Wondering what is the best way to clean laminate flooring? Is it similar to cleaning hardwood floors or other flooring materials? Does it require a lot of upkeep?
While laminate flooring is a cost-effective hardwood floor alternative and may look as good as solid hardwood, it does not necessarily mean that you should maintain and clean it the same way. Your laminate floor has different composition and structure as compared to other floor covering, which means that it needs special care to keep it in pristine condition. Fortunately, laminate flooring has low maintenance requirements. You do not need to spend long hours cleaning just to bring it back to life. Simply put, cleaning your laminate flooring does not need to be challenging.
So, whether you are planning to have a new laminate floor or wanting an existing one to appear as good as how it was first installed, here are the best ways to clean laminate flooring.
Prevent Any Damage And Dirt
As the cliche goes, “Prevention is always better than cure.” To save yourself from the hassle of spending additional maintenance expenses and taking long hours of cleaning, you need to know how to prevent damages and extensive dirt right off the bat. One of the most common ways to prevent outside dirt and dust from tracking inside your home is by using doormats. If you love entertaining guests at home, you may also ask them to remove their shoes to avoid any grit and grimes scraping against your laminate floor.
Another way to protect your laminate flooring from possible damages is by placing furniture pads at the bottom of your furniture or any heavy equipment. This is particularly useful if you are moving your furniture or dragging tables and chairs back and forth. Protector pads prevent any scratches to occur, which are unsightly appearances on your floor.
Regular Cleaning And Upkeep
The key to keep your laminate flooring in pristine condition is to make sure that it is cleaned regularly. Here are some incredible ways to clean laminate flooring.
1. Sweep The Floor Regularly
Although laminate flooring is relatively resistant to scratches, regular sweeping is necessary. Excessive debris, dirt, and grimes on your laminate floor can cause scratches, which can be easily remedied by regular sweeping. You can use a dry dust mop to clean laminate flooring and make sure to sweep it across the floor surface every other day or if necessary. You may also clean laminate flooring with a vacuum cleaner. Keep in mind to only use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment because it is gentle to your floor. Refrain from using a standard floor brush with straw-like bristles as it can damage your laminate floor.
2. Wipe Up Spills Quickly
Present-day laminate flooring is relatively impervious to water; however, you still need to make sure that you won’t soak the floor for a long period. Standing water on your laminate floor can cause staining and damage its protective wear layer. If you see any spills on your laminate floor, wipe them up immediately using a clean cloth or sponge. Make sure not to leave any residual moisture on the floor. Dry the spot area using a soft, dry cloth.
3. Use Commercial Cleaning Products
There is no problem using commercial products to clean laminate flooring. Just be sure to always read the manufacturer’s label, so you will know how to use it properly. Not all cleaning products are designed to provide no harm to your flooring. Avoid using cleaning products that promise to give your flooring a shiny surface because these products can buildup wax on your floor. Also, you should not use any pine-scented cleaning products because they will leave a soapy residue on your floor, which can attract more dirt and dust. If you are in doubt about the cleaning products that you will use, do not hesitate to talk to a professional laminate flooring contractor.
4. Use Mop For Deep Cleaning
Laminate flooring is not as tough wearing as compared to other flooring materials. It gets damaged easily when you use devices such as buffers, polishers, and steam cleaners. So, if you try to deep clean laminate flooring, make sure not to use these tools. Instead, stick to a mop when cleaning your laminate floor. It might take a few passes of mopping to remove stubborn dirt entirely, but it is a much safer method. However, if you have done everything you can to clean them up, you can contact a professional laminate floor contractor near you for a free in-home consultation.
Use Gentle Soaps To Clean Laminate Flooring
It is so easy to create scratches on your laminate floor since it is not as strong as other floor covering. This is the reason why you only need to use gentle soaps, cleaning products, and tools to clean laminate flooring. In using soaps, make sure to follow this guide:
1. Fill The Bucket With Warm Or Hot Water
In a large bucket, fill in approximately 4 liters or a gallon of warm or hot water. Make sure not to use lukewarm water for this procedure.
