What is the best way to clean laminate floors? Laminate floors look great but they need to be cleaned regularly to maintain their shine. In this article, I’ll describe the best way to clean laminate floors and give tips on maintaining them.
How to clean laminate floors? The best way to clean laminate flooring is to simply use a mop and a mild soap or floor cleaner. Mix warm water and mild soap (or baby shampoo) in a bucket. Mop the floor from one side to the other. Lastly, dry the floor.
Use a mop with a reusable and washable microfiber head, or a mop with disposable heads. Dip the mop in the soapy solution and wring it out, or lightly spray your laminate floor with the floor cleaner.
Don’t soak the floor with too much liquid cleaner, or you will oversaturate it with moisture, which is not good. Let the floor air dry, or if you used a lot of liquid, use a towel to avoid dried streaks.
Cleaning laminate floors is a bit different from cleaning floors made of solid wood.
Read on to learn more about the best way to clean your laminate wood floors so that they look new after each clean.
Also, take a look at an excellent electric mop that will make cleaning floors a breeze – the BOBOT Electric Mop, Hardwood Floor Cleaner Machine. It is powerful, ultra-quiet, and easy to maneuver.
What Is the Best Way to Clean Laminate Floors?
The best way to clean your laminate flooring is to simply use a mop and a laminate floor cleaner. Spray the wood laminate floor cleaner on your laminate floor. Do not spray too much of the floor cleaner, or you will soak the laminate cover of the floor.
After spraying, mop the floor. As you mop the floor, follow the direction of the laminate flooring pattern to avoid leaving streaks on the floor. After mopping, check to make sure there are no liquid streaks are left on the floor.
If you don’t have a laminate floor cleaner, you can make your own wood laminate floor cleaning solution:
- In a bowl, mix equal parts of distilled water and white vinegar.
- Put the solution in a spray bottle.
- Spray the solution to your laminate flooring sparingly.
- Mop the floor, and make sure that you don’t leave any liquid streaks.
For more detail on the best way to clean laminate flooring, see below for two different methods that both work equally well.
Method 1 – Use Mild Soap
1. Mix Warm Water and Mild Soap (or Baby Shampoo) in a Bucket
Use a suitable water bucket that can conveniently hold one gallon or four liters of warm water. The water should only be warm and not steaming hot.
Pour two tablespoons or 30 ml of mild dish soap or baby shampoo into the water and mix it thoroughly. Don’t use scented soaps, as they can contain chemicals that may leave streaks on the floor.
Don’t use adult shampoos either because they are not as mild as baby shampoos. Bleach and similar products also contain harsh chemicals, so don’t use them.
2. Mop the Floor
Soak a terry mop or a sponge mop in the cleaning solution. Make sure that it is only damp and not overly soaked with the solution. Wring it out if necessary. If the mop is too wet, the laminate floor will be soaked with the cleaning solution and can cause warping of the floor.
Mop the floor from one side to the other side of the room. Make sure that you have covered the entire laminate flooring. Another way is to start at the center of the room and then work your way to the outer edges. Be ready to resoak your mop if it gets dry as you work over the entire floor.
You can use any mop; however, to make the job of cleaning your floor much easier, you can use an electric mop such as the BOBOT Electric Mop, Hardwood Floor Cleaner Machine.
It’s a convenient mop that has a powerful dual-spin motor. You can use it to clean the floor very easily with just one hand. It only weighs 6.9 pounds, and it is cordless so you can reach and clean the difficult nooks and corners of your laminate floors.
3. Dry the Floor
A room’s air temperature should be able to dry the laminate floor if you only used a small amount of liquid solution. You will notice that the first part of the room will have already dried while you are still wiping or mopping the remaining portion of the laminate floor.
However, if there are still some significant traces of moisture on the floor, you have to dry them immediately. Dry these parts by hand using a microfiber cloth. Try not to leave puddles of liquid on the floor because it will seep into the protective cover of the laminate and warp that section of the floor.
