How to Clean Laminate Floors

How to Clean Laminate Floors

For so long now, laminate flooring was never considered part of the aesthetic flooring world. But now, it is one of the most attractive yet cost-effective flooring options available today with highly realistic textures and finishes. The purpose of laminate flooring is that it brilliantly mimics any flooring type, such as exotic or rare hardwoods, or even stone among others.

Unlike hardwood flooring, laminate flooring doesn’t scratch that easy, is quite strong, and is unable to contract or expand. However, it’s more vulnerable to moisture damage than that of authentic wood, which makes it a poor choice for laundry rooms and bathrooms where water may leak around the place. That’s why it’s better to install laminate flooring and other areas of the house beside the other two.

When it comes to cleaning laminate flooring, you have to be really careful with your methods as any slight bit of roughness could ruin its beautiful appearance. Also, in spite of their hardwood appearance, they can’t be refinished and are quite challenging to repair. If laminate floors get worn down a bit, they’ll have to be replaced. That’s why it’s better for you to properly maintain your flooring and keep it clean from any moisture or grit to extend its longevity. For starters, we recommend placing mats by exterior doors, area rugs runners in high traffic areas, and floor protectors underneath heavy furniture corners and feet.

In this article, we’ve put together a list of helpful tips to give your laminate flooring the proper grooming that it needs.

General Cleaning Tips

The first thing that you should do is consult with the laminate flooring manufacturer’s care instructions after installing the flooring. If you’re having trouble starting on the right foot, then don’t hesitate to give the manufacturer a call and prepare some questions in advance.

Sweep the Floor Regularly

For laminate floors, the general rule of thumb is to sweep, dust, and vacuum loose dirt. You have to sweep regularly using a dry dust mop across the laminate floor surface every couple of days to get rid of daily dirt. Although laminate flooring is decently scratch-resistant, excess debris, hair, and dirt can result in scratches if homeowners leave things the way they are. Regular sweeping is the only way to save yourself this headache.

Establish a weekly cleaning habit by using a soft bristle broom to sweep regularly, collecting dust and pet hair wherever you can. For taking care of debris or dirt that finds itself in corners or along baseboards, we suggest using an angled broom.

Besides a dry dust mop, you can even use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. Use the hard floor setting on your vacuum cleaner as this prevents the beater brush from rotating so as not to scratch the floor. Word of advice, don’t use a basic floor brush as it’s straw-like, stiff bristles can very well damage the surface. It’s best to sweep in the same direction that the laminate floor tiles have been laid as it enables us to catch and scoop up any debris that falls between the flooring piece grooves.

Establish a weekly cleaning habit by using a soft bristle broom to sweep regularly, collecting dust and pet hair wherever you can. For taking care of debris or dirt that finds itself in corners or along baseboards, we suggest using an angled broom.

Immediately Soak Up Spells

To clear up any liquid spills, it’s best to use a sponge or a cloth. We advise you not to allow water or any other kind of liquid to sit on the flooring for extended periods. Any form of liquid can stain or even damage the laminate floors wear layer. Use a dry cloth to soak up the excess liquid. Dampen the sponge or cloth before you spot clean the exact location of the spill to get rid of any residue that’s holding on. After that, dry the area using a soft, dry cloth. Remember, you mustn’t let the flooring remain wet for long.

Use Mop for Deep Cleaning

Despite being made of resilient material, laminate flooring isn’t as strong as other flooring types and can easily be damaged by equipment such as steam cleaners, polishers, and buffers. If the flooring appears dingy, and take a bit of elbow grease and a mop the clear it out. It may take you a number of passes before the floor is clean, but using the mop is a lot safer. If you’ve tried everything on your end, and you still can’t get the floor clean, then it’s only logical to call the professionals.

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Use a Mild Detergent for Stronger Cleaning

Another way to clean laminate flooring is to use a commercial cleaning detergent made specifically for this type of flooring. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the product’s label carefully as you don’t want to overdo it to the point where it’s too much for the flooring to handle. You should refrain from using cleaners that supposedly ‘promise’ to give you a shiny surface as most of them lead to waxy buildup. Also, we recommend you avoid using pine-scented cleaning products as they could lead to a soapy, dull residue.

Also, you must never use acrylic, or wax products, or even bleach as they could end up damaging the finish of your laminate floor.

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Protect the Flooring

Don’t attempt to slide something heavy over the laminate floor. You should use only vinyl rug underlays that are laminate-floor-approved and place them under area rugs as it keeps the rug backing from scratching or sticking to the floor and also keeps the rug in place.

