildup after a few uses.
Price at time of publish: $17
|Volume:||32 fl oz|
|Dry Time:||One hour|
|Coverage Area|| 500 sq. ft|
|Features:|| Low odor, High-gloss finish, No-rinse, Non-toxic, Removes scuffs and scratches|
You don’t need to break the bank to look after your wood floors, as this Zep polish proves. It’s affordable while still providing a glossy protective layer for areas of heavy traffic.
This polish fills in minor scratches and protects against the strains of everyday life in a busy home. No need to worry about heel marks and pet paws anymore!
You can enjoy the high gloss look with the added benefit of an anti-slip finish. It really is the best of both worlds.
And once it’s on, the low maintenance formula is painless to look after, leaving you with more time to enjoy yourself.
What Customers Are Saying
Reviewers loved that they could use this on non-wood surfaces and wood floors alike. They also appreciated that it doesn’t take long to dry before they could apply a second coat. Plus, a little goes a long way and one bottle covers a high square footage.
But they needed around four applications for the best results which they found excessive.
Price at time of publish: $27
|Volume:||128 fl oz|
|Dry Time:||30 mins between applications|
|Coverage Area|| 2000 sq. ft|
|Features:|| Anti-slip, High-gloss finish, No-rinse, Removes scuffs and scratch marks|
Everyone loves shiny wood floors, but not the time it takes to look after them. But fear not! You can clean and polish wood floors at the same time with Orange Glo.
It’s so straightforward to bust the dust, dirt, and grime and leave your entire floor with a polished finish you’ll love. It even fills in the scuffs and scratches caused by heavy foot traffic.
If clean and shiny wasn’t enough, the protective coating works with water. It means you can damp mop your hardwood floors without any worries.
If you want to enjoy low-maintenance but beautiful hardwood floors, this is one polish to add to your cleaning arsenal.
What Customers Are Saying
Users loved how the floor polish leaves a natural look with some added shine. They also found it super quick to completely dry for a shiny clean floor and safe and effective to use on an older wooden floor.
However, they regretted that the product leaves an ammonia smell instead of oranges, as advertised.
Price at time of publish: $22
|Volume:||24 fl oz|
|Dry Time:||15 minutes|
|Coverage Area|| N/A|
|Features:||No-rinse, Phosphate-free, Removes scuffs and scratches|
If high-gloss floors are your thing, look no further than this Rejuvenate Professional Wood Floor Restorer! It bonds to the existing finish for the ultimate glossy finish that also resists stains and spills.
It’s ideal for polyurethane-finished wood floors that are looking tired and in need of a refresh. But don’t use it on your laminate or tiles as it’s designed for the real deal only.
Instead, treat your hardwood floors to a high-gloss shine in just one application. It fills in scratches as it goes with no wax residue left behind to spoil the look.
This specially formulated hardwood polish adds the finishing touches to the hours of devotion you’ve put into restoring your hardwood floors.
What Customers Are Saying
Users loved how the Rejuvenate professional wood floor restorer buffs out micro scratches and scuffs. It also gives hardwood floors a rich color and smooth finish
But some reviewers were dissatisfied because high-gloss hardwood floors don’t keep their shine for as long as they had hoped. They also remarked that it fills in micro-scratches but not anything more substantial.
Price at time of publish: $22.98
|Volume||32 fl oz|
|Dry Time||45 minutes|
|Features||No-rinse, Streak-free, High-gloss finish, Removes scuffs and scratches|
|Coverage Area||525 sq. ft|
Why choose between safety and shine when you can have them both? This Quick Shine hardwood polish is entirely plant-based with carnauba wax and no nasty chemicals.
The EPA has even certified Quick Shine Hardwood floor polish as one of their “Safer Choice” products.
But this doesn’t mean it’s not effective! It restores color and richness to any hardwood floor while also being safe to use around your children and pets.
The polish fills in scratches and adds a protective layer to ensure your wooden floor stands up to daily wear and tear. Simply dust with a microfiber cloth every now and again to keep the shine glowing.
