How to Clean Laminate Floors to Keep Them Beautiful for Years to Come
Laminate floors offer a versatile and attractive flooring option for many homeowners, combining the beauty of hardwood with the durability and ease of maintenance that modern lifestyles demand. However, keeping them looking their best requires a specific approach to cleaning and care.
In this blog, we'll explore the most effective methods to clean laminate floors, ensuring they remain beautiful and pristine for years to come. From understanding the best cleaning solutions and tools to use to knowing what products to avoid, we'll guide you through maintaining your laminate flooring in top condition. Whether dealing with daily dirt or trying to restore shine to your floors, you will be able to protect your investment and keep your laminate floors looking their best.
What is the Best Thing to Clean Laminate Floors With?
Your best bet is to first read the manufacturer’s instructions — they may have specific instructions on how to clean your laminate floors based on the materials used in their construction. Pay close attention to the warranty, as using harsh cleaning products may cancel it
For daily sweeping, choose a soft-bristled broom. You may also mop the floor every 2-3 months with a damp mop or using a microfiber cloth, but be careful to use only a small amount as excessive liquid can damage the floor. Use only cleaning products labeled for use on laminate flooring, and avoid applying them directly to the floor; apply them to the mop or microfiber cloth instead. You can also make your own cleaner at home by combining a teaspoon of unscented, clear dishwashing liquid with a gallon of hot water. When using any liquid cleanser, wring the mop out so it’s damp rather than wet, and dry the floor immediately afterward.
Gum, candle wax, and other sticky and tricky substances can be removed by applying a plastic bag of ice to the spot until hardened and removed with a plastic scraper (credit cards work well for this.)
What Not to Use on Laminate Floors
The key to keeping your laminate floors clean and beautiful is to avoid harsh and abrasive cleaning solutions or tools. Avoid acidic or oil-based cleaners, wax, polishes, and scouring powers. Also, beware of steel wool, vacuum beater bars, and floor buffers or polishers. Even if diluted well, ammonia and bleach can cause permanent damage to your laminate, and your warranty likely won’t cover replacement. Steam is another enemy, as laminate flooring can be damaged by excessive heat and moisture.
How to Keep Your Laminate Floors Shiny
Laminate flooring can develop streaks and residue over time, especially if the wrong cleaning products are used. Add a cup of white vinegar to a gallon of hot water to return your laminate to its original shiny look. The vinegar can break down the buildup without damaging the laminate surface. Just remember to use a small amount, as with any liquid, and dry the floor immediately afterward.
How to Protect Your Laminate Floors
There are many easy ways to protect your laminate from damage so it will last as long as possible. Protect it from scratches by adding furniture pads under chairs and table legs, especially if they are moved often (like dining room chairs.) Rugs are useful for preventing wear and tear to any flooring undergoing heavy foot traffic. Choose laminate-approved vinyl rug underlays to keep your rugs from sticking to or scratching the flooring beneath. Door mats also offer simple but effective protection by trapping dirt, grit, and debris before they can scratch, dent, and dull your laminate.
Instituting a weekly cleaning routine is a great way to keep your laminate in good shape. Sweep regularly to collect dust and debris, using an angle broom to get into nooks and crannies. Vacuum weekly (or more, depending on your needs) using a soft-brush attachment that won’t scratch the floor. Always use the hard floor setting on the vacuum to stop the beater brush from rotating.
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