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 PicksThe HouseWire earns a commission through the following independently chosen links at no additional cost to you.
1. Best Overall : Bona Hardwood Floor Polish
- You don’t need to apply much pressure for polish application
- It leaves a durable high-gloss shine that still looks great after a few months
- Users love how it only takes a few basic steps to achieve a glossy finish
- It’s best to apply the floor polish along the wood grain, or else you can end up with streaks
- Some users found the Bona hardwood floor polish left a wax buildup after a few uses
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, helping 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.
|Volume||32 fl oz|
|Dry Time||one hour (24 hours to dry completely and fully cure)|
|Features||Low odor, High-gloss finish, No-rinse, Non-toxic|
|Coverage Area||500 sq. ft|
2. Best Budget : Zep High Traffic Floor Polish
- A little goes a long way and one bottle covers a high square footage
- Reviewers love that you can use this on non-wood surfaces and
- It doesn’t take long to dry before you can apply a second coat
- It needs around four applications for the best results
- One user found it had quite a chemical smell to it
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.
|Volume||128 fl oz (1 gallon)|
|Dry Time||30 mins between applications|
|Features||Anti-slip, High-gloss finish, No-rinse, Removes scuffs and scratch marks|
|Coverage Area||2000 sq. ft|
3. Best Cleaner and Polish : Orange Glo Hardwood Floor 4-in-1 Monthly Polish
- Users love how the floor polish leaves a natural look with some added shine
It’s super quick to completely dry for a shiny clean floor
It’s safe and effective to use on an older wooden floor
- You still have to dust mop before using this product for the best results
Make sure you use it once a month or less to avoid a waxy buildup or dull residue
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.
|Volume||24 fl oz|
|Dry Time||15 minutes|
|Features||No-rinse, Phosphate-free, Removes scuffs and scratches|
4. Best High Gloss : Rejuvenate Professional Hardwood Floor Restorer
- It gives hardwood floors a rich color and smooth finish
- Users love how the Rejuvenate professional wood floor restorer buffs out micro scratches and scuffs
- The liquid is easy to spread using a microfiber pad or cloth
- High-gloss hardwood floors don’t keep their shine for as long as some users had hoped
- It fills in micro-scratches but not anything more substantial
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.
|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|
5. Best Natural : Quick Shine Hardwood Floor Luster and Polish
- It leaves a beautiful yet natural fragrance around your home
- There isn’t a sticky residue as you sometimes find with plant-based oils
- Users love how it works just as well on old hardwood floors as new ones
- Quick Shine Hardwood floor polish can make your floors slippy, so be careful
- You need to apply more than one coat to keep the shine in heavy foot traffic areas
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.
|Volume||27 fl oz x2|
|Dry Time||30 minutes|
|Features||Residue-free, No-rinse, Non-abrasive, Non-corrosive, Non-toxic, Streak-free, Removes scratches|
6. Best for Removing Scratches : Weiman Wood Floor Polish and Restorer
- The finish is durable enough to withstand dogs and children
- Users love how their hardwood floors stay cleaner after using this polish
- It doesn’t leave streaks on your floors
- It seems to work better on light floors and can leave a cloudy finish on darker floors
- It’s great if you like high-gloss hardwood floors, but not if you prefer a more natural look
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.
|Volume||32 fl oz|
|Dry Time||45-60 minutes|
|Features||Residue-free, No-rinse, Streak-free, Removes scuff marks and scratches|
7. Best for Dark Finishes : Howard Restor-A-Finish Dark Walnut
- It doesn’t take long for the polish to dry into a glossy finish
- It boosts the natural color and adds character to your wood floors
- Save time and money by restoring your floors instead of replacing them
- It’s not easy to find a perfect color match, so test a small section of your floor first
- Make sure you wipe off all the excess product to avoid a sticky residue
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.
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Your Hardwood Floor
Before You Start:
- 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.
Applying the Polish:
- 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!
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.
What Sort of Mop Should I Use to Apply a Hardwood Floor Polish Product?
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?
First, try an ammonia solution:
- 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.
Or, you can try removing the existing finish:
- 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.
Is It Better to Clean or Polish Hardwood Floors?
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!
Hardwood Floor Polish Comparison Chart
|Product||Form||Volume||Dry Time||Scent||Coverage Area|
|Bona Hardwood Floor Polish||Liquid||32 fl oz||1 hr||None||500 sq. ft|
|Zep High Traffic Floor Polish||Liquid||128 fl oz||30 mins||N/A||2000 sq. ft|
|Orange Glo Floor Polish||Liquid||24 fl oz||15 mins||N/A||N/A|
|Rejuvenate Professional Hardwood Floor Restorer||Liquid||32 fl oz||45 mins||N/A||525 sq. ft|
|Quick Shine Hardwood Floor Luster and Polish||Liquid||27 fl oz x2||30 mins||Fragrance-free||N/A|
|Weiman Wood Floor Polish and Restorer||Liquid||32 fl oz||45-60 minutes||None||N/A|
|Howard Restor-A-Finish Dark Walnut||Liquid||16 fl oz||30-60 minutes||None||N/A|