Laminate flooring is a great low-cost alternative to hardwood. Laminate, like hardwood, can be difficult to clean. However, if you know how to maintain laminate floors properly, you can enjoy your hardwood-dupe for many years to come.
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How to Clean Laminate Floors
Cleaning and maintaining laminate flooring is simple if you know how. There are several cleaning methods available to fit your lifestyle and amount of cleaning.
A frequent vacuum or sweep is required to keep your laminate flooring appearing fresh and clean. This will assist to keep dust and grime at away, which would otherwise make your floor to appear dingy or dull.
When sweeping, use a soft-bristled, flared broom with split ends. Flared brooms are softer and will take up more dust rather than simply sweeping it around. A stiff broom can cause surface damage, such as scratches.
Always go with the grain of the boards. Swiping across the surface may cause it to scrape. Following the grain will also help you pick up any dust or grime that may be trapped in the seams.
When vacuuming, use a vacuum with a soft attachment and a low-setting. This is a simple technique to eliminate dust, grime, and debris. It’s also a better option if you’re in a hurry or have difficulty sweeping due to back discomfort.
Never use a carpet-specific vacuum attachment. This includes beater bars and rollers, which will harm the boards’ top layer.
A dry mop is also a great tool for sweeping on a regular basis. These have a lengthy microfiber pad that smoothly slides across the laminate surface.
Again, stick with the natural grain of the boards. Although a dry mop will not damage the floor, going with the grain will take up more dust and grime.
Because of their softness, dry mops are great cleaning equipment for hardwood floors. They’re also simple to operate because most have a swivel and can easily manoeuvre around furniture and corners.
When dry mopping, begin at the rear of the room and work your way forward. If there is a lot of dirt, build little heaps along the route that you can gather with a dustpan after you’re done.
It’s time to mop the floor after you’ve swept or vacuumed it. Using warm water and a microfiber mop, this may be done fast.
Fill a bucket halfway with hot to warm water (not steaming and not lukewarm, somewhere in between). Dip your mop in water and wring out as much as you can to keep it wet.
Begin at the far end of the room and work your way in parts. Continue to dip and wring the mop as you go. When the water starts to look filthy, drain it and replace it with clean water.
Finish by blotting the floor with a clean cloth.
Deep Clean Vinegar
Vinegar is a great alternative for deep cleaning laminate flooring. This is not only a natural, gentle disinfectant, but it also restores lustre and neutralises smells.
There are two ways you may use when cleaning with vinegar. One method is to fill a spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water. Shake it well and spray in portions. Then, using a microfiber mop, buff your laminate floor to a gleaming finish.
If you’re using a wring or spin mop, add a cup of vinegar to each gallon of water in the bucket. Wring out as much moisture as possible by dipping the mop in the solution. Begin from the rear of the room and work your way forward.
For the greatest results, stick to the natural grain of the floor.
Some people are bothered by the pungent odour of vinegar. Don’t worry, it will fade after the place has dried.
Finally, use a clean towel or cloth to dry the floor. It is critical to avoid standing water; not only can it cause unsightly areas, but it may also harm the planks.
Keep the spray container nearby in case of an unintentional leak. Vinegar is an excellent cleaner for eliminating coffee, juice, and wine stains from laminate flooring.
Deep Clean Alcohol
Surprisingly, alcohol is an extremely efficient cleaner for laminate flooring. You may use any type of alcohol for this procedure, such as rubbing, gin, or even vodka.
As you may be aware, alcohol is a powerful disinfectant. It also has a nearly neutral pH, comparable to water. As a result, it is the ideal home cure for laminate flooring.
When cleaning, combine equal parts water and rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Use this combination to gently wash the floor or as a spot cleaning for unsightly stains like oil or shoe marks.
In a mop bucket, add one cup of alcohol to each gallon of water. To avoid standing water, clean the floors with a moist mop. Alcohol, such as ethanol and isopropanol, will aid in the evaporation of water. This eliminates the possibility of obnoxious watermarks.
Add a few squirts of mild dish soap for a refreshing scent. This will also aid in the dissolution and removal of dirt and grease.
After you’ve completed mopping, use a clean towel or cloth to dry the floor.
Deep Clean With Cleaner
Choose a commercial product to clean your laminate flooring while ensuring no damage is done. The ZEP Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner is one of our favourites for laminate. It is simple to apply and aids in the restoration of shine.
