Best Way to Clean Laminate Floors
The Best Way to Clean Laminate Floors
The best way to clean laminate floors is by sweeping daily and vacuuming and mopping weekly. While laminate flooring is less expensive and more durable than real wood flooring, it does require maintenance to retain its beauty.
Unless the floor manufacturer provides different cleaning instructions, you should not use dish soap or a commercial cleaner on laminate flooring. Soaps and harsh detergents will dull the finish and may damage the protective top layer and you cannot easily refinish them as you can hardwood floors.
To care and maintain laminate floors, follow the manufacturers detailed cleaning instructions.
Sweeping, Vacuuming, and Mopping Laminate Floors
By sweeping laminate floors daily with something like a Swiffer dry mop, you’ll prevent fine scratches from marring the surface and you’ll ensure dirt and dust won’t be tracked to different areas of the house.
Do not use a vacuum with a rotating brush or beater bar as these can damage the floors surface, there are many affordable vacuums without a beater bar you can use instead.
Mopping laminate floors is easy and helps keep them looking fresh and clean (be sure to mop after sweeping up dirt and debris). A Swiffer damp mop is gentle enough for laminate flooring and can be used weekly. Unlike linoleum or tile flooring, laminate floors cannot be left to air dry, it’s best to run a dry mop over the floors after a damp mop.
Using Vinegar and Water to Clean Laminate Floors
Kitchen floors in particular might require more than just water to clean. To sanitize your floors, you can use a swiffer mop and a mixture of warm water and white vinegar. In a 32 ounce spray bottle mix together 1/4 cup white vinegar and 4 cups warm water. Spray a small area that you can mop within a few strokes.
Don’t spray the entire floor, as you don’t want water to sit on it any longer than necessary. Be sure to dry the floor thoroughly after mopping.
Removing Stains and Spills from Laminate Flooring
The best advice for cleaning up spills is to clean them up immediately. Even small items such as chopped lettuce, bits of chicken and squash seeds will stick to the floor once they become dehydrated.
To clean stuck on food from laminate floors, use the vinegar and water mixture. Spray a small amount on the food to re-hydrate it and let it sit for a minute or two. Then use a soft cloth, rubber spatula or other soft utensil that won’t damage the floor, and gently scrape the food to remove it.
If you need to, add a little bit more of the vinegar and water mixture and repeat until the food is completely removed.
Use a small amount of rubbing alcohol for spills like nail polish, ink stains or for removing crayons stains. Chewing gum and candle wax can be carefully removed using a plastic bag of ice. Be sure to carefully lift any excess spills first (by lifting and not rubbing it around).
Maintaining Laminate Floors
As mentioned before, if you maintain and treat laminate floors with care, they will look great for years to come. Here are some ways to help keep them looking good.
- Do not let spills sit on the floor.
- Do not use abrasive tools or cleaners on laminate floors as it will leave scratches behind and mar the surface.
- Do not use steam cleaners, if the floors are in need of a really good cleaning, call in a professional floor cleaner.
- Always sweep before mopping and do not use too much water.
- Use cleaning products that are recommended by the manufacturer or that are labeled for laminate floors and use them sparingly.
- Laminate floors should not be waxed or polished.
- Use mats in front of doorways, use furniture pads or glides under legs of tables, chairs, couches, high chairs, etc. Do not drag furniture around floors.
- If you have pets, try and keep the toes clipped.
- Take off high heel shoes at doorways and if you have kids in sports, don’t let them run around with their cleats on.