Laminate floors can be tricky to keep clean without damaging them unless you know what you’re doing. The wrong cleaners or too much cleaners can cause the laminate floor to warp and be costly to replace by professional flooring fitters such as New Generation Flooring, but how do you keep these low-maintenance floors looking great? The solution is the right cleaner and proper care, but you don’t need to be Martha Stewart to get your floors gleaming.
Follow the steps below and they’ll be looking as good as new.
Things to Avoid
Before we jump into what you should do, let’s cover what you shouldn’t do first.
Avoid anything that promotes shine.
Murphy’s oil, Orange Glo, etc, will look great at first, but over time, these cleaners cause the finish to dull. If you’ve already made this mistake or moved into a home with dull floors, you might try stripping the floors if you want a fresh ‘canvas’ to work with.
Throw away the string-mop and bucket.
A sopping wet mop is a hard no for these sensitive floors. The excessive moisture will be absorbed in through the seams and cracks of the flooring, causing the floors to warp and distort over time.
It’s a costly lesson to learn, so throw your old mop and bucket out or just keep it away from your laminate flooring.
Shoes and high heels should be left at the door or in the closet.
High heels are notorious for putting holes and dents into the flooring, so just avoid wearing these anywhere on your flooring, and politely ask guests to slip them off at the door.
Attack wet spills immediately.
The instant you realize something has spilled, immediately wipe up the spill to prevent moisture from seeping into the flooring.
Pine sole cleaners smell great but that’s it
Avoid cleaning with them unless you like your floors to have a streaky and oily finish.
Now, let’s move onto the tools of the trade. These are essentials you should have on hand if you want to clean and maintain laminate flooring like a pro.
Tools of the Trade
To get started, you’ll need:
- A dust mopwith a soft fabric cover OR a canister vacuum.
- A flat mop and the cover
- A bucket.
Before you can start mopping, you need to make sure your flooring is completely clean so you don’t push dirt around.
A dust mop with a soft fabric cover will help ‘capture’ all the dirt and hair without causing damage to the surface of the floor. Swiffer sweepers are a good option if you don’t like the traditional dust mop. They also come with disposable covers you can throw away when you’re done cleaning.
A canister vacuum with a floor attachment is also a great option and will make quick work of the job. Just be sure not to push down as you vacuum, and use overlapping strokes so you capture everything from tiny breadcrumbs, to pet hair and dust. But if you don’t have one, that’s okay too. Just use the dust mop instead.
Whether you use your dust mop or a canister vacuum, make sure you move your furniture and other obstacles around to make sure no crumbs or dirt gets missed.
Now it’s time to mop.
A flat mop is your best bet for mopping your floors. If you use a flat mop, remove the cover and wet it with warm water and a couple of drops of dish soap. Next, squeeze out excess water and re-attach to your mop to start mopping.
If you opt for a mop like a Swiffer, they usually sell wipes that can be used to mop with.
Just follow the instructions on the packaging for best results. Regardless of if you have a large or small area to cover, overlapping ‘W’ strokes will get the job done quicker.
That’s it! That’s the secret to mopping laminate floors without ruining them.
If this didn’t explain it well enough, check out this great video on the topic.
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Keeping your laminate floors gleaming without damaging them doesn’t require a small cabinet filled with various elixirs of expensive cleaners. In fact, all you need to clean your laminate floors is right by your kitchen sink already. The biggest trick is to avoid adding too much water to these types of floors. The extra water or liquid will absorb into the cracks and seams, causing the flooring to warp over time.
Stick to plain water and a couple of drops of dish soap for a quick and affordable cleanup, but make sure you wring your mop out well before you use it!
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