Newly laid laminate floors look fantastic in your home, but they require some specialist, yet simple maintenance to stay that way. According to the World Floor Covering Association, they can easily get damaged by excessive moisture, which means it’s not advisable to use cleaning methods like traditional wet mopping. However, when used in moderation and in the recommended concentration levels, solutions such as water and vinegar, are safe to use as long as you do not flood the laminate surface.
Also, you must steer clear of any abrasive cleaning tools or products that can scratch or cause peeling to your laminate floor. Here at Washing Wizard, we recommend gentler methods such as DIY cleaning using natural solutions, vacuuming and the occasional damp mop using a microfibre mop.
How do you maintain laminate flooring?
Keeping your laminate floor in top condition doesn’t require complicated processes or expensive products. All you need is to steer clear of water and clean up liquid spills quickly. You will also need to protect the surface against scratches and clean your laminate flooring regularly. These are our top tips:
1. Deal with stains as quickly as possible
Stains caused by liquids are harmful to laminate floors and should be cleaned up immediately. This is to prevent them from seeping into the seams and causing wood bubbling and swelling.
2. Protect your floor surface against avoidable scratches
Start by installing furniture pads to reduce the impact of chairs and tables on your floor, especially if you move them frequently. Placing mats and rugs by your entrance will also reduce the amount of dirt that gets into the house, which means less cleaning.
If you like to wear stiletto heels, probably best to put them on in another room where this is no laminate flooring.
3. Sweep and vacuum regularly
This helps you to pick up any grit and other sharp objects that, when underfoot, can scratch your floor and erode the lustre. Vacuuming also removes any allergens floating on the laminate surface – an effective way to improve the overall quality of air in your house. To ease your work, insist on people taking their shoes off at the door to help keep dirt and grit outside.
How to restore fading
Newly installed laminate floors have a beautiful lustre. However, they will suffer from general wear and tear. This could be caused by residues from the wrong cleaning products and dirt accumulation.
Fear not, you can easily restore your fading laminate floor and return its shine by cleaning it thoroughly with the right cleaner. We recommend the classic vinegar + warm water mixture. This is your number one solution for this and many other cleaning problems. You can also contact your flooring manufacturer for specific product recommendations if nothing else seems to be working.
Worth mentioning here is that you should never wax or polish laminate floors. According to Best Laminate, waxing masks the already shiny surface of the laminate and encourages the build-up of dirt. The result? Your flooring appears dull and cloudy.
What you will need
The items you need to clean your laminate flooring depend on the type of cleaning you want to do. Let’s take a look at different products and solutions and the type of dirt they remove.
- Rubbing alcohol or acetone-based polish remover for common stains such as nail polish, paint, and inks
- Ice for removing candle wax and chewing gum
- Unscented dish soap for washing regular dirt
- White vinegar for waxy dirt
- Commercial cleaners recommended for laminate surfaces. A couple of options you can consider here are Wood’s Good Floor Care and Quickstep Cleaner.
You may also need a spray bottle, water, microfibre mop, and gloves depending on your preferred method.
How to clean laminate floors
You can rid your laminate floor of dirt and debris using simple methods like sweeping with a brush, vacuuming, or mopping with a dry dust mop. Alternatively, you can use DIY cleaning solutions like vinegar and water or off-the-shelf cleaners to remove stubborn stains and spots.
DIY cleaning solutions
Do-it-yourself methods for cleaning laminate flooring are plenty, but not all are recommended. Some can be too abrasive while others cause long-term and irredeemable damage to these somewhat sensitive floors. To protect your flooring, use the following old-fashioned but highly effective and eco-friendly cleaning method:
Vinegar + hot water mix
The use of vinegar on laminate surfaces has for a long time been the subject of a heated debate. One faction maintains that its acidic nature makes it a harsh cleaning agent. However, when used in moderation, vinegar leaves a sparkle on laminate surfaces and does little harm to your floor.
Caution: Do not use undiluted vinegar as it can be abrasive to your laminate.
What you’ll need
- Regular white vinegar
- Hot/warm water
- A spray bottle
- Microfibre mop
- Essential oil/flavoured dish detergent (optional)
- Mix equal parts of hot or warm water and vinegar.
- Using a spray bottle, spray your floor and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Wipe clean with a well-wrung microfibre mop.
- If you can still spot dirt stains or streaks on the floor, repeat the process with a more concentrated solution.
- You can also add a few drops of your preferred essential oil or sweet-smelling dish detergent to suppress vinegar’s strong scent.
Caution: excessive use of essential oils and powerful detergents may dull the same shine that is produced by vinegar.
Special solutions for unusual messes
Let’s face it, mishaps and messes will occur in your house no matter how cautious you are. The likelihood is even higher if you have pets or little ones around. For example, it’s not uncommon to have nail polish or inks spill on your laminate floor. But don’t fret if this happens and the following quick fixes will do wonders if implemented correctly.
Nail polish – A simple way to clean these stains is to apply a non-acetone nail polish remover on the affected area. Let it stay for a few minutes and wipe using a cotton ball.
Blood – to clean blood from a laminate surface, use a regular window cleaner and wipe with a damp cloth.
Ink and crayon – use rubbing alcohol to remove inks from your laminate flooring.
Grease and tar – remove greasy fluids using mineral spirits.
Chewing gum – place a plastic bag of ice on the glob and scrape the hardened gum with a blunt object such as a bank card or a plastic knife.
The don’ts of laminate floor cleaning
Here are five cleaning mistakes you should avoid when cleaning your laminate flooring.
- Don’t use abrasive scrubbers like steel wool or detergents with harsh chemicals.
- Don’t use a vacuum with a beater bar as it can scratch your floor.
- Don’t use a soaking wet mop on laminate flooring to avoid warping the wood.
- Avoid pine-scented cleaners as they leave a dull and soapy residue.
- Do not use a gritty or plastic eraser to wipe scuff marks. Wipe with a wet sponge or get scuff erasers from a hardware shop.
So, there you have it, a comprehensive guide that shows you everything you needed to know about cleaning, maintaining, and restoring a fading laminate flooring!