Laminate floors require special care as they are very different from strong and durable hardwood floors. The best way to clean laminate floors is using gentle cleaning agents and simple techniques. It’s very pricey to change laminate floors so you must always be careful during cleaning and maintenance.
1. Clean laminate floors depending on manufacturer’s instructions
Laminate flooring comes with a special manufacturer’s instructions. These instructions ensure that you clean and maintain your floors well and avoid damage. Some manufacturers offer some kind of warranty for their products so it’s not surprising that there are special instructions that come with them.
Read the instructions well as some manufacturers have different ones for their particular product. Also, follow the recommended cleaning products to use as some common cleaning items are not made for laminate flooring.
2. Mop your laminate floors every month
To clean floors daily, use a soft dry mop cloth to sweep away dirt. You may use a broom with soft bristles to sweep dirt. You may vacuum your floors but be careful not to leave marks from the vacuum wheels.
You can use a wet mop to remove deep-seated dirt at least every month or every two months. As you use a wet mop, follow up with a dry one as soon as you can. But to take care of small spills, use a soft dry cloth. Immediately dab it on the spill or dirt to pick it up.
Aside from finishing with a dry cloth, use a fan to dry the floors ASAP. A large space should be tackled in small areas so that it’s easier to clean and dry.
3. Don’t leave stains behind
Don’t let stains remain on your laminate floor. Stains can seep on the laminate grains and can eventually discolor wood. So as soon as a spill happens, have a clean cloth ready to wipe it up. It’s also best to avoid spills and stains completely by being mindful of your surroundings.
Don’t use spill and stain removers, DIY home remedies to remove stains and other products that are not designed for laminate floors.
4. Never use a lot of water
Laminate floors should never be exposed to water as it can damage the surface and cause moisture to become trapped between the laminate and floor structure. So, when cleaning dirt, spills, and drips, use a damp cloth with a small amount of soap. Rinse with another damp cloth and follow up immediately with a dry one.
If you must use water, do so sparingly. Too much water can also lead to swelling of your floors and bubbling of the laminates. Don’t use hot or warm water to clean your floors too. Avoid steam cleaning as this is also one way to introduce moisture to the delicate laminate floors.
5. Use only cleaning products for laminate floors
Always read the instructions for the cleaning products you are using. Use only those intended for laminate flooring. To use laminate floor cleaners, use only a small amount on your microfiber clothing or mop. Never place the product on the floor.
While hardwood floors require intense cleaning and waxing, you can’t do this on laminate floors. Waxing or polishes can cause streaks and damaging residue. Oil-based products can also affect the protective sealant of laminate floors so avoid them.
How do you know a cleaning product is for laminate floors? Check the manufacturer’s recommendations at the back. If you’re still unsure, contact the laminate floor manufacturer to find out what products are best for cleaning your floors.
6. Protect your laminate floors
The best way to clean laminate floors starts with prevention. Remember the following:
- Avoid wearing stilettos
Laminate floors come with a special protective coating on the surface which can be damaged by pointed objects like your favorite pair of high heels. Other things that can damage the surface include canes, umbrella ends, and walking sticks. Always be mindful about the things that can damage your expensive floors and you won’t have to replace them, ever.
- Trim your pet’s nails
Aside from your stilettos, your laminate floors are also prone to scratches. If you have pets like dogs at home, make them wear dog socks or shoes. You must also trim your pet’s nails short to keep them from damaging your floors.
- Use mats and rugs
Place a welcome mat on the front door so your guests will get the message. Place area rugs in vulnerable areas like under the coffee table, near the sink or kitchen stove, in front of the bathroom door, etc. Use non-slippery rugs, not just pure cotton ones. Always have your mats and rugs washed clean to avoid treading dirt, dust, and sand all over your laminate floors.
- Hold parties with caution
Sometimes party guests can’t help become rowdy causing spills, messes, and a lot of chaos. As much as possible, hold parties outdoors especially when you expect a lot of guests. For a small get-together or a gathering of family and close friends, you can hold your party indoors but with extreme caution.
- Use furniture pads
Don’t just push furniture around if you want to re-arrange them. Use furniture pads to avoid scratches and marks on your laminate floors. Furniture pads come in different shapes and sizes so you will surely find the right one that’s best for your needs.
If you must re-arrange furniture, lift light items and transfer them to the side of the room. Never push or pull them to budge.
Laminate floors need extra care. The best way to clean laminate floors is to use as very little water as possible as water damages laminates. Also, be cautious of your surroundings and avoid activities that can destroy your precious laminate flooring. When well-cared for, expect your laminate floors to remain in perfect shape for many years to come.
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