Like hardwood, carpeting, and tile, making your laminate floors sparkle requires a certain lineup of cleaning products, suitable for the affordable, hybrid surface that’s sensitive to moisture. Liquid cleaners, mops, and vacuums help you achieve the clean you’re looking for.
Angela Lee from Hellamaid, a top-rated cleaning company in Ontario, Canada, stresses that it’s super-important to make sure cleaning products are compatible with your flooring type. “Products specifically made for your floor type can easily remove all the dirt and grime without leaving any scratches or marks,” she says. “This will help you maintain your laminate floors in good shape and can prolong the life of your flooring.”
To help you find the best ones and to let your surfaces sparkle, we tested and researched dozens of laminate floor cleaners, evaluating effectiveness, scent, and ease of use.
Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner
No harsh odors or fumes
Plant-derived cleaning agents
Safe around kids and pets
No rinsing required
Easy to use too much
Cap tends to leak
No spray applicator
If you want to get the job done quickly and effectively, Better Life’s Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner is the way to go. We love this high-quality but affordable floor cleaner that delivers a streak-free clean—tackling tough stuff like grease and grime—on all sealed floors, including laminate, tile, ceramic, and even hardwood. Despite it not having a spray applicator, there’s no dilution required, making application very easy. You simply point, squirt, and mop to reveal cleaner floors.
Despite its obvious cleaning power, this cleaner is made with an eco-friendly, plant-based formula that’s safe to use in areas highly trafficked by kids and pets. The cleaning solution doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals—just essential oils—which means the scent skews fresh and mild rather than overpoweringly “clean."
We just love Better Life floor cleaner. The scent reminds us of a day at the spa, and it delivers quick results. Within minutes of cleaning one portion of the floor, the surface was dry as we began cleaning another. It left a smooth finish without any tackiness, which was a pleasant surprise, as we know that many solutions leave the floor slightly sticky after use.
Price at time of publish: $16
Type: Liquid | Dimensions: 13 x 13 x 12.5 inches | Weight: 2 pounds | Amount: 128 fluid ounces | Scent: Citrus mint
Rejuvenate All Floors Cleaner
Included shine booster
No bucket needed
Can experience buildup with frequent use
This ready-to-use floor cleaner effectively cleans everything from laminate and hardwood to tile and marble (and more)—hence the name Rejuvenate All Floors Cleaner. No matter what you’re cleaning, you don’t have to dilute or fully rinse floors. Just apply the budget-friendly formula directly to the surface prior to wiping or mopping with a microfiber towel or mop. You’ll have clean, streak-free floors complete with a fresh lemon scent.
If you want to streamline the task (and your supplies, for that matter), this cleaner can do a cool trick. If you purchase the Rejuvenate Click n Clean Multi-Surface Spray Mop, you can attach the cleaner to spray and mop all in one go. Simply clip the upside down bottle onto the spray mop and get to work!
Price at time of publish: $7
Type: Spray | Dimensions: 2 x 4.5 x 11.5 inches | Weight: 1 pound | Amount: 32 fluid ounces | Scent: Lemon
Shark VacMop Pro Cordless Hard Floor Mop
Short battery life
Need to buy replacement pads
When it comes to sealed floors like laminate, experts say the right way to clean them is to vacuum and mop. But if you don’t have much space, it can be burdensome to stock so many cleaning supplies. We suggest leaning on the Shark VacMop to streamline things. This powerful tool is both a vacuum and spray mop, and it uses powerful suction to pull dirt and debris up and off of your floor.
First, use it to vacuum all loose debris. Then, use the spray cleaning solution from the on-board container to mop, leaving floors sparkling. It’s a seamless process, because the tool is lightweight and maneuvers well in tight areas. Bonus: It also has a light stationed at the head to help you see dark, hard-to-reach spots, like under a couch.
The VacMop is also cordless, which helps you navigate wherever you need to go. While the battery life could be better, it’s ultimately not something you’ll need to worry about too much if you’re using the mop for smaller, daily cleans. An overnight charge is all you need to complete several small tasks or one big deep clean of a townhouse, for example. The only downside? You do have to continually purchase refill pads and the cleaning solution, as the VacMop only comes with a sample amount of each, and they’re not reusable.
