Laminate floors may mimic other materials in appearance, but to get them really clean you can’t just treat them like other flooring as they need special care to keep them looking their best.
Establish Weekly Cleaning Habits
- Sweep regularly with a soft-bristle broom to collect pet hair and dust. An angled broom will be more helpful to get into corners and along baseboards.
- Vacuum weekly using a soft-brush attachment to avoid scratching the flooring.
- Use the hard floor setting on the vacuum cleaner. This stops the beater brush from rotating so it won’t scratch the floor.
Deep Clean Occasionally
Water should be used minimally in laminate floor cleaning. Standing water can cause the wood to bubble or swell, make the seams separate, or fade the floor color.
- It is always best to use cleaning products that are specifically for laminate floors, but if necessary, a teaspoon of unscented clear dish soap or baby shampoo in a gallon of hot water can be used. Be careful not to soak the floors.
- Damp mop every two to three months, but do not saturate the mop; wring the mop out until it is almost dry, then wipe over floors.
- You can also use a laminate floor mop. These are flat mops or spray mops, usually of microfiber or other highly absorbent materials, that are designed to mop cleanly without excess liquid.
- After mopping, go over floors with a dry microfiber cloth or a dry mop to ensure no water remains on the laminate.
- For deeper cleaning, you can use a steam mop very sparingly on laminate floors. Be sure to dry the floor immediately after steam cleaning with a clean, dry microfiber cloth or mop.
- Avoid oil-based cleaners as they can leave streaks that are impossible to get rid of.
Spot Treat Stains
- Blot spills with a microfiber cloth as soon as they happen.
- For spots like grease, wax or gum, freeze the spot with an ice pack, then carefully scrape it up with a plastic scraper or plastic knife. Wipe the area with a lightly dampened microfiber cloth to pick up any residue.
- Oily spots or color stains like marker, lipstick or ink can be treated with acetone or nail polish remover. Place a small amount of chemical on a clean white cloth and wipe up the stain. Follow with a lightly dampened microfiber cloth to pick up any residue. Be sure the area is dry to the touch when you finish.
Protect Your Flooring
- Never use a floor buffer or polisher on laminate floors.
- Do not use abrasive or acidic cleaners or any abrasive tools as any harsh cleaner can potentially strip the protective coating.
- Use protective mats under all heavy furniture or anything with castors. Never try to slide anything heavy across the laminate floor.
- Use only laminate-approved vinyl rug underlays under area rugs as this keeps rug backing from sticking to or scratching the flooring and the rug itself in place.
- Place entry mats at outside doorways to keep dirt, oil or other outdoor substances from being tracked onto the floor.
- To prevent scratches, keep pet nails trimmed and avoid walking across the floor in heels or cleats.