How to Clean Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is a less expensive and durable alternative to traditional wood or stone flooring. It's a synthetic surface, typically made of multiple layers of fiberboard and melamine. Cleaning laminate flooring is generally easier than cleaning wood or stone flooring, but there are a few tricks.
Sweep or Vacuum up Dirt Daily
Use a broom or dust mop every day to remove dirt and grit. Over time, these can dull and scratch the laminate surface.
Vacuum in-between and around the Edges
Use a soft-bristle or long-nose attachment to vacuum between the planks and around the edges where the floor meets the floorboards. This is especially important if the laminate flooring is installed in a kitchen. Food particles, sugar, flour and other small detritus can get between planks and expand. In time, this can force the planks apart and damage the floor.
Use a Damp Mop
You don't need to use a special floor cleaner when cleaning laminate flooring. In fact, some commercial cleaners will dull the surface of the laminate. Simply use a damp, not wet, mop or sponge to wipe up dust and remaining dirt after sweeping.
To remove bits of food that are stuck to the floor, first moisten them with water to soften them. Then, carefully scrape the bits using a rubber spatula or other utensil with a soft edge that will not scratch the floor. Do not use an abrasive scratching pad, knife or blade.
Dry the Floor after Mopping
After you've washed the floor, dry it thoroughly with a dry cloth or shmop. Although with today's laminate floors the seams are tight, make sure you get in between the planks and along the edges when drying as water could warp them over time. (If you have a pet, place his or her water bowl on a mat to prevent spilled water from seeping between planks.)
Cleaning Laminate Flooring with Plain White Vinegar:
People with small children often want to clean their laminate floors with something more powerful than just water. To kill germs and disinfect your laminate floors, you can make a vinegar/water mixture. This will also help to eliminate stubborn kitchen odors as well as disinfect and deodorize.
It's important to remember, however, that when it comes to germ killing, a little vinegar goes a long way. When cleaning laminate flooring with vinegar, err on the side of less vinegar rather than more:
- 1/8 cup white vinegar
- 4 cups water
Mix the vinegar and water and fill a spray bottle. You can use a bucket, but using the spray bottle will allow you to better control the amount of the solution that is applied to the floor. You'll also be able to save the remaining solution for use on the counters, stove and inside the refrigerator.
Spray the laminate flooring with a fine mist; working in one small area at a time. Use a damp mop to wipe up the solution. Make sure to get the floor as dry as possible with a dry cloth after mopping.