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If your home has laminate floors, then you’re probably wondering the most effective way to clean them. There are so many methods available, so how do you choose the right one? Really, it’s all about specification — finding exactly what works for your home and the materials inside of it.
There’s a lot to learn about caring floors, and now is as good a time as any to get started. Whether you need some tips for stain removal or you’re brand-new to the whole equation, here are some of the best ways to clean laminate flooring.
Just like any place in your house, scheduling regular cleaning routines can help your floors stay clean and fresh-feeling.
One of the first things you can keep on top of is sweeping. It’s best to sweep laminate floors with a soft-bristle broom. It would be even better if the broom had an angle to get corners and hard-to-reach areas.
In addition to sweeping, you can also use a vacuum cleaner on laminate floors on a weekly basis. Just make sure to use the hard floor setting. The carpet setting can scratch hard floors and leave marks on laminate.
In addition to the weekly cleanings to get dust and dirt out of the way, you’ll want to get a deep cleaning in every now and then.
While deep cleanings are more frequent for some than others, it’s important to use water sparingly on laminate floors, as water can cause laminate floors to bubble, swell, and tear. That’s why laminate-specific cleaning products are usually best for deep cleaning.
If you plan on using a damp mop, you can do so every two or three months, however, the best way to mop laminate flooring is to use a laminate floor mop specifically designed for the care of your flooring. However you choose to deep clean, doing a full dive every so often can be a great reset for your floors.
Spot Cleanings and Stains
If you have a specific spot you want to clean up or a stain that needs removal, blotting with a microfiber towel rather than rubbing is the best way to go. Additionally, if any kind of wax, gum, or gelatin falls on your floor, removing it using cold, like ice or an ice pack, can help get all of the residue off.
One of the most surprising solutions is for oil-based stains like grease, cosmetics, and even other color-tracking stains like markers. In order to remove color stains, you can actually use acetone or nail polish remover to get the job done — not to be confused with rubbing alcohol.
Protecting Your Floors
One detail about laminate flooring is that it can’t be refinished, so it’s important to treat it carefully. In order to protect your floors, paying attention to what not to do can be just as important as the habits you actively practice.
Specifically, using buffers, harsh tools, acidic cleaners, steel wool, and carpet vacuum settings on your floor can leave scratches and damage. Instead, make sure you protect your floors by placing protective pads underneath furniture and chairs, using laminate-specific rug underlays, placing entryway mats to get rid of dirt, and keeping pet nails trimmed in order to avoid unnecessary scratches.
The Best Supplies
Speaking of products and spot cleanings, you might be wondering by now which cleaners and supplies you should use on your laminate flooring. From the solutions themselves to the other accessories you can use, there are a few things you might want to have in your arsenal for cleaning your floors.
In addition to the solution itself, you’ll likely need a laminate-specific microfiber mop, a microfiber cloth to clean up smaller spills, acetone, and, of course, a laminate floor cleaning solution.
If you’re on the hunt for the best cleaning solution for your laminate floors, some crowd favorites include Black Diamond Floor Cleaner, Better Life Natural Floor Cleaner, Bona Stone Cleaner, and Zep Hardwood and Laminate Cleaner.
If these don’t strike your fancy, you can also go for a combination of vinegar and baking soda or vinegar and water, as many people find that preferable.
What to Avoid
When it comes to figuring out what not to use on your floors, there are a few materials you should probably avoid — including both supplies and solutions.
In terms of supplies, like mentioned above, you should avoid using the carpet setting on vacuum cleaners, harsh brushes, steel wool, and anything else that can cause scratches or wear when cleaning your laminate floors.
You shouldn’t use aggressive cleaners or any cleaner not intended for laminate flooring. You also should avoid using plain water too often — if at all.
How About Mopping?
If you do want to use a standard mop on your laminate floor for deep cleaning, there are a few things you’ll need to remember:
- First, make sure you only use a traditional mop every two or three months, as more frequent than that can be too harsh on the floors.
- Second, don’t oversaturate with water, as that can cause wear and tear. Especially with the inability to refinish these floors, you’ll want to treat them with respect.
- Third, don’t use a steam mop or a wet mop, as those can cause damage including wear and warping.
Can You Steam Clean Laminate?
For those wondering if you can steam clean laminate floors, the answer is a resounding no. Steam cleaning laminate floors can cause irreparable damage, meaning you shouldn’t try to use this method on any laminate floors.
How to Avoid Mold
If you’re trying to avoid or get rid of mold in laminate floors, the first step is to deeply clean and thoroughly maintain your floors regularly. If you already have a mold issue with your floors, there are a few steps you can take to repair the damage.
You can get a specific mold cleaning solution, or if you want to go DIY, you can mix white vinegar with water and rubbing alcohol to clean the area thoroughly. You can even add essential oils if the smell happens to be bothersome.
Making Them Shine
The best way to get your laminate floors to shine is by using a proper cleaning solution that’s intended for laminate floors. But if you’re looking to go a bit beyond that, you can also try using a dust mop to wipe away any dirt or extra spots that could be mucking your floor’s shine. These are great because they’re gentle on your floors but still make an impact.
How to Clean Laminate Floors
Cleaning your floors properly can be one of the most important things you learn when cleaning your home. Whether you’re moving into a new place or you have a stain that needs to be dealt with, there are so many ways you can clean laminate floors and make them shine. Do you prefer a specialized cleaning solution, or would you rather DIY?