Method 2 – Use Vinegar as Your Cleaning Agent
The first method, with mild soap or baby shampoo, is my favorite method; however, you can use white vinegar. Vinegar is an excellent disinfectant and deodorizer for cleaning laminate wood floors and many other surfaces.
The only note of caution if you use vinegar to clean your floors is to not let the vinegar sit for too long on the laminate flooring. The acidic nature of the vinegar might damage the laminate coating which wouldn’t be good. As long as you mop shortly after spraying the floor, vinegar is an effective method for cleaning the laminate flooring.
1. Mix Warm Water and Vinegar in a Bucket
Get a spray bottle, preferably about 1000 ml or 32 ounces and pour ¼ cup or 60 ml of white vinegar in it. Fill up the rest of the spray bottle with water and shake it well to mix the ingredients inside thoroughly.
An alternative cleaning solution is 1/3 cup or 80 ml of white vinegar with one gallon or four liters of warm water and three drops of liquid dish soap. Pour some of this solution inside the spray bottle.
2. Spray the Cleaning Solution on the Laminate Floor
Do it one step at a time. Start by spraying one section of the floor that is no bigger than a few square feet. The idea is to wipe off the solution immediately so as not to leave the solution on the floor for too long. If you leave the liquid cleaner on the laminate floor for too long, the acid from the vinegar will wear out the protective cover of the laminate floor.
Also, do not soak the floor with too much liquid cleaner. If moisture seeps into the protective cover of the laminate floor, it will eventually warp the floor.
3. Mop the Floor
After spraying the solution on the floor, immediately wipe off the liquid with a damp mop or sponge mop.
A very convenient mop that you can use for this purpose is the LIGHT ‘N’ EASY Multifunctional Steam Mop with Detachable Unit. This mop can quickly and easily clean your laminate floor without leaving streaks.
This multifunctional steam mop has all sorts of attachments, such as a microfiber mop, jet nozzle, cylinder towel, extension hose, and many more. The detachable unit allows for reaching into smaller, more difficult-to-reach crevices and corners.
Step 4: Dry the Floor
Soak up the moisture with an old towel, clean rag, or a microfiber cloth. Be sure not to leave any moisture or liquid streaks on the floor because if they dry on their own, they will leave unsightly marks on the floor.
You can also let the floor air dry if there’s not much moisture left on the floor after mopping.
See the below video for other tips on cleaning laminate wood floors:
Tips on the Regular Maintenance of Laminate Wood Flooring
If you don’t want dirt and grime to accumulate on your laminate flooring, you have to follow a regular maintenance schedule.
1. Daily Maintenance
Sweeping the laminate floor nearly every day, or every day if you can, is important to prevent dirt and grime from building up on the floor surface.
Blot and dry any liquid spills immediately to prevent the warping of the laminate floor. Sweep according to the way or direction the laminate flooring is laid on the floor.
2. Weekly Maintenance
Each week, dry mop or vacuum with a soft brush. Don’t use scrubs or brushes with hard bristles.
Inspect the entire floor to see if there are scratches, dents, cuts, and other damages on the floor. Repair the damage at once so it won’t get bigger and become more expensive to repair.
Each month, vacuum the entire floor. This includes the whole process including sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and drying. This cleaning process will prevent the formation of floor defects which can be quite expensive to repair.
A once a month damp mopping of the laminate floor will extend its service life and will keep it fresh looking for as long as possible. Prioritize high-traffic areas in your house, such as the kitchen and living room.
4. Occasionally or When Necessary
Perform deep cleaning when tough dirt and grime have already formed on the floor. This cleaning process involves a more thorough cleaning of a particularly dirty section of the floor.
For reliable cleaning power, use white vinegar, with the mixture that I have already specified earlier in this article. You can also use a commercial cleaning solution designed for wood laminate flooring. Just make sure that it does not contain any harsh chemicals that could destroy the protective cover of the laminate floor.
The Bissell Powerfresh Steam Mop Floor Steamer another popular Amazon floor cleaner to make the job much easier.
