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How to Clean Laminate Flooring - Step-by-Step Guide

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Table of Content
May 17, 2023

In recent years, laminate flooring has steadily increased its market position. With its sleek appearance and durability, it has already established itself as one of the most popular floor coverings. But it comes as no surprise - laminate flooring closely resembles natural wood while remaining cost-effective. It provides exceptional warmth and comfort in the home.

However, in order to really preserve its beauty and gleaming finish, laminate flooring requires adequate cleaning and care. In this article, we will guide you through the best approaches to clean your laminate floors and keep them vibrant, and sparkling for years to come. We will also shed light on when it would be better to entrust this task to seasoned professionals.

Whether you're a homeowner cherishing the warm aesthetics of your laminate flooring or a tenant nearing the end of your lease, maintaining the vibrancy of these floors is essential. For tenants especially, impeccable laminate floors can greatly aid in a smooth end of lease cleaning process, potentially securing the full return of your deposit. So, let's embark on this journey of effective laminate floor care together.

What is laminate flooring and why does it require specific care?

man installing brand new laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is a kind of flooring that has a few layers - a high-density (HDF) or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) core, a photographic layer that imitates the appearance of natural wood or stone, and a protective layer whose role is to protect the surface from marks and scratches.

Laminate flooring comes with a range of benefits such as cost-effectiveness, versatility, and straightforward installation. However, maintaining its shine and durability necessitates specific care and attention. Although it is usually relatively low maintenance, it is important that you use appropriate cleaning methods and products to achieve the best outcomes.

Improper cleaning techniques, strong chemical detergents and abrasive cleaners can easily damage the top coating of the laminate floors. Too much moisture can also be harmful to this kind of flooring. If water spills rich the flooring, it can cause the planks to swell, deform or even separate.

So, you should really clean the laminate floors with attention. Whenever you are not sure how to deep clean it or remove stains from the surface, seek help from professional cleaners.

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    If you'd like to tackle this yourself, keep reading our step by step guide.

    How to clean laminate floors: Step-by-step

    Here's how to effectively and safely clean and maintain your laminate floors.

    1. Remove dust and lose derbies from the laminate floor

      robot vacuum removing dust from laminate floor
      In order to look nice and tidy, your laminate flooring needs to be dusted regularly. A vacuum cleaner is usually ideal for this purpose. You just need to ensure that the machine has a soft brush attachment. Alternatively, you can use a dry dust mop to get rid of dirt and derbis. Do not use a wet mop because it will further spread the gritty particles across the floor.

      Begin at one end of the room and vacuum or sweep in a soft, smooth manner to the opposite end. Work in one direction so that you can effectively collect all dust and debris. Be sure to pass through the entire floor surface including between the laminate boards. Don't forget to pay special attention to the edges and corners.

    2. Pick the right cleaning products

      laminate floor cleaning products
      There are plenty of commercial laminate floor cleaners available in retail stores and online marketplace. So, it might be quite challenging to pick the most appropriate one for you. Always check the guidelines of the manufacturer to determine whether the product is suitable for your specific type of laminate floor.

      It is always better to choose a pH-neutral laminate floor cleaner which is gentle and won't cause discolouration, dullness, or damage to the surface.

      Stay away from detergents which have harsh chemicals or abrasive particles. Bleach, amonia and acidic substances can erode the protective top layer of laminate and lead to permanent damage. Similarly, heavy-duty cleaners with abrasive particles like sand or pumice can also be harmful.

      You also have the option to create your own cleaning solution for achieving a gleaming laminate floor by harnessing the power of natural remedies. Later in this article, we will provide you with some ideas on what natural solutions you can use to clean laminate floors.

    3. Damp mop the floor

      damp cloth damping laminate floor
      To complete the task, gather the necessary tools: a mop, cleaning solution, and either a spray bottle or a bucket. A microfiber mop is typically recommended because it is delicate, absorbent, and good at catching dirt and grime without causing damage. Dilute the laminate cleaner according to the manufacturer's guide or prepare your own cleaning solution. You can place the mixture into a bucket or spray bottle.

      If you use a bucket, dip the microfiber cloth or mop head into the detergent blend, making sure it's just barely damp not soaked. Wring out any excess liquid to avoid applying too much wetness on the floor. If you place your cleaner into a spray bottle then just spray the floor, but be sure not to overdo it.

      Begin mopping the surface in a controlled and systematic manner. Work in small sections to ensure thorough cleaning without allowing the floor to become overly wet. Remember to mop in the direction of the laminate planks.

    4. Dry the floor

      person using mop to dry a laminate floor
      Once you have mopped the entire floor, use a dry microfiber mop or a clean, dry towel to absorb any remaining wetness. This process reduces the possibility of water stains and moisture damage. Choose a mop with soft and fine fibres which is safe for the laminate surface. Start gently mopping from one end to the other passing through the entire floor. Do not skip to dry mop the edges and corners too.

