Cleaning Tips for Laminate Flooring: How to Maintain Its Lustre and Durability
Homeowners today are very particular about the type of material they choose for their flooring. While many buy ready-to-move-in homes or apartments and accept whatever flooring comes with it, there are others who have a vision for their dream home and choose to build from the ground up. For the latter group of people, flooring is an important decision to make for a number of reasons – the main factors one considers is strength, durability, aesthetic, and affordability. Here’s where laminate flooring comes in to check all the right boxes!
On top of this, laminate flooring is rather easy to clean and maintain, however, with the best tips in mind, you can really keep it looking lustrous as opposed to merely ‘decent’.
Read on for our top tips on how to keep laminate floors looking amazing!
Like most floor types, the more often you clean your laminate floor, the more use you will get out of it in the long run. In terms of regular upkeep, laminate flooring requires minimal cleaning products, some of which include common household ingredients. Generally, bi-weekly or weekly cleaning at least is advised to maintain laminate floors while a more extensive cleaning process should be done every month.
For weekly cleaning, use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment, or lightly sweep the floor with a dusting mop. Never use regular brooms as the bristles can scratch the surface over a period of time and ruin the laminate finish. Keep in mind that dirt and debris also settle into the grooves so be sure to sweep or vacuum along those lines. For those who are mindful of hygiene or susceptible to allergies, choose mops that have built-in antimicrobial protection which takes care of bacteria, mildew, and mould for a long period of time, thereby helping to retain the floor’s fresh and clean condition. A simple, homemade cleaning solution consisting of water and baking soda or mild soap will suffice when mopping laminate flooring.
Do a Monthly Extensive Clean
Laminate flooring that has not been tended to for a while needs a little more work in the cleaning department. Before embarking upon a robust cleaning session, start by clearing up any dirt or debris likely to scratch or scrape the laminate surface during the cleaning process. Refer to tip #1 to complete a basic sweeping or vacuuming of the floor.
Stubborn stains which typically require excess scrubbing can be removed with a special laminate floor cleanser to prevent potential damage caused by too much elbow grease. Take a look at the instructions printed on the label and clean as recommended. With most commercial laminate floor cleaners, you will have to mix the concentrate in water and dampen either a soft cloth or sponge mop to clean. When finished, wipe away leftover moisture with a soft dry cloth as this, too, can damage the material if left on the surface for too long.
Prevent Streaks with Hot Water and Vinegar
Hot water is considered an ideal option for cleaning laminate floors as they do not leave water streaks when dry. All you need to do is simply soak up your cleaning cloth or mop, wring out the excess water so that the material is merely damp, and then glide across your floor for a basic clean.
If you’re fresh out of laminate floor cleaner, vinegar is a great natural alternative to remove stains on laminate flooring. To make the solution, mix 1 cup of vinegar in a bucket of warm or hot water, and continue the same cleaning method (as tip #2) before wiping away all moisture till dry.
Act Quickly to Clean Up Dirt and Spills
The best way to keep your laminate flooring free of dirt and stains is to take immediate action when you see something out of the ordinary. Spot clean dirt and crumbs by sweeping or vacuuming, and quickly wipe up spills as soon as they occur.
For liquid spills, soak with paper towels or a dry cloth, and for solids, use a moistened or damp cloth to wipe the surface after picking large debris off the floor. Follow this up by cleaning with any of the solutions mentioned earlier; wipe dry with a clean, soft cloth thereafter.
Stain Removal Tips
If you have kids, maintaining your laminate floors would be near impossible on a regular basis. Some of the more common stains your laminate floor may encounter include crayon, mud, ketchup, and juice, to name a few. On some rare occasions, one might even have a minor accident and get some blood on your laminate flooring, or spill ink or nail polish on it; in these cases, removing stains from laminate flooring will require some extra care.
While most stains can be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild soap, you can remove blood stains on laminate flooring with diluted window cleaner; nail polish stains with rubbing alcohol or diluted acetone; and ink stains with cold water and a laminate-specific floor cleaning product.
WARNING: When using any chemical-based cleaning solution including window cleaner, acetone, and rubbing alcohol, it is advisable to do a spot test on an inconspicuous area first.
Keep Your Floors Shoe-Free
Apart from making a mess, tracking in mud, dirt, and other abrasive debris from outside could be damaging to your laminate flooring. A no-shoe policy at home is a great way to have all household members actively take part in maintaining the floor’s finish and cleanliness. Place a welcome mat outside your front door and a shoe rack right inside it so that you can wipe your shoes before entering the house, and quickly change into a pair of house slippers before walking any further.
As much as you possibly can, it’s best to avoid outside shoes and heels on laminate flooring, however, if you do end up leaving scuff marks behind, melamine foam is a clever agent to erase marks. It is a different form of cleanser which contains an active ingredient that, when mixed with water, digs deep into stains and effectively gets rid of them.
As we mentioned earlier, like hardwood flooring leaving water or moisture on your laminate floor for long periods will damage the protective layer while using harsh chemicals and/or abrasive cleaning agents and tools will also cut short the lifespan of the material. Stay clear of these damaging solutions and, instead, use the tips above to keep your laminate flooring looking spotless and lustrous for years to come!
Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.