How to Clean Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring is fantastic. It’s super durable for busy families and less expensive than traditional hardwood flooring. Like with any flooring, though, it has unique needs. Once you understand what laminate needs to shine (or stay matte!), you’ll have an easy-to-follow cleaning routine and perfectly clean floors in no time.
First, make sure your floors are indeed laminate. It can be easy to mistake some laminate finishes for hardwood and treat them with a wood oil soap product that can leave a haze on the floor. Laminate floors have a laminated coating on top (called an overlay), then a print layer that looks like wood. Engineered Hardwood, which is sometimes confused with laminate, has a hardwood veneer on top and so should be cleaned the same way as hardwood.
Second, get ready to clean. To clean laminate flooring most effectively, it helps to remember a couple insider tips. Remember to avoid too much moisture, which can cause water damage, and to avoid oily cleaning products, which can hurt the finish & shine. When you clean laminate flooring, you’re looking to remove dirt and leave as little moisture behind to avoid streaking and damage.
Now, Let’s Clean!
For any cleaning project, I rely on my trustworthy PTT system: what are the Products, Tools and Techniques needed to get the job done?
Here’s my PTT for laminate flooring:
- A grease cutting cleaner, such as mild, plant-based dish soap
- Laminate floor cleaner (if desired)
- A vacuum with hard floor attachment
- A flat microfiber mop with a few interchangeable pads
- Product of choice
- Bucket or spray bottle
- Microfiber cloth for drying - this helps avoid streaks.
For day-to-day maintenance and care, I recommend vacuuming your laminate floor regularly with a brush attachment to remove debris which can cause scratching and wear down the finish. Once to twice weekly works for busy areas, and once every week or two for less busy areas.
Mop laminate floors once a month and spot clean as needed. Why so little, you may ask? Good question. In truth, floors don’t need wet cleaning as much as you may think. With good vacuuming habits and spot cleaning spills and stains, they will remain relatively clean.
When it comes time to wet mop your laminate floor, start by filling a bucket with a gallon of hot water and a teaspoon of dish soap. If using a specialty laminate floor cleaner, follow the product’s usage instructions. Pre-soak your mop pads, wringing them out until damp-dry before using. Mop until the pad is visibly dirty, then switch out the dirty pad for a clean one. If you only have one mop pad, no worries. Just keep an eye on how dirty it gets and rinse along the way as needed. If you prefer a bit more control, either solution can be put in a spray bottle for use with a dry mop instead. To avoid mopping yourself into a corner, always remember to mop your way out of the room. Also, mopping with the grain can help avoid obvious streaking. If you notice any standing moisture when you’re finished, wipe it with a dry cloth.