When using a commercial product, ensure that it is suitable for laminate flooring and does not include oil or wax. Products containing oil or wax will make laminate flooring slippery and create a filmy residue.
Mix the product according to the directions on the label. Read the instructions carefully to determine whether the product requires rinsing after mopping.
Spot Clean Acetone
Don’t be alarmed if your child has spilled his or her painting on the floor. With acetone nail polish remover, you can quickly erase pen markings or even permanent marker.
Spot Clean Window Cleaner
A window cleaner is your best choice if you have an accident on your laminate floors. These are gentle yet efficient in removing stains like blood.
Using a wet cloth, gently spray the afflicted area and wipe it away. Never leave the cleaner on the surface for an extended period of time.
Spot Clean Ice
Have you spilt something oily on your laminate floors? Not to worry, simply put an ice pack straight to the affected area and allow it to freeze.
Simply scrape the oil off with a plastic knife or dull instrument once it has frozen and solidified. If you don’t have an ice pack, a bag of frozen peas or another frozen foodstuff would suffice.
If there are any remnants of the stain, spray the area with window cleaner. Immediately wipe away, and the grease should be gone.
Things to Avoid When Cleaning Laminate Floors
Cleaning laminate flooring is simple if you use the proper procedures and tools. Without the use of harsh chemicals, you can remove tough stains and marks. Here are a few things to stay away from:
- Use abrasive equipment sparingly: Steel wool and harsh brushes should never be used on laminate flooring. These will leave scratches on the protective layer and may harm it.
- Avoid using polishes or waxes on laminate floors: Using polishes or waxes on laminate floors can make them slippery and leave a filmy residue. It also has the potential to dull the finish and collect dirt and dust. Instead, use vinegar or rubbing alcohol to restore the surface’s lustre.
- Ammonia should never be used: Although ammonia is a powerful stain remover, it should be kept away from your laminate flooring. Over time, the powerful chemical can remove the top layer from the boards.
- Avoid using steam cleaners, including mops, on laminate floors. High temperatures are used to blast dirt and germs away. The steam, on the other hand, is blasted into the surface to remove any imbedded dirt. While this works well on grout, it is not as effective on laminate. Steam moisture may find its way into the seam and cause internal damage to the boards.
- No sanding or refinishing: Keep in mind that, while laminate may appear to be hardwood, it is not. While you can sand hardwood floors to refinish or repair the surface, you can’t do the same with laminate. If you sand it, you will lose the top layer and leave marks that will not be repaired.
- Use doormats and rugs: To protect the floor from scuff marks and damage, lay a few throw rugs or doormats. Doormats will also keep dirt outside and serve as a nice reminder for guests to remove their shoes.
- Trim pet nails: While laminate does not scratch as quickly as hardwood, it is still possible. If you have a rambunctious puppy, keep their nails clipped to avoid scratches.
What Is Laminate Flooring?
Vinyl and laminate are sometimes mistaken. However, they only have one thing in common: they are both resistant to water.
Laminate flooring is a hybrid form of flooring. It was traditionally considered to be low-cost flooring and was only seldom utilized. Laminate, on the other hand, has become a household standard.
You’re not totally wrong if you frequently confuse laminate flooring with wooden floors. In actuality, laminate is comprised of tiny wood particles that are firmly pressed into planks.
However, laminate only seems to be wood because it has been printed to look that way. Some manufacturers will also produce stone laminate flooring, which is comprised of hardwood particles but has the appearance of genuine stone. Here are a few laminate floor fundamentals to be aware of:
Laminate is composed of layers of aggregated wood particles with a picture affixed on top. The planks are coated with a wear layer over the picture.
This layer is critical to the durability of laminate. A thin, transparent coating of aluminum oxide serves as the protective layer. It safeguards the delicate areas from dampness, scratches, and even UV radiation.
Laminate boards need proper underlayment and subflooring. A foam that rests between the floor and the planks is the most often utilized with laminate. This also helps to make the floor softer to walk and stand on, as opposed to tiles, which can cause foot pain.
The subfloor must be sufficient for the laminate planks to install smoothly and remain in place. If it isn’t sufficient, you may need to put a thin layer of plywood underlayment before the foam and laminate.
Laminate flooring is sometimes known as “floating floors.” This is because the planks are not attached or adhered to the subfloor or underlayment; rather, they “float” on top.