    How to remove stains from laminate floors?

    When stains happen on your laminate floors it is important to address them as quickly as possible. This is especially true for pet urine stains. Here is what you need to do in order to deal with such a problem.

    1. Identify what kind of staining you are dealing with. Different stains may need different cleaning approaches. Food and beverage spills, for example, may be readily wiped with a slightly damp cloth, while oil stains and pet pee stains may take more elbow grease.
    2. Blot any stains and spills immediately. It is best to address the stain while it is still fresh. Just get a dry cloth or paper towel and soak up as much of it as possible. Do not rub the affected area to avoid further spreading of the spill.
    3. Use a suitable cleaning solution to clean the stained area. To treat the stain, you have two options: either use a readily available laminate floor cleaner or create your own solution by combining dish soap or vinegar with warm water. Dip a sponge or soft cloth into the solution, wring it out, then dab or wipe the soiled area gently. Avoid using abrasive sponges and take care not to overwet the floor.
    4. Rinse the treated stain with clean water. Once the stain has gone, remove any residue using a damp cloth. Again, be careful to not overwet the area.
    5. Thoroughly dry the area. Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe off any left moisture. Make sure you work quickly so that you do not allow the floor to remain wet for a long time. If you want you may apply laminate floor polish or a floor shiner to enhance the shine and protect the surface of the flooring.

    If the stain still persists after the treatment or if you are not sure how to clean it properly then seek help from a professional cleaning company.

    How to deep clean laminate floors?

    If you want to give your laminate floors deep cleaning, one of the best things you can do is to hire professional cleaners. They know what techniques and products are most suitable specifically for your type of flooring. Their competence guarantees that the flooring is thoroughly cleaned without being damaged.

    If you want to deep clean the laminate floors yourself, follow the methods outlined above, which include dusting, damp mopping, spot cleaning, drying, and polishing (optional). Just make sure to be gentle and use the proper cleaning products and tools.

    Stay away from strong, chemical cleaners and avoid using tools like a traditional broom, hard brush or abrasive sponge. Instead, vacuum the floor with a hard floor attachment or sweep it with a very soft broom. Furthermore, it is important to avoid using steam cleaners when cleaning laminate floors as the higher temperature and excessive moisture can cause damage.

    How often to clean laminate floors?

    For best results, perform regular cleaning like vacuuming or dry dusting at least two times a week.

    The frequency of cleaning laminate floors depends on the level of foot traffic, whether you have pets or children as well as the overall cleanliness of your environment. In case you have kids or pets then you will probably need to do so more often in order to keep your floor clean. You may also want to damp mop the floors every week or as needed to maintain cleanliness.

    In terms of deep cleaning, it will usually depend on the quantity of grime and foot traffic in your space. Generally, it is recommended to perform it every three to six months or as suggested by the manufacturer.

    Natural ways to clean laminate floors

    Here are some natural methods that may help you keep your laminate flooring clean and preserve its shine.

    • Vinegar and water. Combine equal parts distilled white vinegar and water and place the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray your natural cleaner onto the floor and wipe it up with a moist mop or microfiber cloth.
    • Warm water and gentle dish soap. Fill a bucket with warm water and place a few drops of dish soap into it. Then clean the floor using the mixture and a microfiber cloth or mop. Be sure to wring it out well before start wiping the floor.
    • Plain water and microfiber cloth. Many times, tackling the floor with a damp cloth will be enough for routine cleaning. However, you should understand that this method may not work for a very dirty floor.

    These approaches might be ideal for routine cleaning and day-to-day maintenance. However, if you have to deal with a very dirty floor and tough stains then it would be better to consider hiring professional cleaners.

    Tips for maintaining a shiny finish

    Here are some do's and don'ts that may help you maintain shine laminate flooring.

    • Do regularly sweep or vacuum the floors. This will keep dust and loose particles at bay.
    • Do follow the manufacturer's suggestions that come with your flooring. Based on the materials used, the brand may have special suggestions.
    • Do wipe up spills and stains quickly. The faster you address the stain the easier they will get out.
    • Do protect the laminate surface. You can place area rugs or mats in areas that receive a lot of foot traffic such as the dining room or near the exterior door. By doing so you can protect the surface of the flooring from the dining table legs or other furniture legs.
    • Don't use any abrasive or sharp tools. Cleaning equipment like hard sponges, hard bristle brushes and steel wool can potentially damage the protective coating of your flooring.
    • Don't drag furniture over the surface during cleaning. Whenever moving furniture to clean behind or around it, lift it instead of pushing it.
    • Don't use a steam mop or steam cleaner on laminate surfaces. While steam cleaning is great for carpets, rugs, and upholstery, it may not be the best method to clean laminate wood floors.

    Frequently asked questions

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