How to Clean Laminate Flooring

Barefoot woman cleaning floor with wet mop pad cropped image.

Laminate flooring is a durable and attractive choice, and it’s easy to clean and maintain. There are special ways in which you should clean laminate flooring, however, that are different for other types of floor. It’s important to use the right products and tools for laminate and take the necessary precautions to maintain it in good condition. Keeping on top of cleaning will prevent the need for replacements in the future, and your flooring will last longer. Fortunately, it’s simple to clean laminate flooring. With a few quick tips, you can have your laminate floor looking as good as new. 


Get to stains quickly


If you spill anything on your laminate floor, wipe it up straight away. The quicker you deal with stains the better as they can set otherwise. If you can get to the stain quickly it will be much easier to remove. Large volumes of liquid can also cause damage to laminate flooring so it’s best to mop it up immediately. 


Mop regularly


Clean your floor with a mop often. This will keep it fresh and free of dust and stains. Try to mop the floor at least every two months. Sweep or vacuum before you mop to get rid of any debris. Use hot water as this will evaporate more quickly and be better for removing stains. Always use clean water and thoroughly rinse your mop. Replace the mop regularly as a dirty mop that’s falling apart won’t do the best job.


Use soft tools


Avoid using abrasive tools and replace them with softer options. For example, choose a microfiber mop instead of a regular mop. These will be gentler on the laminate flooring. You can use a standard mop but just ensure it’s clean and proper. Use a soft-bristled broom to sweep beforehand. If your vacuum doesn’t use any attachments that could damage the floor such as a rotating brush or beater bar. Avoid using any tools that might scratch the floor such as steel wool or a wire brush. Laminate is easy to clean, so you shouldn’t need these. You can also use plastic household items as these won’t damage the floor.


Use products designed for laminate floor


Be mindful of the cleaning products you buy and ensure they’re designed for use on a laminate floor. Check the label first. There are also several products you should avoid. These include oil-based products and they could leave a streaky residue. It could also damage the protective sealant. Waxes or polishes are also unsuitable for laminate. Don’t use an excessive amount of products either, just a little bit of laminate cleaner should do the job.


DIY your own laminate cleaner


For a more economical and sustainable option, you could even DIY your own laminate cleaner. Combine about a gallon of hot water with a teaspoon of unscented dish soap. The amount depends on the size of the room but stick to a low amount of soap. You can also remove stubborn stains and marks with hot water mixed with white vinegar. This will get the floor shining without damaging the surface. 


Avoid using too much water


Whichever products you use to clean your laminate floor, the important thing is to not use too much water. Water can get into the seams of the tiles and cause them to swell up. This can result in a bubble-like texture appearing. When mopping the floor, use a damp mop and wring it out properly. This is why microfiber mops are ideal because they’re easier to dry. 


Use ice to remove stubborn substances


One trick you can try if things like chewing gum or candle wax get stuck to the floor is removing it with ice. Put some ice in a plastic bag and use it to freeze the substance. This will make it much easier to scrape off using a plastic tool. In the case of shoe scuffs, take a moist sponge to the stain first, and then try using a rubber eraser. Avoid using a plastic or gritty eraser, just repeat the process gently until the shoe scuff is removed.


Use nail polish remover on stains


Certain stains can be removed using nail polish remover. These include paint, makeup, markers, oil, ink, or tar. Dap a clean cloth into a little nail polish remover or acetone, and gently wipe off the stain. Afterward wipe the area with a clean cloth and ensure all residue is removed and that the floor is dry. Your floor will look as good as new.


Invest in rugs and mats


Add protection by investing in a few stylish rugs and mats. As well as being practical, these will also make a fantastic feature. You could get them to match your existing decor, or to show off your own unique personality and style. Rugs are especially important to protect entranceways and areas with a lot of traffic. Get a welcome mat for your door as well to remind people to wipe their feet before stepping on your new flooring. For extra protection, you could also consider adding furniture pads and chairs, tables, and heavy cabinets.


Be careful with pets


Although laminate flooring is pretty durable and pet-resistant, be mindful of your pets. Keep their nails short and their feet clean. This will prevent them from marking the floor. If your dog finds the laminate flooring slippery, a couple of rugs as stepping stones could be a solution. Most laminate flooring is very hard-wearing, however, and it’s suitable for both pets and children and will withstand plenty of foot traffic.


Check the instructions


If you would like more tips on how to clean your flooring, check the manufacturer’s instructions. Most brands will come with instructions on how to clean the floor and which products and tools to use. Alternatively, you can often look this up on their website. There are plenty of resources and advice online.