How to Clean and Maintain Laminate Floors

Laminate floors can give your home a cozy look, but this material might easily get damaged if you do not know how to clean and protect it properly. In this blog, we are going to show you how to clean and maintain laminate floors using different cleaning methods. 

clean-and-maintain-laminate-floors

With the information provided, you can choose the best method that will work best for the type of dirt your laminate floors have, and you can prepare the cleaning solutions from all available ingredients right in your house. For now, let’s jump right into our main topic! 

How to Clean Laminate Floors

Basic Cleaning

The basic cleaning method is for laminate floors that have regular dirt on them.

Step 1: Sweep the Floors and Clean the Spills (if any)

This step is important because it will make the floors easier to wet clean in the next steps. While sweeping the floors, make sure you sweep all the human and animal hair, spills, sand, and all types of trash. 

If you have a vacuum, you can use this machine in your cleaning process, especially when you do a deep house cleanup. You do not have to use the vacuum every time you clean the house, but using this machine once or twice a month will help you keep the house so much cleaner. 

Step 2: Wet Clean

Now, you can clean the floors with warm water or with mild detergents. Keep in mind that laminate is not as strong as many other materials (such as teak wood or marble floors), so do not use strong bleach or detergent on them. 

Step 3: Use Natural Ingredients or Commercial Products

If the stains and dirt do not come off just yet, you can use natural ingredients like vinegar (we will talk about this ingredient later on) or commercial products. While using these products, ensure you follow the instructions to protect the quality of the floors. 

Apply Hot Water

Hot water is one of the easiest and safest ways to clean your laminate floors as it does not contain any chemicals that can damage the quality of the floors. Besides, it can clean streaks from your floors effectively. However, you will have to follow the instruction to ensure your laminate floors will not encounter any unrepaired problem. 

Step 1: Use Lukewarm Water Only (Not Streaming Hot Water)

Steaming hot water is not the best choice for laminate material. Moreover, water with a high temperature can ruin your floor easily. So, before you do anything else, make sure the water you use is just lukewarm, not too hot. 

Step 2: Clean the Floor with Hot Water

Before you use hot water, take some time to sweep all the dirt and dust from the floor first. Next, soak a cloth-head mop into a bucket with hot water. 

Now, move the mop back and forth carefully to clean all the grease and dirt. It is advisable that you clean the rooms and corners first, then move to other bigger areas. When the mop is not hot anymore, go back and soak it again. You can change water and or add more hot water later on when the water turns cold. 

Step 3: Dry the Floors

After you are done mopping the floor with hot water, you can use a dry cloth or dry cloth-head mop to dry off the whole place. It is also fine if you let the floors dry naturally by opening the doors or using a fan. 

Read more: Best Mop for Laminate Floors

Use Mild Soaps

Using mild soaps is another good option, especially when your floors have grease, oil, or dirt. You can use liquid dishwashing or baby shampoo to clean your laminate floors safely. In case you do not have gentle soaps, you should switch to other methods because soaps with harsh chemicals might harm the laminate. 

Step 1: Mix Mild Soap with Water

Mix around two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid or baby shampoo with a bucket of water, then stir them carefully until you see bubbles. Hot or warm water will help you to have better results. 

Step 2: Wet Mop the Floor with Mild Soap 

In this step, you can mop the floor as normal. You can use a piece of cloth, a towel, or a cloth mop to clean the whole floor. Remember to focus more on the dirtier areas and get rid of all the dirt from your floors. 

To get the best results, you should soak the cloth or the mop several times after cleaning an area. With these little tricks, your floors will be spotless and free of the remaining cleaner. 

Step 3: Clean the Floor with Water and Let It Dry 

The water and mild soap solution can make the floors super slippy, so you need to clean the floors several times until all the mild soaps are gone. When you are finished, let the floors dry before walking on them again. 

Use a Vacuum

If you have a vacuum, then take advantage of it as this is a great device to keep your laminate floors clean. This machine helps you get rid of dust and small pieces of trash easily. 

To protect the smooth look of your floors, you should turn off the vacuum’s rotating brush to prevent its bristle from scattering dirt and scratching the surface of your floors. We suggest you vacuum once every month.

Utilize Vinegar

Vinegar is great as it is natural and does not contain strong chemicals. White vinegar is the best choice as it is strong enough, cheap, and does not have any color that might stick on the floors. 

Step 1: Mix Vinegar with Water

For one liter of water, pour around 50ml of white vinegar in and mix them carefully. As this solution does not contain too much vinegar, you will not have to worry much about the vinegar smell after cleaning. However, if you still want to eliminate its acidic smell, you can add a little bit of herbs or essential oil with a gentle scent on the solution. 

Caution: Do not use pure white vinegar without adding water because pure vinegar can be too strong for laminate floors. 

Step 2: Clean Dirty Areas with the Solution

In contrast to other methods, we will not mop the whole floor with the vinegar solution right at the beginning. What we need to do with this mixture is spray it in the areas with grease, oil, and strong dirt. Make sure you are spraying the floor little by little, then spraying the whole floor after a while. 

After spraying one area at a time, use a cloth to clean it off immediately. Do not let the vinegar solution sit for too long on the floor because it might badly affect its texture and material. 

Step 3: Clean with Water and Dry It

When you are done with the last step, clean the whole place with water and let it dry naturally. It is crucial to avoid leaving water, fluid, or cleaner on the laminate surface for too long.

Apply for Tough Stain

If you have problems with tough stains, here are the solutions for the common hard stains:

Use Damp Cloth to Clean off Wine, Ink, Soda, and Crayon Marks

Simply with a damp cloth, you can clean off wine, ink, soda, and crayon marks off laminate successfully. Try to clean those stains off as soon as possible. 

