Laminate flooring is a low-cost option that is also visually appealing due to its realistic textures and finishes. The floors are difficult to scratch because they are strong and do not contract or expand. However, the flooring is susceptible to moisture damage.
In this regard, when cleaning the floors, you must understand how to vacuum and clean laminate floors properly. When the flooring wears out, the only option is to replace it. As a result, it is critical to keep the laminate floors clean and free of moisture and grit that can damage them.
This article provides you with the ultimate guide on how to vacuum and clean laminate floors. It walks you through the entire process of vacuuming and cleaning laminate floors. We hope that the informative guide will help point you in the right direction for laminate flooring cleaning.
In this post we will cover:
- How to Vacuum & Clean Laminate Floors
- How should I care for and maintain my laminate floors?
- Can you use a Swiffer or steam mop on laminate floors?
How to Vacuum & Clean Laminate Floors: The Ultimate Guide
It is important to always follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer for your laminate flooring. However, these are the steps to follow when vacuuming and cleaning:
Step 1: Vacuum the floors to get rid of loose dirt and when you are vacuuming, do so in the direction that the floor is laid to catch debris located between the interlocking pieces. You can also choose to dust or sweep the laminate floors to get rid of loose dirt.
However, vacuuming is the best method of removing the dirt. If any spills occur, wipe them up right away together with other dry materials that fall on the floor.
When vacuuming, ensure that your vacuum setting is switched to a soft brush since rotating bristles on standard brushes can cause scratching.
Step 2: damp mop the flooring lightly where simple wiping is not enough. However, the damp mopping should be carried out with caution. If you have an overly wet mop, water will seep behind the baseboards.
Use two buckets of water when mopping, such that you have one for dirty water and the other for clean water. If you use a dirty mop head on the flooring, it will leave annoying streak marks.
Before mopping, ensure that you vacuum instead of sweeping first because vacuuming is more effective at picking up particles.
Step 3: dry the floors using a microfiber cloth if there is water standing on the floor after mopping. Water is what is needed to clean laminate flooring, and if you have to use a cleaner, opt for a solution designated for laminate flooring that is manufacturer-approved.
If you are using a laminate floor cleaner that is homemade, use a small amount of vinegar mixed with water. Avoid using acrylic products, wax, or bleach as they can damage the finish of your floor.
If you are looking to deep clean laminate floors, mop them with a reusable mop that has a microfiber head. You can also utilize a spray mop, which is a microfiber mop that has its own refillable sprayer.
You can clean your laminate floors with a cleaner for hardwood floors or make your own solution using a few household items. Follow these steps when you deep clean:
Step 1: begin by sprinkling baking soda on the laminate floors.
Step 2: mix a cup of vinegar, a gallon of hot water, and a few drops of dish soap in a bucket.
Step 3: dip your mop in the solution you have mixed and avoid creating puddles.
Step 4: start from the back of the room you are cleaning and work your way to the front to avoid mopping yourself into a corner.
Step 5: wring out the wet mop and give the space you have cleaned a final wipe to eliminate traces of soap residue or baking soda.
Step 6: use old towels or the paper kind to dry the laminate floors.
For daily cleaning run a vacuum cleaner over the floor surface to remove any debris and dirt from every nook and cranny of your floor.
If your vacuum cleaner is an upright model, turn off the rotating brush to prevent the bristles from scratching the flooring.
If you cannot access a vacuum cleaner, a soft-bristled broom will be great at eliminating most of the dust, pet hair, and dirt that has been accumulating on your laminate floors.
For a weekly clean, vacuum your laminate floors every week and use a unit that has a brush attachment to keep the floors clean of any hair, debris, and dirt that can lead to scratching over time. You can also use a dry dust mop.
For regular washing, use water and avoid cleaners that may damage your floors, such as lemon, pine, soap, or ammonia-based cleaners.
