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.
So to avoid costly replacements of laminate floors, it’s a must that you care and maintain them as instructed by the manufacturer as they will provide detailed cleaning instructions.
Sweep, Vacuum, Washing
By sweeping laminate floors daily with a soft bristle broom or 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.
If you’re vacuuming carpets and want to run the vacuum over laminate floors, do not use a vacuum with a rotating brush or beater bar as these can damage the floors surface, use a floor attachment.
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. If you use a regular mop, be sure to wring it out so you don’t over wet the floors as too much water can cause warping of the underlying fiberboard. If this happens, the planks will spread and will need to be replaced.
After the floor has been washed with the damp mop, make sure to dry it thoroughly with a dry mop. Make sure to remove any water that has accumulated in corners, between planks and under counters. The key is to remove all moisture from the floor. Unlike linoleum or tile floors, laminate floors cannot be left to air dry.
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 mixture of one gallon warm water to one cup white vinegar.
Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and lightly spray a small area of the floor. Only spray the area 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 as outlined above after using the vinegar and water mixture.
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 carefully be 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 food and drink spills sit on the floor.
- Do not use abrasive tools or cleaners on laminate floors as it will leave scratches behind.
- 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.