Laminate wood flooring has become a popular choice for many homeowners. Durability, beauty and low maintenance upkeep are all selling points for laminate wood floors. However, if you have children, pets, or you just have a life, you will have to clean your laminate wood floors periodically. Here are some simple instructions and tips on how to clean your laminate wood floors so that you can continue to enjoy your home’s beauty and comfort.
An Ounce of Prevention
There are a few things that you can do to prevent stains and premature wear and tear on your laminate wood floors. Use blinds, shades, curtains or other types of window covering so that UV rays from the sun are blocked. The sun can cause discoloration and fading. Periodically rearrange your furniture and area rugs so your floor wears evenly throughout the years. Spot clean your laminate wood floor every time small stains occur. You should be sure to clean small spots immediately. Here are some things you may need:
- Soft towel
- Warm water
- Acetone based nail polish remover
- Credit card or plastic scraper
- Pencil eraser
Liquid spots should be absorbed and cleaned immediately with warm water and a soft towel. Tougher spots may include markers, oil or tar can be removed with a bit of acetone-based nail polish remover. Simply wet a corner of a soft towel with the nail polish remover, and clean the area – moving in small circles until the spot is removed. Go back over the spot with a soft, damp towel wet only with warm water. Dry with a clean soft towel. Harder stains like bubble gum or candle wax can be frozen and loosened with ice. Use a credit card or plastic ice scraper to gently remove the substance taking care not to scratch the surface of your wood laminate floor. Scuffs from shoes can easily be erased using a simple pencil eraser. Just rub the eraser in the same direction of the scuff mark. Wipe the area with a microfiber cloth when finished.
Cleaning Your Entire Wood Laminate Floor
Whether it’s spring cleaning or a visit from the family, at some time or another, you will want to clean your entire laminate wood floor. You will need a few things:
- Soft bristle broom
- Microfiber dust mop
- Vacuum cleaner with hard floor setting
- Microfiber wet mop and bucket
- Warm water
- Vinegar or ammonia
- A commercial cleaner specifically for wood laminate floor
The first step will be to sweep the entire area to get up any loose dirt and debris. Since hair, dust and dirt tend to slide easily across laminate flooring, take special care to sweep or dust mop from the corners of the room outward. You should make strokes in the same direction as the wood pieces of the laminate floor are laid so that any particles that may fall between the crevices can be removed. You may want to make these two steps – sweep first, and then dust mop if your floor is especially dirty. Again, take special care not to simply move the dirt around on the floor. Make sure all debris is swept up into the dustpan and removed from the area.
The next step will be to mop the wood laminate flooring. You have a few options at this point:
- Warm water only
- Luke warm water with vinegar (one cup vinegar to one-gallon water)
- Warm water with ammonia (one part ammonia to three parts water)
- A commercial cleaner specifically for laminate wood floors
Using the cleaner of your choice, begin mopping from the inside corner of the room, moving outward. You should mop in small circles, very gently so not to damage the protective coating of your laminate floor. After mopping, go back over the floor with warm water (if you have used a cleaner). Finally, dry the floor with a soft towel.
Be careful to avoid wax, polish, oil, soap or detergents to clean your laminate wood floor. These things may be appropriate for wood flooring but will damage laminate wood flooring. Also, beware of using a shine enhancer. These are often horrible for wood laminate floors and damage the floor quickly. Using a microfiber cloth, soft bristle broom and dust mop will be your best tools to maintain cleanliness of your laminate wood floor. Just remember, always use gentle strokes and clean up any spills as soon as they happen. These tools and tips will surely help you to clean your laminate wood floors easily and thoroughly!