Laminate floors are a popular choice for many homeowners because they are inexpensive, durable, and easy to care for. Although they are low-maintenance, it doesn’t mean they are no-maintenance. If you want your laminate floors to last a long time, keeping them clean and free of dirt, dust, and debris is important.
What is laminate flooring?
Laminate flooring is a type of synthetic flooring that is made to look like natural wood or stone. It is made from multiple layers of compressed fibreboard with a wear-resistant top layer. Laminate flooring is easy to install and maintain, but it is not as durable as hardwood floors or stone.
The best ways to clean laminate flooring
How to clean laminate floors
- Always start by sweeping or vacuuming your floors to remove any dirt or debris. Be sure to use the softest brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to avoid scratching the floor.
- When it comes to cleaning laminate floors, you’ll want to use a mild soap or gentle floor cleaner — nothing too harsh or abrasive.
- Use a soft dust mop or microfibre cloth to apply the soap solution, and be sure to wring it out well so that your floors don’t get too wet.
- Once you’ve cleaned the floors, you’ll want to dry them off quickly to prevent streaks or water spots. A microfibre cloth is perfect for this — go over the entire floor until it’s completely dry.
How to clean laminate floors naturally
There are many ways to naturally clean laminate floors, using items you likely already have in your home. For example, you can use a vinegar and water solution to safely remove dirt and grime. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and then use a microfibre mop to apply the solution to the laminate floor.
Can you steam clean laminate floors?
Yes, you can use a steam mop to deep clean laminate floors! You will need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, use the soft-bristle brush attachment AND put it on the lowest setting.
Here’s how to clean laminate floors with a steam mop:
- Start by sweeping or vacuuming the floor to remove loose dirt or debris.
- Fill the steam mop with distilled water according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Turn on the steam mop and wait for the water to heat up.
- Once the steam mop is ready, begin mopping the laminate floor in small sections. Start at one end of the room and work your way towards the door.
- After you have gone over the entire laminate floor with the steam mop, turn it off and empty the tank.
- Give the floor a final once-over with a dry cloth to absorb any leftover moisture.
- Allow the clean laminate floor to air-dry completely before walking on it or replacing furniture.
Common sources of damage to laminate floors
Even the most durable flooring can be damaged if you’re not careful. Here are three common sources of damage to laminate floors and how to avoid them.
Laminate flooring is made with a wood composite material that is highly susceptible to water damage. Even a small amount of water can cause the material to swell and warp. To prevent water damage to your laminate floor, be sure to quickly wipe up any spills and put down mats or rugs in areas where there is a lot of foot traffic (like near entryways) to help absorb moisture.
Scratches and scuff marks
The protective coating on laminate floors is very tough, but things like dirt, sand, grit and even pet nails can scratch it. To prevent scratches, regular sweeping and vacuuming will help remove dirt and debris before it has a chance to scratch the surface of your floor. In areas where there is a lot of foot traffic, placing mats or rugs will also help reduce the risk of scratches.
Even though laminate floors are resistant to stains, spills can still penetrate the surface and cause staining if they are not cleaned up quickly enough. To avoid staining your laminate floor, be sure to clean up spills as soon as they happen using a mild soap and water solution. For tougher stains, you may need to use stronger cleaning products or call a professional cleaner.
How to remove stains from laminate floors
There are three important things to remember when removing stains from laminate floors:
- Work quickly. The sooner you can address the stain, the better.
- Use the right cleaner. You don’t want to damage your laminate floors by using the wrong kind of cleaner.
- Be gentle. Laminate flooring is delicate and can easily be scratched or damaged if you’re not careful.
Now that you know what to keep in mind, let’s look at how to remove specific stains from laminate flooring.
Removing coffee and tea stains from laminate flooring
We all know that accidents happen, and sometimes coffee or tea gets spilled on the floor. When this happens, act fast! The longer the stain sits, the harder it will be to remove.
- Blot up as much of the spill as possible with a clean cloth.
- Dampen another cloth with warm water and mild detergent.
- Rub the stain gently until it disappears.
- Dry the area with a third clean cloth.
Removing grease and oil stains from laminate flooring
- Start by blotting up as much of the spill as possible with a paper towel or clean cloth.
- Make a paste out of baking soda and water, then spread it over the stain.
- Let the paste sit for 15 minutes before wiping it away with a damp cloth.
- If the stain is still visible, repeat this process until it’s gone.
Removing chewing gum stains from laminate flooring
- If it’s fresh chewing gum, harden it with an ice cube first.
- Use a blunt object, like a plastic knife, to scrape off as much gum as possible.
- Make a mixture of one part white vinegar and one part warm water, and apply it to the gum stain with a clean cloth.
- Wipe in a circular motion until the stain disappears, then dry the area with a clean towel.
Removing blood stains from laminate flooring
If you have kids, chances are you’re no stranger to the occasional bloody nose. And while mopping up the mess is never fun, dealing with the resulting stains doesn’t have to be a nightmare.
Here’s how to remove blood stains from laminate floors:
- Blot the area with a clean cloth to remove as much of the liquid as possible.
- Once you’ve done that, reach for the window cleaner.
- Spray a generous amount of cleaner onto the stain and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Scrub the area in a circular motion with a clean, soft cloth until the stain disappears.
Removing nail polish stains from laminate flooring
You only need two things to remove nail polish from laminate floors: nail polish remover and cotton balls.
- Use a plastic knife or another dull edge to scrape up as much of the nail polish as possible.
- Soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover and blot the stain until it disappears. If the stain persists, mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and mist the area.
- Scrub the stain in a circular motion with a clean, soft cloth until it lifts.
- Rinse the area with warm water and dry it with a towel.
How to make your laminate floors shiny again
Laminate floors can lose their shine and look dull over time. If your floor’s finish looks lacklustre, it’s time for general cleaning and a new layer of polish.
- Thoroughly vacuum and sweep the floor to remove any dirt or debris.
- Use a laminate floor polish — generic cleaning products are no good, as they can damage your floors. Follow the directions on the cleaner and use a microfibre mop attachment.
- Mop in the same direction as the wood grain to prevent streaks.
- Wait for it to be completely dry before returning any furniture.
Another floor bites the dust
Laminate floors are an excellent choice for busy households because they are durable and easy to clean. But just because they’re low maintenance doesn’t mean they don’t need some care to stay looking their best.