Do you have a laminate floor in your home?
Much as it looks similar to hardwood, you cannot clean it in the same way. Definitely, oak planks are cleaned differently.
But which is the best way to clean a laminate floor?
You need to take special care of your laminate floor, given that you cannot simply refinish it to remove stains.
If you don’t clean your laminate floor in the best way, you will find yourself having to replace it in the long run.
It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with a new laminate floor or an older one.
The following are the best ways to clean a laminate floor:
1. General Cleaning
For regular laminate floor cleaning, it is important that you sweep it using a dry mop after a couple of days.
If left to accumulate on the floor, excess dirt, debris, and hair can cause unwanted scratches. When swept regularly, laminate floors will hardly develop these scratches.
An alternative to the dry dust mop is a vacuum cleaner to which a soft brush has been attached. Avoid using a standard floor brush with straw-like, stiff bristles that can only damage the floor.
The sweeping should be done in the same direction followed during the laying of the laminate floor. If anything, removing dirt in the crevices in between the flooring pieces will be much easier.
Any liquid spills should be cleaned up immediately using a sponge or cloth.
When water or other liquids are left to sit on the floor for long periods, they will cause unnecessary stains and damage to the layer that protects the floor from wear.
Use a dry cloth to soak up any excess liquid. Use a damp cloth to remove remaining residues of the spilled liquid. Make sure to use a dry, soft cloth to dry the spot of the spillage.
2. Hot Water Cleaning
Take a bucket of hot water and use it to clean your laminate floor after a few months or when part of the floor becomes visibly dirty or muddy.
The water does not have to be steaming hot. If it is anything more than lukewarm, the better.
Hot water is the best way to clean a laminate floor, given that it rarely leaves behind streaks of dirt.
It is also unlikely to damage the top protective layer of the floor. After all, there can be no milder cleaner than plain hot water.
You can use a mop together with the hot water to clean a laminate floor.
Soak and wring it out, leaving it mildly damp. While a traditional style mop will work just well, the best is a sponge mop.
Make sure to wring out the mop properly before using it. Otherwise, it would leave puddles of water on the floor, which could end up staining it.
Once you are sure you have a mildly damp mop, use it to clean the floor. Start from the center of the floor and work your way out until you cover the whole of it.
Avoid cleaning the ends to the floor to the center, since you will have to step onto the already cleaned areas. Keep re-soaking and re-wringing the mop until you are through with the cleaning.
The last step is to dry the floor.
If it doesn’t have any visible moisture, leave it to air dry. Visible pools of water should be wiped off using a clean, dry, soft microfiber cloth.
Using an abrasive cloth is a no-no. You don’t want to leave unnecessary scratches on the floor. Also, avoid having water paddles sit on the floor for longer than usual.
3. Clean Using Vinegar
Mix some vinegar in water. Take a ¼ cup or 60 ml of white vinegar and mix it in up to 32 ounces (1,000 ml) of water in a spray bottle.
Fill up the bottle with clean water and shake to combine. This solution is the best way to clean a laminate floor with stains or caked mud that make it look dull or faded.
Avoid using concentrated vinegar, since it could destroy the floor. Your vinegar should always be used in the diluted form.
Take time to spray the vinegar solution onto the laminate floor. Spread square-foot areas before moving to the next.
This is so that you can wipe it off the floor almost immediately. If you spray the entire floor at once, it will be very hard for you to clean off the vinegar before it begins destroying the upper protective layer.
Use a damp cloth or mop to wipe off the solution. This should be done soon after spraying it on the floor.
A soft microfiber cloth is also a good alternative.
However, abrasive mops or cloths should never be used. If the mop of cloth is wet, wring it out before using it.
You don’t want to soak the floor with water that could only make it warp. Dry off any additional water using a clean microfiber cloth.
Small amounts of wetness should worry you since this can be left to air dry.
4. Cleaning With Gentle Soaps
Take warm to hot water and pour it into a bucket.
Although not necessarily steaming hot, the water can be anything higher than lukewarm. Add a mild liquid dish detergent to the water.
