An increasing number of homes today have laminate floors.  Laminate is a fairly recent floor surface that is reasonably inexpensive, easy to maintain and extremely versatile.  The way in which this type of flooring is composed, including a highly durable top layer, means that straightforward maintenance is one of its main selling points.

We will look today at 5 different ways to clean your laminate:

  1. Sweeping Up
  2. Cleaning With Vinegar
  3. Using Hot Water
  4. Soaps and Detergents
  5. Best Hardwood Floor Vacuum

From aesthetics and ease of installation through to hygiene and flexibility, laminate flooring has many advantages.  To effectively clean your wood floor, though, it pays to be familiar with its principal limitation…

You cannot refinish laminate flooring. With a single protective wear layer, you can’t simply refinish your floor. This is why it is crucial to take care of it. Too much damage will mean you need to replace the entire floor

1) Sweeping Up

First thing’s first, forget all about a traditional broom for sweeping your wooden flooring. These leave far too many particles behind. The little stray pieces will mix with a wet mop and spread all around your floor. This can leave residue and streaks or even scratch your floor.

Thinking of scratches, this is the driving reason to regularly sweep your floor. In general, laminate is nicely resistant to scratches. If you allow dust, debris and hair to build up, though, ugly scars are the inevitable result.

Opt for a dry dust mop as your weapon of choice. Sweep once every couple of days. Follow the direction in which the tiles were laid. Using this method, you eliminate the dirt that accumulates in the grooves of the tiling.


 2) Cleaning With Vinegar

Vinegar is a wonderful natural antiseptic and works wonders for giving your laminate floor a glorious sparkle.

First, make yourself a cleaning solution…

Get a 1-liter spray bottle. Pop in 50ml of white vinegar and top up the bottle with water. Give it a good shake to mix it up nicely.

This dilution is key because neat vinegar is highly abrasive. It will do more harm than good if you just pour it onto the floor from its bottle.

If you want to make up a larger amount with a slight twist, put 4 liters of warm water into a bucket. To this, add 75ml of white vinegar and 2 or 3 squirts of some dish detergent in liquid form. Stir it up and you’re good to go!

Apply your chosen solution to small segments of the laminate. It’s not wise to spray the whole floor. You need to wipe away the vinegar promptly to avoid any adverse reaction with the protective layer of your flooring.

To wipe away any caked-on mud or stains, use a damp cloth or a mop. Microfiber cloths are also effective. Just be certain to use nothing remotely abrasive. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s well wrung out first. Excessive moisture leads to warping of the laminate.

To this end, if there’s any excess water then dry it up immediately. A microfiber cloth is the best way to handle this task. If the amount of water is minimal, allowing it to air dry is perfectly safe.


 3) Using Hot Water

Some people advise against using water at all on laminate floors. This is not true at all. You just need to use it in the correct manner.

Many prize hot water because it does not leave any streaks. Also, water is less likely to wreck the protective cover of your laminate as it’s the gentlest, chemical-free approach.

Fill up a bucket with lukewarm water. There’s no need at all for it to be too hot. Warm to the touch is fine.

This procedure is only required perhaps three or four times a year for a really thorough clean.

Ensure that your sponge mop is fully wrung. If you use a traditional mop this is tougher to achieve so get hold of a sponge version if at all possible.

Work over the whole floor. It’s prudent to start in the middle and move outwards as you clean. This eliminates the need to walk over the freshly-cleaned area.

Follow the same directions for drying as with the vinegar method.


4) Soaps and Detergents

Another variation on cleaning with water incorporates some very gentle soap or detergent for good measure.

Pour 4 liters of water into a bucket as above. 25ml of mild detergent goes in next. Sidestep any strong cleaning products as the chemicals could harm your laminate. Baby shampoo or dish detergent are a smart solution. Mop and dry your floor making use of the above suggestions. Soapy water comes into its own when your floor has mud all over it.


5) Best Hardwood Floor Vacuum

Last but by no means least is the good, old-fashioned vacuum. If you want to learn all about the best vacuum for hardwood floors, this detailed article offers a wealth of advice. You can also check out a comparison of 5 of the best models for laminate flooring.

The most important factor when vacuuming laminate is to turn off the brush roll. Failing to do so can result in a nastily scratched floor.

If you decide to use any of the above 5 ways to clean your laminate flooring, there’s no reason it will not last you for many years to come. One superb but simple tip worth implementing is to put down some mats at the entrance to your house. As long as these have adequate ventilation and are not rubber-backed, this is a great way to stop too much dirt and dust from entering your living space.

It’s also ideal to ask people not to wear shoes indoors. Stray stones and grit in the soles of footwear can lead to scratching that is easily prevented. You don’t need an expensive, dedicated laminate floor cleaner for great results. Sweeping and gentle cleaning are more than enough for shiny, well-maintained laminate. Less is more.

Happy Cleaning!

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