Everyone needs their floors cleaned once in a while, but when it comes to ease of cleaning not all floors are created equal. Cleaning laminate floors can be trickier than other floors, since getting laminate too wet can cause irreversible damage to the wood. But don’t worry, cleaning your laminate floors is easy as long as you know what you’re doing. After giving the floors one good hard cleaning they’ll be looking good as new, though cleaning laminate floors can be difficult if they haven’t been properly maintained, so I’ll also be explaining the best ways on how to clean laminate floors, polish laminate floors, and remove any scratches from laminate floors.
What’s the Best Mop for Laminate Floors?
You can’t use just any mop when mopping your laminate floors, if you use a wet mop then it’ll keep the moisture on your floor for too long, and it could ruin it, using a steam cleaner is even worse, as it’s pumping moisture directly into your floors. I recommend using a microfiber mop for laminate, as it doesn’t leave enough liquid to worry about messing up your floors. I use an O-Cedar Microfiber Flip Mop for cleaning laminate floors, but any kind will work just as well as long as it’s microfiber.
As for what you should use to clean the floor I’d highly recommend any brand of laminate floor cleaner, or if you don’t want to use chemicals, then a simple water and vinegar solution will work just fine as well. In my opinion, the best laminate floor cleaner is Bruce as far as commercial stuff goes, but you could use any brand of floor cleaner you want. Be sure to never use soap on a laminate floor, just laminate floor cleaner or vinegar and water will work just fine, and soap will make the floor dangerously slippery.
What’s the Best Way to Clean Laminate Floors?
Now that you have a microfiber mop and some sort of non-soap cleaning product you’re ready to actually clean the floor. Before mopping your laminate floor you should go over it with a broom and a vacuum cleaner to get rid of any stray dust and small clutter and get the floor ready for mopping. After the floor has been sufficiently swept you’ll want to go over the floor with your microfiber mop and laminate floor cleaning product (or water vinegar mix) until you’ve gotten every spot. Once you’ve fully gone over the floor there may be some crud left on the floor that your mop won’t deal with on its own.
For harder to get out spots like ink, oil, paint, markers, or other particularly resilient stains that remain after the floor is mopped you can simply use nail polish remover; just dab some nail polish remover on a clean cloth then rub it over the spot until removed, the stuff can remove more than nail polish after all. If there are solid objects stuck to the floor, such as wax or gum, you’ll want to scrape it off with something like a plastic scraper, a spatula, or a credit card, being careful not to scuff up the floors as you do so. If it’s not looking like it’ll come off in one piece you can chill the spot with ice, causing it to harden slightly and come off in one piece easily, so you don’t get some stuck to the floor.
How do You Shine Laminate Floors?
After following the above guide your floors should be clean, but what if you want your laminate floors to be even nicer looking? What if you want your floors to shine? The biggest question you may be asking yourself is “how I can shine laminate floors easily.” After your floors have been mopped thoroughly you’ll want to use some laminate floor polish, there really is no substitute if you want your floors to shine. Simply apply the polish to the floor after it’s been swept and mopped (you don’t want to polish a dirty floor after all) using a microfiber mop or towel. Make sure to apply it in a way where you don’t trap yourself in the room, try working in small sections from one side of the room to a side with a door you can exit from. The reason you’ll want to avoid trapping yourself in is that you’re going to have to keep the polish on the floor for 24 hours or so for it to be fully applied and for your floors to sparkle. During this time, you should refrain from walking on the floor so that you don’t accidentally scuff the polish.
How do I Maintain My Laminate Floors?
If a laminate floor hasn’t been cleaned in a while, it can be somewhat tricky to get it sparkling since there’s a lot of buildup of dirt, grime, and other miscellaneous stains. To help make cleaning day easier, there are a few steps you can take to help maintain your laminate floors.
Clean spills immediately
If you spill any sort of water on a laminate floor (or any floor for that matter, but especially laminate floors), then you’ll want to clean up the spill as soon as possible. Doing this will prevent the liquids from seeping between the layers of your floor and causing warps and discoloration. Just use a microfiber mop or a simple dish towel and wipe it all up.
Refrain from using pine scented cleaners
Pine scented cleaners might smell nice and give your floors a pleasant wintery smell, but you should avoid them if you want to keep your laminate floors vibrant looking. People have claimed that long time use of pine scented cleaners cause laminate floors to go duller in color and get dark streaks on them.
Make sure not to use too much vinegar
It’s totally safe for you to use a mixture of vinegar and warm water as I said before, but if you do that you’ll want to avoid using too much vinegar. Vinegar is highly acidic, which makes it good for removing stains from your floor but it’s also good at dissolving the protective seal on your laminate flooring if used too much. Try using just a little bit of vinegar mixed into your warm water when mopping the floors.
Consider trimming pet nails
If you have a dog that runs around in the house a lot, it could be good for your floors to keep their nails cut. Of course, it’s a huge pain getting your best friend to sit still and accept nail clippers, but if your dog runs around and scratches its untrimmed nails against your floor too much, it could end up looking like this a little bit down the line.
How to Remove Scratches from Laminate Floors
Maybe your floors have already gotten scratched up, and you need a solution to get your floors looking pristine and untouched. If your floor is scuffed then using nail polish remover and a clean cloth should do just fine, but if a scuff can’t be removed or you have a scratched-up floor that needs fixing you’ll need to try something a bit stronger. First, it should be said that you should never use a buffer or sandpaper on laminate flooring. It’ll remove the scratches sure, but it’ll also scrape away all the layers of your floor if done too much, which means it’ll never have its nice shiny wooden appearance again. Instead, I’d recommend buying a laminate floor touch up kit that matches the color of your floor, or at least one that’s close enough where you wouldn’t notice the color difference easily. Most laminate floor touch up kits come with:
- A marker
- A filler crayons
- A pencil
For minor scratches that don’t go very deep, you can just go over them with the marker, but deeper scratches will require the pencil or filler crayon. Make sure to read the instructions that come with the laminate floor touch up kit as the ways you apply the filler crayon may vary from kit to kit. After that you’ll want to carefully apply sandpaper to the spot the scratch used to be, you’re not trying to sandpaper the floor, you’re just using the sandpaper to make sure that the crayon you used to fill the scratch in is level with the floor, do not sandpaper the floor itself. If the coloration seems a bit wrong, you can also cover the filled in the scratch with the varnish to make it the same color as the rest of your floor.
That should explain how to clean and care for laminate floors, along with how to maintain them, polish them, and remove scratches. Now you’ll be all set to get your beautiful laminate floors looking as shiny and pristine as the day they were installed. I hope that this article helped you get your floors squeaky clean and that it’ll help you make sure the floors stay that way. After all, failing to take care of laminate floors can result in them getting so warped that you need to get new flooring installed. But that won’t be a problem as long as you remember the tips given above, and make sure to always keep liquid away from laminate flooring.