Avoid detergents with artificial dyes or scents, since they can cause damage to the floor or leave it streaked.
You may also use baby shampoo but not adult shampoo. Use your hand to mix the detergent into the water until it foams. Strong chemicals or abrasive cleaners are a no-no.
Soak a mop into the soapy solution and wring it out until it is nothing more than mildly damp.
This is the best way to clean a laminate floor exposed to salt-drenched snow boots, mud, and other forms of contamination.
Using the mop, clean out the floor. Avoid dampening the floor by ensuring your mop isn’t too wet.
Once you have cleaned out the floor, wipe it moving from one side of the room to the other.
You may also want to start at the center and then move to the ends of the floor. Keep re-soaking and re-wringing the mop until you have cleaned the entire floor.
Depending on how much water you used, you can either leave the floor to air dry or do the drying yourself.
Use a microfiber cloth to dry off excess water. Puddles of water left sitting on the floor will damage it beyond repair.
5. Removing Problematic Stains
The method you use will largely depend on the type of stains you have.
If it is blood stains, clean them out using a window cleaner . Take the window cleaner and pour a small amount of it on the stain. Wipe it away using a warm, slightly damp cloth.
Don’t allow blood stains to stay for long before removing them.
As for chewing gum, you should remove it using a plastic knife. Scrape it away using the knife. Not a metallic knife, which will scratch and damage the floor.
Any remaining residue should be removed using a soft, moist cloth. Use mineral spirit to moisten the cloth.
Other common stains include ink, crayon marks, wine, and soda. These are better wiped off using a wet microfiber cloth.
Stains that prove stubborn can be removed using an ink remover or detergent added to the cloth.
Once the stain is removed, clean the area using a moist cloth, soaked in warm and clean water.
Tar, shoe polish, and nail polish should be treated differently.
Use an acetone nail polish remover on a microfiber cloth and scrub off the stain. Later, wipe the area using a warm, moist cloth.
A pencil eraser is sufficient to remove scuffs and heel marks.
To remove grease stains, first, freeze them. Use a pack of ice or frozen vegetables to harden the grease.
Once it hardens, scrape off the grease using a plastic kitchen knife. Then spray the area with a window cleaner and wipe it off to remove traces of frozen grease.
How to Keep a Laminate Floor Looking Brand New For Longer
Apart from learning the best way to clean a laminate floor, you need to know how to keep it looking fresh for longer.
You will need to try out the following easy strategies:
· Put entry mats in place to help collect any grit, sand, and dirt. Substances like driveway sealer, asphalt, and oil would also be hard to get into the house.
· Use a vinyl rug under area rugs to prevent slippage that may cause scratches.
· For your chair use floor protectors and leg bases or rollers to make it hard for the development of scratches and indentations. After all, heavy objects like chairs can damage a laminate floor.
· The humidity inside that house should ideally lie between 35 and 65 percent all year long. This will prevent the wood from naturally expanding and contracting.
· During the season when your heater is active, use a humidifier to top the floor from shrinking excessively. Watch out for electric and wood stove heaters which cause too much heat.
· When your heater is no longer in use, use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to heat up the room and maintain humidity at good levels.
· During the time of the year when there is inclement weather, avoid overexposing the laminate floor to water.
· Don’t move heavy objects across the floor by sliding them. This can only cause unwanted damage.
· If you have chairs and other furniture with castors, put them on protective mats to prevent damage to the laminate floor.
Wrapping It Up
Cleaning a laminate floor does not have to be such a hassle.
With the tips given in this write-up, you should be able always to have a clean floor and cheaply. Regular sweeping and vacuuming will help prevent the buildup of dirt and grit.
Apart from cleaning using plain hot water, you can use a mild detergent or make your own at home by diluting vinegar.
Avoid cleaning tools that are likely to cause scratches on the laminate floor. To prevent warping, do not soap the floor in water for too long.
A clean laminate floor that’s taken good care of will remain shiny and beautiful for longer. That’s what you want, isn’t it?