This steamer comes with a powerful On-Board spot boost brush to remove tough, sticky messes.
The lightweight, ergonomic design of this Bissell steamer allows you to easily maneuver it around tight edges and corners. It has a large bottom tank that provides a higher steaming temperature and deeper steam penetration.
What Is the Best Homemade Laminate Floor Cleaner?
You don’t need to spend a lot on a good and reliable laminate floor cleaner. Just use everyday household items that you might have in your panty. You can use rubbing alcohol mixed with white vinegar as an effective laminate floor cleaning solution. Here’s how you can make this solution:
- Combine ½ cup of white vinegar, ½ cup rubbing alcohol, and ½ cup of distilled water.
- Add four drops of liquid dish soap to the vinegar-alcohol-water mixture.
- Thoroughly mix the solution until it is homogeneously combined.
- Pour this mixture in the tank of your mopping machine.
- Add five drops of lemon eucalyptus, orange, or lemon essential oil to give some scent to the solution.
Preventive Maintenance Tips to Keep Laminate Flooring Fresh and Clean
Preventive maintenance can maintain the fresh look of your laminate floor for a long time. Here are ten maintenance tips to help keep your laminate floors looking fresh and new all year:
- Prevent dents, marks, and scratches on the floor by putting protective rubber mats on the bases of heavy appliances.
- Use wide dollies when moving or transferring heavy furniture or appliances across the laminate floor.
- Use suitable doormats at the door of every room with laminate flooring. The doormats will catch sand, dirt, and grime that could cause scratches and cuts on the laminate floor.
- Immediately blot and dry liquid spills on the laminate floor. Don’t let any spills remain on the floor even for just a few short minutes.
- Never wax or polish laminate wood flooring. These substances can cause wax buildup, which is very difficult to remove in laminate floors.
- Don’t use abrasive cleaners, including tough brushes with hard bristles, scouring powders, and similar tools when cleaning laminate flooring.
- Never allow Murphy’s oil inside a room with laminate flooring. Hard-to-remove oil streaks will form if you accidentally drop some of this oil to any laminate flooring.
- Don’t wear stilettos on a laminate floor. Remove them before you enter a room with laminate flooring.
- Don’t use cleaners with pine scents. They leave a dull and soapy residue on the floor.
- Always trim the nails of your pets. They can easily cause unsightly scratches on laminate flooring.
Laminate Flooring 101 – What Is Laminate Flooring?
A laminate floor looks like real wood, but it is actually made of manufactured wood. It’s the reason why it is less expensive than real solid wood flooring. Although it is not solid wood, its components are still made of wood.
At the center of laminate floors are particle boards, which are made of bits of woods that are tightly packed together. They are covered on the top with a transparent layer and at the base with an image layer.
Laminate floors are mostly installed in home areas without excessive moisture. Therefore, they are not suitable for bathrooms and shower rooms. They are typically installed in the kitchen area, bedroom, and living room, as suitable alternatives to expensive solid wood floors or tiles.
Laminate flooring is easy to clean and quite affordable. Some durable laminate floors are scratch-resistant and can be used by families with small children and pets. However, these floorings can chip easily. They are also susceptible to swelling if they are soaked with moisture.
Conclusion – What Is the Best Way to Clean Laminate Floors?
So, to revisit our initial question: What is the best way to clean laminate wood floors? The best way is to clean laminate floors is with these three simple steps:
- Mix Warm Water and Mild Soap (or Baby Shampoo) in a Bucket.
- Mop the Floor from One Side to the Other.
- Dry the Floor.
To clean laminate wood flooring, spray the floor lightly with a soap and water solution, vinegar and water solution, or a laminate floor cleaner. Don’t soak the floor with too much liquid cleaner. It will only leave excess moisture on the floor, which is not good. Wipe the floor with a mop, and you are done.
There are other methods and other tools that can get the job done; however, by following the steps and tips in this article, your laminate floor will be clean all year round.