The best smelling floor cleaner in 2022 is Mrs Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Cleaner. But the competition is more crowded than ever, with many great contenders nearly neck and neck, and depending on your floor surface and/or scent preference, you may fall for one of our other recommendations, too.
Before we get to our recommendations (but click here if you’d like to jump straight to them), let’s take a minute to address some common concerns when it comes to floor cleaner scents.
Why do my floors stink after cleaning?
It’s one of the most frustrating phenomenons in the cleaning world, but it’s amazingly common. Many people feel like their floors smell worse after they clean than before! There are a variety of reasons why this might be, from simply using awful smelling, harsh chemical cleaners, to mop care and more.
Check your mop: Is it dirty and smelly? Then it might be time for a new one. Also, storing a damp dirty mop will trap the bad smell inside its fibers, and over time it can become almost impossible to restore. consider letting your mop air dry in the sun after using it. After each session, rinse off your mop’s head in the sink. Many mop heads are safe to put in the washing machine—so if you have one of those, we recommend taking advantage of it.
Here’s some advice we found Reddit:
So I’ve done a lot of mopping in my day. Over 2 decades combined working at vet clinics and restaurants, both of which are mopped daily.
Throw out the cheap sponge mops, twirl mops and gimmicky mops. Get a mop bucket with a wringer and a mop handle with a detachaable, washable mop head. I prefer the plastic attachment to the metal on the mop. I’ve seen the metal get all rusty. This is the mop bucket I got.. It’s decent, just feels a little cheap compared to the more commercial ones I’m used to. I would rather a bucket like this which is more sturdy, but I was trying to save money.
For mop heads, do yourself a favor and spend a couple extra dollars and get the kind with the loopy ends that are stitched across like this, instead of the ones that are all loose and cut like this.. The loose ones come apart in the washing machine and get all tangled. I like to have 2 mop heads that I rotate.Source: Reddit
Why not just use vinegar?
Many people find the smell of vinegar … difficult, to say the least. It’s extremely sharp and strong, almost like gasoline in some ways. Many people say it has a chemical smell. That said, if you like it, or can tolerate it, you absolutely cannot go wrong using vinegar to clean your floors! It’s cheap, it’s natural, it’s available everywhere and works as effectively as any floor cleaner on the market. You’ll smell the vinegar, but you likely won’t smell anything else—and when the vinegar smell fades away, it will usually take the bad odors with it.
I currently live in an apartment with wood laminate flooring. For that I use a spray bottle and a swiffer-type mop. I put a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% water in the spray bottle. You can’t leave standing water on a wood laminate floor.
White vinegar and water could work for other flooring materials, too. It does a good job, and it’s inexpensive and not as toxic as some other cleaning liquids.
For dirtier floors made of more durable materials, like ceramic tile and linoleum, I would use a solution of ammonia and water. I tend to put the ammonia in by eyeball — maybe 5-20% ammonia?Source: Reddit
What kind of floors do you have?
For most common types of household floors like tile, vinyl and most hardwoods, all of our top picks (with the exception of our DIY pick) will work fine for you (although you should read the instructions carefully because only you know your floors). They’re multi-surface cleaners that are specifically designed to be versatile workhorses.
If you have concrete floors, be careful! Many common floor cleaning products are acidic, and the acid will degrade concrete. For a strong Ph neutral cleaner that does its job well, we recommend OdoBan No Rinse Neutral Ph Floor Cleaner Concentrate. Now, from a scent perspective, it’s hardly a top contender. This is likely because the most common scent base in cleaning products is an acid: citrus. So if you’re using natural ingredients to power your scent, you’re going to have trouble formulating a Ph Neutral cleaner. OdoBan’s formula is a very light citrus scent that certainly doesn’t smell the best, particularly if mixed with bleach. But don’t let that get in the way if you have concrete floors. This will absolutely do the job in a safe manner, and the scent is highly unlikely to bug you. From our perspective it’s more of a missed opportunity to do something truly great than anything else.
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi-Surface Cleaner comes in 6 scents: bluebell, geranium, honeysuckle, lavender, lemon verbena and rosemary. Obviously if you dislike one of those scents in general, you’re unlikely to like the Mrs. Meyer’s version. But each one is a faithful representation of the authentic smell, with virtually zero artificial scent. They’re also cruelty-free, meaning that none of their products are tested on animals.
Sapadilla Rosemary + Peppermint Biodegradable All-Purpose Cleaner Concentrate: Rosemary and peppermint isn’t exactly a world-famous “pumpkin and spice” olfactory combination … but maybe it should be? Sapadilla makes expert use of rosemary’s earthy, pine notes and peppermint’s sharp freshness with this cleaner. Together, the rosemary/peppermint combination instantly restores musty, dirty old floors to their freshest, peppiest, most inviting state.
Begley’s Best Earth Responsible All Natural Plant-Based Multi Surface Floor Cleaner: Begley’s spares no expense in service of your nostrils: natural ingredients like citrus aurantium, fruit oil, citrus limon peel oil and ginger root oil deliver a knockout punch that will leave any floor smelling fantastic. Use it before inviting your most discriminating friends over for wine and cheese.
The Unscented Option
This ranking is for the best smelling floor cleaner, so it’s hard to rank an unscented option—but for many people, what they really want is the bad odors gone and the floors cleaned, period. For those people, we recommend Nature’s Miracle Hard Floor Cleaner.
It’s a fabulous example of an enzyme cleaner, containing good bacteria that can actually degrade the molecules found in organic material. In other words, it’s fantastic for the toughest odor-killing jobs, which is why it’s a perennial favorite for pet owners. It has the capacity to take on the toughest urine or even feces stains—and win.
So while you won’t get the added benefit of a good smell while you clean, most people say they can’t smell this Nature’s Miracle formula at all, making it a really strong unscented option with serious cleaning power.
Better Life Naturally Dirt Destroying Floor Cleaner, Citrus Mint Scent: This option from Better Life is a great all-purpose cleaner using all-natural ingredients, including soapbark. Critically, they use real lemons and oranges for their citrus scent. Better Life claims it can be used worry-free on a wide range of floors, including hardwood, laminate, bamboo, sealed floors, marble, tile and vinyl. We’ve not yet been able to independently verify each of those floor types, but we certainly haven’t noticed any issues.
So how does that citrus mint scent hold up in the real world? Quite well! It’s fresh and zesty but not overpowering at all. In fact, it’s a very light smell that doesn’t linger long, which is partially why we excluded it from our top picks. The scent also suffers from a lack of balance: it’s very citrus-forward. You get hints of that cool mint from time to time, so it doesn’t disappear entirely, but we’d love a reformulated version.