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How to Clean Laminate Floors for Best Results

Reviewed by Professional Cleaner Jennifer L. Betts
house interior with laminate floors

To clean laminate floors, you can use several methods depending on the type of dirt you need to clean. Some methods prevent streaking, and sometimes you may need a specific manufacturer's cleaning agent.

Best Way to Clean Laminate Floors

Daily maintenance will prolong the life of your floors and keep them looking new. You don't ever want to neglect cleaning your laminate floors since the accumulation of dust, crumbs, dirt, pet hair, and other debris can damage your floors.

Easiest Way to Clean Laminate Floors

The easiest way to clean a laminate floor that will also keep it looking like new is to sweep, dust, and vacuum it regularly. Depending on your lifestyle, you may need to care for your floors on a daily basis. This type of maintenance may be necessary if you have children and/or household pets.

Sweep and Dust Mop Laminate Floors

You will need a soft bristle broom to sweep your laminate floors. You may prefer using a dry dust mop like a microfiber dust mop or an industrial wide cotton dust mop.

How to Wash a Dry Dust Mop

If you decide to use a dry dust mop, you'll need to wash it occasionally. Be sure you don't use any type of fabric softener or dryer fabric softener sheets. The chemical residue from fabric softeners could damage the finish on your floors through a buildup that could end up dulling the laminate finish.

Vacuum Laminate Floors

Use a soft bristle attachment to a vacuum cleaner for cleaning corners, baseboards, and underneath furniture. Never use a beater bar feature on a vacuum cleaner to vacuum laminate floors. A beater bar can catch dirt that the rotating brush bristles and beat it into the flooring, causing scratches. Use only attachments intended for hardwood floors and other hard floor surfaces.

housewife vacuuming laminate floor

Avoid Wet Mop Cleaning

You never want to use a traditional wet mop technique on a laminate floor. Laminate floor manufacturers warn against using a wet mop for cleaning. Manufacturers describe how using water and other kinds of DIY cleaning solutions can seep into the flooring and cause the plank layers laminated together to separate. This can cause slight imperfections or create a buckling in the flooring as the layers separate. However, you can use a damp mop to clean your laminate floors.

Damp Mop Cleaning

Use a few drops of dishwashing soap liquid with warm water to make a cleaning solution. Put the water and soap in a dedicated spray bottle for quick cleanups. If you wish to damp mop the entire floor space, then use a clean mop head. This practice prevents creating streaks on the floor finish.

  1. You can get the mop head damp but not wet.
  2. Use clean water for a damp mop to rinse the floors.
  3. Use a dry cloth to remove any water.

How Do You Keep Laminate Floors Clean and Shiny?

You shouldn't use a wax, such as Mop & Glo, on your laminate floor. If you need to restore the shine to your floor, choose one that will restore a dull floor and give it a shiny finish. A product like Rejuvenate floor restorer can be used on laminate floors.

Use Laminate Floor Cleaning Products

Laminate floor manufacturers provide information on the best way to clean their products. Most manufacturers sell cleaning and restorative products that have been designed just for their floors. Be aware; failing to follow the manufacturer's guidelines for cleaning and caring for your laminate floors will make your warranty null and void.

How to Deep Clean Laminate Floors

Lamanator Plus and other laminate floor products, like Zep are designed specifically for laminate deep cleaning. These products provide you with safe solutions and will remove scuff marks and stains. Most laminate cleaners are ready to use. All you have to do is spray and then use a dry microfiber mop to clean.

How to Clean Laminate Floors Without Streaking

Streaking in a laminate floor is caused by using improper cleaning products. These products will leave an oil residue that attracts dirt. The best solution is to use a streak-free laminate floor cleaner. However, some people use dishwashing soap highly diluted with warm water.

Supplies Needed

  • 2-3 drops mild dishwashing liquid soap
  • 1 gallon warm water
  • Dedicated spray bottle
  • 3 dry soft microfiber cloths

Directions

  1. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle to tackle streaks.
  2. Use a soft damp cloth and gently wash the streaked area.
  3. Follow up with a warm damp cloth to remove the soapy mixture.
  4. Use a dry soft cloth to buff the area dry.

Products to Avoid Using on Laminate Floors

Clearly, you should never any harsh cleaning products such as bleach, ammonia, Lysol, or Pine-Sol. These products can ruin the finish on your laminate floor and break down the multiple layers.

Don't Use Vinegar and Other Acidic Solutions

Vinegar is a highly acidic liquid. Using it or other acidic liquids, such as lemon juice, even in a water solution, can do irreparable damage to the floor finish in addition to the liquid possibly causing the layers to separate.

don't use vinegar

Don't Use a Steam Cleaner

A steam cleaner can cause the same kind of damage to your floor as a wet mop can. The steam is forced from the cleaner and can penetrate through the floor layers. The flooring will then swell and create buckling and uneven places in your floor.

Ways to Clean Laminate Floors

There are several ways you can clean a laminate floor. The very best way is to use the products and steps the floor manufacturer recommends.

How to Clean Laminate Floors for Best Results