Put entry mats outside your doorways to prevent oil, dirt, and other outside messes from being tracked into your house. You also need to ensure that your pets have trimmed their nails to prevent scratching and clawing on the floor. Also, make sure not to walk wearing either cleats or heels.

Use Vinegar

If you’re not a fan of artificial products, then you can try a more natural approach with vinegar. And if you don’t like the smell of vinegar, worry not as it will fade away quickly. But if it’s still not enough for you, then you can add a couple of drops of essential oil to turn it into a scent that you like such as eucalyptus or lemon, or even add a few drops of good smelling dish detergent in the mix.

Make a Vinegar and Water Solution

For the right vinegar cleaning solution, you need to pour 1/4 cup white vinegar into a 30 or 32 oz spray bottle. Now fill the rest of it with plain water and shake pretty well to mix the solution. If you’re dealing with a laminate floor that has been spoiled with mud or other stains that have caused it to become dull or faded, then diluted water is your best friend.

Since vinegar is highly abrasive in its original state, you have to blend it with water to reduce its effect. You can even make an identical vinegar-based solution by mixing 1/3 cup vinegar with one-gallon warm water and three squirts of liquid dish detergent.

Now spray your vinegar and water solution onto your laminate flooring no bigger than small 1-foot squares. Be careful not to spray your whole floor with vinegar at the same time. Remember what we told you what would happen if you were to leave stains or spills lying on the floor for too long; it would expand and/or damage the flooring’s protective coating. So you’ll have to wipe the solution from your flooring immediately.

Use a Damp Cloth or Mop to Wipe the Solution

Don’t wipe the floor immediately using any ordinary cloth. You must make sure to wipe off the solution using either a damp sponge mop or terry. A soft microfiber cloth can even work. But abrasive cloths and mops must be avoided for obvious reasons. You must also be sure to wring out the damp cloth or mop right before you use it. Also, make sure not to let the floor soaked with water for too long as too much exposure to moisture can lead to the floor warping.

Properly Dry the Laminate

Don’t think twice about leaving the water you’ve used to clean your laminate flooring lying around. Use a dry microfiber cloth just soak up the solution and clean it off your floor. If a small portion of water gets left behind, you can relax as you can dissipate by air drying without causing any further damage.

Use Warm Water

When cleaning your laminate flooring with hot water, make sure it’s not steaming or scalding hot, but a bit more than lukewarm. The flooring should be washed thoroughly every couple of months or after a huge portion of the floor has gotten visibly dirty or muddy. Hot water is usually preferred when cleaning laminate flooring, especially when it’s done properly since it doesn’t leave any streaks behind. This type of water is also relatively the least damaging to the floor’s protective coating as water is the most gentle cleaner available.

Another way to clean using hot water is to take a sponge mop and soak it in. But make sure to wring it out so that the mop is mildly damp. As we said earlier, if you allow water or any other kind of liquid to sit on your laminate flooring for too long it’ll cause it to stain or perhaps even Warp. You can use a conventional mop, but sponge mops allow us to control the saturation levels easily.

Give your laminate floor a thorough mopping, beginning from the middle of the center before working your way out. You can also work from one part of the room to the next. However, we don’t recommend working from the room’s exterior to the center as you’ll have to walk over the clean area when it dries before leaving the room. Given that the mop is just partially damp, you must resoak it and then re-wring it a couple of times as you clean.

How to Clean Laminate Floors 4

Special Bad Mess Solutions

Suppose you’ve gone and spilled your shoe or nail polish on your laminate flooring. That is one stubborn stain to get rid of. But even if that’s the case, you should refrain from using an abrasive cleaner like Comet or even a scouring pad. Doing so would seriously scratch the floor.

But not to worry, because there are suitable alternatives for removing stubborn stains such as these. You can either try some WD-40 or soak up a tiny dose of non-acetone fingernail polish remover using a cotton ball. Any of these solutions will be enough to get the job done what regular cleaners cannot.

If there’s gum on the floor, we suggest covering it up in ice before gently freezing and scraping it off using a non-abrasive plastic scraper. To deal with scuff or heel marks, a basic pencil eraser will be enough to take care of them.

How to Get Rid of Mold Growth

Mold is another persistent stain that is a pain to remove. It occurs on laminate floors when dirt mixes in with damp areas. But to remove it, we advise you not to use a strong remover like bleach. And if you’re not cautious enough, you’ll find that mold is capable of growing in your laminate flooring’s corners.

