how to clean laminate floors

Wondering how to clean laminate wood floors without causing damage or losing that brilliant shine? While your laminate floors may look as good as hardwood floors, there are some important differences in how you maintain and clean them.

Laminate floors need special care because the surface can’t be refinished or easily repaired. To avoid shelling out for costly replacements, it’s critical to maintain your laminate floors the right way. The good news is we’re here to show you how.

Whether you have new laminate floors or your existing floor finish has become dull, you can learn how to clean them like a pro!

The Best Way to Clean Laminate Floors

Ready to get your laminate floor sparkling clean? Follow these guidelines for cleaning laminate flooring and you’ll protect your investment for many years.

Read the Cleaning Instructions

Before you do anything, read the manufacturer’s instructions for your floors. The manufacturer may have specific recommendations based on the materials used and the particular finish. Most companies that make laminate flooring have detailed guides and instructions for how to clean laminate floors on their websites.

Don’t Use Abrasive Cleaning Tools and Supplies

Steel wool and harsh cleaners can easily scratch laminate floors, so use a soft-bristle broom or dust mop to sweep up dust and dirt. If you’re vacuuming, turn off the beater bar or rotating brush to prevent scratches.

Make the Best Laminate Floor Cleaner Right in Your Kitchen

Combine a teaspoon of dish soap with a gallon of hot water. This cleaning solution is perfect for regular use and keeps your floors looking new. If your floor has residue on it, combine a gallon of hot water with a cup of white vinegar. Vinegar is a natural cleaner that will break down the film without damaging the laminate wood surface.

Mop Laminate Floors Every Two Months

Knowing how to mop laminate floors correctly will keep your floors looking great without risking moisture damage. Damp mops like microfiber floor mops are gentle enough to use on laminate floors. If you use a regular mop, wring it out until it’s nearly dry. You can use a steam mop occasionally for deep cleaning. Be aware that steam can cause laminate flooring to buckle, so dry your floors after steam cleaning.

Don’t Use Too Much Water or Cleaner

If you remember only one thing about how to clean laminate floors, this is it. Traditional mopping can ruin laminate floors because water can seep into the seams and cause swelling and warping. Pools of water can also cause staining or fading, and using excessive amounts of cleaning solutions can break down the composition of some synthetic materials.

Don’t Use Products That Aren’t Designed for Laminate Floors

Avoid commercial floor cleaning products formulated with harsh chemicals because they can ruin laminate flooring. It may be tempting, but don’t use wax or polish to shine your laminate floors. Oil-based products can leave streaks and residue and even damage the protective sealant.

Use These Tips for Removing Stains From Laminate Floors

Because stains remain on the surface, how to clean laminate wood floors with stains is easy using mild cleaners and light scraping. Rubbing alcohol will remove paint, nail polish, crayon, and ink; soap, water, and vinegar should take care of most other stains. For dried stains, use a plastic scraper to get up as much as you can and then use your laminate floor cleaner.

Buff Your Laminate Floors for a Brilliant Shine

If you want to make your floor pop after you clean it, buff it dry. A soft cleaning cloth attached to a dust mop works well, as does a microfiber mop head. If you don’t mind getting on your hands and knees, you can use microfiber cloths and put a little more muscle behind your buffing. Work in circles with your buffing tool of choice and buff each section of the floor for a nice shine.

How to Keep Your Laminate Floors Looking Newer Longer

Even the best laminate floor cleaner will have to work hard to get those floors shining again if they aren’t properly maintained. A dull, streaky laminate floor is usually caused by built-up dirt, improper cleaning products, and cleaners residue. Now that you know the best way to clean laminate wood floors and how often, follow these tips to keep your laminate flooring shining like new.

Sweep or Vacuum Often

Keeping your laminate floors free of debris and dirt will help prevent scratches from regular foot traffic. A nylon broom can get up most of the pet hair, dust, and dirt that collects on your floors. For hard-to-reach dust in the corners, use the soft-brush attachment on your vacuum and make sure the vacuum cleaner wheels are clean so they don’t scratch the floor.

Don’t Let Stains or Spills Sit

Tackle spills as they happen. The best way to avoid stains is to wipe up spills immediately. Liquids can damage laminate floors, so it’s critical to minimize exposure to them.

Protect the Surface of Laminate Floors

To avoid scratches, put furniture pads under the legs of furniture, especially if they are moved frequently. Use welcome mats to minimize dirt that can scratch laminate floors. The brushy mats designed to get mud out of boot and shoe soles are perfect for keeping dirt a minimum.

Trim Your Pet’s Nails

Your cat or dog’s nails can cause tiny scratches on your laminate floor that you might not notice until it’s too late. Keep your pet’s nails trimmed and use mats under their food and water bowls.

Clean and maintain your laminate floors correctly, and you’ll enjoy a beautiful finish for years to come. If you have carpet or rugs, be sure to check out our carpet cleaning guide to keep the rest of your floors looking great. Pinched for time? Why not let The Maids take care of those floors?


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