In case the stains are too hard to get rid of, then mineral spirit or detergent will help. Soak a small part of a cloth on the mineral spirit or detergent, then apply it on tough stains and wipe them away. 

Take Advantages of Eraser

Eraser is not only useful for removing pencil marks on paper but also your laminate floors. When you have pencil marks or shoe marks on the floors, erase them with your eraser.

Spray Window Cleaner on Blood Stains

When you have bloodstains that will not come off, spray some window cleaner on them and clean them off immediately with a soft cloth. We highly recommend you to clean the stains off as soon as you can. 

Get Rid of Nail Polish with Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish removal will work well for laminate floors as it works on your nails. After dropping nail polish or shoe polish on your house, apply nail polish remover on the stains, and they will come off easily. 

How to Maintain Laminate Floors

Besides cleaning, maintaining should be a must thing to do if you want to protect your laminate floors’ quality. 

Do Not Use Steam Mopping Method 

Steam mopping can be a great cleaning method for many types of wood, but this is not a good solution for laminate floors. As you know, laminate is not a tough material, and when we mop it with really hot water (steaming), the quality of it will surely be negatively affected. 

Instead of using a stream mopping method, you can mop your floor with warm or hot water, but not as hot as the steaming temperature.

Pick up Maintenance Products

Besides the natural ingredients, you can choose commercial products to clean off your floors. Before you buy a cleaning kit, make sure the kit is suitable for laminate material. You also need to follow the instruction to clean and maintain the floors at the same time. 

Even though commercial products are useful to use, we suggest choosing natural methods first as they are safer for your floors. 

Remove Spills Right Away

Laminate floors should not have any water or liquid on them for so long, and the only time you should let the water contact the surface is when you have to wet clean them. Many people accidentally damage their floors because they leave water on the surfaces for too long. 

To maintain your laminate floors, make sure you always clean all the spills as soon as possible. 

Avoid Water As Much As You Can

If your floor is not too dirty, do not frequently clean them with water and other cleaner liquid. The best thing to do is vacuuming and mopping your floors carefully without using water. When you have to use water to remove dirt and grease, try to clean the water right after cleaning the floors.

Prevent Damage and Dirt

Unlike other floors, you need to be more careful when you have laminate floors because they can be fragile when they meet water or dirt. The main thing you should always do is maintain them instead of letting the floor damage then wasting money, having them fixed it later. 

Every day, try not to step on the floors with hard soles. When you accidentally make a mess on the floors, clean it right away. 

Apply Furniture Pads

A furniture pad is a great creation for those who want to protect their furniture and floors’ surface, including laminate floors. With furniture pads, you will be able to prevent scratches from shoes, other furniture, pets, and so many more. 

The investment of these pads might be a little bit extra, but in the long run, it will save you both time and money as you do not have to worry about your floors getting scratches on. 

Sweep Regularly

To prevent a big mess of grease and dirt from forming on your floors, you should sweep the floors regularly using dry tools. It would help if you chose the tools that do not have sharp heads when mopping because they might scratch the laminate floors’ surfaces. 

Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Your Laminate Floors

Tip #1: Never Use Products That Are Not for Laminate

If you use commercial products, read the label before using the product on your laminate floors. Even though many good cleaners can remove stains effectively, they are not at all safe for laminate. Most companies will list what materials are fine to use their products on, and you need to read it first. 

In case the cleaner or mild detergent you already bought does not have any statement whether it is safe for laminate or not, you can check the cleaner’s ingredients and search on the Internet to find out if it is ok to use the product on your floors. 

Tip #2: Trim the Nails of Your Pets

When you have pets in your house, they might scratch the floors intentionally or accidentally. To prevent this unwanted problem, you can trim their nails. Remember that trimming is fine enough. You do not have to declaw their nails as this technique is unnecessary for protecting laminate floors and might cause some health problems to your pets.

Tip #3: Read and Follow Cleaning and Maintaining Instructions of Your Laminate Floors

Laminate floors can come from different companies and have different quality standards. It is always advisable to read the cleaning and to follow instructions of the laminate floors before cleaning. If you already lost the maintenance or cleaning instructions, you can call the laminate product sellers to know if it is ok to use certain cleaning methods on your floors. 

Tip #4: Use Welcome Mats

Welcome mats help you keep your house clean from the dirt and sand and from people’s shoes scratches. By throwing down a welcome mat in your doorway, both family members and guests will be more likely to step on the mat instead of stepping directly on the laminate floors and causing streaks or scratches.

Tip #5: Choose DIY Laminate Floor Cleaner over the Commercial Ones

Even though there are many labeled cleaner products for laminate floors, we still suggest our readers choose natural ingredients for DIY cleaners for their floors. This is because natural ingredients do not contain too many harmful chemical substances, while they are still as effective as commercial products. 

Tip #6: Always Have Laminate Cleaner Available in Your House

Whether you choose homemade solutions or commercial detergent to clean your laminate floors, you should always have them available in your house. With this simple habit, you can always clean off your house right away if you or someone accidentally causes a mess. 

Moreover, these available laminate-friendly cleaners also help you avoid using cleaners that are not supposed to be used on laminate. 

In Sum 

Even though laminate floors are made from wood, they cannot get along well with many different wood floor cleaners as they are easier to get damaged. 

We hope you already know how to clean and maintain laminate floors using suitable cleaning methods and products with the information we have provided. By following our instructions and tips, you will be able to keep your floors clean and maintain their quality for a longer time.

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