How to Clean Laminate Floors

How to Clean Laminate Floors

Laminate floors are a popular choice for many homes due to their durability, affordability, and attractive appearance. However, keeping them looking their best requires proper cleaning techniques. Neglecting to clean laminate floors regularly or using the wrong cleaning methods can lead to a dull, streaky, or even damaged surface. If you are looking for some simple steps on how to clean laminate floors, we’ll show you the best ways while pointing out the common cleaning mistakes that can harm the flooring.

We’ll also cover important dos and don’ts, such as the types of cleaning products to avoid and how to prevent scratches and dulling.

How to Clean Laminate Floors

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How to Clean Laminate Floors?

Cleaning laminate floors doesn’t require much effort to maintain its shine for years to come. The wear layer protects the laminate from scratches, so following a regular cleaning schedule could help maintain the floor’s exquisite appearance. You could start by sweeping or vacuuming to remove dirt. Then, mop the surface with a damp mop, but make sure it’s neither too wet nor too dry. The best cleaning solution is a mixture of mild detergent and warm water. After mopping, dry the floor with a microfiber cloth to prevent streaks (but we’ll talk about this in detail).

For stubborn stains, gently rub with a cleaner designed for laminate. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive tools to prevent damage.

Clean up liquids

To protect your laminate from damage, you first need to clean every liquid on the laminate flooring. You could use a microfiber towel or a dry sponge (whatever works best for you) to help clean up spills or mud. Leaving the liquid unattended for a long period of time will only make it harder to clean it afterward. After you wipe the spill, dry the area with a clean cloth to get rid of any remaining dirt and spill.

For heavier spills, lightly mist the floor with cleaner and scrub gently with a damp microfiber mop.

Sweep, dry-mop, or vacuum

There are plenty of ways to remove dirt from the laminate flooring. Use a broom with soft bristles or a microfiber dust mop to remove any loose dirt, grass, or pet hair if you have pets at home that is. Or you could vacuum the flooring. But be extra careful with it. Don’t add any kinds of attachments not recommended for laminate. The wrong attachment could leave scratches on the floor

Following proper cleaning methods is key to maintaining a laminate’s beautiful appearance long-term.

Can You Mop Laminate Flooring?

Many homeowners are hesitant to mop laminate floors out of fear of causing water damage or other issues. Although mopping takes much more effort, it can make your floors cleaner and restore your floor shine in a few steps. Also, it can be a safe and effective cleaning method when done properly.

Before using the mop, you’ll need to sweep, dry, or vacuum the floor as instructed above. This will help you remove any dirt, debris, or even liquid spills. 

Only then can you use a mop. Dampen the pad and mop the floor to remove any dirt or buildup you didn’t catch during the sweeping step. Clean the pad as much as needed. 

We recommend you use as little water as possible on your pad. Standing water can seep between the planks and cause damage, so work in sections and allow each area to fully dry before moving on.

Can You Mop Laminate Flooring?

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Common concerns and misconceptions

One major concern is excess moisture seeping into the laminate and causing damage. However, laminate floors have a protective coating that resists water penetration. As long as proper mopping techniques are followed to prevent oversaturation, there is little risk of moisture issues.

Some also worry about streaking or dulling the finish when mopping. However, using the right cleaning solutions specifically designed for laminate floors avoids these problems. In fact, with care, mopping can actually enhance the laminate’s shine and leave floors looking refreshed.

How to Make Laminate Flooring Shine

Laminate floors are known for their attractive, glossy finish. However, over time, that shine can become dull and lackluster. Restoring the floors’ radiance is important for maintaining their beauty and protecting the surface.

Importance of maintaining a shiny finish

A polished laminate surface enhances the overall appearance of the flooring and gives rooms a clean, elegant, and welcoming atmosphere. A shiny finish actually helps protect the laminate from scratches and premature wear. 

A dull, worn appearance can make floors seem older than they are, creating an undesirable look that detracts from the space. Maintaining shine preserves the laminate’s upscale, contemporary appeal for a luxurious, high-end aesthetic.

Tips and techniques for enhancing the shine

Proper cleaning is key to bringing out the laminate’s natural luster. Use a pH-neutral floor cleaner designed specifically for laminate floors, avoiding products containing waxes, oils, or other additives that can dull the finish. After cleaning, go over floors with a dry microfiber mop, buffing in the direction of the laminate’s wood grain pattern.

This gentle polishing action helps smooth out microscopic scratches that can scatter light and create a hazy appearance. For an extra shine boost, consider using a laminate floor polish. Look for a high-quality, commercial-grade product without harsh chemicals like ammonia.

Apply a thin, even coat as directed and allow it to fully dry and cure per the manufacturer’s instructions. With regular polishing every few months, your laminate floors will regain their original radiant shine. This simple maintenance preserves the luxurious appearance of years of beauty.

Additional Tips for Laminate Floor Maintenance

Besides regular cleaning and maintenance, you could follow the following additional tips to keep your laminate flooring looking its best for years to come.

  • Avoid using waxes or any commercial cleaning solutions not designed for laminate. Never, under any circumstances, should you use bleach on laminate because it will stain the flooring.
  • Always use a doormat to keep the dirt and prevent the laminate from scratches. 
  • Never walk with the shoes on. Remove shoes, especially those with hard heels, before walking on laminate flooring.
  • Furniture scratches are laminate’s worst enemy. Use furniture pads, especially for furniture that you move frequently.  
  • Trim your pet’s nails (if you have one), as untrimmed nails could scratch and damage the laminate.
Additional Tips for Laminate Floor Maintenance

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This article has helped you navigate the dos and don’ts, outlining the steps on how to clean laminate floors and how to tackle tough stains and spills.

Regular maintenance using the right tools and solutions is key to preventing dulling, scratches, and other damage. With this knowledge, you can extend the lifespan and preserve the beauty of your laminate floors while maintaining a fresh, welcoming environment in your home.

Mark is a seasoned home services contractor and now serves as the Director of Market Research for Services Curated.