How To Keep Your Laminate Flooring Looking Like New
Prevent soiling and wear
Whilst laminate flooring can be cleaned with minimal effort, it’s even better to prevent it from being soiled and worn in the first place. Attach small felt glides to the legs of chairs, tables and other pieces of furniture that are frequently moved to avoid scratches and scuff marks. If you have swivelling chairs mounted on casters, make sure that the casters are of soft rubber (the kind sold for hard floors). Heavily used areas, like in front of desks, can also be protected with chair mats, which come in a variety of types and colours including transparent. It is also advisable to put a foot mat at the front door and lay dirt trapper barrier mats or runners in hallways.
If, despite all your precautions, your laminate suffers minor damage such as scratches, click here to learn how to fix it.
Sweeping, hoovering and wiping laminate floors
It’s easy to remove coarse debris or dirt such as sawdust from installing the floor using a soft broom or a hoover fitted with a suitable tool for hard floors. However, as sweeping tends to stir up dust, we recommend hoovering. To clean off residues and dirt that adhere to the floor, as well as marks left by rubber-soled shoes and furniture, wipe with a damp cloth.
It’s important that the cloth isn’t too wet; it should only be slightly moist so that the floor will quickly dry again afterwards. Too much water isn’t good for laminate. If anything ever spills on the floor, clean it up right away! Try to wipe lengthwise along the panels. There is no need for any additional treatment.
Suitable cleaning products for laminate flooring
Clear water is enough in most cases. If you want to use a cleaning agent, however, use one that is as mild and gentle as possible. Aggressive products will damage the laminate. Special laminate cleaners are suitable. Avoid products that contain wax or soap, as they leave unattractive streaks.
Ideal ambient conditions for laminate flooring
The best ambient conditions for laminate are a temperature of 20° to 22°C and relative humidity of 50-60%. A bit more or less than this isn’t a problem – these values naturally fluctuate in any case. But if the relative humidity persists at a significantly higher or lower level, we recommend purchasing a dehumidifier or humidifier as the case may be. Besides being good for the laminate, it also creates a healthier, more pleasant indoor climate.
Summary of how to care for laminate flooring:
- Remove loose dirt and debris with a soft broom or hoover.
- Use a moist cloth to clean off sticking residues.
- Wipe parallel to the panels’ long sides.
- Use a special-purpose laminate cleaner to get rid of stubborn dirt.
- Place felt glides under furniture legs.
- Use soft rubber chair casters.
- Lay dirt trapper mats or runners at the front door and in hallways.
Tips for Keeping Your Laminate Floors Beautiful
Laminate flooring has become incredibly popular because it’s beautiful, durable, and fairly inexpensive. Like all floors, however, laminate requires a bit of special cleaning to keep it looking new and shiny. Laminate floors are not hard to keep clean, as long as you know the right way to do it.
Keep your shoes off.
This isn’t so much of a cleaning hack, as just a common sense rule. Put mats on both sides of every door, so that your outside shoes never come in contact with your laminate floor. Even if the bottom of your shoes look pretty clean to you, they will still leave behind dirt and sand.
Instead of floor mats, you could also consider using athletic flooring to limit contact between your shoes and floor mats. Venture Products foam flooring features Microban technology for an added layer of cleanliness protection and can be purchased in tiles for flexibility in any space.
Clean up spills immediately.
Use a dry, soft cloth to quickly wipe up liquid spills, or a slightly damp rag for non-liquids. Dry the spot thoroughly when you’re done, because any moisture, even water, that sits on the floor for an extended period can damage it by wearing down the protective layer.
Laminate floors are just like anything else – the more you keep on top of the cleaning, the easier it will be to keep them looking nice. Do a general clean at least once a week, and then a heavier and more thorough clean once a month. For your light cleaning, use either a vacuum with a soft brush attachment or a dusting mop. Make sure you never use a standard broom, because a lot of these have stiff, straw – like bristles that can damage the flooring over time. Also be sure to clean in the direction of the floorboards; this allows you to pick up bits of debris that have fallen in between the grooves of the pieces.
Quickie sponge mops featuring Microban protection works great as a cleaning tool for light, regular cleaning of laminate floors, and as a bonus, features the added benefit of remaining cleaner and fresher for longer.
Use laminate floor cleaner.
You can buy this at home improvement stores, and most large grocery chains. Follow the directions on the bottle, and then clean using a damp mop or cloth. Again, make sure that no moisture is left to sit on the flooring at any time.
Use hot water.
Hot water is considered to be one of the best ways to clean laminate flooring, because it doesn’t leave streaks. Fill a bucket up, plunge in your mop then wring it out until it’s just damp. Then thoroughly mop your floor and dry immediately with a clean cloth.
A vinegar and water solution can be a great way to clean laminate floors. Mix together one cup vinegar and one gallon water, then mop and dry as you would using the laminate floor cleaner or hot water.
Laminate flooring can be stained with all kinds of things, but a list of the most commonly reported ones are blood, gum, soda, wine, crayon and ink marks, scuffs, and polish. Blood can be gotten out with window cleaner, and gum with a plastic knife. The soda, wine, crayon and ink marks can all be removed with a damp cloth. The heel marks and scuffs can simply be erased off with melamine foam (aka a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.) You can use a bit of nail polish remover for the polish, but always be careful not to use too much since this can actually remove the finishing on the floor along with the stain. Spot test first!