2. Combine Gentle Soaps With Water
As mentioned earlier, use only gentle soaps such as mild detergent or baby shampoo to prevent any soapy residue on your laminate floor. Avoid using any dyed or scented dish detergent, adult shampoo, and abrasive cleaning products such as bleaching solution.
Add about 30 ml or 2 tablespoons of mild detergent or baby shampoo into the bucket of warm or hot water. Stir the soap and water mixture with your hand until the soap or shampoo completely dissolves and the bubbles are forming.
3. Soak The Mop
Once you have dissolved the soap into the water completely, soak a sponge or terry mop into the mixture. Wring the mop out thoroughly to remove the excess water on it. Make sure that the mop is mildly moist or damp rather than soggy. If you don’t have a mop, you can also use microfiber cloths to clean laminate flooring.
4. Start Mopping Your Laminate Floor
In wiping the floor with a mop, you can begin from one side of your room, then work your way to the opposite side. You may also begin at the center of the room, then towards the outside perimeter. Avoid mopping your floor from the outside perimeter towards the center of the room. When necessary, resoak the mop and wring it out again until you clean the room entirely.
5. Let The Floor Dry
After you have mopped the entire room, allow it to dry completely. If you see any residual water on your laminate floor, use a dry microfiber cloth to dry it by hand. Do not let any standing water on the floor after mopping as it will damage your laminate flooring.
Use Vinegar And Water Solution
Vinegar itself can become abrasive if you use it to clean laminate flooring. However, if you dilute it with water, it is very useful in removing mud or stains on the floor. Here are some steps in using the vinegar solution to clean laminate flooring:
1. Combine Vinegar And Water
Create a vinegar solution by pouring 60 ml of white vinegar into a spray bottle (preferably 30 to 32-oz spray bottle). Fill in the same spray bottle with water. Shake it well.
2. Spray The Vinegar Solution On The Floor
Make sure that you do not spray the vinegar solution on the entire floor all at once. As much as possible, start with smaller areas of the floor, then wipe it up immediately. If you spray it all at once, you will have standing water in some areas of the room. Whereas, if you spray small areas and wipe them up quickly, you don’t have to worry about the vinegar penetrating the protective wear layer of your floor.
3. Wipe Up The Vinegar Solution
After spraying the solution on your laminate floor, quickly wipe it up using a sponge or terry mop. If you don’t have a mop, use a microfiber cloth instead. Never soak the laminate floor with water, so make sure that you wring out the cloth or mop.
4. Dry Up Your Laminate Flooring
As always, never forget to dry your flooring and remove any residual water. Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe up excess water on the floor.
Wet Wash Your Laminate Floor
Every after few months, you may need to wet wash your laminate floor to remove any stubborn dirt and mud. This is possible using hot water. When done properly, using hot water is one of the most effective methods to clean laminate flooring. Be guided with the following procedure below:
1. Pour Hot Water Into The Bucket
In a large bucket, pour warm or hot water. The water does not have to be steaming hot, but it should not be lukewarm either.
2. Soak The Mop
Although you can use a traditional type of mop to wet wash your laminate flooring, it is much convenient and recommendable to use sponge mops instead. Soak your sponge mop into the hot water. Make sure to wring it out. It should only be mildly moist or damp before using it.
3. Start Mopping Your Floor
Once the sponge mop is wrung out, you can already start mopping your laminate floor. You can begin at the center of the room then towards the outside perimeter or start from one side of the room then work your way to the other side. This is to make sure that it will cover the entire room. Soak and wring out the mop again if necessary, until the entire room is completely mopped.
4. Let The Floor Dry
We can’t stress enough the importance of air drying your laminate floor after wet washing or damp mopping. If you notice any excess moisture or water, dry it up using a dry microfiber cloth. Make sure not to let standing water on your laminate floor for a long time.
