Cleaning Laminate Floors: The Essential Guide
While most people love hardwood floors, and they might think the floor is wood all the way to the last splinter, the truth is many of these floors are made with laminate. Laminate is a special-design wood flooring with enhanced durability and resilience. Additionally, the reason why hardwood floors are partly laminated is for the sake of hygiene and easier maintenance.
If you own one of these, you’ve probably had a fair share of maintenance issues, and that’s totally understandable. Laminate floors take special TLC, and we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about how to clean laminate wood floors, how to handle laminate floor steam cleaning, and more.
How Often Should You Clean Laminate Flooring?
How often you clean your laminate floors depends on their use and the type of spills and spots that require cleaning. For instance, you should clean muddy tracks and spills right away. On the other hand, crumbs, grit, and dust are best cleaned once a week.
If you happen to own pets or there’s a lot of foot traffic, you can dry-mop or vacuum the floors more frequently. To make adopting an efficient laminate floor cleaning routine easier, divide the cleaning into three separate scenarios: daily, immediate, and deep cleaning.
Daily cleaning is when you swipe your laminate floorings daily. Whenever you feel (and see) the floors could use some dusting off, dry-mop them, or sweep them clean to keep dirt and insignificant debris off them.
A daily cleaning session should only last a short time and should take you at most half an hour, depending on the area you’re cleaning. In turn, daily cleanings will help you lessen the scope of work during deep cleaning, which we’ll get into shortly.
As the name suggests, immediate cleaning is when you tend to spills and soilings right away. For instance, if you spill a glass of wine or coffee on your laminate floor, you clean it immediately and don’t just soak in the liquid to tackle during your next deep-cleaning session.
There isn’t a strict rule as to when to practice immediate cleaning, and it’s more of an “in-the-spur-of-the-moment” type of cleaning.
When it comes to deep cleaning laminate flooring, that’s when we discuss thorough cleaning. You’ll need to gather the big guns like a microfiber mop and special laminate floor cleaning products to do this. Besides professional-grade cleaning solutions, you can also use a homemade laminate floor cleaner if that is something you prefer.
When you go into deep-cleaning laminate floors, you’ll basically be “freeing” the floor from stains, buildup, residue, debris, and anything that’s soiling your floor. In general, it’s best to do a deep-cleaning session every two weeks.
How to Clean Laminate Wood Floors: Step-by-Step
When it comes to a squeaky clean laminate wood floor, there are three major steps to include in the routine. Let’s go over each of them in more detail.
Step 1: Remove Loose Debris
Loose soil, dust, grit, and dirt are best picked up with a dry dust mop, an electrostatic disposable mopping cloth, or a standard vacuum cleaner. If you choose to vacuum, do so with the beater bar unattached.
If you’re considering a standard broom to sweep loose debris away, know that it’s not the best choice simply because it can sweep the grit in the cracks on the floor. Remember to remove any rugs or mats and clean the surface underneath.
Step 2: Get a Special Cleaning Product or Make One Yourself
Choosing the right cleaning solution starts with looking at the label on the product. There are special cleaning solutions designed especially for laminate hardwood floors. On the other hand, if you would rather make your own cleaning solution, go ahead.
Many homeowners wonder how to clean laminate floors without leaving a film, and this is where DIY laminate floor cleaner comes in handy. Get some warm water and white vinegar and mix equal parts of each together. Put the liquid in a spray bottle and apply it on the floor. Wipe it clean with a dry mop, and you’re set.
You can use a microfiber mop and work in sections. Start at one corner of the room and move in a grid-like pattern. This will ensure you don’t miss any spots. If the floor is rather dirty, do another spraying and mopping session until the floor is spotless.
Step 3: Get Buffing
This last step is usually neglected, but it’s a nice wrap-up of the whole deep-cleaning process. Buffing your laminate wood floor will really bring out the shine that’s been dulled. To make sure you’re doing it right, you can choose one of these three ways:
- Buff the floor with a clean and dry microfiber mop;
- Place a microfiber cloth underneath the mop head;
- Or get down on your knees and use a microfiber cloth to buff the shine out of the floor.
No matter which technique you choose, make sure you move in small circular motions while buffing. That’s the best way to really get your laminate wood floor shiny.
Things to Avoid When Cleaning Laminate Floors
Even though laminate wood floors are resilient and durable, that doesn’t mean they aren’t delicate and require following certain cleaning guidelines. Before cleaning, remember to avoid making the following mistakes:
- Using a broom to sweep: The bristles on the broom won’t pick up loose soil, grit, or dirt. In turn, they will push the debris into the cracks across the floor.
- Vacuuming with the beater bar attached: Beater bars work wonders on carpets but not on laminate wood floors.
- Cleaning with a lot of liquid: Using too much moisture can cause a lot of damage to laminate wood floors. Steam cleaners tend to leave behind a lot of moisture that will percolate the floor joints and cause them to lose shape.
- Cleaning with an inadequate cleaner: Clean your laminate floors only with special laminate wood floor cleaners. Waxes, soaps, and all-purpose cleaners will leave streaks and films on the floor, which can really dull the floor’s surface.
These are some of the most common mistakes people make while cleaning their laminate wood floors, but make sure you are not one of them.
Final Words on Cleaning Laminate Flooring
If you’re wondering how to deep clean laminate floors, start by understanding what not to do. While laminate wood floors are super durable and resilient, some things can still defect a perfectly good laminate wood floor.
For example, homeowners who wonder how to clean laminate floors that are not waterproof should know that some lukewarm water and vinegar will work like a charm and not leave streaks on the floor. Finding the right cleaning technique can also help keep the floor nice and clean.
If you’d rather leave it to the professionals to handle your laminate wood floor cleaning, know that the experts at Certified Clean Care will do a stupendous job. Not only will we know what cleaning method works best for your laminate wood floor, but will do it with the utmost care and dedication.
In addition, you might want to have us look at your bathroom and see what we can do for your tiles and grout since our tile and grout cleaning services are too good to pass on. If you have any questions, get in touch with us, and we’ll make sure to get back to you as soon as possible.
Can you wet mop laminate floors?
Even though the top layer on laminate wood floors is waterproof, water can still seep through the board joints and cause serious damage. That is why it’s best to dry-mop the floor whenever possible and use as little liquid as you can.
Does vinegar dull laminate floors?
Vinegar can cause some floors to dull, but that only refers to solid, hardwood floors. Using a mix of vinegar and water on a laminate wood floor will clean the floors nicely without leaving behind streaks or film.
Can you use dish soap and water on laminate floors?
Experts don’t recommend cleaning a laminate wood floor with anything that isn’t specifically intended for a laminate wood floor. However, some people have used a dollop of unscented, clear dish soap mixed with a gallon of water to clean their laminate floors. Mind that this doesn’t ensure the floors won’t streak or have a film cover.
Do you mop laminate floors with hot or cold water?
Even though you should use as little water as possible, if you still do, make sure the water is warm (not boiling or cold). The reason is that warm water will evaporate faster without seeping through the layers of the floor.