10 Tips for Keeping Your Laminate Floors Beautiful
This blog was contributed by Jennifer Gervens. Jennifer is the author and owner of SweetTMakesThree.com.
Laminate flooring has become incredibly popular because it’s beautiful, durable, and fairly inexpensive. Like all floors, however, laminate requires a bit of special cleaning to keep it looking new and shiny. Laminate floors are not hard to keep clean, as long as you know the right way to do it.
Tip #1: Keep your shoes off. This isn’t so much of a cleaning hack, as just a common sense rule. Put mats on both sides of every door, so that your outside shoes never come in contact with your laminate floor. Even if the bottom of your shoes look pretty clean to you, they will still leave behind dirt and sand.
Instead of floor mats, you could also consider using athletic flooring to limit contact between your shoes and floor mats. Venture Products foam flooring features Microban technology for an added layer of cleanliness protection and can be purchased in tiles for flexibility in any space.
Tip #2: Clean up spills immediately. Use a dry, soft cloth to quickly wipe up liquid spills, or a slightly damp rag for non-liquids. Dry the spot thoroughly when you’re done, because any moisture, even water, that sits on the floor for an extended period can damage it by wearing down the protective layer.
Tip #3: Clean regularly. Laminate floors are just like anything else – the more you keep on top of the cleaning, the easier it will be to keep them looking nice. Do a general clean at least once a week, and then a heavier and more thorough clean once a month. For your light cleaning, use either a vacuum with a soft brush attachment or a dusting mop. Make sure you never use a standard broom, because a lot of these have stiff, straw – like bristles that can damage the flooring over time. Also be sure to clean in the direction of the floorboards; this allows you to pick up bits of debris that have fallen in between the grooves of the pieces.
Quickie sponge mops featuring Microban protection works great as a cleaning tool for light, regular cleaning of laminate floors, and as a bonus, features the added benefit of remaining cleaner and fresher for longer.
Tip #4: Get rid of dirt before heavy cleaning. Before you get out your bucket and mop for the monthly wash, go over the floor first lightly to pick up most of the debris. Scrubbing bits of dirt, sand, or anything else into the wood will only end up scratching and damaging it.
Tip #5: Use laminate floor cleaner. You can buy this at home improvement stores, and most large grocery chains. Follow the directions on the bottle, and then clean using a damp mop or cloth. Again, make sure that no moisture is left to sit on the flooring at any time.
Tip #6: Use hot water. Hot water is considered to be one of the best ways to clean laminate flooring, because it doesn’t leave streaks. Fill a bucket up, plunge in your mop then wring it out until it’s just damp. Then thoroughly mop your floor and dry immediately with a clean cloth.
Tip #7: Use vinegar. A vinegar and water solution can be a great way to clean laminate floors. Mix together one cup vinegar and one gallon water, then mop and dry as you would using the laminate floor cleaner or hot water.
Tip #8: Remove stains. Laminate flooring can be stained with all kinds of things, but a list of the most commonly reported ones are blood, gum, soda, wine, crayon and ink marks, scuffs, and polish. Blood can be gotten out with window cleaner, and gum with a plastic knife. The soda, wine, crayon and ink marks can all be removed with a damp cloth. The heel marks and scuffs can simply be erased off with melamine foam (aka a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.) You can use a bit of nail polish remover for the polish, but always be careful not to use too much since this can actually remove the finishing on the floor along with the stain. Spot test first!
Tip #9: Fill in scratches. If you have big scratches or gouges that catch your eye whenever you look at the floor, then find a crayon that has an identical or very similar color. Fill in the scratch carefully with the crayon, making sure not to color too much on the floor around it. Then turn a blow dryer on high, heat the area, and buff it with a soft cloth.
Tip #10: Things to avoid. First, as you’ve probably already figured out, never let water, cleaner, or any kind of moisture sit on the floor. Secondly, don’t use any soap based detergents, abrasive cleaners, wax, polish, or steel wool. These all are too rough, and will end up damaging your floors.
With the proper care, your laminate flooring can look beautiful all the time! However, if your flooring is beyond help and you are ready to replace it, consider a new flooring product that is beautiful, durable and features proactive protection against the growth of mold and mildew. Torlys Smart Floors provides a wide selection of luxury vinyl flooring options with Microban technology incorporated into the cork backing, for a warmer, quieter and cleaner experience.