Laminate floors are a practical and affordable solution for many homes and office spaces. They come in various styles and resemble different materials like wood, tiles, stone, or marble.
These endless options in design, easy maintenance, and durability make laminate floors extremely popular all around the world.
However, to get the best out of them, and make them look good for years, you need to know a few facts about the material they are made of, and how to maintain and clean laminate floors without leaving a film.
How to Clean Laminate Floors?
Even though laminate floors may look exactly like hardwood floors, you shouldn’t clean and treat them the same way as they are made of a very different material.
Laminate floors also require special care because their surface can’t be refinished like on hardwood floors if any stain or damage occurs.
Repairs on laminate floors could be expensive and the solution to some issues may only be a replacement. However, with proper care, you can make your floors look good and keep their quality for many years.
Maintaining laminate floors doesn’t actually take much time or effort. Regular cleaning, sweeping or vacuuming, and mopping from time to time will keep your floors looking shiny and new.
Know More About Your Floors
After installing laminate floors, make sure you know something about the material, and get instructions on how to clean them in the future. Different brands may have their own instructions or recommendations for cleaning products you could use, and most of them will have detailed cleaning instructions on their web pages.
Remove the Spills ASAP
Spills happen, and that’s inevitable, but the best way to preserve your laminate floors and avoid stains is to wipe them immediately. Liquids can create stains and damage these floors especially if they stay on for longer.
Use a Microfiber Mop
Whether you use a cloth or a mop, choose the one with microfiber as that is the best material for cleaning laminate floors. Microfiber will soak up the liquids and pick up all the dirt while still being gentle enough and not scratching or damaging the surface of the floors.
Don’t Use Much Water
If laminate floors are built well, they should be waterproof. The seams between the planks should resist moisture, but still, don’t soak the floors with too much water.
A damp mop is just enough for cleaning laminate floors, as moisture could reduce the quality and the lifetime of the laminate planks. Too much water can eventually leak between the seams and make the boards curl or lose their color.
Don’t use any abrasive cleaning tools when taking care of your laminate floors. Materials like hard brushes, steel wool, or rougher vacuum heads can only damage your floors instead of giving you a deeper cleaning.
Try not to wear down the top layer of your pretty laminate floor so fast, but rather look for softer materials (we already mentioned microfiber) that won’t leave any scratch marks or damage the floor in any way.
Clean the Floor Regularly
Regular cleaning will give you less work every time you get to that, which also means you’ll have to use less effort on deep or more aggressive cleaning. Of course, the floors should be clean based on how much they are used.
Some general rules are to sweep and vacuum the floors in your house at least once a week and mop them at least once in two weeks. More busy places, like stores and offices, should be swept every day, and vacuumed and mopped as often as possible, too.
What Are the Best Cleaning Products for Laminate Floors?
The most effective cleaning products for laminate floors are the gentle ones because they can clean the dirt and not leave the film or damage the top layer of the floor.
If you like to use commercial products, check the cleaning instructions for your floor, and if the manufacturer offers or recommends a specific product. In many cases, one of the tips is not to spray the product directly onto the floor, but rather mix it with water or spray it on the mop.
Oil-Based Cleaners Are Not for Laminate Floors!
To clean your laminate floors without leaving a film or streaks on the floor, never use oil-based cleaning products. Those products work well on wooden floors, but won’t be good for laminate.
Check the products’ packaging, especially those that emphasize essential oils, promise shine, or have added polishers, as they most likely contain oils. Laminate floors are already designed to look shiny and their top layer could only collect more dirt if it gets an oily film after using these products.
Make Your Own Laminate Floor Cleaner
If you’re not a fan of commercial cleaning products, or just don’t find the right one for your laminate floors, you can very easily create one at home.
Use water and vinegar
Prepare a mixture of one gallon of distilled water (regular water works too) and a cup of white vinegar and put it in a spray bottle you will use to sprinkle the floors.
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and a cleaning agent you can use on any occasion.
This cleaning solution works perfectly if you already have to deal with an oily film residue on laminate floors.
The vinegar will break through the film and remove it easily without damaging the surface of the floor. After cleaning the floors, mop them dry.
Use water and dish soap
For regular cleaning of the floors, you can also use a simple mix of a gallon of warm water and a teaspoon of dish soap.
Don’t use much more of the soap, as it can leave some residue that you’d like to avoid.
Simply clean the floors with a damp mop that you previously dipped into the prepared liquid.
If you notice any soap residue on the floor, repeat the mopping only with water and later with a dry mop to remove the moisture and any streaks on the floor.
How to Deal With Special Stains?
Sometimes unexpected spills happen, and you have to deal with more than regular cleaning to wash your pretty laminate floors. Here’s what to do in such cases:
Bubble Gum and Candle Wax
If there are gum or candle wax drippings on your floor don’t try to scrape it immediately because you may damage the surface of the floor. Instead, use a bag of ice and place it over the stain. Only when it hardens try to gently remove it or scrape it with a plastic card or something similar.
If you spilled the nail polish, it’s not the end of the world. Simply use the nail polish remover, put a bit of it on the cotton ball, and wipe the stain off the floor.
Scuff marks are also not hard to remove. Try using a rubber eraser and rub it on the scuff marks until the magic happens. The marks will be gone, just sweep or vacuum the eraser dust afterward.
You can remove paint spills with water mixed with soap and vinegar as explained before in this article. It doesn’t matter if the paint is wet or dried, just dip a microfiber cloth into this solution and wipe off the stain.
For more difficult stains of dried paint, use rubbing alcohol and apply it directly to the stain. The alcohol should break the paint and let you wipe it off more easily.
Protect Your Floor From Damages
Taking care of laminate floors means also preventing damage and being protective about it. Scratches and minor damages are inevitable over time, but there are a few tricks to avoid or at least postpone them for a while at home:
- Pad the legs of your furniture and make the chairs slide over the floor smoothly without making any noise or scratches on the floor.
- Trim your pet’s nails and keep them short if they spend a lot of time inside. This doesn’t work only for your floors, but for your upholstery, curtains, and clothes, too.
- Use gentle but effective cleaning products, and you won’t have problems with any residues covering your laminate floors.
- Avoid using too much water, and keep in mind not to leave pet bowls or plant pots directly on the floor to prevent spills.
- Using doormats and taking your shoes off will also protect your floors from dirt and damage.
Finally, with the proper care and maintenance, your laminate floors can last and shine for years. If you want to know 10 must-know cleaning hacks to save time and money, CLICK HERE!