Guest post courtesy of Pick Pet Vacuum
Laminate wood floors are an affordable alternative to hardwood flooring. Nowadays, you get laminate floors imitating different types of wood such as oak, hickory, and heartwood pine to exotics such as tigerwood and prado. You can even get rustic and antiquated versions that seem like they were laid centuries ago.
Laminate wood floors are easy to install over most types of flooring and require no nailing or gluing as the edges and ends are designed to snap together. The wear layer of the laminate floor is extremely tough and easy to clean. However, if laminate wood floors are not cleaned the right way, they can wear down and need replacement, unlike natural wood floors.
The following section will tell you how to clean your laminate wood floors the right way to extend their life and look their best.
1. Use a dry mop for regular cleaning
A dry mop will trap any dust or grime on the floor. This will ensure that the floor is not scoured or damaged due to dirt grinding into the surface of your laminate wood floor while washing. Use a broad microfiber mop head (check price on Amazon) for this purpose.
Microfiber picks dirt and grime efficiently and can be reused after washing. It is also necessary to dry mop before you perform any deep or spot cleaning. This will prevent the dirt from acting like sandpaper while deep cleaning.
2. Use a vacuum
Vacuum cleaners are a good option for hard-to-reach areas and some quick cleaning. They suck up dirt from the surface, under furniture and corners. They also come with special attachments with microfiber pads to clean hard surfaces like laminate floors.
Vacuum cleaners are getting increasingly affordable. Even the best bagless canister vacuum will not set you back by much. You can also try the more expensive robot vacuums. They are great for cleaning laminate wood floors and can take a lot of the pressure off manual cleaning.
3. What cleaning solution to use?
Laminated wood floors do not take too much water to clean. But it is necessary to deep clean them occasionally. In most cases, warm water should do the trick. Dry mop or vacuum the floor first before washing. For washing, use a barely wet microfiber mop after squeezing out most of the water. This will prevent excess water from draining into the joints and damaging your floor.
Sometimes, it may be necessary to use a cleaning solution if the dirt build-up is high. Avoid using too much soap as it can dull the veneer on your laminate wood floor. A simple and effective cleaning solution can be made using 1 part rubbing alcohol + 3 parts water + a tiny squirt of dish soap.
All you must do is apply it using a lightly dampened cloth and follow up immediately by drying with a dry, absorbent cloth. This will prevent any moisture from seeping into the gaps between the pieces of laminate. Remember, your laminate wood floor is highly susceptible to water damage.
To remove any spot stains, spray the cleaning solution on the stain and wipe with a soft dry cloth after 3 to 5 minutes. If the stain persists, repeat after the surface is thoroughly dry. Most stains can be easily removed if acted upon immediately after a spill.
4. Addressing different types of stains
While most stains can be cleaned with the cleaning solution mentioned earlier or with vinegar and water solution. Here are some ways to clean common household stains-
- Wax: Luckily, laminate floors can handle wax. Wait for it to harden completely and scrape most of it with a plastic or a rubber scraper. Then wipe the floor with a vinegar-water solution on a paper towel or microfiber cloth.
- Kid’s Oil Paint: First, use a dry paper towel to scrape out the excess paint without spreading it. Then, spray a vinegar and water solution and wipe with clean paper towels. Use new ones for each pass until fully clean.
- Nail Polish: Clean with a paper towel as soon as the spill occurs. Then use acetone (basically nail polish remover) on a paper towel and wipe until clean.
- Scuff marks: Use a Magic Eraser and follow up with a cleaning solution.
- Glue: It is tough to remove once it is dry, so wipe up the glue immediately. Use acetone on clean paper towels and finish off with a cleaning solution.
- Coffee, Wine, Juice: Soak up using paper towels and spray a vinegar and water solution onto the remaining spill. Finish by wiping with a paper towel until clean.
- Permanent Marker: Use acetone with paper towels and wipe until the stain is gone.
5. Some things not to do while cleaning your laminate wood floors-
- Don’t use polishes or waxes to refresh or clean the laminate floor.
- Don’t use Ammonia on laminate.
- Don’t clean with abrasives, scouring powder, or steel wool.
- Don’t use steam cleaners.
- Don’t use a dripping mop.
- Don’t delay cleaning any spills. Act as soon as it happens.
- Don’t use too much soap.
- Don’t attempt to sand or refinish the surface of laminate flooring.
Some final thoughts
The above guide will keep your laminate wood floor look like new for many years. However, you must have a regular cleaning regimen. Even the slightest amount of dust and grime will act as an abrasive to damage your laminate floor. Daily dry mopping and weekly wet mopping will be more than enough. Address any spills immediately. For stubborn stains, seek professional help.