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The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Laminate Floors

In this guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about the best way to clean laminate floors, preserving their appearance and longevity. Whether you’re dealing with everyday dirt, stubborn stains, or high-traffic areas, we’ve got you covered.
cleaning laminate floors with a mop while child lifts his legs so you can mop under his chair

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for many, and for good reason. With their durability, affordability, and overall clean, pleasing aesthetic, these floors are a great choice for any home. However, maintaining the pristine look of your floor requires a fair amount of cleaning and care. In this guide, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about the best way to clean laminate floors, preserving their appearance and longevity. Whether you’re dealing with everyday dirt, stubborn stains, or high-traffic areas, we’ve got you covered.

What Is Laminate Flooring? 

Before we dive into how to clean it, let’s take a quick once-over of the flooring itself. Laminate flooring, known for both its durability and its affordability, is a synthetic product made to look like real wood. It’s made up of multiple layers, including a photographic applique layer under a clear protective layer, bonded to a core layer of fiberboard. This makes for a very durable and stylish setting underfoot, but can be tricky to keep clean.  

Preparing to Clean Your Laminate Floors

Necessary Cleaning Supplies

To clean your laminate floors most effectively, gather supplies like a dry mop or microfiber mop, a vacuum cleaner with a hard floor setting, a mild laminate floor cleaner, white vinegar, dish soap, a microfiber cloth, and rubbing alcohol for stains.

Pre-Cleaning Tips: What to Do Before You Start

Before you begin cleaning, clear the area by removing furniture and rugs to ensure an unobstructed surface. Vacuum or sweep to pick up loose dirt and debris. Taking this first step helps to prevent scratching and prepares the floor for a deeper clean.

Try to avoid excess water, as laminate flooring is sensitive to moisture. Always use cleaners specifically designed for laminate to prevent damage.

Daily Cleaning Tips

Best Practices for Daily Sweeping

Regular sweeping with a dry mop helps to remove dust and prevent buildup. Do be sure to check that your vacuum cleaner is on the hard floor setting to avoid scratches.

The Benefits of Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning prevents dirt and grit from scratching the surface and keeps your floors looking fresh and new. It also helps in maintaining the overall appearance and longevity of your laminate flooring. Plus, you don’t have to suffer through that dirty-foot feeling every time you walk barefoot through your house. 

Weekly and Monthly Cleaning Methods

Recommended Cleaning Solutions for Laminate Floors

For weekly or monthly cleaning, we recommend that you use a mild laminate floor cleaner or a DIY solution made of equal parts water and white vinegar. These options are gentle yet effective for giving your floor that extra shine.

Step-by-Step Guide to Mopping Laminate Floors

To mop laminate floors, start by preparing your chosen cleaning solution. Lightly mist the floor with the solution and mop using a microfiber mop. Immediately dry the floor with a clean, dry cloth to prevent water damage.

Avoiding Common Mistakes: What Not to Do

Avoid using a wet mop or steam cleaner, as excess water can damage the laminate. Try to refrain from using wax or polishes, as they can leave streaks and make the floor slippery.

Deep Cleaning Techniques

When and How to Deep Clean Laminate Floors

We’ve discovered that the best timeline for cleaning your laminate floor is every three months, but sometimes the grime piles up so extra cleanings should happen as needed. Use a slightly damp mop with a laminate floor cleaner to ensure a thorough clean without damaging the surface.

Using Steam Cleaners: Pros and Cons

Steam cleaners can effectively remove dirt and germs, but use them with caution. Steam cleaners are an inherently moist route as far as cleanings go, so over-steaming your floor can damage it. Always follow manufacturer recommendations if you choose to use a steam cleaner.

Handling Stains and Spills

For stubborn stains, use a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a microfiber cloth. For greasy stains, a drop of dish soap mixed with water can be just the trick. We recommend always testing cleaning solutions on a small, inconspicuous area first to make sure you don’t ruin your whole floor by accident.

Special Care for High-Traffic Areas

Protecting High-Traffic Zones

Try putting rugs or mats in high-traffic areas to protect the floor and use pads under furniture legs to prevent scratches. These simple measures can significantly extend the life of your laminate flooring.

Best Products for High-Traffic Areas

Choose high-quality mats that can withstand heavy use and consider applying a laminate-safe protective coating for extra durability. These products can help maintain the appearance and function of your floors in busy areas.

Maintenance Tips for Longevity

It might be a good idea to increase the frequency of your cleanings in high-traffic areas. Also, to prevent damage or permanent stains, immediately clean up any spills. Regular attention to these zones will help keep your floors looking their best.

Dealing with Specific Issues

Removing Scuff Marks

To remove scuff marks, gently rub them with a clean, white eraser or apply a paste made of baking soda and water and then wipe clean. 

Addressing Scratches and Dents

Use a laminate floor repair kit to fill in scratches and dents. Alternatively, you can also match a crayon color to your floor, rub it into the scratch, and buff with a cloth for a quick fix.

Managing Water Damage

Quickly wipe up any water to prevent it from seeping into the laminate. Using a dehumidifier can help dry out any moisture and prevent long-term damage.

Maintenance Tips for Long-Lasting Floors

Preventive Measures to Protect Your Floors

Place door mats at entrances to catch dirt and debris and encourage a no-shoes policy indoors to reduce wear and tear on your laminate floors.

Tips for Avoiding Damage

Always use soft, non-abrasive cleaning tools and keep up with regular cleaning to prevent buildup and damage. Taking these preventive measures can help maintain the integrity of your floors.

Routine Maintenance Schedule

For the best results, sweep or vacuum daily, lightly mop weekly with a mild cleaner, and perform deep cleaning and spot treatments monthly. This routine will keep your laminate flooring in top condition.

Final Thoughts

Maintaining your laminate floors requires consistent care and the right techniques. By following these expert tips and using appropriate cleaning methods, you can ensure your laminate flooring stays in top condition for years to come. Regular cleaning, prompt attention to spills, and the use of suitable products are key to preventing damage and keeping your floors looking their best.

For more information or assistance with your floor cleaning needs, consider reaching out to a professional cleaning service like HammondKnoll. With our expertise and dedication to customer satisfaction, we provide top-notch cleaning services tailored to your home. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you maintain your beautiful floors.

Why HammondKnoll? 

HammondKnoll has been providing expert care for every surface, from Seattle to Gig Harbor. With a commitment to craftsmanship and customer satisfaction, we offer professional cleaning services for floors, carpets, and furniture. Our attention to detail and problem-solving skills help us achieve exceptional results every time. Whether you need routine maintenance or emergency cleaning, you can trust HammondKnoll to get it right.