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Laminate flooring can be kind of a pain to clean, compared to other flooring like linoleum. The small grooves on the surface tend to become a haven for dirt and debris over time.
Cleaning laminate might seem straightforward but most people don’t know how to clean it the right way. This is crucial because laminate contains wood figments, fibres and has a protective coating that is very prone to damage.
It’s also prone to streaks which don’t look the greatest. The good news is that laminate can be cleaned easily using a mixture of vinegar and water.
In this article we’ll go over what you must know when cleaning laminate with vinegar and water to avoid leaving streaks and potential damage.
What You Need to Start
Despite what a lot of articles will say, you only really need a few things to clean laminate flooring without leaving streaks. Here’s a few different options:
1. Multi-floor or Hard-floor Vacuum
You can use a multi-floor vacuum for your laminate, just like you would use for vacuuming carpet, as long as the rotating brush can be turned off to stop damage to the wear layer.
The main difference between hard-floor and the multi-floor models is that they are lighter. Just be careful not to drag them if they have wheels.
2. Microfiber Mop
Why microfiber instead of string? You’ll want a microfiber mop instead of a string mop because the microfibers are able to penetrate easier into the grooves of the flooring and remove dirt. They also don’t leave streaks like conventional mops are known to do.
They require less water which is very important because laminate warps if exposed to too much water.
3. Natural Vinegar cleaning solution
While some use a cleaner recommended by your flooring manufacturer, we prefer to go the natural route whenever possible to avoid chemical exposure to pets/children.
Homemade Laminate Floor Vinegar Recipe That Doesn’t Leave Streaks
Here’s an awesome recipe for a homemade laminate floor cleaner that won’t leave streaks on high gloss laminate flooring.
- 1 part water with 1 part white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of liquid dish detergent
- Mix it all in a spray bottle and you’re ready!
Why use vinegar you might ask? Natural cleaning solutions like vinegar don’t leave residue like popular commercial cleaners do. Less residue means less streaking. The only downside to this mixture is that the scent of vinegar can stick around for a little while but this can be minimized by using it sparingly.
Whatever you do, make sure not to use a cleaner that contains ammonia. Ammonia is acidic and will eat away at the floor over time.
Step by Step Instructions:
- First you need to clean up any major dust and debris on the floor using either a vacuum on the wood floor setting or simply by sweeping with a broom or steam mop. Make sure to go with the grain of the floor in order to get dirt from deep within the grooves.
- Next, lightly dampen the microfiber mop with warm water and spray the vinegar cleaning solution onto the floor.
- Start mopping.
- Rinse the mop pad as necessary and repeat the process.
- Once finished wash the microfiber pad in the washing machine on the sanitary wash setting.
Things Not to Do When Cleaning Laminate Floors
- When mopping the floor don’t soak the mop completely, just dampen it (water is the enemy of laminate and using too much will cause it to warp over time).
- Quickly blot large spills with a dry cloth or paper towel. Leaving them too long can warp the laminate.
- Never wax or polish laminate as it is not real wood.
- Don’t use any chemicals that advertise cleaning and shining on laminate.
- Never use bleach or harsh chemicals on laminate.
- Never use rough pads like steel wool because they will scratch the surface of the laminate.
How to Remove Tough Stains From Laminate
Chewing Gum: first use a plastic knife to pry the gum loose without scratching the floor. Once you’ve removed it, rub the remaining residue with a damp cloth.
Ink: First wipe it with a damp cloth. If it’s a stubborn stain then you can add a bit of detergent. If that doesn’t do the job then you can use an ink cleaner. Just make sure to read the directions to make sure that it’s suitable for laminate.
Blood: Spray it with window cleaner and then wipe clean with a damp cloth.
Grease: Harden the grease first by putting an ice pack on top of it. Then use a plastic knife to scrape it off. Wipe away the remaining residue using window cleaner and a damp cloth.
Nail polish: It might seem obvious but the answer here is nail polish remover. Then wipe it with a warm cloth to finish.
Scuffs: Use a pencil eraser to “erase” the scuff or heel mark from the flooring.
Red wine: wipe it off with a damp cloth and the vinegar cleaning solution that we went over above.
Crayon: Use a cloth that’s damp with mineral spirits to wipe it off.
Some people think that laminate is a pain to clean but it doesn’t have to be! By following the tips in this article you’ll not only find cleaning your laminate easier, but also prevent damaging it in the process.