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Green Cleaning Tips to Make Your Laminate Floors the Neighborhood Envy

Laminate flooring is one of the most popular types in use today. The mixture of affordability, performance, and aesthetics combine for a very appealing product. They're, also, known to be durable and tough to stain, but it gets dirty just like any other surface. Though easy to care for, laminate floors need to be cleaned regularly in order to prevent scratches or warping, but using harsh cleansers can create streaks or damage your flooring. The chemicals used in these solutions can, also, harm your family. There are many ways to clean green and still achieve quality results. Continue reading for tips about how to clean laminate floors from the Green Clean Certified® experts at Maid Brigade.

How to Clean Laminate Floors: Basic Maintenance

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. For the best results, always move in the direction the tiles were laid to remove any debris from the grooves.

Note: 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.

- Hot Water -

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.

  1. Prepare a mop and bucket by filling it with hot water. The water does not need to be steaming hot.
  2. Soak a sponge mop in the hot water and wring it out so that the sponge is mildly damp.
  3. Carefully and thoroughly mop the floor. Be sure to strategize your exit path ahead of time!
  4. Dry the floor wherever you’ve mopped. If it’s barely moist, an option is to let that section it air dry; otherwise, wipe the area with a clean microfiber cloth.

- Soaps -

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, look for gentle soaps when cleaning. Do not use abrasive cleaners like bleach or other strong chemicals. Start 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.

  1. Fill a large bucket with hot water.
  2. Add a mild detergent like baby shampoo. Begin with a small amount (approx. 1-2 tbsp.)
  3. Soak and wring out a mop or microfiber cloth.
    • Excess water can cause laminate flooring to become distorted. As a result, it is important that you wring out the mop until it is only mildly moist rather than soggy.
  4. Work from one side of the room to the other.
  5. Dry the laminate flooring. If a small amount of liquid is applied, the flooring should air dry quickly. If it doesn’t, dry it by hand using a dry, non-abrasive cloth.

- 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 prior to beginning.

  1. For our purposes, vinegar needs to be mellowed a bit, shall we say. Distilling is easily attained by mixing
  2. with an appropriate amount of water. Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) of vinegar into a 32 oz. spray bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with plain water and shake well.
  3. Using white vinegar is preferred.
  4. Spray the solution onto your laminate in a small area and in a minimal quantity.
  5. Remove the solution with a damp mop or cloth. Do not let it sit as the vinegar can harm laminate flooring.
  6. Dry the floor with a gentle, absorbent cloth or mop.

How to Clean Laminate Floors: Maintenance Tips

As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Don’t wait for your laminate floor to become dirty or damaged before taking action to maintain them. Consider preventative measures such as:

  • 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.
  • Sweep frequently. 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. They look great but can mark and scratch laminate.
  • Treat your dog to the routine mani-/pedi-, as well. Trimming the nails of your best friend will help preserve the protective layer of your floor.
  • Something we rarely consider until it’s too late are the effects of sunlight. Consider installing window coverings to help reduce the effects of direct sunlight (fading, heat, reflective glare, etc.). Something as simple (and possibly fun) as a furniture rotation can help maintain the look of a floor over time.

How to Clean Laminate Floors: Stain Removal

Life happens.

No matter the measures we take, something is bound to slip past our carefully planned defenses and a stain will undoubtedly appear on our beautiful laminate floor. Worry not! Did you know that ice can be used to clean? 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 really stubborn one, try carefully removing it with acetone-based fingernail polish remover. If you just can’t find the time to apply these tips on how to clean laminate flooring, call your local Maid Brigade today, and let’s discuss how we can customize a cleaning for your individual needs. Complete our Quick, Easy, No Obligation Estimate Form or call us today at (866) 800-7470 for more information.