Laminate flooring is relatively easy to care for because of its surface wear layer. This is an invisible coat that rests over the decorative face of the material, protecting it from stains, damage, and liquid penetration. Because of this most messes can just be wiped up, and regular maintenance consists of caring for that protective surface.
Regular Laminate Floor Cleaning Process
You should start by sweeping or vacuuming the floor to eradicate any dirt or loose debris. This is something that should be done regularly to maintain the wear layer.
Next, apply an appropriate laminate floor cleaner to a small section of the floor directly. Just a few drops should be enough. If you don’t have a specific laminate cleansing agent, then dish soap will suffice.
Dip your mop into a bucket of clean water, and dampen it slightly. You then want to thoroughly wring out the mop so that it is just slightly damp. Too much water can cause damage to the laminate flooring you are trying to clean.
Run the mop over the place where you dropped the cleaning agent, making sure to move with the grain and lay of the material. It will be important to use a good quality, thick microfiber mop with a removable pad.
Once the first section of the floor is complete, rinse the mop in fresh, clean water, and then wring it out until it is only slightly damp again. Then drop a little more cleanser on another section of the floor and continue the process.
As you work, make sure that you do not end up with standing water on the floor at any time. If pools of liquid form, wipe them up immediately with a clean cloth or towel.
Cleaning Agents to Avoid
- Oil Soap
- Ammonia-Based Cleaners
- Wood Floor Cleansers (They leave a streaky residue)
Natural Laminate Floor Cleaning Alternative
For a laminate floor cleaning agent made entirely from natural ingredients that are probably already lying around the house, mix equal parts white vinegar, water, and rubbing alcohol. Vinegar is a powerful natural cleanser, and rubbing alcohol helps the solution to evaporate faster.
Laminate Flooring Stain Removal
- Grease Stains: Place an ice pack over the grease until it hardens. Then use a plastic spoon or a butter knife to scrape the dried grease away. Once the bulk is gone a window cleaner can be sprayed on it to remove the rest of the stain.
- Crayon Marks: Take a soft, clean cloth, and dampen it with turpentine, or odorless mineral spirits. Then rub the cloth into the stain to remove the crayon colors. If necessary, use a second or third clean cloth to get up excess rather than smearing it with the original.
- Blood Stains: To remove blood from a laminate floor, spray the stain with window cleaner and then wipe it vigorously with a clean cotton cloth.
- Ink Spills: A warm damp rag and a small amount of dish detergent should be enough to remove most ink stains from a laminate floor. If that fails, then a commercial ink remover may be employed for stronger results.
- Gum: Use a plastic knife or fork to remove as much of the gum from the laminate floor as possible. An ice pack can be used to solidify the material to make it easier to remove. Then the rest can be wiped away using a cloth dipped in mineral spirits.
Regular Care Instructions for Laminate Floors
The wear layer of a laminate floor does most of the maintenance work, protecting the material from stains and blemishes. Your main job will be caring for that layer by regularly sweeping or vacuuming the floor to keep dirt and small debris off of its surface. Otherwise, these tiny particles can act like grits wearing down the protective coat and exposing the vulnerable materials below.
Other precautions include keeping mats or throw rugs at the entrances of the room to prevent dirt from being tracked in. Installing pads underneath furniture legs can also help to prevent scratches to the surface of the floor. If dents or damages do occur, you can try touching them up using laminate repair kits.