How to clean laminate floors – A comprehensive guide

In recent years, laminate flooring has been snowballing in popularity: It provides very similar visual aesthetics to that of expensive hardwood flooring, but at a much more affordable price, and with much less hassle to maintain. However, the material can be tricky to maintain as well, and unlike hardwood flooring, the damage caused by cleaning mistakes on laminate flooring cannot be repaired so easily. So it is crucial for you to be well-versed in how to clean the laminate floor properly. And this guide is the know-how you need.

What are the difficulties with cleaning laminate flooring

Before we go into details on how you should clean laminate flooring, it is necessary for us to know what kind of problems we may have cleaning this material. 

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Exposure to water can cause laminate floors to deform (Source: Internet)

Laminate flooring is known for having a scratch, abrasion, and water resistance than hardwood flooring, thanks to the finishing as well as the water-resistant layers that it has. But nonetheless, though slightly less, the laminate flooring is still vulnerable to water, and if the water soaks into the core, the material would swell up into nasty lumps. And unlike on hardwood where you could simply sand the damaged area and refinish, the water-induced deformation on laminate flooring could only be fixed by replacing the floor.

So the key to the maintenance of laminate flooring is to clean it without introducing too much water into it; as well as finding the right cleaning tools and cleaner for the flooring that effectively clean it without causing any damage. This means some of the conventional cleaning methods will be crossed from the list. Now we will discuss in detail what will work for cleaning laminate flooring.

How should you clean laminate flooring?

So in order to clean laminate flooring, you will have to manage the following tasks without exposing the flooring to too much water and abrasion: dusting, mopping, and cleaning tough stains. And here’s how you clean laminate flooring, as suggested by experts.

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Spills on laminate floors should be cleaned immediately (Source: Internet)

Dusting laminate flooring

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Vacuum cleaners without beater bars can be used to dust laminate floors (Source: Internet)

You should clean off the dust on laminate flooring very regularly, and do so without using abrasive tools. For manual cleaning, it would be best to use a soft-bristle broom or a dust mop. Vacuum cleaning is great as it does a better job cleaning dust in the crevices, but you have to use the types that don’t have a beater bar. Robot vacuums can be great for the job as well since most types are designed with soft brushes and rubber wheels, which would not scratch the floor.

Mopping laminate flooring 

For deep cleaning, you should damp mop the laminate flooring at least once every 2 months. The key to damp mopping laminate floors is to not splash a lot of water on the floor, so a regular rag mop is simply not an option. The same is true for steam mops since they introduce a lot of moisture into the wood: Steam mops cannot be used for cleaning laminate flooring. The best choice for damp mopping laminate floors, as recommended by almost every cleaning guide, is the microfibre mop: It is gentle for the surface and also doesn’t soak the floor.

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Mop laminate floors clean using microfibre mops (Source: Internet)

A frequently asked question is whether you can use a wet Swiffer on laminate floors. The answer is yes because the Swiffer can control the spray of cleaning solution, and use up the sprayed water very quickly before it could damage the flooring.

To aid the process, you may also use a commercial cleaner specialized for laminate floors, or even DYI cleaning solutions such as a vinegar-water solution, or a glass cleaner. As a note, you should not use too much cleaner because it will it residual and form streaks on your floor.

As a note, you should always check the flooring manufacturer’s guide to make sure that the tools/cleaning solution you intend to use is safe to use on the flooring.

Clean tough stains on laminate floors

As the flooring is very vulnerable to harsh scrubbing and chemicals, you should always treat the stains as soon as it happens so none of such heavy-duty tools will be needed. To quickly handle a small spill you can simply wipe it asap with paper towels or with a cloth; you may also spray the spill stain with a 1:3 vinegar-water solution to help the process. After having wiped the spill, wipe the area once more with a dry paper towel or cloth and remove any excess moisture or vinegar solution.

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Stains on laminate floors can be cleaned by wiping with natural cleaners. (Source: Internet)

Here’s how you can handle different types of stains:

Coffee, Wine, Juice: The spill must be wiped up immediately to avoid any damage to the flooring. Absorb the liquid using a clean paper towel. Spray the remaining spill with a vinegar and water solution and wipe it with a paper towel until clean. The method also works for dry stains as well.

Wax: The good news is the laminate can sustain against spilled candle wax. Wait until the wax is completely dry, then scrub to remove the wax from the floor, using a non-abrasive scraper such as a rubber scraper or plastic putty knife. After having removed the wax, wipe the floor with a paper towel or micro-fiber cloth dampened with a vinegar-water solution.

Furniture Polish / Dust Cleaner: If during dusting sessions your dusting spray makes its way onto the floor, you may have a slip hazard. To solve this problem, spray a vinegar-water solution onto the floor, or a paper towel, and wipe until the area is no longer slippery.

Goo Gone: Goo Gone is an excellent product for getting rid of sticky stains; however, it may leave a residue on your floor. To clean it, wipe the area with a vinegar-water solution on clean paper towels until the area is clean.

Permanent Marker & Pen: Drawing on laminate floors is actually much easier to clean than on walls. Damp clean paper towels with acetone or a nail polish remover with acetone content. Wipe the laminate flooring in a scooping motion until the marker is removed. For tough areas, repeat the routine multiple times until it’s clean.

Kid’s Oil Paint: The oil paint should be cleaned before it dries to avoid it seeping through the grooves or staining bright-colored flooring. Wipe the paint using larger dry paper towels in a scooping motion to not let the paint puddles get larger and remove any wet paint. Then spray the paint on the floor with a vinegar and water solution and wipe with clean paper towels; make sure to use a new paper towel each pass, until clean.

Nail Polish: Nail polish spill should be cleaned up as soon as possible because it could stain your floor if left to dry. Damp a clean paper towel with acetone. Wipe the spilled nail polish up with the said towel by using a scooping motion until the nail polish is visibly gone. Also, wipe with fresh paper towels and acetone, but in a swiping motion, for grooves or textured areas.

Glue: If glue is spilled on your flooring, it must be cleaned up immediately. Once the glue is dried, it can be extremely hard to remove. To clean newly-spilled glue, use clean, acetone-dampenedpaper paper towels to wipe the floor using a scooping motion until all visible glue is gone. WIpe once more with a vinegar-water solution to remove the residual glue residue. 

Scuff Marks: There are a number of ways how scuff marks can be treated. First, try a white eraser, if that doesn’t work, follow with a water and vinegar solution. Another way is to add Goo Gone to a paper towel and use that to rub the scuff mark. After that, wipe with the water and vinegar solution to get rid of Goo Gone’s residue.

More cleaning tips and professional cleaning services

Love these tips on how clean your laminate floors? Sparkling and Beyond has even more cleaning tips and guides for you to explore. And if the DIY methods can’t take care of your problem, you can always contact us for professional help. We provide professional and affordable cleaning services for laminate floors, as well as any for any type of flooring, in any other part of the house, for any degree of need. We’ll keep your home sparkling clean and healthy.

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