The planks or boards are joined together via a fold and lock technique. This technique maintains the boards firmly in place.
Laminate flooring is a popular choice for do-it-yourselfers due to its ease of installation.
When compared to hardwood flooring, laminate floors are less costly. However, when compared to other types of floors, such as vinyl, laminate is a more upscale and expensive option.
Laminate flooring is also very easy to maintain, especially when compared to hardwood. It is water resistant but not completely waterproof. This is determined by the closeness of the seams and the tightness with which they are placed.
Laminate flooring, on the other hand, are more brittle than vinyl floors. Vinyl is readily cleaned with a good mop and a variety of cleansers – mild detergents work wonderfully on vinyl.
Laminate, on the other hand, should be cleaned only with specialist chemicals labelled safe. Unlike certain varieties of hardwood, laminate flooring do not require waxing. Spills or any liquids should be cleaned as soon as possible, much like hardwood floors.
Water can cause the planks to expand if it gets beneath the protective covering or between the joints. This is because fine wood particles expand in size when exposed to water.
Advantages of Laminate Flooring
Although laminate flooring has numerous benefits, it is also important to compare it to what you are attempting to mimic – hardwood. Here are a few advantages of laminate flooring to consider:
One of the primary reasons why homeowners like laminate flooring is its look. Because of the lifelike picture layer, it seems identical to hardwood or other timber flooring – yet it is far less brittle.
It is a fantastic alternative for pet owners who prefer wooden flooring but are concerned about claw damage. Laminate can withstand claw assaults because to its scratch-resistant surface.
Easy To Install
As we just said above, laying laminate flooring is a piece of cake. As long as the subfloor is level, there is no need to remove or modify it. This allows you to place laminate boards over existing flooring like vinyl or hardwood.
Because you don’t have to remove the old floor, laminate allows you to save a substantial amount of money. Before installing laminate planks, the existing flooring does not need to be taken up or treated.
If you’re handy and ready for the job, you can have your laminate put quickly. However, if you are unfamiliar with the process or are installing a floor for the first time, it is preferable to employ a professional.
One of the primary reasons people like laminate is its low cost. Hardwood may be extremely costly, not just to purchase but also to install. However, because the material used in laminate flooring is less expensive, as well as the installation expenses, it is a good budget choice.
Furthermore, depending on the quality and pricing, flooring manufacturers frequently provide an exceptional guarantee. The most basic guarantee typically covers your flooring for up to a year, but other manufacturers provide a lifetime limited warranty.
Maintaining the appearance of your laminate flooring is not as tough as maintaining hardwood floors. The easiest method to keep dirt and dust at bay is to vacuum or sweep on a regular basis. When a deeper clean is required, use a microfiber mop and a spray bottle to spritz and mop as you go.
Because you won’t be using too much wetness, a spray mop is also a great choice for laminate flooring.
Laminate floors also do not necessitate the use of harmful chemicals. Stains and stains may be readily cleaned using an equal parts white vinegar and water solution.
Because laminate is comprised of wood particles, it may be recycled as well as reused. Furthermore, owing of the fold and lock design, it is simple to remove and reinstall in a new room or residence.
Some laminate flooring producers are increasingly employing eco-friendly techniques to aid in the preservation of forests and the environment. This involves using reclaimed timber and producing minimal trash.
Laminate flooring are a fantastic alternative if you or your children suffer from allergies. The laminate’s hard top layer is resistant to dust and other allergens including dust mites and pet hair. In addition, there aren’t as many cracks for allergies to hide in laminate as there are in hardwood planks.
There is no disputing that children and pets can be hard on flooring. Toys being dropped and dragged, sharp claws scratching as your pet runs – it can wear down even the toughest floors.
Although laminate isn’t completely safe, the wear layer makes it more so. While hardwood may sustain deep scratches, laminate may sustain minor scratches that can be removed. To treat scratches, specific markers and putties are offered.
How to Clean Laminate Floors Frequently Asked Questions
How to Clean Laminate Floors Bottom Line
Using the proper procedures, maintaining and cleaning laminate flooring is simple. The wood-like surface does not necessitate the use of harsh cleaning agents or chemicals. A basic vinegar and water solution will suffice – even warm water would suffice.
A damp mop should be avoided since the water might seep into the seams and damage the boards. Instead, wring the mop as much as possible — or spritz a microfiber pad and gently clean the floor.