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How to Clean Laminate Flooring

With the advances in laminate flooring resulting in an exceptionally hygienic, durable, and affordable alternative to hardwood, there is little surprise that it has become an increasingly floor covering. It is also easy to maintain and keep clean – especially if you’ve got the right tips and tricks. Here at Discount Flooring Depot, we’ve created a guide to how to clean it, including all you need to know about care to ensure it remains a stunning feature in your home for years to come.

Regardless of the type of laminate we would always highly recommend that you take some of the preventative measures below to maximise the life of your laminate floor:

1.   Place a high quality mat at all entrances to capture dust, stones, small pebbles, grit etc.
2.   Use protective felt pieces or soft rubber pads on chairs or other movable furniture. Regularly check if the protection is still in good condition and replace when worn.
3.    Wheels under furniture should be of the soft rubber type to help avoid damage.
4.    Cleaning heads and wheels of vacuum cleaners should also be made of soft rubber and easily swivelling, you may be better using a soft head brush instead of a vacuum.
5.    Make sure that the hard bottom side of the cleaning head does not touch and scratch the laminate floor.
6.    Use brushes if you want to clean laminate floor, preferably use a sweeper brush with soft hair.

Laminate floor Water and Steam cleaners?

Cleaning with a steam cleaner is strongly advised against. Excess water and steam can cause the joints between two laminate planks to expand permanently damage the floor. The only proper way to ensure the life of the laminate is to use a laminate cleaning spray and a microfibre mop. This will avoid water damage yet keep the product clean and hygienic.

Repairs on my laminate floor?

Minor damage (such as deeper scratches or small indentations made by an object that has fallen onto the laminate) can be repaired with a repair kit. These kits usually have a number of colours that must be mixed to give a close as possible match with the colour of the damaged laminate floor.

Removing Scuff Marks from a Laminate Floor

To take out stains it is recommended to use a vinegar-based solution. Spray this solution over the area where the scuffmark is, give the solution time to soak in, then once it has get a light steel wool pad, rub it over the area and the scuffmark should come out.

The above technique will work on the most stubborn of scuffmarks, but the majority of other scuffs should come out easier than that. A sock or soft cloth can be used, or another method that people use is to rub a tennis ball over the scuffmark.

Standard Cleaning

Regular Brushing

First things first; ensure the floor is well swept and dusted. It is scratch resistant, but any build up of hair, dirt, or any other debris can cause scratches to develop if they’re allowed to build up or are ground into the floor by shoes and feet.

Simply sweep a dry microfibre mop across the floor every few days to gather up any debris and dirt, making sure to sweep in the direction the floor was laid in order to scoop up any dust and grime within the grooves. Avoid using a standard floor brush to do this, as the stiff bristles could cause accidental damage and scratches to your floor.

Cleaning Products

When it comes cleaning laminate flooring after you’ve swept up, there are only a couple of tools and cleaning products you need to have to hand:

  • A laminate floor mop
  • Laminate floor cleaner

Whenever you need to give your floor a clean down, simply use a damp mop and some cleaner to wipe away everyday dirt and grime build-up. However, always check before using which cleaning products are suitable for your floor.

Remember: Never soak your floor or use products not appropriate for laminate. If liquid soaks through into the underlayers it can cause warping and damage. Any liquid left on the floor can also stain the surface and damage the protective layer.. Always use a damp mop that doesn’t allow water to pool.

Cleaning Spills & Stains

Spills

Spills inevitably happen day-to-day. The important thing is to deal with them immediately and not allow any liquid to sit on the floor for a prolonged period of time, in order to prevent staining and warping. Soak up any excess liquid with a dry cloth, then dampen the cloth or sponge before spot cleaning your spillage. After you’ve finished, dry the floor with a dry cloth or towel.

Stains & Marks

When it comes to tackling stains, there are a few handy tricks to try. We’ve listed some of the most common occurrences and how to safely and effectively clean them without damaging your floor.

Hard wax and chewing gum

Using a plastic knife (never a metal knife), gently scrape underneath the gum or wax. Once you’ve removed the worst of it, gently remove any residue with a warm, slightly damp cloth.

Nail varnish and shoe polish

If you’ve got a pesky polish stain or a bit of nail varnish on your laminate you can remove it with acetone nail polish remover. Add a little remover to a microfibre cloth and gently wipe until it lifts. Afterwards, wipe the solution away with a fresh, lightly damp cloth before drying.

Red wine, built-in dirt and grime

A natural, vinegar-based cleaning solution works wonders for dark stains like these that leave your floor looking dull and dirty, especially on lighter colours.  Add a quarter of a cup of vinegar in a litre spray bottle filled with hot water and a squirt of washing-up liquid. A quick spray and wipe will clean your floor and leave it gleaming – just don’t leave it for too long, as you can wear away the protective coating on top of your floor.

Shoe scuffs

Using a simple eraser does the trick with light scuff stains and heel marks. Gently rub these marks with a standard clean eraser until they're removed, then wipe the area with a slightly damp cloth.

Remember: Never scrub your floor with a wire brush or a brillo pad. You may get rid of the mess or your stain, but you’ll leave unsightly scratches behind. Wipe stains gently but firmly with a soft cloth or cleaning pad.

Maintenance

Once you know how to clean laminate flooring, all that’s left to know is how to maintain it’s appearance. We’ve got some on floor care that will ensure yours is kept always looking its best:

All types of flooring regardless of thickness or design can become scratched or worn particularly by sharp objects.


1.    Place a high quality mat at all entrances to capture dust, stones, small pebbles, grit etc.
2.   Use protective felt pieces or soft rubber pads on chairs or other movable furniture. Regularly check if the protection is still in good condition and replace when worn.
3.    Wheels under furniture should be of the soft rubber type to help avoid damage.
4.    Cleaning heads and wheels of vacuum cleaners should also be made of soft rubber and easily swivelling, you may be better using a soft head brush instead of a vacuum.
5.    Make sure that the hard bottom side of the cleaning head does not touch and scratch the floor.
6.    Use brushes if you want to clean laminate floor, preferably use a sweeper brush with soft hair.

Water and Steam cleaners?

We strongly advise against steam cleaners. Excess water and steam can cause the joints to expand, permanently damaging the floor. Equally excess water spillages and or mopping can cause the product to de-laminate, warp, bubble, and cause damage to the system holding the boards together. The best and only proper way is to use a laminate cleaning spray and a microfibre mop. This will avoid water damage yet keep the product clean and hygienic.

Repairs

Minor damage (such as deeper scratches or small indentations made by an object that has fallen) can be repaired with a repair kit. These kits usually have a number of colours that must be mixed to give a close as possible match with the colour of the damaged floor.


Tips & Tricks

  • Ensure you always lift furniture, rather than drag it, as this may cause deep gouging.
  • Consider using mats or floor protectors under furniture to prevent indents and scratches, particularly in areas such as dining rooms and kitchens where chairs are regularly pulled out.
  • Simply placing an entry mat at your front door can be effective in collecting dirt and preventing it from being carried into your home and onto your flooring.
  • If your floor is looking dull, laminate floor polish can help bring it back to its former glory.

Laminate floor care is simple once you know how. Follow our tips and tricks, remove stains and prevent damage and you can ensure your floors always remain in the best possible condition.

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