So instead, in order to get rid of the mold on your laminate floor, use these following tips:

  1. Use a dust mop or soft bristle broom to sweep the floor thoroughly.
  2. Take a cup of vinegar and mix it in a bucket of water while also adding 50 ounces of rubbing alcohol.
  3. You can’t stand the smell of vinegar, then add a couple of drops of essential oil into the mix. We recommend only 3 or 4 drops of essential oil as you don’t want any oil residue to remain on your floors.
  4. Soak your mop into the solution and then wring it to keep it damp before wiping the area thoroughly with it.
  5. Take care of the corners of your laminate floors, take a soft cloth and dip it in the solution, ring it, and then start cleaning the area.

Both the alcohol and the vinegar’s acidity will not only effectively get rid of mold growth on your floors, but also prevent it from going back. The solution is sufficient for working on both laminate as well as the wooden laminate flooring. It won’t wear your laminate flooring’s surface out and is safe to use. Remember to use spray mops and soft-bristled brooms to prevent scratching the floors.

Gentle Soaps

Get a large bucket and fill it with approximately 1 gallon or 4 liters of warm water. Bear in mind, that the water doesn’t need to be scalding or steaming hot. It should be no more than slightly lukewarm.

Next, add two tablespoons or 30 mL of mild liquid dish detergent or baby shampoo in the warm water. Avoid using dyed or scented dish detergent as any of these could cause streaks to or even damage your laminate flooring. Baby shampoo, unlike regular adult shampoos, is gentle on laminate floors. Combined soap and water using your hands until the bubbles start forming, indicating that the soap is completely dissolved. A strong reminder; avoid using abrasive cleaners such as bleach or anything similar.

Soak a sponge or terry mop in your soapy watery solution. Then thoroughly wring it so that it’s mildly damp. Soap water is ideal for cleaning floors that have been a victim of salt-covered snowy boots, mud, or other types of contamination. A microfiber cloth can also come in handy but it’s better to use a mop as you’ll clean the entire area at once rather than taking care of small patches. Take care not to use too much water as it could distort your laminate flooring. That’s why it’s crucial to wring the mop out and keep it moist instead of soggy.

How To Clean Laminate Floors – FAQs

What Should I Use To Clean Laminate Flooring the Best Way Possible?

The most efficient and effective way of cleaning your laminate flooring is by using a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt and spills as soon as you see them. You must never leave water or any other type of liquid on your laminate flooring for too long.

For the more stubborn stains like paint or oil spills, dip your cloth in nail polish remover. Then wipe off the affected area with gentle force until you have a spotless floor. You can even use your cloth to wipe off any excess residue from the flooring when you’re through.

What’s the Best Cleaning Solution I Use?

Arguably, the best laminate floor cleaning solution that you can use is Black Diamond Stoneworks. This product allows you to spray the solution evenly onto your laminated flooring. There’s no need to mix it with water as it’s already done beforehand and you won’t even have to rinse it either. Besides that, you won’t notice any streaks left behind with this product and it’ll give your flooring a brand-new shine.

Can I Use Vinegar for My Laminate Flooring?

Yes. Vinegar is a natural and safe way to clean your laminate flooring. It acts as a natural disinfectant that’s capable of eliminating bacteria and mold growth from your floors. Just add a cup of vinegar and 1 gallon of warm water and you’re good to go.

Just be careful not to use the wet mopping approach when cleaning the laminate floors with vinegar as this could seriously damage the flooring’s integrity. Dip your mop into the solution and give it a good wringing so that it’s nearly damp. Mop up any spills or dirt you see remaining on the surface of your flooring.

How Can I Give My Laminate Flooring a Good Shine?

The first thing you need to do to give your laminate flooring a good shine is to use a clean dust mop to wipe off any filth from the flooring. After that, you’ll need to use the proper cleaning solution for the job. As we said earlier, you can use Black Diamond Stonework or any other cleaning product of your own choosing.

We recommend getting those cleaning solutions that are already premixed and require no rinsing since they’re easier to use. Just spray your cleaning solution onto the flooring and clean using a dry mop. To give the floor an extra shine you can even use laminate floor polish.

How Often Do I Need to Clean My Floors?

Make it a habit to mop your laminate floor once every 2 months. If you find any spills, just use a dry microfiber cloth or paper towel to clear up the mess. You can also sleep dust away using a soft-bristle broom.

Conclusion

And now you have just about every information required to clean your laminate flooring. You can use a good range of cleaning products for your flooring, such as buying a premixed solution like Black Diamond Stonework or using a DIY or natural cleaning solution such as vinegar or whatever we have shown you to whip up on your own.

We’ve even informed you to not use any inappropriate tools for the job like steam mops, steel wool, or abrasive cleaners. Also, never let water or other liquids sit on the laminate flooring for too long as it will destroy the material’s integrity.

As long as you’re armed with the tips and tricks we’ve laid out for you in this article, your laminate floor will have a sophisticated and regal shine to it, as well as help its finish stand the test of time.

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