What Customers Are Saying
Customers liked the beautiful yet natural fragrance that the product left around their homes. Plus, they didn’t experience a sticky residue as they sometimes found with plant-based oils.
But they reported that the polish can make your floors slippy, so be careful. And they needed to apply more than one coat to keep the shine in heavy foot traffic areas.
Price at time of publish: $19.08
|Volume||27 fl oz x2|
|Dry Time||30 minutes|
|Features||Residue-free, No-rinse, Non-abrasive, Non-corrosive, Non-toxic, Streak-free, Removes scratches|
There’s nothing worse than seeing your beautiful hardwood floor covered in scratches. But that’s a thing of the past with this Weiman hardwood floor polish.
The micro-filling technology fills scratches and gives the illusion of them melting away for a smooth and even finish. It leaves a protective scratch-resistant coating that ensures your hardwood floor is ready to face the challenges of heavy traffic in a busy home.
This versatile multi-surface formula tackles grime and returns the luster to any finished hardwood floor.
Got your stilettos ready for a big night out? No problem. Dance your way to the door safe in the knowledge that your floor can handle it.
What Customers Are Saying
Users loved how their hardwood floors stay cleaner after using this polish. Plus, the finish is durable enough to withstand dogs and children.
But it seems to work better on light floors and can leave a cloudy finish on darker floors. And it’s great if you like high-gloss hardwood floors, but not if you prefer a more natural look.
Price at time of publish: $14.45
|Volume||32 fl oz|
|Dry Time||45-60 minutes|
|Features||Residue-free, No-rinse, Streak-free, Removes scuff marks and scratches|
There’s something majestic about dark hardwood floors, at least when they’re clean and shiny. Well, that’s now a super simple job thanks to this Howard floor polish.
The wipe-on, wipe-off process is a quick and easy way to restore color and luster to frazzled floors.
Have your floors faded in the sun or have water stains? No worries! This floor polish gets rid of unsightly marks without removing any of the existing finish.
And with nine colors to choose from, you’re sure to find the right match for your floors. Say goodbye to scratches and hello to a beautiful natural shine.
What Customers Are Saying
Customers appreciated that it doesn’t take long for the polish to dry into a glossy finish. Plus, it boosts the natural color and adds character to your wood floors.
But it’s not easy to find a perfect color match, so test a small section of the floor first.
Price at time of publish: $9.98
|Volume||16 fl oz|
|Dry Time||30-60 minutes|
|Features||Streak-free, Removes scuff marks, Restore color|
What to Look for in a Hardwood Floor Polish
Chemical floor polishes use strong ingredients that aren’t always good for your health, according to an investigation by The Environmental Working Group (1). Some of the chemicals are linked to asthma and birth defects while others can contain carcinogens.
And seeing as manufacturers don’t need to provide a list of what goes into their product, it’s hard to know what you’re buying.
Despite this, chemicals are a popular choice because of how effective they are. So if you want to go down the chemical route, look out for the “Safer Choice” label.
You’ll find this on wood floor polish products that are certified by the EPA as using safer chemical-based ingredients. Anything with this label has gone through some serious scientific testing to make sure it’s safe in your home.
If you find a floor polish you love that doesn’t have this label, make sure you wear safety gloves and a mask when working with it.
Natural ingredients are seeing a surge in popularity, but they’re not necessarily safer.
This type of floor polish uses corn-based chemicals or ones made from other biological sources (2). But they’re chemically identical to petroleum-based compounds, so there’s still the potential for negative health and environmental impacts.
The main plus side to natural ingredients is that they’re made from renewable resources, so they are more “green” in that sense.
But without knowing the exact ingredients and their possible side effects, you won’t know if they’re a safer option.
You can buy ready-made floor polishes or concentrated ones that you dilute with water. The best type for you will depend on the level of convenience you’re looking for!
Concentrated versions are less convenient, but they stretch further and save you money. Whereas a ready-to-use product is super quick and easy, but they don’t last as long and end up costing you more.
