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.