Although laminate floors are low maintenance, they are not maintenance-free. If your laminate floors were installed on your wedding day, with the right care your laminate floor can last until your kids leave home. However, not maintaining your laminate floors can lead to surface dulling and an older appearance.
Here is a list of the most common irritants and how to overcome them to achieve a clean, next-to-new floor.
Sand and Rock
It’s a no brainer that large-grained sand and dirt can produce noticeable scratches on your laminate floor. Small-grained sand and dirt is no different. Though laminate floor owners may tend to ignore smaller particles, this pesky particles are almost as dangerous as their larger counterparts. Small grains of sand and rock can move around the house to cause microscopic scratches. After a period of time, these microscopic scratches can pile up and cause the surface to dull.
Cleaning tips: Regular vacuuming and mopping will remove sand and dirt, even if they are invisible to the naked eye.
- Vacuuming: When vacuuming, make sure that your vacuum cleaner is on the hard floor setting so it doesn’t to scratch the floor surface. For optimal cleaning, use a soft brush vacuum attachment.
- Mopping: When you are mopping, simply use a damp mop. Standing water can hurt your laminate floor, so make sure that the mop is partially wrung out. Also, make sure to use clean warm water or a special laminate cleaner and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Rugs: The presence of sand and rock can also be avoided by keeping floor mats by all exterior doors.
Although laminate floors are known to resist moisture, they are not invincible surfaces. Any moisture should be removed from your laminate floor as soon as possible to avoid warping or discoloration.
Cleaning tips: Absorbent cotton towels are usually enough to handle liquid spills on a laminate floor. However, if the spill is a liquid other than water, you can use two towels - one wet and one dry. Use the wet towel to wipe the floor and use the dry towel to dry the floor immediately. When removing moisture from the floor, remember to wipe it dry until no visible beads are present.
No floor is ever stain-proof, and that includes laminate floors. Though a simple water puddle is easy to clean up, tougher stains like shoe polish, ink, paint, grease, nail polish, and crayon are a bit more cumbersome to clean, but are possible to remove.
Cleaning tips: Tough stains can be removed by using acetone. You may also remove the stains using any manufacturer-approved cleaning product. For a less chemically harsh option, HowtoCleanStuff.net recommends using warm water and detergent for pesky stains.
Chewing Gum and Candle Wax
Both chewing gum and candle wax can stick to your laminate floors. Fortunately, with the right steps you can remove them in a jiffy.
Cleaning tips: Before anything else, you have to freeze the chewing gum or candle wax by placing a bag of ice on it. After it congeals, gently scrape it off using a non-metal scraper.
Heel and Shoe Marks
Your laminate floor may be susceptible to heel and shoe scuffs. If this is the case, fear not, there is a solution.
Cleaning tips: Rub the scuffmarks with an eraser. Mr. Clean magic erasers are great for this.
While the thought of tending to laminate floors daily may seem excessive, taking just a minute or two at the end of the day to run a dry cloth over the floor can help to keep the floors looking their best. For regular cleaning of your laminate floors, use a damp mop with a solution of two parts vinegar to three parts water.
Put felt pads on everything, underneath furniture legs, TV stands, coffee tables to help prevent scratching.
Remember: when your floors are clean, the rest of your house looks clean. Taking a few minutes each day to keep your laminate floors looking brand new!
- Avoid standing water and dirt build-up
- Lift furniture when moving pieces rather than sliding them
- Put felt pads under your furniture pieces to avoid scratching or denting
- Never leave a spill for longer than 10 minutes
Cleaning laminate floors is not difficult, and with vigilance, you can maintain a time-tested floor that everyone can enjoy.