Laminate flooring is durable, affordable, and easy to install. It resembles hardwood flooring in appearance, but unlike hardwood floors, which may demand more delicate care, laminate flooring only requires a little maintenance to keep it looking good for years to come. That's because it boasts a synthetic composition comprised of multiple layers, often including a protective wear layer. This layer contributes to its scratch and moisture resistance, yet it's still important to note that excessive water and harsh detergents can still cause surface damage or swelling of the flooring.
To safeguard your investment and sidestep the need for costly repairs, this article serves as your comprehensive guide to proper laminate floor cleaning. You will also learn how to protect your laminate floors and keep your home tidy in daily life.
The Best Way of Cleaning Laminate Floor
Here we'll cover the best ways to clean your laminate floors and some do's and don'ts to keep your laminate floor looking great. Just follow these simple steps to clean your laminate flooring.
Step 1. Dust or Vacuum the Floor
Start by removing dust, debris, and grit from your laminate floor. Accumulation of grit over time can lead to streaks and potential surface scratches on your laminate floor. A dry dust mop or vacuum cleaner can effectively make the cleaning go smoothly.
Moreover, utilizing a vacuum prevents the buildup of grit and dirt within the crevices between laminate boards, ensuring a cleaner and scratch-free surface.
A good tip to maintain the cleanliness of laminate floors is regular vacuuming. You can also use a robot vacuum, eufy Clean X9 Pro Self-cleaning Robot Vacuum for example, which combines features of dusting and mopping. As it can work automatically and is suitable for hard floors like laminate, using it can save both your time and effort.
Step 2. Choose a Laminate Floor Cleaning Solution
With a wide array of commercial laminate floor cleaners available, it's crucial to select an option best for cleaning laminate floors. Prioritize products that are specifically designed for laminate flooring. Avoid the use of abrasive or acidic cleaners, like bleach and ammonia, as they can cause significant damage and strip the protective coating from your floor.
If you're uncertain what cleans laminate floors best or have concerns about unknown or harsh ingredients, you also have the option of creating your own cleaning solutions.
One simple homemade solution is to combine a teaspoon of clear, unscented dish soap with a gallon of hot water. If you accidentally use the wrong cleaner and notice a light film or waxy buildup on your floor, try a mixture of vinegar and a gallon of hot water. Cleaning laminate floors with vinegar can effectively dissolve the residue and restore the floor's appearance.
Step 3. Use a Damp Mop
Considering the composition of laminate floors, it's important to avoid excessive moisture during cleaning. Instead, opt for a microfiber mop that doesn't saturate the floor with liquid. If using a traditional mop, ensure it's thoroughly wrung out to minimize water drips.
Begin mopping by applying a small amount of your chosen best laminate floor cleaning solution to a specific area of the floor. Then, proceed to gently wipe the laminate floors. Employ a figure 8 mopping technique to effectively cover both clean and soiled areas, ensuring no spots are overlooked.
Here's a useful tip: If your floor remains damp for an extended period after mopping, you may have used too much water. Excess water sitting on the floor can lead to bubbling, swelling, or even separation of the laminate boards' seams. To expedite the drying process, consider using a dry mop to aid in quick and efficient drying.
Step 4. Buff to Complete Cleaning
Merely mopping the floor doesn't conclude the laminate flooring cleaning process. To truly complete the process and achieve a dazzling shine, buffing is essential. You can achieve it by attaching an absorbent cloth to a dust mop or a dry microfiber mop and polishing the floor using it.
Do's and Dont's for Cleaning Laminate Floors
Now that you've learned how to clean laminate floors, here are some added tips (do’s and don’ts) for protecting laminate floors to avoid costly repairs or even replacement:
- Read the cleaning instructions that came with your laminate flooring.
- Wipe the stains on time and don't let the stains stay on the ground.
- Remove dust and grit regularly with a dry mop or vacuum. If you want to minimize the effort and time spent, you can also consider using a robot vacuum designed for hard floors.
- Choose a soft mop, such as a microfiber or cotton mop, to avoid scratching surfaces.
- Use detergents sparingly. Consider homemade cleaners, such as dish soap and hot water mixtures.
- Lay a welcome mat and use it to protect the floor surface from outside dirt.
- Trim your pet's nails to prevent it from scratching the laminate floor if you have pets.
- Do not soak the mop, because excess water may seep into floor crevices and cause damage.
- Do not use cleaning products not labeled as suitable for laminate floors and avoid using acidic and caustic cleaners.
- Avoid using sharp objects that could scratch or damage the floor.
- Do not use steam cleaners as excess water vapor may cause damage to laminate floors.
- Do not use any waxes and polishes as they may dull the floor or leave uneven spots.
This article helps you understand how to clean laminate floors properly with the step-by-step guide. Correct laminate flooring cleaning can make it easier to maintain your floor and extend the life of your floors. Equally important, paying attention to the do's and don'ts can help you keep your flooring clean for a longer time.