Price at time of publish: $100
Type: Mop and vacuum combo | Dimensions: 47.87 x 9.5 x 5.3 inches | Weight: 5 pounds | Capacity: 0.1 quarts | Power Source: Cordless electric
Swiffer WetJet Spray Mop Cleaner Starter Kit
Easy to attach and remove pads
Works on most hard floors
Different cleaning solutions available
Some parts feel flimsy
Need to apply pressure to tough stains
Includes trial version of cleaning solution
One of the biggest threats to laminate flooring is excess moisture. In place of a steam mop, try the Swiffer WetJet Mop Starter Kit, which gives you all the tools you need to effectively clean your laminate floors. The all-in-one mop and floor cleaner—one of our favorites—couldn’t be more simple to operate. You simply push a button to dispense a little bit of liquid cleaning solution and then push the slim and lightweight mop across the floor.
This Swiffer mop is typically easy to find online and on store shelves, which helped us rate it a perfect 5 stars in every testing category except portability, because the mop’s pieces feel a bit flimsy and may be prone to breakage if moved or stored incorrectly. Despite this drawback, the tool was tough on spills, dirt, and dust. The mop even eradicated stuck-on bits of food. We also used it with one of the Extra Power pads to clean the laminate floors in the bathroom. We didn’t expect the special pad to make a big difference, but it did a good job scrubbing off stains without too much effort—always a plus!
When you’re done, just toss the disposable cleaning pad in the garbage. Keep in mind: while convenient, you will have to continually purchase brand-specific replacements, much like you have to with the Shark VacMop.
Price at time of publish: $29
Type: Mop | Dimensions: 4.53 x 18.9 x 6.02 inches | Weight: 3.23 pounds | Capacity: Not applicable | Power Source: Manual
Best Heavy Duty
ZEP Commercial Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner
A little goes a long way
Works with spray mops
Not ideal for homes with kids and pets
If you have a lot of laminate flooring or live in an old home where years of dirt and grime are caked on the floors, it’s important to stock a heavy-duty cleaner like ZEP Commercial Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner. It's a commercial-grade solution that’s specifically made for highly trafficked industrial spaces, but it works exceptionally well in homes, too—as long as you don’t have kids and pets. (It’s not nearly as gentle as other options.)
But those who do use this cleaner will be impressed by how well it tackles, well, just about everything under the sun, including set-in stains. It also smells nice, thanks to a light and clean citrus scent. To use this floor cleaner, simply spray it on, mop, and prepare to be amazed by how shiny your floors are. Just note: A little goes a long way, so be conservative when you’re using it.
Price at time of publish: $19
Type: Liquid | Dimensions: 12.1 x 6 x 6 inches | Weight: 8.6 pounds | Amount: 128 fluid ounces | Scent: Citrus
Best for Pets
Nature’s Miracle Hard Floor Cleaner
Safe for kids and pets
No rinsing required
There’s no doubt pets can do a number on the floors in your house—paw prints, slobber, accidents, and more. These messes can be really tough and odor-ridden, but because you can’t use a steam mop or give laminate floors a thorough rinse, you need an ultra-tough cleaning solution to return floors to normal. Nature’s Miracle Hard Floor Cleaner is right for the job, because it’s an enzymatic cleaner that’s designed to break down organic matter that causes stains and odors without affecting the finish or appearance of your laminate floors.
This spray-and-go formula can be applied directly to your flooring, too. All you need to do is wipe everything down with a cleaning cloth or mop. There’s no need to rinse. Not only is that a huge time-saver, but it’s also better for prolonging the life of your floor.
Price at time of publish: $14
Type: Liquid spray | Dimensions: 2 x 3.75 x 10.5 inches | Weight: 1.7 pounds | Amount: 24 fluid ounces | Scent: Unscented
Nowadays, laminate flooring is available in a vast range of colors and textures. Give your DIY-friendly floors the TLC they need to stay looking great for years to come by using a gentle, effective cleaner like Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner. This option doesn't require rinsing and features a natural formula. However, if you're looking for a tough-but-gentle laminate floor cleaner for pets, consider Nature's Miracle Hard Floor Cleaner. The bio-enzymatic formula is designed to deal with dirty messes and eliminate odors without harming your floor's finish.
What to Look for in a Laminate Floor Cleaner
Type and Application
There are several types of laminate floor cleaners—from tools like mops and vacuums, to liquid cleaners that need to be applied in a more hands-on fashion to your surfaces. Some laminate floor cleaners, like Rejuvenate’s All Floors Cleaner, are for general use, which might suit your needs just fine. However, if you’re looking to address a specific issue with your floors, such as scratches, pet odors, or lackluster finish, you may want to look for a specialty product, like Nature’s Miracle Hard Floor Cleaner.
