The cleaning of hardwood floors is different from cleaning other floor surfaces that can be found in homes. Most of the rotating brushes designed for cleaning carpets are not suitable for cleaning hardwood surfaces since they can damage the wood finish or even wood itself. So which is the best vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors? Let’s find out!
Today we will talk about some of the most important vacuum cleaners for hard floors and the tech specs that should interest you in buying one. As usual, our advice is to learn as many things as you can about a vacuum cleaner’s specifications, just to know what features are the most critical for your purchase decision. We also recommend you to take a look at our guides on vacuum cleaner types to understand better what you should look for when it comes to vacuum cleaners’ models and configurations.
How to Choose the Best Vacuum Cleaner For Hardwood Floors
When choosing a vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors, it is important to know if the vacuum cleaner is going to be used ONLY for hardwood floors or vacuum cleaner must be capable of cleaning various surfaces, including hardwood floors.
Also, vacuums come in various sizes and styles and one has to choose according to personal preferences and needs.
The Hardwood Cleaning Brush
Universal vacuum cleaners often have a rotating brush suitable for cleaning carpets and other similar surfaces. However, such a brush with its bristles can scratch and damage hardwood finish.
Cleaning brush for hardwood is much softer and can be used not only on wooden floors but also on furniture and other similarly sensitive surfaces. Universal vacuum cleaners often have easily accessible off/on switch for rotating brush tool, so if you are not sure about its strength and bristle stiffness, it is better to avoid using it over wooden floors. Better safe than sorry.
Due to multiple options and tools, universal vacuum cleaners are often much more expensive than vacuum cleaners designed only for cleaning hardwood floors.
In order to increase suction and thus cleaning effect, hardwood vacuum cleaners often have stripe or padding made from soft, but durable rubber around their cleaning head/nozzle. Such material is very gentle toward the wood finish and minimizes the danger of scratches and other physical damage.
Steam Vacuum Cleaners and Hardwood Floors
Vacuum cleaner using steam are very popular where additional cleaning is required, however, steam can damage hardwood finish and the wood itself. If the wood finish and/or sealant is compromised in any way, water vapor (moisture!) will cause a significant amount of damage to the floor over time, including buckling, warping, change in color, etc.
Even so-called ‘safe’ hardwood floor steam cleaners should be generally avoided. Water and wood, underwood finish, and sealant are a bad idea.
Certain artificial materials that look like hardwood can be cleaned using such vacuums. If you have such surfaces, in order to prevent any damage to the floors, clean them using steam vacuums and mops as recommended by their manufacturers.
Shampoo Vacuum Cleaners and Hardwood Floors
In certain situations, shampoo vacuum cleaners can be used on hardwood floors. The finish must be in nearly perfect condition to prevent moisture from entering the wood, although modern shampoo vacuums use a minimum amount of water and other liquids for cleaning. And cleaning surface after one or two sweeps is almost dry.
For cleaning hardwood floors using shampoo vacuums, it is recommended to use special cleaning agents that actually help preserve the wood finish and provide additional protection in the form of a thin wax layer on the wood finish surface.
As said before, wood and water in liquid or any other form (steam, for example) are not a good combination. Be very careful when cleaning hardwood floors using liquids of any kind.
Choosing the Best Hardwood Floor Vacuum: Tech Specs and Features
When choosing the best vacuum cleaner for the hardwood floor, it is also very important to consider few more things.
Corded or cordless vacuums
Corded vacuums are much stronger and their operation time is practically limitless. However, modern lithium-ion batteries provide 15-30 minutes of operation at full power.
Therefore, cordless vacuums can also cover large areas, without the need for a physical power cord. Since hardwood floors are rarely cleaned using a rotating brush (again, use of such brushes should be avoided if they are not designed for hardwood floors), batteries of cordless vacuums used on hardwood floors last even longer.
Canister/cylinder or upright vacuum cleaners
An upright vacuum cleaner is often easier to maneuver than a cylinder vacuum cleaner. However, the long cleaning hose required by cylinder vacuums is lighter than upright vacuums and can reach areas often inaccessible to uprights. On the other hand, certain models of uprights can have an ‘optional’ cleaning hose. If you want to learn more about vacuum cleaners’ bags – and what to choose between genuine ones and generic ones – here is our guide to help you!
Dirt bin or bag models
Dirt bins are usually used on cyclonic vacuum cleaners and provide storage for dirt without impacting suction power. Dirt bags, disposable or reusable, when full or almost full can decrease suction power. However, when full, disposable bags are simply thrown away in the garbage and replaced with a new one.
The HEPA filters remove at least 99.97% of particles 0.3 micrometer in size and are often combined with cyclonic or mechanical filters and sometimes even with charcoal filters. Such filtering is highly recommended for people having various allergies, asthma and other similar health issues.
How to Choose the Best Vacuum Cleaner for Hard Floors: Bottom Line
Of course, there are also other things to consider when choosing the best hardwood vacuum for your home that are specific only to – you. Our vacuum cleaner reviews and recommendations contain a number of vacuum cleaners suitable for cleaning hardwood and similar floors.
With a degree in engineering, Kathryn Hansen loves to write about how things work. Having her own dilemmas on how to pick the best vacuum cleaner for her large family (with a handful of furry four-legged members as well), Kathryn decided to help others in the same situation. After all, vacuum cleaners are critical to a healthy lifestyle and people have a hard time choosing the best one for their needs.