Laminate wood flooring is an inexpensive, low-maintenance, durable investment which can add beauty and value to any home. The advancements made in laminate flooring have engineered a product that is often indistinguishable from real wood, and the benefits of laminate flooring often outweigh the benefits of solid wood alternatives. To keep your floors looking pristine and attractive, regular cleaning should be performed. Cleaning your laminate wood flooring according to these simple steps will ensure that your home is equipped with a floor that will be strikingly beautiful for years.
Before considering the best methods for cleaning laminate wood floors, it is important to discuss some helpful tips that may prevent dirty buildup from accumulating on such a beautiful investment. The first tip is simple: remove your shoes. Wearing shoes on your laminate flooring can be equated to walking around with sandpaper tied to the soles of your feet. Shoes inevitably accumulate particulate matter which clings to the crevices of the soles. These particles can scratch away at the protective coating applied to laminate floors and, if one isn’t careful, can even result in deep gashes and chips in your floor’s surface. Additionally, shoes are the breeding ground for germs and bacteria and are expert collectors of the widest variety of filth you can imagine. Keeping shoes off your floors will keep the dirt that accompanies them from destroying your beautiful laminate wood flooring. However, walking barefoot on the floor may be just as detrimental over time. The oils from human feet can wear away at laminate coating, giving floors a “scummy” look that is costly to repair. If possible, tread lightly on your laminate wood floors, and tread in comfortably sock-covered feet.
The easiest tip for maintaining beautiful floors is to sweep them regularly. A quick sweep with a clean, cotton dust mop can remove particles that may easily be ground into the surface of your floors. Avoid brooms with straw bristles or tough synthetic fibers as these may scratch the surface of your laminate flooring. Keep dirt off your floors and they will look cleaner longer.
To maintain spotless, beautiful laminate wood flooring, you should only need to clean your floors with a liquid cleaning solution once or twice every two weeks. Cleaning too often or with harsh chemicals may gradually damage the surface of your floors. While you may choose to purchase a commercial cleaner that is specifically engineered for treating laminate wood flooring, a simple solution of household products may also be used. Mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar with a gallon of lukewarm water to create a mild, efficient cleaner that won’t damage laminate flooring.
When cleaning laminate flooring, avoid using a mop. Mops that require ringing out excess water often result in the application of too much liquid to a floor. Excess liquid can seep between the laminate boards and warp your beautiful floor. Instead, wash your floor with a clean rag or sponge. Thoroughly squeeze the excess water into your cleanser bucket and wipe the floor lightly with the damp cloth. Do not scrub the floor with too much force or the protective surface may be damaged. Let the floor dry without rinsing to achieve the best results.
If your floor has accumulated heavy amounts of dirt, you may wish to mix a special solution using a higher concentration of vinegar. Vinegar cuts through most greasy dirt accumulations, and a higher concentration will result in a greater cleaning efficiency. If this solution is used, however, the floor should be carefully rinsed and dried after cleaning.