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How to Clean Laminate Wooden Flooring: A Comprehensive Guide

Posted on May 14, 2023


How to Clean Laminate Wooden Flooring: Maintain Your Floor’s Beauty and Durability | Your Home Maintenance Guide

Laminate flooring is a highly popular choice for many homeowners due to its durability, affordability, and variety of style options available. It can resemble the luxurious aesthetics of hardwood without the hefty price tag. However, as with any type of flooring, laminate wood requires proper care to maintain its quality and longevity. This 4000-word guide will walk you through the best methods and practises for cleaning and maintaining your laminate wood flooring.

Cleaning Laminate Wooden Flooring

What is laminate wood flooring?

Before we delve into the cleaning process, let’s briefly understand what laminate wood flooring is. This type of flooring is a multi-layer synthetic product fused together using a lamination process. The inner core layer is usually composed of melamine resin and fiberboard materials, while the top layer is a photographic applique that simulates the appearance of real wood. The protective outer layer is a clear, durable resin-based coating that is resistant to scratches and wear.

Cleaning Laminate Wooden Flooring

Understanding the Need for Proper Cleaning

Laminate flooring’s top protective layer is designed to resist wear and tear, but it’s not impervious. It can scratch, stain, warp, and dull over time if not properly cared for. High traffic, spills, pet accidents, and incorrect cleaning methods can all contribute to the deterioration of your laminate flooring. This is where the importance of correct cleaning techniques comes in. Regular and proper cleaning not only maintains the aesthetics of your floor but also extends its lifespan.

Routine Cleaning

Routine cleaning should be your first line of defence against dirt and damage to your laminate wood flooring. This involves sweeping, vacuuming, and damp mopping.

  1. Sweep or vacuum: Start by removing loose dirt, dust, pet hair, and other debris from your laminate floor. Use a soft-bristled broom or a vacuum cleaner. If you’re using a vacuum, ensure it’s on the hard floor setting to avoid scratching the surface.
  2. Damp Mop: After sweeping or vacuuming, damp mop the floor. Use a microfiber mop or a well-wrung-out traditional mop; laminate floors should never be soaked with water, as this can cause damage. For the cleaning solution, you can use a specially formulated laminate floor cleaner or make a homemade one with a mix of vinegar and warm water (1 cup of vinegar to 1 gallon of water).

Dealing with Stains and Spills

Spills and stains are inevitable, especially in households with children and pets. The key here is to act promptly and use the right cleaning methods.

  1. Spills: Immediately wipe up any liquid spills as they happen. Laminate flooring is fairly resistant to stains, but prolonged exposure to liquids can cause damage. Use a cloth or paper towel to blot the spill until it’s completely absorbed.
  2. Stains: For more stubborn stains like oil, ink, or paint, a bit more work is required. Always avoid abrasive cleaners or scrubbing tools. Instead, use acetone or nail polish remover on a clean white cloth and wipe the stain until it’s gone. Afterwards, go over the area with a damp cloth to remove any residue.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning is recommended every few months or as necessary. This process involves a more thorough cleaning to remove grime that routine cleaning might miss.

  1. Use a Steam Mop: A steam mop can be an effective tool for deep cleaning laminate flooring. However, keep in mind that excessive water and heat can damage the laminate. Use the mop according to the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring it doesn’t leave excessive water behind.
  2. Use a Cleaning Solution: For a deep clean, you might need a more potent cleaning solution. Use a commercial laminate floor cleaner or make a stronger homemade solution. A popular homemade solution is a mix of vinegar, hot water, and a few drops of dish soap. Remember to wring out your mop well before using it on the floor.
  3. Preventive Measures

    Beyond routine and deep cleaning, there are several preventive measures you can take to keep your laminate wooden flooring looking its best.

  4. Use entry mats: Placing mats at the entrances to your home can help reduce the amount of dirt and grit that gets tracked onto your floors.

  5. Implement a no-shoes policy: Shoes can carry all sorts of debris that can scratch or damage your laminate flooring. Consider implementing a no-shoes policy indoors.

  6. Use furniture pads: Furniture can scratch laminate flooring when it’s moved or used. Place felt pads under the legs of furniture to prevent this.

  7. Trim Pet Nails: If you have pets, keep their nails trimmed to avoid scratches on your laminate floors.

  8. Use proper sun protection. Long-term exposure to sunlight can cause discoloration. Use curtains or blinds to protect your flooring from excessive sun exposure.

Steam Mop

    Repairing minor damages

    Even with meticulous care, your laminate flooring might sustain minor damage over time. Here are a few ways to repair them:

    1. Scratches: For small scratches, a touch-up kit designed for laminate flooring can help. These are typically wax-based products that you can colour-match to your floor.
    2. Chips or cracks: For larger damages like chips or cracks, you may need to replace the affected plank. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, consider hiring a professional.

    Avoid these common mistakes.

    To conclude, let’s go over some common mistakes to avoid when cleaning your laminate wooden flooring:

    1. Never Use a Wet Mop: A damp mop is fine, but a wet mop can cause water to seep into the seams and cause warping.
    2. Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals: Laminate floors don’t do well with harsh cleaners. Stick to mild cleaners or those specifically made for laminate floors.
    3. Don’t wax or polish: Laminate flooring has a protective coating that doesn’t require additional wax or polish. In fact, these products can dull the finish.
    4. Avoid Abrasive Cleaning Tools: Scrub brushes, scouring pads, and steel wool can all scratch your laminate flooring. Stick with soft cloths or microfiber mops.

    In summary, maintaining a laminate wooden floor isn’t a complicated process, but it does require consistent and proper care. Regular cleaning, coupled with preventive measures, can keep your floor looking its best for years to come. And when accidents happen, knowing how to deal with them promptly can prevent long-term damage. Here’s to keeping your laminate flooring in top shape!

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