How To Clean & Care For My Laminates?

There is nothing better than the fresh look and feel of new laminate flooring and the great thing too is that it can look just like solid wood! However, it installs with ease, costs less most of the time and has a protective layer on top which can allow your laminates to last decades.

I love the luxurious feel of Laminates and that you can relax on them comfortably without the hardness of other floor coverings, it’s not carpet, don’t get me wrong, but it does have a certain spring to it.

Laminates are also convenient when you have little ones, especially if they are still finding their feet and may fall. The laminate flooring will be a softer landing at least!

The last thing you want to do is ruin or scratch the beautiful look and finish of your laminate floors, so it is important to find out from your supplier or fitter how to get the best wear out of your flooring so that it will last for years to come.

The first thing that comes to mind though is how to clean my new surface and maintain it long term?

This is especially important if you have pets and they are inside for a good portion of the day, running around with their paws scratching up the floors and heaven forbid the puppy isn’t house trained yet! Stressless though, below you will find some hints and tips on maintaining and cleaning your laminate flooring.

curious ginger cat sitting on wood floor

Read Your Flooring Labels

Your Laminate floors should come with an instruction pamphlet for your convenience on how to clean them and which products to use.  A follow-up email should be sent to you by your supplier on care and maintenance of the laminates too.  Products may be found at most DIY or hardware stores or recommend by your supplier. Take a little time to read the manual, as this will aid you in keeping a beautiful floor for years to come.

Scratches and Spills

Take extra care to minimize stains to your laminate flooring by wiping spills as soon as possible, using a soft white terry cloth. The soft cloth will help avoid scratches too. Rinse the cloth and wipe it over again to get rid of any residue. The less time liquid sits on the floor the better.  

Not wearing shoes with sharp/pointy heels will also contribute to floor care, otherwise, leave your shoes at the door. Making a habit of leaving your shoes at the door will also minimize the dirt that may track into the house.  Wearing socks or soft slip-on shoes will also be beneficial, besides it’s more comfortable anyway.

It is always best to keep your pet’s nails trimmed; this will avoid any scratches to the floors from over-excited scrambling.

To avoid scratches from furniture on the flooring, do not drag items across the floor. Make sure you have a rug underneath the furniture for ease of moving, otherwise, you can cut out small circles of felt to place under the legs of your couches or tables.

Cleaning Products For Flooring

  • Always use a soft bristle broom to sweep your flooring.
  • If you are going to use a mop, use a Microfiber Mop, (bought from most DIY or Hardware stores) or a terry cloth.  
  • There is no need to mop every day.
  • A thorough clean with a mop is advisable only once a month, if you are sweeping the floor.
  • High traffic areas, like kitchens and passageways to rooms may need to be mopped more often.
  • Laminate floor cleaning kits are available at most DIY or hardware stores too.
  • It is advisable to use these specially manufactured products on your laminates if you want to maintain them.  
  • A vacuum cleaner can also be used but make sure your attachment is not rotating as this could scratch the laminate.
  • Do not use wax, polishes, or oil-based cleaning products on your Laminate floor, as these can leave streaks or residue.
  • When applying cleaner do not put it directly onto the floor, rather apply it to the mop or microfiber cloth.
  • Mop heads should be washed regularly but without using fabric softener as these contain chemicals that dull the flooring over time.

Another option for cleaning your floor can be conveniently made by using one teaspoon of dish soap (unscented) to about 4 Litres of hot water. Just remember, your mop must NOT be wet.

Squeeze most of the water out until it is just damp, so that water does not run between the laminate joints. This can cause damage or swell over time.

Dealing with floor Stains

Rubbing-alcohol or Acetone (nail polish remover) can be used to remove stains such as crayon, candle wax, paint, pen ink, marker pen nail polish.

Do not leave these types of marks/stains, try and remove them as soon as possible.  

Apply a small amount to a clean white cloth or paper towel and wipe, wiping again if necessary. If the candle wax is hard, first remove it by using a plastic card, lifting gently, then use the acetone to remove excess.  

Regular dirt that comes in from shoes etc can be less of a problem if you only wear socks when walking on your floor or there is an entry mat at the door to wipe excess dirt from shoes.

Steam is also NOT a good way of cleaning your laminates as steam equates to water, which is not recommended as the joints between the planks will become swollen, peel or bubble and this will damage the flooring and you will not be covered in the warranty.

Final Thoughts | What Do We Think Of Laminates Floors?

My experience with laminate flooring has been an all-around good one.

Laminates come in a variety of colours and styles to suit any area. Whether it is laid in bedrooms with a simple rug for decoration, or in the living room where most of your family time is spent, or in bedrooms and passageways, it brings warmth and colour to these spaces.

Laminates are even used in many instances for exercise and play therapy.  My children, now adults, spent many a rainy or hot day playing with their toys comfortably on the Laminate floor, and for an extra bit of fun, they could not resist slipping and sliding in their socks!

9/10 floor covering.