How To Remove Stains
The faster you can attend to stains on your floor, the easier it is to remove them. Different stains require different methods of removing them. Here are the best ways to remove stains on your laminate flooring.
1. Wine, Soda, Ink, And Crayon Marks
The simplest way to remove stains from wine, ink, crayon marks, and soda is by using a damp cloth. Using a mildly moist or damp cloth, wipe up the stained area. You may also dampen the cloth with mineral spirits for the best results. In removing ink on a laminate floor, you can use an ink remover or mild detergent. Clean the area using a non-abrasive damp cloth.
2. Chewing Gum
If a chewing gum sticks on your laminate floor, you can remove it using a plastic knife. Never ever use a metal knife as it can be too rough on your floor and will only cause scratches. To remove the chewing gum, scrape it with your plastic knife, then gently rub off any residue using a non-abrasive, damp cloth. For better results, you may use mineral spirits to dampen the cloth.
3. Blood Stains
You can clean blood stains on your laminate floor using window cleaner. Spray an ample amount of window cleaner on the stained area, then immediately wipe it up using a soft, mildly damp cloth. Make sure not to use any abrasive cloth.
To remove grease on your laminate floor, apply an ice pack to the stained area until the grease solidifies. With a plastic knife, scrape the grease off. Make sure not to use a metal knife or utensil to scrape off the grease. Remove any remaining residue by spraying a little amount of window cleaner. Wipe it off using a damp cloth, then let it dry.
5. Shoe Polish And Nail Polish
Put a small amount of nail polish remover on a clean, microfiber cloth, then gently scrub it on the stained area. Once done, wipe it off using a damp microfiber cloth.
Do’s In Cleaning Your Laminate Floor
DO mop your flooring every two months. Regular upkeep is important to keep your laminate flooring in great shape. This includes mopping your floor every two months. Preferably, use a damp mop or microfiber mop because it is so gentle on your floor. Don’t forget to wring out mops before you use them, so excess water is removed.
DO protect your laminate flooring from scratches and dents. Always put protector pads under the legs of your furniture, chair, and tables to prevent any scratches and damages on your laminate flooring. Make it a habit to place rugs and floor mats, so any dirt and grimes won’t track inside your home.
DO read the label and cleaning instructions carefully. Not all cleaning products are created equal. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions first before using any products. Also, use products designed only for laminate flooring and skip for cleaning products that are not.
DO trim the nails of your pets. Claws and nails of your furry family members can create scratches on your laminate flooring, so it is important to keep their nails trimmed.
Don’ts In Cleaning Your Laminate Floor
DON’T use any sharp or abrasive tools and devices. Laminate flooring is not as strong as other flooring materials, so you need to make sure that you only use non-abrasive tools and products. Use a soft-bristle mop or broom to clean laminate flooring. Choose a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment.
DON’T let stains remain on the floor for so long. The best way to deal with stains and dirt is to attend to them right away. Wipe up any spills and stains as quickly as possible. Letting stains sitting for a long period of time can cause damage to your laminate floor.
DON’T use excess water when cleaning your laminate flooring. Standing water on your laminate floor can pass through the seams and will only cause swelling or bubbling. Spillages can also lead to fading or staining. The traditional way of mopping is not typically recommended when cleaning laminate flooring, so you always need to wring out mops before using it. Also, it is particularly important to allow your floor to dry up completely after cleaning it.
Let’s Keep Your Laminate Flooring In Perfect Shape
Like any other flooring materials, regular cleaning and maintenance are needed to guarantee that your laminate flooring is always in pristine condition. Your laminate floor needs your TLC, so it will serve its main purpose and functionality. However, if you have done everything you can to restore its life but fails to do so, it may probably be the right time to replace your entire floor. If you think that you need an expert to evaluate your laminate floor or replace a new one, don’t hesitate to connect with us. We offer a free in-home consultation and provide great deals for your next flooring makeover.