The best way to clean laminate in 10 easy steps


Laminate flooring, known for its durability and aesthetic appeal, has become a staple in modern homes. But its longevity heavily relies on the right cleaning methods. As we explore the best way to clean laminate, you'll discover how simple practices can preserve its beauty for years.

Understanding the nuances of laminate care is essential. It’s not just about maintaining its sheen but also about safeguarding the material from common damages. This article aims to provide a step-by-step guide, ensuring your laminate flooring remains a highlight of your home.

Cleaning laminate flooring requires specific techniques to avoid damage. Through this guide, we'll walk you through the most effective and safe methods, helping you maintain your flooring's appearance without compromising its integrity.


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Best way to clean laminate: What You Need to Know

Laminate flooring is a composite material, designed to mimic the appearance of wood or stone. It's favored for its resilience and ease of installation. But its unique composition calls for careful cleaning techniques to prevent damage.

Laminate's top layer is its protective shield, guarding against scratches and spills. However, this layer can be vulnerable to harsh chemicals and excessive water. Understanding this helps in choosing the right cleaning products and methods.

Common in many households, laminate is often chosen for high-traffic areas. Its durability is one of its main appeals, but this doesn't exempt it from the need for proper care. Regular, correct cleaning methods can extend its life significantly.

Statistically, laminate flooring can last up to 25 years, but this longevity largely depends on maintenance. Proper cleaning plays a crucial role in preserving its structure and appearance. This 10-step guide will terach you the best way to clean laminate.


Step 1: Regular Dusting and Sweeping

The first step in cleaning laminate flooring is regular dusting and sweeping. This removes surface dirt and debris that can scratch the floor when walked on. A soft-bristle broom or a microfiber mop is ideal for this task.

Frequent dusting helps prevent the accumulation of gritty particles. These particles, if left unattended, can gradually wear down the laminate's finish. It's recommended to sweep or dust at least twice a week, or more in high-traffic areas.

Using a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment can also be effective. Ensure the vacuum is set to the right mode for hard surfaces to avoid scratches. Regular removal of loose dirt is a simple yet crucial step in laminate care.

Step 2: Choosing the Right Cleaning Products

The best way to clean laminate is to start with selecting the correct cleaning products is vital to avoid damaging your laminate flooring. Harsh chemicals, abrasive cleaners, and too much water can cause irreparable harm.

Avoid using soap-based detergents, as they can leave a dull film on the laminate. Similarly, steer clear of wax or polish, which can cause buildup and make the floor slippery. Instead, use pH-neutral cleaners that are gentle yet effective.

Creating a homemade cleaning solution can be a safe alternative. A mixture of vinegar and water in a 1:3 ratio works well for most laminate floors. This natural solution cleans effectively without leaving harmful residues.

Remember, the key is to use as little liquid as possible. Laminate floors aren't waterproof, so excessive moisture can seep into the seams and cause swelling or warping. Always wring out mops or cloths thoroughly before use.

Step 3: Spot Cleaning Spills and Stains

Immediate action is crucial when dealing with spills. The quicker you clean up liquid spills, the less likely they are to stain or damage the laminate. Use a soft, absorbent cloth or paper towel to blot spills gently.

For tougher stains like wine or makeup, a bit more effort is required. The best way to clean laminate with this method is by applying a small amount of laminate-specific cleaner directly to a cloth and gently rub the stain. Avoid scrubbing too hard, as this can damage the surface.

For grease or oil stains, a little rubbing alcohol can be effective. Dab it on the stain and then wipe clean with a damp cloth. Always follow up with a dry towel to remove any residual moisture.

Avoid using any type of abrasive scrubbers or steel wool. These can scratch the protective layer of the laminate, leaving it vulnerable to further damage. Gentle, consistent spot cleaning can keep your floors looking new.

Step 4: The Mopping Technique

When it comes to mopping, the best way to clean laminate is less is more, especially regarding water usage. A damp mop is all you need to effectively clean the surface without risking water damage. Choose microfiber mops, which are gentle on laminate and effective in trapping dirt and moisture.

Start by lightly spraying a laminate-friendly cleaner directly onto the mop or floor. Avoid pouring water or cleaner directly onto the surface. Mop in the direction of the laminate boards to achieve the best results. After mopping, go over the floor with a dry microfiber cloth to ensure no excess moisture remains.

Remember, standing water is the enemy of laminate flooring. Excessive water can seep into seams and cause swelling or warping. Always wring out the mop thoroughly to keep it just damp, and never leave water sitting on the surface.


Step 5: Tackling Tough Stains and Scuff Marks

When it comes to tough stains and scuff marks on laminate flooring, the key is to act quickly and use the right techniques. For general scuffs, a simple eraser can work wonders. Gently rub the eraser over the mark until it fades away. For more stubborn scuffs, a mixture of baking soda and water can be used. Create a paste with these ingredients and gently apply it to the mark using a soft cloth. Rub in a circular motion, then wipe clean with a damp cloth and dry the area thoroughly.

For stains like ink, wine, or markers, a little rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth can be effective. The best way to clean laminate with this method is by applying it directly to the stain and wipe it gently. If the stain persists, a small amount of acetone-free nail polish remover can be applied. Remember, after using these stronger solutions, it’s important to clean the area with a damp cloth to remove any residue and then dry the area completely to prevent damage to the laminate.

For grease or oil stains, a commercial laminate floor cleaner specifically formulated for grease removal is recommended. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for the best results. In case of paint, crayons, or nail polish spills, apply a little mineral spirits on a clean cloth and gently rub the affected area. As with other methods, finish by wiping the area with a damp cloth and drying it completely.