Instead, use a microfiber mop, which you should dampen in hot water and then wring the mop out to avoid leaving puddles. Then use a newer microfiber cloth to dry it.
Removing Stains and Spills
Laminate flooring does not stain easily, but if anything gets stuck on it or stains it, your first line of defense should be a laminate stain remover that has been approved by the manufacturer.
You can also use natural recipes that include baking soda, vinegar, or liquid soap, but be sure to avoid abrasive scrubbers and sponges since they will create permanent scratches on your floor.
For specific tough stains, use these home remedies:
1. If it is blood, use a window cleaner to remove it and then wipe the spot with a damp cloth. After that, wipe it down with a dry cloth.
2. For red wine, wipe it off with a damp cloth.
3. If it is candle wax, allow the molten wax to harden and then use a plastic knife to scrape it off. Do not use a metal knife.
4. If it is shoe polish, ink, crayon, or nail polish, use rubbing alcohol to remove it. You can also use a bit of nail polish remover to remove the nail polish.
5. If it is chewing gum use a plastic piece of ice to freeze the glob and then use a plastic knife to scrape off the hardened gum. Avoid using a metal knife.
6. If it is grease and tar use mineral spirits to remove them.
7. For heel or shoe scuff marks use a pencil eraser to run off the marks or buff them with a tennis ball.
Vacuuming and cleaning your laminate floors is essential, and it should be done based on how much traffic it receives, among other things. Cleaning should be done once every two weeks in general, and more frequently if you want to keep the floors looking clean and shiny.
Cleaning laminate floors, on the other hand, is not a difficult task because you can do it yourself, but there is a proper way to do so. First, you will need the right cleaning tool, in this case, the right vacuum cleaner, and the correct cleaning procedure as we have highlighted above.
Therefore, regardless of what your cleaning regime is, whether daily, weekly, or monthly, there is a way of correctly doing the cleaning.
How should I care for and maintain my laminate floors?
When cleaning laminate floors, do not use wet mops or steam cleaners. Instead, blot up spills as soon as they occur using a damp cloth. However, do not allow liquids to stand on the floor.
For tough stains, use nail polish remover or acetone on a clean white cloth to remove them. Then use it to wipe the area to remove any remaining residue.
Vacuum sweep or dust the floor regularly using a hard floor attachment to avoid the accumulation of grit and dirt which can dull the floor’s finish or cause scratches.
Clean the floor with products specifically made for it, and avoid washing or wet mopping the floors with any liquid cleaning product, as they can cause warping, swelling, joint-line separation, and delamination.
If you have potted plants in your home, avoid overfilling them or leaky planters as they can cause damage to the flooring. Pay attention to watering and place pads under the floor to protect the floors.
If you have pets, pet food and water dishes can present a problem for your laminate floors. However, you can protect it by placing a pad under your pet dishes or by using feeding bowls and plates to avoid scratching.
Also, protect your floors from streaks of sunlight by using drawn curtains or closed blinds during the brightest part of daylight that is most hard on the laminate floors.
Can you use a Swiffer or steam mop on laminate floors?
You can use a Swiffer WetJet or a wet Swiffer to clean your laminate floors. If you want to clean small spaces quickly, the wet Swiffer is the best tool for such a task.
The WetJet Swiffer is best suited for cleaning large areas since it has a spray that is battery operated and an onboard cleaning formula. It also has disposable mop pads.
A steam mop, on the other hand, is not good to use on laminate flooring. Most flooring manufacturers caution against it and it may void the warranty on the floors. Therefore, check the care guidelines for your floor.
Laminate floors have evolved and many laminates today are more resistant to spills and moisture, but steam mops can still cause warping and other damage to them, even though most steam mop brands may claim that they are safe on laminate floors.
Linda Joan is a market researcher and publisher at Experts in Vacuum who has had an interest in topics related to vacuum cleaners since she was in university, out of curiosity and passion. She is now a full-time writer based in New York, New York.