Laminate flooring is popular for being durable and tough to stain. However, it gets dirty just like any other surface. Laminate floors need to be cleaned regularly to prevent scratches or warping. Using unhealthy harsh cleansers can create streaks or damage your flooring. There are many ways to clean green and still achieve quality results. Here are some great tips on how to clean laminate floors from the Green Clean Certified® experts at Maid Brigade.
Cleaning Laminate Floors: The Basics
Most of us will turn to a broom as the first, and most readily available option, to clean our floors. Though fairly scratch-resistant, excess dirt, hair and debris can cause abrasions in laminate flooring if allowed to collect over time. Regular sweeping, for example, can prevent such scarring.
- Dry dust mops work well as do the soft brush attachment on vacuum cleaners. Always move in the direction the tiles were laid to remove any debris from the grooves.
- Do not use a standard broom to sweep. The stiff, straw-like bristles on the brush could damage the surface.
- To prevent liquid damage, clean spills immediately using a cloth or sponge. Never allow liquids, even water, to sit on the floor for prolonged periods as they can stain or damage the protective layer.
A thorough cleaning should be performed periodically or after the floor has become noticeably dirty.
- Hot water is considered by some as one of the best ways to clean laminate flooring since it will not leave streaks (when applied correctly).
- It is, also, less likely to damage the protective coating since water is a very mild cleanser. There are situations, though, where even water is discouraged.
- If wood, for example, is used in the flooring’s construction, even the mildest of liquids can cause irreparable damage. Consult the manufacturer’s care instructions or contact them directly for detailed recommendations. For some laminates, hot water will be enough to clean your floors. For others, soap may be needed.
Soapy water is a good choice when cleaning laminate floors that have been exposed to tough and messy conditions.
- To preserve the protective layer of the laminate flooring, consult your manufacturer’s guide to find the best cleanser.
- Look for gentle soaps when cleaning, starting with something that has a more gentle touch like baby shampoo. If this doesn’t work, then it’s time to evaluate stronger options. (Be careful when experimenting!)
- For example, do not use a scented or dyed dish detergent as these are increasingly likely to streak or damage your laminate flooring.
- Do not use abrasive cleaners like bleach or other strong chemicals.
- Prepare a mop and bucket by filling it with hot water. The water does not need to be steaming hot.
- Add a mild detergent like baby shampoo. Begin with a small amount (approx. 1-2 tbsp.)Soak and wring out a mop or microfiber cloth.
- Soak a sponge mop in the hot water and wring it out so that the sponge is mildly damp.
- Carefully and thoroughly mop the floor. Be sure to strategize your exit path ahead of time!
- Dry the floor wherever you’ve mopped.
Cleaning with Vinegar
Vinegar is a versatile, natural solution that serves many purposes. As a DIY-er, there are many jobs where it is a viable alternative to harmful commercial cleaning solutions. It is, however, acidic and may not be appropriate for all flooring. Just like any other project, be sure to conduct proper research and consult the manufacturer before beginning.
- For a laminate safe solution, pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) of white vinegar into a 32 oz. spray bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with plain water and shake well.
- Spray a minimal amount of solution onto your laminate in a small area.
- Remove the solution with a damp mop or cloth. Do not let it sit as the vinegar can harm laminate flooring.
- Dry the floor with a gentle, absorbent cloth or mop.
Maintenance Tips for Laminate Flooring
Don’t wait for your laminate floor to become dirty or damaged before taking action to maintain them. Consider these preventative measures:
- Entry mats to help collect moisture, oils, and dirt that tracking from outside. To prevent rugs from slipping, use mat grippers.
- Use floor protectors to minimize the chances of scratches or scuff marks from chairs, tables, sofas, floor lamps, or other furniture.
- Frequent sweeping using a floor sweeper or soft-bristle broom can remove most pet hair, dust and dirt that collects on the floor.
- For hard to reach areas, use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum.
- Consider the effect of your clothing, too. For example, high heel shoes are not recommended because they can mark and scratch laminate.
- Treat your dog to a routine mani-pedi. Trimming the nails of your best friend will help preserve the protective layer of your floor.
- Install window coverings to help reduce the effects of direct sunlight (fading, heat, reflective glare, etc.).
- For stubborn stains, take a piece of ice to harden substances like wax or chewing gum and then gently scrape them up using a flat-ended tool. Be careful not to scratch the surface and wipe the area clean with a soft, slightly damp cloth. If it’s a stubborn one, try carefully removing it with acetone-based fingernail polish remover. For even more floor care information, check out our other floor cleaning tips. And if you just can’t find the time to keep on top of your busy schedule but want to keep your home spotless, find a Maid Brigade near me today to discuss how we can customize a cleaning for your individual needs. Call us at 888.578.9171 to get a cleaning service quote