Laminate flooring is easy to clean, simple to install, comes in a variety of styles, and is reasonably priced. So, it’s no wonder that so many homes opt for this kind of flooring.
But how do you clean laminate without spoiling it? Read on to learn more about maintaining your laminate floors!
Tip: Always do a patch test with your cleaning solution before you use it to clean an entire floor.
How to Clean Laminate Floors
Tools you’ll need:
- Vacuum cleaner with hard floor attachment
- White vinegar
- Measuring jug
- Microfibre headed mop
- A secondary mop/dry cloths
Steps to follow:
- Remove any items/obstacles (toys/shoes/books) that are cluttering up the floor.
- Grab your vacuum cleaner and set it up to clean wood flooring.
- Give your laminate floor a hoover over. Make sure you do this before you wet the floor. Picking grime off a wet floor can be hard work, particularly if you’re picking up hair!
- Pay attention to all the nooks and crannies in the room, and don’t forget to take your time hoovering over V-shaped grooves—lots of dust gets trapped here!
- You should notice that a lot of the general dirt found on floors has been sucked up by now, and the floor will look noticeably cleaner. If not, continue to hoover the laminate floor.
- In a bucket mix one cup of white vinegar with four litres of warm water. This is a natural cleaner that is family-friendly and safe on laminate floors.
- Dip a microfibre mop into the water.
- Wring the mop out. The head of the mop should feel ever so slightly damp, but not soaking wet!
- Start to wipe the laminate floor with the mop. Work from one end of the room to the other, and mop in the direction that the laminate has been laid in. Mop in circular motions.
- Remember to dip the mop back into the cleaning solution to clean it throughout this process.
- Wipe any pools of water up with the mop. You shouldn’t soak the laminate floor!
- Repeat the steps above until you’ve covered the whole floor.
- When you’ve cleaned the entire floor, you can grab a second dry mop (if you have one), or some cloths, and start wiping the whole floor. Don’t skip this step!
- Wipe the floor in circular motions. Imagine that you’re buffing the laminate surface!
- You should then leave the floor alone, and open up some windows to allow fresh air to circulate throughout the room.
Tip: If you’re worried about wetting your laminate floor too much, you could mix some white vinegar and water in a clean spray bottle. You could then spray the solution onto the floor and mop over it. This would allow you to control how much liquid you’re using to clean the floor.
If your laminate floor is slightly damaged (broken/non-existent beading, for example), you should avoid cleaning the damaged area and the areas around it. The cleaning method above is likely to aggravate the problem and could make the laminate warp. You need to fix the issue before it gets worse.
Alternative cleaning methods
This particular mop comes with a flat microfibre head, and a refillable water tank that allows you to spray cleaning solutions onto laminate floors.
This mop is a personal favourite because it’s super easy to use, there’s no need for you to find and fill a bucket up with cleaning fluid, and you can actually control how much water you spray onto the floor, so there’s less chance of you saturating the laminate.
Plus, the microfibre pad can be washed in a washing machine, so you get plenty of use out of it!
Laminate floor cleaner products
Official laminate floor cleaners can also be bought instead of the natural white vinegar method mentioned above.
You could look into HG’s Laminate Cleaner if you need to clean a particularly dirty floor that’s been caked in general grime. It brings mucky floors up well and it also has a fragrant smell that wafts throughout the house.
This is a highly concentrated product, so it would be worth testing this out before you use it on your whole floor.
It’s also possible to get a professional in to clean your laminate flooring for you. Some professionals in this field can also restore damaged floors, as well as repair existing problems. To find a professional near you, just do a quick online search.
What Should You Not Clean Laminate Floors With?
You should avoid using the following items to clean your laminate flooring:
- Abrasive cleaning tools – Avoid any sort of abrasive cleaning tool, like scourers and metal tools because they’ll scratch the surface. They’ll also take out any protective coating the floor has, so it’ll make it more prone to damage.
- Harsh cleaning products – Chemical-ridden cleaners, like bleach, acetone, and ammonia, should not be used on a laminate floor because they can cause irreparable damage to the floor. So, stick to more natural (water and vinegar) or official laminate cleaners instead!
- Too much water – Excessive amounts of water will damage laminate flooring. The liquid will make the laminate swell and warp. On that note, you should also mop up any pools of water you see on your laminate flooring as fast as possible!
- Steam mops – Steam mops shouldn’t be used as the steam can warp the flooring! Spray mops, on the other hand can be used on laminate flooring.
- Wax and polish – Laminate floors don’t need to be waxed or polished. In fact, these products can make laminate floors lose their shine.
- Oily products – Oily products can make laminate flooring look streaky. Plus, it can make the surface incredibly slippery!
How to Maintain Laminate Floors
Laminate flooring isn’t going to stick around forever. After all, it’s subjected to all kinds of grime on a daily basis, so naturally wear and tear is going to overrun the floor at some point.
However, there are a few things you can do to protect its lifespan.
Follow the tips below:
- Clean up any spillages immediately with a microfibre cloth, then blot the area with a fresh, damp microfibre cloth to remove excess product. You can then dry the area with a fresh dry cloth.
- Pop a mat by the front door and encourage people to wipe their feet before they come into the house. This should then limit how much dirt they traipse over the laminate floor.
- Ask people to take their shoes off, so they don’t bring grime into the house and onto the laminate. You could even have some fluffy indoor slippers near the front door, so guests can pop them on!
- Pop some pads under your furniture, so they don’t scratch the laminate floor.
- Sweep/hoover the floor on a regular basis to remove as much dirt as you can. If you have pets that shed a lot of hair, you should aim to brush the floor at least once a day. Just remember to use a soft brush!
- Don’t drag items around on the floor as this will scratch it! And although some blemishes can be treated, it’s extra work for you in the long run!
- Try not to walk over the floor with high heels, think stiletto type shoes, as they can leave small marks on the surface.
- Try to avoid bringing gravel or small stones into the house on your shoes. They can scratch the surface or get wedged in between the V grooves on laminate flooring.
- If you’ve got pets, you should trim your pooch’s nails, so they don’t damage the laminate floor.
- If you’ve got wax or chewing gum on the floor, place some ice on the mess, wait for it to go hard, then use a plastic spatula to scrape the gum/wax off the laminate floor.
- Pop mats down on the floor or cover the floor up, if your kids are going to be playing on it. You don’t want paint, ink, crayon or clay getting onto the floor and changing its colour.
- If you can’t remove your shoes before you walk into the house, at least clean your muddy shoes before they make contact with the laminate floor. Keep a soft brush or a cloth by the door, so you can wipe the grime off your footwear.
How Often Should Laminate Floors Be Cleaned?
You should aim to clean your laminate floors at least once a month. That being said, you can clean high traffic areas more frequently (kitchen/hallway/living room), if need be.
If your floors are subjected to a lot of dirt on a daily basis, it’s worth increasing this frequency, just to make sure your floors are hygienic, look fresh, and are protected from a build-up of grime.
However, in between cleans you should brush/hoover your floors, treat stains, and mop up any liquids that make contact with the surface.
Ideally you should try to brush your floors on a daily basis, but if you can’t do this every second day will do.
In addition to this, you should make a habit of removing your shoes before you walk across the laminate floor, or wipe your shoes on a mat before you walk through the house. This should help to reduce the amount of dirt that can accumulate on the laminate floor.
Bethan has a passion for exploring, reading, cooking and gardening! When she’s not creating culinary delights for her family, she’s concocting potions to keep her house clean!