Step 6: Avoiding and Managing Scratches

Laminate flooring is durable, but it’s not immune to scratches. The best way to clean laminate it this case is prevention. Place protective pads under the legs of furniture, and lift rather than slide furniture when moving it. Keep pet nails trimmed to avoid scratches from pets. Place mats in high-traffic areas to minimize the wear and tear on your floors. Regularly sweep or vacuum the floor to remove debris that can scratch the surface when walked on.

If you do find scratches, there are a few ways to address them. For minor scratches, color-matching pencils or markers can be used to fill in and camouflage the scratches. These products are specifically designed for laminate flooring and can be found at most hardware stores. Ensure to match the color as closely as possible to your flooring for the best results.

For deeper scratches, a laminate floor repair kit can be a viable solution. These kits usually contain a putty or wax that can be used to fill the scratch. Follow the instructions carefully to mix the colors for a perfect match and apply the product to the scratched area. Once it's dry, gently buff the area until it blends in with the rest of the floor.

In cases where the scratch is too deep or the board is damaged, replacing the individual board might be necessary. This process can be complex, and if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, it may be best to consult a professional. Regular maintenance and careful use of your laminate flooring can prevent scratches and keep your floors looking new for years.

Step 7: Restoring Shine to Dull Laminate

Dullness can creep up on laminate floors due to various factors like age, wear, or the use of improper cleaning products. Restoring their shine, however, can be achieved with some simple home remedies and appropriate commercial products.


Home Remedies for Shine Restoration

A solution of one part white vinegar to three parts water can be used. This mixture, applied with a spray bottle and wiped with a clean, dry microfiber mop, helps remove residue that dulls the surface.

Another effective solution is a mixture of water with a small amount of baby shampoo. This gentle formula cleans without leaving a residue.

For a quick shine boost, brewing a cup of strong black tea and using it to clean the floors can be surprisingly effective. The tannic acid in the tea helps to bring out the floor's natural shine.


Commercial Products for Laminate Floors

There are various commercial products specifically designed for laminate flooring. When choosing a commercial cleaner, look for labels that indicate "suitable for laminate" or "residue-free."

Avoid wax-based cleaners and polishes. While they might give a temporary shine, they can build up over time, causing the floor to become duller.

Spray cleaners that you can apply directly to a mop head are convenient and help in controlling the amount of liquid used.


The Right Technique

Whether using a homemade solution or a commercial product, always use a damp (not wet) mop for application. Too much moisture can damage laminate flooring.

Work in sections and dry each area with a clean, dry microfiber cloth or mop after cleaning. This prevents any moisture from sitting on the floor and gives it a streak-free shine.

Step 8: Preventative Measures for Longevity

The longevity of laminate flooring is significantly dependent on daily habits and preventive measures. Consistent care will keep the floors in good condition for years to come.


Daily Habits for Long-Term Care

Regular sweeping or vacuuming to remove dirt and grit is crucial. These small particles can act like sandpaper, wearing down the finish of your laminate over time.

Immediately clean up spills and avoid allowing liquids to sit on the floor for an extended period. This prevents warping or staining of the laminate.

Use protective pads under furniture legs to prevent scratches. When moving furniture, lift rather than drag it across the floor.


Long-Term Preventive Strategies

Placing doormats at all entrances helps to capture much of the dirt and debris that would otherwise be tracked onto your floors.

Consider using area rugs in high-traffic areas. This not only adds to your décor but also protects the flooring underneath from excessive wear.

Maintain a consistent indoor climate. Extreme changes in humidity and temperature can cause laminate flooring to expand and contract, leading to damage over time.


Preventive Maintenance

Periodically check for and tighten any loose sections of flooring. Loose planks can lead to further damage if not addressed.

Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners or abrasive tools. Stick to laminate-specific products and soft cleaning tools.

Schedule a professional inspection every few years to catch any potential issues before they become major problems.

By adhering to these steps for restoring shine and implementing preventative measures, homeowners can ensure their laminate flooring remains a beautiful and durable aspect of their living space for many years.

Step 9: Seasonal Deep Cleaning

A few times a year, it's beneficial to conduct a more thorough cleaning of your laminate floors. Seasonal deep cleaning involves a more detailed approach, tackling areas that might be overlooked during regular cleanings.

Deep cleaning can involve moving furniture to clean underneath, addressing hard-to-reach corners, and using specialized cleaning solutions designed for laminate. This practice not only maintains the appearance of your floors but also contributes to a healthier living environment.

Step 10: When to Call in the Professionals

While regular maintenance can be handled personally, there are times when calling a professional cleaning company is the best way to clean your laminate. If your laminate flooring suffers from severe damage, discoloration, or warping, it's time to call in the experts.

At Blue Orange, our professional cleaning team is equipped with specialized tools and products designed to clean and restore your flooring meticulously, ensuring no damage occurs. For repairs beyond minor scratches, our expert services guarantee a proper restoration of your floor, upholding both its durability and aesthetic appeal.


Conclusion on the best way to clean laminate

Reviving and maintaining your laminate flooring doesn't have to be a daunting task. By following these 10 easy steps, you can keep your floors looking their best. Regular care, prompt attention to spills and stains, and the right cleaning techniques are key to preserving the beauty of your laminate.

Embrace the process of caring for your floors. With each step, you contribute to the longevity and aesthetics of your home. Remember, a well-maintained laminate floor is not just a foundation for your space; it's a reflection of your care and attention to your home.