You should check the label to see how many applications are required before making your choice. Some hardwood flooring could need several layers, so you might decide to opt for the more affordable option in this case.
Different polishes suit different floor types. Some are only meant for hardwood floors while others are safe to use on multiple surfaces.
So if you’re looking at polishing both hardwood floors and laminate, it’s a good idea to look for a versatile product. It saves you the hassle of carrying loads of bottles around with you.
It’s easy to damage hardwood floors, so you should choose a product that won’t cause them any harm. This Mop & Glo Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner is an ideal pick.
If you’ve got engineered wood flooring, you should consider a single-surface product that’s designed for that type. For example, this Weiman Ecofriendly Wood Floor Polish is a top pick for engineered hardwood floors.
And if you’re looking to spruce up other wooden items, like your table and chairs, you can also get products that work on more than just floors. Howard Products Wood Polish & Conditioner is one such option.
The drying time is different for each floor polish, so it’s another thing to check before you buy. After all, a fully dried floor is crucial for getting those sleek results.
If you don’t leave your floor long enough, you’ll find it gets patchy and streaks easily. Not what you want after all that effort!
Of course, if you’re looking to apply several layers then make sure you leave long enough between applications. Otherwise, the finish can end up looking milky rather than glossy.
This Pledge Floor Gloss Liquid takes a respectable 20-30 minutes to dry.
The finish type you long for will also determine the best wood floor polish for you. Some will leave floors glossy, whereas others aim for a more natural finish.
If you’re not sure what you want, think about what you use the room for and how slippery the floor is after application. If it’s for your home dance studio, a slippy high-gloss finish isn’t your friend.
Whatever finish you decide, it’s always safest to spot test a small discreet patch of your hardwood floor first. It gives you an idea of how it’s going to look before you apply it everywhere, so you know it’s the right choice for you.
Finally, think about how much floor polish you need. The coverage rate tells you how many square feet you can cover with that particular product.
Most polishes cover at least one room, but it’s worth checking. Some will cover larger or smaller areas and you don’t want to run out halfway through.
To avoid this, measure your hardwood floor before you start and work out how much polish you’re going to need.
Tips for Polishing Hardwood Floor
Before You Start:
Applying the Polish:
How Long Does Hardwood Floor Polish Last?
As a general rule, it should last around 3-4 months. You might find it’s less or more depending on the usage, the product and the amount of traffic across the floors.
What Sort of Mop Should I Use to Apply a Hardwood Floor Polish Product?
A flat microfiber mop gives the evenest results when applying polish.
Of course, you can try using other methods, but they may not give the best finish. Or worse, they can leave excess water on your floors.
How Do I Remove a Hardwood Floor Polish Product?
You’ve got two options for this.
First, try an ammonia solution:
Or, you can try removing the existing finish:
Is It Better to Clean or Polish Hardwood Floors?
Keeping your hardwood floors clean is best.
Cleaning is essential to keep your floors looking spick and span, while also performing as they should. It removes the fine dirt particles that can otherwise cause scratches and damage the surface.
On the other hand, polishing hardwood floors isn’t crucial. It’s a great way to fill any scratches, add a protective layer, and leave a beautiful shine.
But polishing is a luxury rather than a necessity. So keep on top of your cleaning first!
Why Trust Thehousewire?
This roundup was written by Claire Onidi, a writer and editor with nearly 10 years of experience. She has written extensively about floor cleaning products for Thehousewire. She has personally tested many floor cleaning products for hardwood floors and other types of floors. To curate this list of hardwood floor polishes, she conducted extensive research including reviewing customers’ feedback, watching Youtube demo videos, and reading hundreds of product reviews. She also spoke to Zoe of Leroy Merlin, a top-rated hardwood floor company in France. She provided guidance on what to look for in a quality hardwood floor polish. Based on this expert insight, Claire could finalize the list and consider features such as ingredients, usage, drying time, coverage rate and so much more.