Laminate flooring – a great, modern, and cheaper alternative to hardwood. Sometimes, you can’t even tell the difference between laminate and real wood unless you look closely! And don’t even get us started on the tonnes of benefits laminate floors come with. They are durable, easy to clean and maintain, and some of them are even scratch-resistant!
Yes, we did just say how super simple cleaning laminate flooring is, but there is a catch (there’s always a catch). If you don’t know the right methods, you can end up with a ruined floor just as quickly.
But don’t panic just yet! All it takes to learn how to clean laminate floors properly is a bit of research. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place.
So, if you:
Own or are getting laminate flooring installed;
Want to know how to clean and maintain your laminate floors properly;
Are wondering if you can steam clean a laminate floor,
Then keep on reading, because this post is all you need!
Before we get down to business, let us give you a brief description of…
What laminate flooring actually is
Laminate is created from several layers, all pressed together and laminated (shocker, we know). The core is usually made of high-density fibreboard. On top of it are the design layer – a high-quality image of the desired effect – and the protective resin coat.
All of this makes for a durable, low-maintenance laminate floor that comes in various thicknesses, designs, and finishes.
As durable as laminate flooring is, though, it’s rarely waterproof. This means it’s not suitable for high-moisture places, such as bathrooms. But why would you want laminate in your bathroom anyway?
How to clean laminate flooring properly
And now, we’ve come to the matter at hand – learning all about how to clean laminate flooring the right way.
The good news is that you don’t need any fancy methods to clean your floors. You can use products specifically designed to clean laminate, or you can opt for a homemade solution.
If you decide to go with a commercial cleaner, always check that it’s made for laminate flooring. And, no matter which method or product you choose, read through your flooring manufacturer’s instructions to find out if it’s right for you.
All it takes when it comes to regular cleaning is a couple of simple steps:
Vacuum. Run your vacuum cleaner over the laminate floor to get rid of any dust and dirt.
Mop. Clean the floor with a slightly damp cloth or mop. A microfibre cloth will work best.
And… that’s it, really. Super easy, right?
In most cases, a simple sweep and wipe with a soft cloth would be enough. However, if you want to restore your laminate floor’s shine, eliminate nasty odours, and get rid of bacteria, white vinegar is the magic ingredient.
Cleaning laminate floors with vinegar
Vinegar is a cleaning staple in many a household. And for good reason, too. It can sanitise and deodorise pretty much anything! Yes, that includes laminate flooring.
So, here’s how to clean laminate floors with white vinegar:
Time needed: 30 minutes.
Sweep or vacuum.
Use a soft broom or a vacuum cleaner with a hardwood floor attachment to remove dirt, dust, and crumbs.
Prepare a homemade laminate floor cleaner.
Mix one part white vinegar, three parts water, and a teaspoon of washing up liquid. Put them in a spray bottle, and you have your laminate floor cleaner.
You can spray the floor cleaner onto the mop or directly on the laminate floor. For great results and a streak-free finish, use a microfibre cloth or mop, or one made specifically for laminate floors.
Mop the floor.
Make sure you use a damp cloth or mop and not a soaking wet one. To achieve the best results, mop in the direction of the planks.
And you’re done! A sparkling clean floor that smells fresh and looks as shiny as new.
Now, if your trusty steam cleaner is your go-to cleaning tool, we hear you asking…
Can you steam clean laminate floors?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Steam cleaning may be an excellent option for most flooring types, such as some types of carpets, but using this method on a laminate floor may cause irreversible damage.
As we mentioned earlier, laminate is not entirely waterproof. It can handle small spills, but standing water or excessive moisture can make their way through to the core, damaging the planks.
Steam cleaners use immense heat and moisture to rid your floors of spills and stains. This combination can be your laminate flooring’s worst enemy. If the planks have been glued together, a steam cleaner can weaken and dissolve that glue.
If the moisture and heat make their way through the protective layer, they can cause the planks to warp, swell, and peel, and you’ll end up having to replace them.
What if you’ve been cleaning your laminate floors with a steam mop but haven’t had any problems? You’re safe, right? Don’t be so sure. You may not notice any damage done to your floor until years later! But the moisture is still there, lurking. By the time you see your floorboards warping and lifting up, it will be too late.
Most manufacturers strongly advise against using steam to clean laminate floors. In some cases, it might even void your warranty since you haven’t provided proper floor care.
So, if you want to keep your laminate floor not only clean but also intact, put that steam cleaner away.
How to maintain laminate floors
Now that you know how to clean laminate floors properly, you might want to know how to keep them in great condition, too.
Laminate floors generally don’t require much maintenance. However, to prolong their life and keep their good looks, you can follow these simple tips.
Regularly sweep the floors. A quick sweep with a soft broom or a vacuum is enough to keep your laminate floors dirt-free. You can use a dry cloth or microfibre mop to tackle tougher areas.
When vacuuming, use the hardwood floor attachment. Avoid the beater bar like the plague, as that can scratch the laminate. Abrasive cleaners, baking soda, steel wool, and other harsh objects or chemicals can also mess up the finish, so put them away.
Steer clear of wax and polish. Laminate floors do not need any additional polishing, as they’re designed to be resilient and last a long time. A waxy buildup will only ruin the shiny finish and make them look dull and hazy.
Clean up spills immediately. As you already know, excessive moisture is a no-no. Taking care of spills as soon as they happen will prevent a laminate floor from warping and bubbling. This way, the excess liquid won’t turn into tough stains, too. Simply use a dry microfibre cloth to wipe up the liquid.
Use felt protector pads beneath your furniture. Protecting your floors from scratches is important, and felt pads are a good way to make sure they are safe and free of scuff marks. You should also try and lift furniture you need to move, instead of dragging it along the floor.
And there you have it! With a minimum amount of effort, your laminate floors can live a long and happy life.
If you are looking into laminate floors because your hardwood ones are giving up on you, why don’t you check out our wood floor services, and see whether it is possible to breathe new life into them?
Why not save some time to do the things you enjoy? Fantastic Services offers a one-off deep cleaning service that can bring the shine back to your laminate floors or all other kinds. Performed by professional and reliable cleaners, you can rest and relax, knowing your home is in safe hands (and the steam mops remain far away from your laminate flooring).
The specialists will come equipped with all the supplies they need and are sure to leave your property spotless.
Booking is easy! Simply use our online form and choose a slot that suits your schedule. Spend your time where it matters – leave the hard work to us!