how to clean laminate floors

Laminate flooring is not real wood flooring, which leaves many homeowners confused about how to clean laminate floors. These floors are synthetic, and they're fused together to make the floor appear to be real wood. What makes them appealing to homeowners is that they are less expensive than real wood floors. Laminate floors are easy to install and more durable than authentic wood. Real wood is beautiful, but it's easily scratched and damaged. Laminate wood floors stand up to more and don't damage as easily.

While they might be easy to install and more withstanding, laminate floors require a special cleaning technique. Learning how to clean laminate floors is a must if you choose this type of flooring material. Cleaning them properly allows you to enjoy your floors longer by keeping them in good shape, despite the wear and tear that comes with everyday use.


The Products You Will Need

The great news about laminate floors is that you don't need a complicated array of products to keep them clean and sparkling. Laminate floors are easy to maintain once you know what you can and cannot use on them. The list of things you need to invest in is not a long one. It includes:

  • A damp mop
  • Laminate floor cleaning solution
  • A dry microfiber sweeper
  • A portable vacuum
  • Microfiber cloth for occasional spills

 

Tips For How To Clean Laminate Floors

If you want to know how to clean laminate floors, you'll need to learn what you can and cannot use on this material. Prevention, as mentioned below, is going to be your best method for keeping the floors clean and in good condition. These tips add to the cleanliness and well-being of your laminate floors. Follow them to learn how to clean laminate floors correctly and efficiently.


Vacuum or Dust

a vacuum cleaner

One way to keep your laminate floors as clean as possible is to vacuum or dust them. Sweeping is fine, but you want to be careful of hard bristles on a laminate floor. Running your vacuum over laminate makes for an easier and more efficient method of cleaning. A broom that works like a large duster with a pad on the bottom is the other best option for cleaning your laminate floors. This works to pull up dirt and dust with a disposable microfiber cloth along the bottom, making cleaning easier and less complicated. 

 

Use a Damp Mop

a mop cleaner

Do not use a regular mop to clean laminate floors. How to clean laminate floors the correct way is without direct contact with water. Do not spray water with a spray mop, and do not use a bucket and a traditional mop on laminate floors. Instead, try using a mop that is damp rather than wet. It's okay to use a mop like this occasionally to prevent stickiness and other grime from making itself at home; and the dampness gives you the type of clean you are looking for when you mop.


Buy the Right Cleaner

floor cleaner products

Cleaning your laminate floors cannot be done with just anything. While there are some experts who say you can occasionally use other products in a pinch, a laminate floor cleaner is the best option. It's designed to help you keep your floors as clean as possible, while protecting the floors from damage. You can use something like a magic eraser or even window cleaner when you have an emergency to clean up, but try not to use products like this on a regular basis.

When you have this solution, you'll use it on a damp mop. You will dampen the mop with regular hot water before you put the solution on it, and you'll spray the solution from a bottle directly onto the bottom of the damp mop. Some cleaners might have slightly different variations in their instructions, so be sure you're always reading the instructions for use carefully.


Cleaning Up Stains

a man cleaning a damp cloth

If you have stains, don't worry. One of the biggest benefits of laminate flooring is you can use it to prevent major floor damage from spills. Blood, red wine, juice, and even coffee wipe right off of the floor when it's spilled. Do not spray it or use anything damp at first. Use a dry towel or cloth to remove the moisture. Then use your damp mop to prevent the area from becoming sticky.


Remove Hard Stains

a sharp small knife

Hard stains happen when you have laminate floors. If someone drops a piece of gum or wax on the floor, it's imperative you harden it before you try to remove it. An easy way to harden both is with a piece of ice. Once wax or gum is hard, you can gently chip away with a butter knife, plastic, knife, or a credit card or driver license. The hardened stain will come up a little at a time, and then you can clean it with your laminate cleaner to remove any excess color or crumbs.


Avoid Hard Brushes

two hard brushes

It's tempting to use hard brushes on your floor to remove tough stains, but it's important not to use a brush with hard bristles, a scouring brush, or a steel wool pad on your floors. These remove protective layers from the laminate, and they can scratch under those layers as well. It's too dangerous and not worth damaging your floors to use these materials.


Best Methods To Use For Cleaning

floor cleaning stuff

If you want to know how to clean laminate floors, you need to start with prevention. Keeping your floors in good condition on a daily basis is the key to keeping them in good condition for a long time. Preventing problems from arising is the easiest way to maintain a clean laminate floor, and these tips will help you keep your floors clean every day. You will be grateful you took the time to learn these methods when your floors look brand-new for years to come.


Consider Your Surroundings

sweeping dust using a broom

You need not clean your floors every day, but you should clean them once or twice a week from start to finish. This means sweeping and mopping the floors using the correct items and products. It's important you consider your surroundings, though. If you live on the beach, for instance, you might want to clean your floors more often to prevent the build-up of damaging sand. If you have kids, you might clean the more often to make up for the natural messes they make with shoes, spills, and even the little items they throw off their highchairs. If you live alone and travel often, you might get away with cleaning your floors less frequently.


Do Not Get Floors Wet

a water spilled on the floor

If something spills, wipe it up immediately. Water and laminate do not mix, which is why you cannot allow a leak, a spill, or anything else moist get onto the floor. Accidents happen, but they're far less damaging when they're cleaned up immediately. Try to avoid using laminate floors in rooms such as the laundry room, kitchen, and baths. These floors are wetter than other floors more often, and your laminate might not work as well in these rooms.


Use Mats

a mat on the porch

If you have laminate by your exterior doors, you'll want to use mats so your friends and family can wipe their wet feet before stepping on your floors. You already know that water and laminate do not mix, so you can ask people to remove their shoes outside or provide a layer of protection from the elements by using mats. Another area you want to add mats to is beneath your pet dishes. Man's best friend might not harm the laminate floors with his paws, but his water dish can cause irreparable damage.


Do Not Use Pine Cleaners

wiping the floor

If it smells like pine, it might remind you of your childhood kitchen after your parents or grandparents cleaned. However, pine scents are not good on laminate floors. They leave a residue that appears dull, soapy and unappealing. Furthermore, any cleaner that states it leaves floors shiny is not worth using on your floors. Shiny cleaners and laminate cause waxy buildup you cannot remove.

 

Be Careful With Dust And Sharp Objects

dusts and hair on the floor

While laminate is much sturdier than hardwood, it's still fragile. Do not make it a habit to walk around on stilettos or leave your animals' nails too long. Trim them well, and try to keep anything sharp from making contact with the floors as often as possible. If you have a lot of dust, clean it regularly. It can cause small scratches and marks if you let it build up.

 

Conclusion

Before you choose laminate floors in your home, be sure you understand how to keep them clean. They are more affordable, more durable, and easier to install than traditional wood. That being said, it doesn't mean you want to damage your laminate floors by failing to clean them correctly. Have the correct items on hand, and practice preventative measures to keep your floors looking new for life. It only takes a few minutes to make a huge difference. 


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