You will find many articles out there full of advice that equates maintaining laminate to cleaning real wood. That makes it tough to sort fact from fiction when it comes to cleaning laminate wood floors. No worries, we have the answers you need to keep your wood laminate looking tremendous and your floor clean.
Nobody wants their laminate to suddenly start looking hazy all the time, and some floor cleaner choices and methods can cause that. Let’s jump right into the basics you need to know; then, we’ll cover the kinds of cleaning products and tools you should use and the steps to a well-cleaned and maintained floor.
Laminate Floor Cleaning 101
Laminate floor cleaning and hardwood floor cleaning are not the same, at least not entirely. Laminate wood floors don’t have any wood in them; they are fiberboard with images that mimic finished timber. They do have a protective coating over that image on the top, as well. Let’s talk about the best way to get clean laminate floors every time.
- Flathead microfiber cloth laminate floor mop
- Microfiber cloth or spot cleaning towel
- Soft angled broom
- Hard surface vacuum with soft microfiber roller (optional)
- Laminate floor spray cleaner
Step One: Debris Police
You may not realize it, but daily sweeping or vacuuming is essential to keeping that gorgeous shine. While the dirt and debris on your floor may not even be visible, it causes tiny scratches as it’s dragged about and pressed to the floor by your feet as you walk on the floor.
By merely using this dry method daily, or weekly if it’s a low traffic area, you’ll be protecting your laminate.
Related: How Do You Protect Newly Finished Hardwood Floors?
Step Two: Throw Away Your Old Mop and Bucket
Correctly mopping your laminate floor means not using that old string mop or sponge mop, ever again. While you’re throwing things out, add the bucket to the garbage bin, too. Why? Because the experts do not recommend using wet mopping, especially not with soap, bleach, or pine cleaners.
Why not? Those harsh cleaners can leave you with a ruined finish, and will not give you the shiny look you want after cleaning. Let’s cover a little more on this before we cover how to mop your laminate for the best possible results.
Are you dealing with a haze problem? That’s caused by using cleaners that are not approved for laminate floors or, surprisingly, washing your laminate floor mop head with fabric softener. If you have the haze, it may not be reversible, so always use approved cleaners.
If you want to do it right, you need a flathead microfiber mop and a spray cleaner designed for laminate. When you mop, make sure you do it with the grain, not against it, to prevent scratching or damaging the floor’s wood look. Washing your mop head should be done very regularly, but leave out the fabric softener.
Step three: Precautionary Tales
Be proactive about your laminate floor care, and that starts outside your home. Investing in a doormat that keeps dirt and small rocks outside, where they belong, will keep them off your beautiful floor. That makes it easier to keep up with the sweeping and help prevent scratches.
Have a step stool or furniture you move around a lot? Use felt pads on the legs to prevent them from causing damage to your laminate.
Related: How Can I Protect My Hardwood Floors in the Bathroom?
To Wax or Not To Wax?
Should you wax or polish your laminate flooring? The answer to this is a resounding no. It won’t fix the haze, and it won’t help your floor. Laminate is not wood, so never use waxing and polishing or even refinishing — it may also harm your floor beyond repair.
Now You Know How to Clean Laminate Wood Floors
It’s easier to use a spray product and microfiber mop than to haul a mop and bucket and deal with spills and drips and heavy chemical scents. Luckily for you, with a laminate floor, that’s a rule, not cutting corners.
Remember to keep your laminate looking good as new, use an approved spray cleaner and mop designed for this type of flooring and never wash your mop head using fabric softener. With regular and proper care, you’ll have beautiful & clean laminate floors for a long time. If the flooring is in your kitchen, don’t forget to add an area rug to your decor.