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How to clean laminate flooring

Posted: 22nd August 2019

How to clean laminate flooring image

So you’ve made the step to change your floor to a clean and crisp laminate flooring option. However, buying and fitting your laminate floor is not the end of the road unfortunately. Caring for and maintaining your floor should be a priority in order to get the most out of your product.

That’s why we’ve prepared these tips on how to clean laminate flooring in your home. There are plenty of things you can do to ensure your floor stays in top condition, looking as new as the day you bought it. Laminate flooring is generally easy to keep, so long as it’s not subjected to too much abuse.

Post-Installation Cleaning for laminate flooring

After initially installing your high gloss laminate flooring and before use, it is important to remove any resulting wood shavings, dust, and dirt with a broom or vacuum cleaner using the nozzle for hard surfaces.

How to clean laminate flooring?

When cleaning laminate flooring there are a number of things that should be taken into consideration. Generally your laminate floors will not be waterproof so any spills should be cleaned up quickly, with little more than a damp cloth. Using a wet mop can soak the material, and can lead to moisture reacting with the material, which may lead it to warp and go out of shape.

As well as that, it’s important to be careful when brushing the flooring, as it can suffer abrasion from the use of harsh material. Brushing with a soft-bristled broom should help keep dirt off without damaging the surface.

You should take care not to pull or drag heavy furniture across your laminate floor, as this is likely to leave a score or scratch, taking away the shiny finish of your floor.

Sweep and Vacuum

Dirt and debris can leave scratches that will dull down the surface of your high gloss laminate floor. For this reason we would recommend sweeping, vacuuming and mopping the floor at least once a week. 

Most dirt is brought into the home from outside and then walked into the floor, but dirt carried in on footwear can also cause lasting damage to floor coverings. For example, gravel acts like sandpaper and causes unsightly scratches. Using a damp cloth you can remove dust and loose dirt like sand and gravel quickly and easily from the floor, reducing the risk of surface scratches.

Larger pieces of dirt, rocks and stones etc should be lifted with care so as not to add any further scoring or scratching. After the dust and debris is removed, use a cloth-strip mop to mop the floor. There is no need to introduce a raft of special cleaning products as these could cause the floor’s colour to go off.

We would also advise mopping your high gloss laminate floor weekly or as needed with a cotton mop that is only slightly dampened with warm water and a little laminate floor cleaner.

How to maintain a high gloss on your laminate flooring

While fairly resistant to damage, high gloss laminate flooring carries a small risk of it losing its shine over time. However, maintaining the shine and beauty of your laminate floors is easy and can be done with minimal effort. We’ve put together some recommendations on how to maintain your high gloss laminate flooring so that it doesn’t lose its shine:

A thorough cleaning is then recommended to get rid of any dirt residues which might linger. This is done by wiping down the surface with a well-wrung damp cloth. This is known as a “moist wipe down”, and you should add a little laminate cleaner or wood cleaner to the water to do this.

If cleaning and mopping do not seem to do the trick, chances are the floor is coated with residue. Residue can build up over time from repeated cleaning of your laminate floor and is a little tougher to combat. To remove residue without causing further damage, add a touch of vinegar to a cloth and wipe a small part of the floor until it removes the residue, and then repeat from there.

Avoid Cleaning Chemicals

Chemical cleaners will leave behind a residue that can dull the shine of a high gloss laminate floor. To avoid creating this residue, use a wet towel or a cloth-stripped mop to clean the flooring with added laminate floor cleaner if required.

Don't Use Waxes, Polishes or Abrasive Materials

Again, stay away from waxes, polishes and anything that may scratch the surface of your high gloss laminate flooring, such as abrasive cleaning pads, sponges and cloths, scourers, sanding or varnishing.

A tougher clean

If something just a little more than your average clean is what you need, using a well-wrung microfibre mop or floor cloth with specialist cleaning fluid can provide you with a more intense clean, but it’s important to ensure the mop is not really wet.

It is not recommended that floors with V grooves or bevelled edges are ever cleaned with a damp cloth or mop as the grooves associate with these types of floors are likely to accumulate moisture as well as more dirt.

From time to time harder to clean substances like candle wax or chewing gum can stick to your laminate floor laminate. In that case use ice to harden it and then scrape off with a plastic scraper before a quick wipe with a cloth.

Can you use a steam mop on laminate floors?

Cleaning and maintaining your new laminate flooring should be a priority for your home, as in most areas of your house it is very common to accumulate dirt, dust and stains of all descriptions. A popular method of cleaning floors nowadays is the steam mop – but can you use a steam mop on laminate floors?

When researching the topic, you may find a few different answers to the question, as it is not exactly a clear-cut situation. However, we will try to bring a bit of clarity so you can have peace of mind when cleaning your floor.

Most laminate flooring manufacturers recommend that you DO NOT use a steam mop on your laminate floor, as the excess moisture released by the steam mop can cause changing conditions for the floor and ultimately warp or ruin the floorboards.

As there is natural material in laminate floors it can be more susceptible to heat and moisture changes.

As a result, most laminate flooring manufacturers will state within their warranty that any damage caused by steam mops will not be covered.

So does that mean that you should not use a steam mop on your laminate floor?

Well, yes. You should carefully read the manufacturers’ instructions after purchasing your new flooring to see if such a clause is included in the warranty. Depending on what type of laminate flooring you have, using the steam mop may not cause any visible damage. But over time you may begin to notice a difference in the look of the floor.

If you are certain that you want to continue to use your steam mop on your floors despite your warranty potentially being void, there are steps you can take which will lessen any potential damage or wear to your floor. For example, do not let the mop lie on one area for too long, keeping a constant movement and thoroughly drying the area you have mopped afterwards can reduce the effects of excess moisture.

For more information on buying or maintaining laminate floors, visit our blog or education centre.


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