How to Clean Laminate Floors

How to Clean Laminate FloorLaminate flooring is prized for its durable, low-maintenance design. Still, occasional cleaning is required in order to keep it in tip-top shape. By periodically dusting, vacuuming and more thoroughly cleaning your laminate floors, you will protect them from dirt, grit and other debris. In turn, the laminate's protective coating will remain intact, which will keep it looking brand new for a very long time.

Dust-Mop or Vacuum Your Laminate Floors Regularly

Ideally, you should use a dust mop every week or so to remove dust, dirt, grit and other debris from your laminate floors. You may be able to reduce the frequency with which you dust-mop or vacuum by placing floor mats at all entrances and exits so less debris has the opportunity to collect on the floor.

If you don't have a dust-mop, it's okay to use a vacuum cleaner. You just need to take a few things in mind. Don't use the beater bar or agitator head to clean your laminate floors. Doing so can cause scratches and other permanent damage. Rather, use a soft bristle attachment to gently but thoroughly clean the floor.

Whether you use a dust-mop or a vacuum with a soft bristle attachment, sweep or dust in the direction in which the tiles were laid. In doing so, you will be able to pull up debris from between the tiles, which will help them remain in even better shape.

Thoroughly Clean Your Laminate Floors from Time to Time

Even with regular dusting and vacuuming, your laminate floors will inevitably become dingy and dirty over time. Every other week or so, then, give them a thorough cleaning using one of the following methods:

Hot Water

Laminate Floor CleanersLike many folks, you may be surprised to learn that hot water is widely considered to be the best substance for cleaning laminate floors. That's especially true if your floors are just dirty from everyday wear and tear. Hot water doesn't tend to leave streaks, so it produces a nice, even shine. If more intense messes are involved, additional steps may be required.

Fill a bucket with hot water. It doesn't have to be steaming hot, but it should be more than lukewarm.

Soak a sponge mop in the hot water, and then wring it out well. Starting at the center or one side of the room, start mopping the floor. Work your way outward or toward the other side of the room. Periodically wring out and resoak the mop to clean the floor as effectively as possible.

As long as the floor isn't too wet, you can just let it air dry. If it's a little too wet, though, dry it with a microfiber cloth.

Mild Soap

If your floors are fairly dirty, consider cleaning them with a mixture of mild soap and hot water. Fill a bucket with hot water, and then add two tablespoons of either baby shampoo or a mild soap. Liquid dish detergent works well. Avoid using dyed or scented soaps. Soak the sponge mop in the solution, and then wring it out well. From the center outward or from one side to the other, wipe down your laminate floor with the mop. You can then either let it air dry or dry it using a microfiber towel.


Always dilute vinegar before using it on your laminate floor, or you may inadvertently damage it. Pour 1/4 cup of white vinegar in a 32-ounce spray bottle, and then fill the rest with water. Shake it well to mix it up. Only small sections of the floor at a time; you will need to immediately wipe the vinegar solution up to prevent it from eroding the protective coating on your laminate floor. It can be wiped with either a damp cloth or a damp sponge-mop. Dry the area with a microfiber cloth before moving on to the next spot.

Cleaning Problem Spills and Stains from Laminate Flooring

Despite your best efforts, mishaps will occasionally happen to your laminate flooring. By knowing how to handle them, you should be able to prevent permanent damage.

First, a quick note: Regardless of what spills, be prepared to clean it up immediately. Soak up the excess with a dry, soft cloth, and then use a damp sponge or cloth to clean the affected area. Wrap things up by drying the spot with a soft, dry cloth.

Use these techniques to handle various stains and spills on your laminate flooring:

  • Soda, Ink, Wine and Crayon - These types of spills can typically be cleaned using a damp microfiber cloth. For ink, though, you may also need to add a drop of detergent or ink remover to the cloth.
  • Grease - Use a bag of frozen vegetables or an ice pack to harden the grease, and then use a plastic kitchen knife to carefully scrape it away. Use Windex or another window cleaner to finish the job.
  • Scuffs and Shoe Marks - Just rub the scuff or mark with a pencil eraser.
  • Gum - Gently scrape it away with a plastic knife and then rub away whatever's left with a soft, damp cloth.
  • Blood - Spray with window cleaner, and then wipe it up with a damp cloth.

As you can see, cleaning and caring for laminate floors is a breeze. Just make sure to keep up with the regular cleanings to keep dirt and other debris from scratching and wearing away the outer layer, and you should be good to go.

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