If you’re looking for an alternative to carpet or more expensive hardwood floors, laminate flooring could be right up your street. But it’s important to know the best ways to clean laminate floors to make it worth your while.
And while laminate flooring was once considered hardwood flooring’s cheaper and less attractive cousin, there’s no doubt that times have changed. Sure, laminate flooring is still a fraction of the price, but the much-improved, higher-quality designs have since made laminate flooring more popular than ever.
But while laminate flooring is celebrated for being much easier to clean than some of the wood flooring ideas on the market, do you actually know how to clean it? Well, if you’ve been mopping your laminate flooring, we’re here to tell you that you’ve been doing it all wrong.
Best ways to clean laminate floors
‘Suitable for most areas of the house including kitchens, entranceways and living areas, laminate flooring is an ideal choice for busy households,’ says Natalie Mudd, Creative Director of The Wood Flooring Co. But cleaning them incorrectly could damage them in the long run, so we’ve asked the experts for the best ways to clean laminate floors.
1. Vacuum your laminate floor
One of the best ways to clean laminate floors is to use one of the best vacuums on the market. Yes, just as you’d vacuum over your carpet or your rugs, you can do the exact same thing with laminate flooring.
This will work wonders if your floor is riddled with pet hair or the remnants of your children’s dinner, as the suction qualities of the vacuum will help to remove loose dirt and debris from both the planks themselves, as well as the cracks between the planks.
However, you need to be careful with what type of vacuum you use when cleaning your laminate. Although it’s best to use a canister vacuum – like the famous Henry Hoover – you can also use an upright vacuum, but only if you have the ability to use the vacuum without the rotating bristles.
After all, these bristles can easily scratch your laminate floors.
2. Sweep your laminate floor
The humble broom is often overshadowed by fancier cleaning alternatives, but we think brooms and dustpans and brushes need to be given more credit. Especially if you have laminate flooring.
One of the best ways to clean your laminate floors is to sweep them with a broom, as this will disperse any loose debris that may be sitting on top of the planks. In doing this, the bristles should also get right into the nooks and crannies of the planks, pulling up anything that may be lurking in between.
However, cleaning expert Joyce French at HomeHow.co.uk has issued a warning about this. ‘Make sure the broom that you use has soft bristles, so it doesn’t scratch the laminate,’ she states.
Then, all you have to do is collect the debris with your dustpan and brush before placing it all in the bin.
3. Hand-clean your laminate floor
While many brands offer water-resistant laminate options, the smallest drop of water could ultimately affect the integrity of the planks and reduce their lifespan.
‘Make sure that no puddles of water form as this can soak into the laminate plank over time and cause irreversible damage,’ Natalie explains.
So, it might be best to stick to hand cleaning when you want to tackle tough stains or scuffs, instead of mopping. Be careful what you use, though.
‘Dirty marks caused by substances like shoe cream, varnish, tar, oil, grease, ink etc., are best removed using a cloth soaked in solvent,’ says Natalie. ‘Never use abrasive cleaners, polish, wax, pastes or bleach on your laminate floor.’
If you do want to mop your floor, though, it’s best to do this sparingly. ‘Frequent mopping is not advised, so you should only mop the floor every two months using a microfibre mop. Ensure that you squeeze out all the water so that the mop head is just damp,’ says Joyce.
How to protect laminate flooring
They say that prevention is better than the cure, and while knowing how to clean laminate flooring is always a bonus, maintaining this cleanliness is equally as important.
‘You should protect your laminate flooring from dirt particles by placing mats at entrances and routinely cleaning with a broom or vacuum cleaner. Suitable soft felt pads should always be fitted under chair and table legs to prevent damage, and shoes should be removed whenever possible to prolong the laminate floors,’ explains Natalie.
Alongside this, wiping up spills as soon as you see them and keeping your pet’s nails nicely trimmed will also help to keep your laminate flooring looking as good as new.
What is the best thing to use to clean laminate floors?
Only products designed for use on laminate floors should be used. It’s best to avoid anything that’s full of bleach or highly abrasive, as this could damage the protective coating of your planks.
It’s not hard to find specific laminate flooring cleaner – like this Pledge Expert Care Wood Floor Cleaner Original from Amazon – or you could make your own.
An effective DIY laminate floor cleaner can be made using a simple mixture of dish soap and water.
How do you keep laminate floors clean and shiny?
The best way to keep laminate floors clean and shiny is by keeping them in tip-top condition at all times. Regular sweeping, vacuuming, and hand cleaning should enable you to keep it looking as good as new.
Alongside this, you should avoid anything that could dull the shine of laminate floors, including wax, floor polish, and abrasive cleaners.