Cleaning laminate floors

Many manufacturers have cleansers designed specifically for cleaning laminate floors.  These cleansers can be found at on-line flooring stores or even at the local grocery.  While these store-bought cleansers are handy, they provide no distinct advantage over other options.  

Sweep, dust mop or vacuum the floor regularly to keep dirt and grit at a minimum.  If you dust mop, use a soft, microfiber pad, because this eliminates the need to use water.  If you vacuum the floor, be sure to use a hardwood floor setting or one of the soft brush attachments.  Vacuum attachments can also be used to clean along to sides of the floor, along the floorboard, and in between planks.

Occasional damp mopping is recommended, but care must be taken in regard to the amount of water applied and the length of time it is left standing on the laminate floor.  If you do choose to mop, use hot water and a non-abrasive liquid cleanser.  The mop should be well wrung, so that the floor dries quickly.  As an extra precaution, go back over the floor with a dry mop or rag to pick up any extra moisture.  

Another way to clean laminate floors is to use a 30-ounce spray bottle filled with ¼ cup of vinegar and hot water.  Simply sweep or vacuum the floor first and then spray the vinegar and water mixture on a small area of the floor, and mop it up right away.  

Suggestions for protecting and maintaining laminate floors

Check the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning and maintenance so that you do not do something that would void your warranty.

Avoid allowing spills or liquids to sit on laminate floors, and use caution when wet mopping. Excessive moisture can cause the floor to warp, expand or delaminate.

If you have pet dishes that sit on the floor, consider placing a mat underneath the bowls to protect the laminate from additional moisture.

Place a rug or doormat at all entryways to catch extra dirt and moisture from shoes to avoid damaging your floors.

Put protective pads on the bottom of all furniture to avoid scratching or marring the floor’s finish.  Also, be sure to lift furniture when you move it, rather than dragging it across the floor.

Always test a new cleaning product out on a portion of the floor that is not visible (underneath a chair or area rug).

Do not use soap-based or mop-and-shine cleansers or abrasive products such as steel wool or scouring powder.  Citrus-based cleansers or vinegar and water are recommended for cleaning laminate floors.

Keep your pet’s nails trimmed so that they do not scratch the floor.

Stiletto heels can damage wood laminate.  It is suggested that this type of shoe be removed before walking on laminate floors.

Do not wax or polish laminate floors.

If your laminate floor is scratched, apply a touch-up stick, which can be purchased from your manufacturer.  Never try to refinish or sand wood laminate.