Keeping Your Laminate Floor Clean

Basic Rules for Keeping Your Laminate Floor Clean

Nowadays, laminate flooring remains one of the most popular options in contemporary homes. Back in the day, it was mainly known for its affordable prices, though other flooring options were deemed more attractive. That’s no longer true, as advances in laminate flooring have resulted in plenty of attractive choices. Laminate flooring has also become quite durable, suitable for a home with children and pets.

But to fully optimize your laminate flooring, you have to regularly keep it clean. The good news is that cleaning laminate flooring isn’t all that complicated.

Read the Instructions

In most cases, buying laminate flooring also gets you an instruction manual on how to take care of it. If, for some reason, you don’t get the owner’s manual, try to look for it online. And then you have to read that manual, so you know what you’re doing. It may have special care instructions.

Sweeping or Vacuuming

You will want to get rid of the dust on the laminate flooring, as well any dirt and food bits left on the floor. That means sweeping your laminate flooring at least once a week.

It’s true that the top layer of the laminate flooring is quite tough. After all, it’s designed to last long even against furniture, shoes, and dogs. But you still need to get rid of the dirt and dust on the laminate flooring, to minimize the need for deeper (and harsher) cleaning methods in the future.

If you’re vacuuming a laminate floor, set the vacuum cleaner on the “hardwood” setting. This keeps the beater brush from spinning and damaging the floor. Also, make sure you only use the soft brush attachment for the vacuum cleaner.

Don’t use abrasive materials like steel wool on laminate flooring. These materials will just damage the top layer of the laminate.

Mopping the Floor

Yes, laminate flooring isn’t waterproof at all. If you don’t deal with too much moisture on the floor right off, you might end up with major damage to your laminate flooring. It’s quite common for water to weaken the adhesive of the laminate flooring, resulting in an unattractive bubbling effect.

But if you’re very careful, you can mop your laminate floor. It starts with the right mop. A microfiber mop is your safest option. A regular mop or a spray mop will also work, but you’ll have to wring it out as much as possible.

After mopping the floor, you then should use a dry cloth to wipe down your laminate floor. You must never let water or any liquid pool on the laminate flooring.

How often should you mop the laminate floor? That generally depends on whether the area is a high-traffic location or not. For high-traffic areas like entryways, hallways, common bathrooms, and kitchens, you may need to mop the floor once a week.

But for guest rooms and formal living areas that don’t get a lot of foot traffic, you can get by with maybe mopping every 2 weeks, or even once a month. Just make sure that these areas are vacuumed once a week.

What about steam cleaning? While some people have maintained that this is safe, most experts say that it’s a risk you shouldn’t take. The main problem with steam cleaning is that not only does it involve lots of moisture, but it also uses high heat. The excessive levels of moisture and heat aren’t all that good for laminate flooring in general.

Applying Cleaning Solutions

Once you’re done mopping the floor and you’re wiping the floor down with your dry cloth, you may as well apply some cleaning solutions. There are plenty of commercially available options these days. But you have to check that it’s actually specifically designed for laminate flooring. It has to say so on the label.

That’s not to say that the label is always accurate. You should read customer reviews as well, along with expert reviews on the cleaning solutions for laminate flooring. You have to be absolutely sure of it.

Also, check the label and confirm that the cleaning solution doesn’t contain any ammonia. Ammonia will just damage the top layer of the laminate flooring. You should also avoid using both oil-based or wax-based cleaners. These types of cleaners tend to leave unsightly streaks on your floor. they’re also devilishly difficult to get out, so spare yourself the trouble and frustration.

You can also go the DIY route. There are plenty of online suggestions as to the best homemade floor cleaner for laminate, but here’s a simple formula.

Use any of the following:

  • 1 teaspoon of clear, unscented soap dish
  • A small bit of baby shampoo
  • A bit of ammonia-free glass cleaner
  • Solution of 1-part white vinegar to 3-parts water

Spot Cleaning

If you spill anything on your laminate floor, just wipe up the mess immediately. Use a soft absorbent cloth, like a paper towel or a microfiber wipe. The white vinegar with water solution is also good for spot cleaning. For a tough stain, use acetone (nail polish remover). This works nicely with colored or oil stains like marker, lipstick, and ink stains.

Just dab a little acetone on the stain, then wipe it off immediately with a damp rag or damp paper towel. Keep doing this until the stain is gone.

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