What’s more, laminate floor cleaners can be applied in a few ways. Some come in spray bottles, while others are applied with a traditional mop or put into a spray mop. The best option for you will depend on how large an area you’re cleaning and what equipment you have. If you have a larger space, a mop is often more convenient to use than a liquid cleaner that needs to be wiped on. You may also want to look at how many applications are recommended, as some products need multiple layers for optimal results.
The ideal laminate floor cleaner won't expose your surfaces to excessive moisture, but it also has ingredients that help create protection and shine and are suitable for your household. When shopping, take a moment to look at the ingredients label of a product before adding it to your cart if it’s a liquid cleaner. If you have young children or pets or are sensitive to chemicals, you might not want to use a harsh product on your floors. This might also be the case if you’re trying to stick to more green cleaning products.
Instead, you may want to look for a laminate floor cleaner that uses plant-based ingredients to get your floors looking their best. Try something like Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner—our top pick for a laminate floor cleaner and a very eco-friendly option.
When it comes to floor cleaners, scent is kind of a bonus. While it doesn’t necessarily impact efficacy, it can be nice to have that fresh, clean scent after wiping down your floors. Laminate floor cleaners can have several different scents, from a general “clean” scent to a citrus one.
If you’re sensitive to fragrances, you might want to skip any synthetic fragrances or powerful scents. Instead, you might want to opt for something powered by essential oils.
What is the best way to clean and shine a laminate floor?
To clean laminate floors, first remove surface dirt with a dust mop. We suggest dust mopping or vacuuming daily to remove surface dirt and grit that can cause scratches and wear down the finish of the floor. Be sure to look under area rugs that can trap grit that will scratch floors. Next, lightly spray the floor with your laminate floor cleaner of choice, and use a damp mop to clean away stubborn dirt, grime, and grease. Finally, buff the floor with a microfiber cloth until it shines.
Can you use a steam mop to clean laminate floors?
A high-quality steam mop uses steam to lift away dirt, grime, and scuffs, leaving floors spotless without the use of any cleaning solution. When it comes to laminate floors, you need to help steam mops far away. "High temperatures and water usage might lead to long-term water damage and other issues,” explains cleaning pro Angela Lee from Hellamaid, a top-rated cleaning company in Ontario, Canada. In fact, because laminate is a wood product, it will soften and swell if exposed to water. The fiberboard core also won't resume its original dimensions after it has dried. On laminate floors, Lee says traditional mopping is the only option, especially if you have a low-water-resistant type of laminate flooring.
How do you fix scratches on laminate floors?
Manufacturers sometimes sell scratch repair kits that allow you to perfectly match the color of your laminate flooring. There are several DIY methods for attempting to remove scratches from your laminate floors, such as buffing scratches with a clean tennis ball or lightly dampening scratches and rubbing them with a new pink eraser.
You can also try using color-matched touch-up pens, wax fillers, microwaved crayons, or putty. To maintain your laminate floors, be sure to dust, mop, or vacuum your laminate floors daily to remove surface grit and dirt that can wear down the finish and lead to future scratches. You can also add pads on the bottom of heavy furniture to prevent scuffing.
Why does my laminate floor look dull and hazy?
There are a few things that can leave laminate floors looking lackluster. For starters, avoid oil-based products and polishing wax, since they can leave streaks and even damage floors, says Lee. “It’s also important to avoid abrasive tools like steel sponges and hard-bristled mops.” Even long pet nails can damage your laminate floors. “Make sure to trim your pet’s nails, so you won’t have to worry about them scratching the floors while they roam around the house,” she adds.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was written by Brigitt Earley, a freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience. She has written extensively about cleaning products, including other types of floor cleaners, for various publications. She has personally tested a whole host of the cleaning products featured on this list. To curate the final lineup of products, she leaned on her own experience, reviewed bestseller lists, read hundreds of product reviews, and spoke to cleaning expert Angela Lee of Hellamaid, a top-rated cleaning company in Ontario, Canada. They provided guidance on what to look for in a quality laminate floor cleaner. Then, using this expert insight, Brigitt finalized the list, considering features like type, application, and scent.
Additional reporting was completed by Erica Puisis, who has been researching home cleaning products for The Spruce since 2017. She keeps an eye out for the latest and greatest formulas without harsh chemicals or odors that will make her own floors sparkle. A big fan of Better Life's Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner, our top pick, she loves the fresh scent and gentle formula for use in her own home.