What’s the best cleaner for laminate floors?
Can you clean laminate floors with vinegar?
How can you make laminate flooring shiny again?
These are all questions that homeowners and renters alike ask us.
They’ve heard the rumors about how easy it is to damage laminate. Some of those rumors are based on fact.
For example, saturating a laminate floor with water can lead to expensive problems down the road.
Why Laminate and Water Don’t Mix
Laminate floors are made of engineered wood. They usually have a polyurethane finish.
The finish is designed to seal out moisture and dirt.
But if the finish is damaged, or if the tiles weren’t installed properly, water can seep in and warp the wood.
Therefore, wet-mopping to deep-clean laminate is not a good idea. Anytime you leave water standing on the surface; you increase the risk of damaging the floor.
Then, repairing a laminate floor can be costly. Depending on the type of laminate, it might be possible to replace just one tile. But in some cases, the whole room will have to be redone.
You can’t just sand down laminate and refinish it as you could with hardwood. You’ll take the design right off the wood.
Worse, there’s the problem of matching the flooring as styles change, and new batches may not exactly match the color.
Even if you have a warranty, soaking the floor with water may void it.
Why Laminate and Vinegar Don’t Mix
The trend towards homemade cleaners has encouraged many people to clean their floors with vinegar.
Don’t do it.
Yes, vinegar can kill off germs. Yes, it’s a “natural” cleaner that isn’t harmful to pets, children, or the environment like some commercial products are.
But no, vinegar is not appropriate for cleaning laminate floors.
There are two reasons why. First, if you’re using vinegar, you’re probably also using water. This combination goes right back to the problem I just discussed about soaking the floor with water.
Second, vinegar is acidic. Over time, it breaks down the finish on the surface of the floor. Then, moisture and dirt can work its way into the wood.
Also, it’s nearly impossible to refinish laminate. It usually needs to be replaced instead.
How Can You Deep Clean Laminate?
But don’t be discouraged because there are easy solutions. You can keep laminate floors in top condition with less effort than you realize.
For one, all you need is one of the best laminate floor cleaners.
These premixed products dry quickly on the floor. They don’t need additional water to dilute them – they are ready to use right out of the bottle.
They sanitize the surface and remove built-up grime. You shouldn’t even need to scrub very hard to make the magic happen.
So, put away your steel wool, vinegar, ammonia, and so forth. If you have an oil spot, tar, lipstick, or paint stains, use nail polish remover and a clean white cloth.
If you spilled wax or have gum stuck to the floor, freeze it hard with ice. Then scrape it off with an old credit card.
But What about Polishing Laminate Floors?
The finish on laminate flooring probably won’t need to be polished. It’s designed to last for a decade or two.
But there are laminate floor polishes that will restore the shine.
You won’t need to use a buffer or polisher to apply them. All they require is clean microfiber mop heads and a little effort.
What’s the Easiest Way to Keep a Laminate Floor Clean?
The most straightforward way to maintain your laminate floor is to vacuum it.
Sweeping and dust-mopping do a pretty good job, but vacuuming is better. It removes more of the dust and the debris, and it does it more quickly.
The key feature to look for in one of the best vacuums for laminate floors is the ability to turn off the beater bar.
Once you turn off the brush roller, you lower the risk of scratching the surface.
And that brings us back full circle to how to deep clean laminate floors.
Vacuum, damp-mop with a laminate floor cleaner, and protect the surface with polish if needed.
We hope these tips help you enjoy spotlessly clean, shiny floors.