How To Clean Laminate Wood Floors

how to clean laminate flooring

Laminate wood floors can cost a lot of money and looks beautiful. If you look after it properly and learn how to clean laminate floors effectively it will literally last for decades.  

Sweeping up and vacuuming or hoovering your laminate floor on a regular basis will keep the surface dust and dirt at bay but at least once a month you will need to actually clean the dirt that becomes ingrained onto the surface of your flooring.

Your flooring can easily get damaged if the water is applied to it in the wrong way so the most effective way to clean your floor is to use steam.

Some websites suggest that you should not steam clean or add any water to your floor at all because moisture may get in between the joins of the planks and start to warp or bubble the floor.

We can confirm that is absolutely not the case. If you don’t use water then how are you supposed to clean the floor? Sweeping up will clear away the dust but over time you will have to clean the floor with some kind of liquid.

Interestingly, the websites that say not to use water tend to recommend their own laminate floor cleaner that is in liquid form the same as water is so we are not sure how water is bad but a laminate floor cleaner is ok?

You don’t need a laminate floor cleaner, you just need to understand how to apply water in the right way. Cleaning your hard flooring can be split down into two key parts. Maintenance and deep cleaning.

One of the best ways to keep your flooring in good condition is avoiding as much dirt as possible in the first place.  

If you stop the dirt getting to the floor in the first place then you will spend less time hoovering and cleaning.

Simple things like having a mat at the door so that anyone that comes in can wipe their feet first goes a long way to keeping the floor cleaner for longer.

If you have carpet in your home then you are more likely to go down the road of taking your shoes off before you walk on it because the carpet is more likely to shows dirt and stains than wooden flooring is.

We have hard flooring throughout our house and we go down the road of taking our shoes off in the same way we would if we had a carpet.

There is no question that wood flooring is much more durable than carpet so it is easy to get lulled into a false sense of security and to walk all over the floor with your outdoor shoes on but if you get into the habit of taking your shoes off then you can avoid doing a deep clean on a regular basis.

If you apply preventative measures like mats and taking your shoes off then you can stick mainly to maintenance and only bother with cleaning once a month or less.

How to maintain your hard floor with a vacuum cleaner

If you have hard flooring throughout your home with no carpeted surfaces at all you probably don’t really need to vacuum your flooring at all.

I have always had hard flooring in my home whether it be real wood or laminate and I have always used a good old fashioned broom to clean up the dust and dirt that accumulates on the surface of the floor.

Some people say that hard floor can be a little cold on the eye and well as a bit cold on the feet and lacks warmth but it is, of course, a personal thing.

To me, hard flooring has an air of quality and class about it as well as having a stunning look that is not just reserved for modern homes but works well with all styles and tastes.

One of the best parts of having hardwood flooring is the durability of it. If you spill coffee or wine on the carpet then you have some serious pain to deal with.

You can do all sorts of things to try and get it out but they all involve a tremendous amount of work and even then you will probably never get rid of it all and it will seriously bug you.

Spill any food or drink product on your laminate flooring and its wiped up and sorted in less than 60 seconds. Just absorb the spillage with a piece of kitchen roll and its done.

I first got laminate flooring when I had very young children and I have never gone back to carpet. The convenience and peace of mind of never having to worry about anything staining my floors again was huge.

If you have a mixture of hard floors and carpet or maybe you have rugs as well then you will probably already have a vacuum cleaner.

It really doesn’t matter which kind of hoover you use, just make sure you don’t use the rotating brush function because it’s designed to dig into the fibres of carpets and pull out the dirt.

If you use the rotating brush to clean hard floors the only thing it will do is scratch the surface of your laminate flooring.

The other important thing is that if you decide to buy a vacuum to hoover your laminate flooring then you do not need to spend a lot of money on one with super powerful suction.

You are not trying to suck up dirt from deep within the carpet pile, only the surface of the floor so a budget option will work just fine.

Here are some low-cost cordless hoovers that will do a great job on laminate flooring:

Best cordless vacuum cleaner for laminate

Brushing the floor and sweeping or hoovering up the debris works well for a couple of weeks or maybe up to a month if you take your shoes off and don’t allow any outside dirt into your home but eventually, it will get dirty and you’ll need to give it a proper clean.

What is the best way to clean laminate flooring?

The secret is to use water but in the right way and in just the right amount with a steam cleaner.

I have Amtico laminate flooring in my house and have been using a steam cleaner to clean it for years.

Not once has it bubbled or warped or caused any damage whatsoever but you must use it correctly.

Anyone that says you should not use a steam cleaner to clean your laminate flooring has never used one to clean their own floor.

The last thing you should ever use is a manual mop and bucket. If you soak your flooring with liquid water then over time it will seep through the joints and start to cause you a problem.

Water that has been heated into dry steam and applied to your floor with a steam mop will create a very light drizzle of water across the surface of your flooring.

Before the “water” has any chance to even think about going anywhere you will wipe over the top of it with the microfibre cloth that is attached to the steam mop and it will keep your floor sparkling clean with minimum effort.

My experience over the last 4 years is that as long as you apply the steamed water and wipe over it straight away I have never encountered any issues.

I tend to clean my laminate flooring with a steam mop about twice a month and go with sweeping for the day to day dust and debris.

Here are some steam mops to consider if you want to go down that road:

Best steam mops

The key takeaway is to not make it more complicated than it needs to be.

Sweep up or vacuum twice a week and give it a quick once over with a steam mop twice and your laminate flooring will be in good shape for years to come.

Other ways to clean hardwood floors

The same rules apply to real wood floors but you do have more options. One of the best things about real wooden floors is that you also have a 3rd option which will return any wooden flooring to as new condition but it’s costly as it involves stripping off a very thin layer of the wood and then waxing and resealing the flooring.

If you have just moved into a new home with real hardwood floors and they have been neglected over time or perhaps they have been there for many years or even decades then this is an option to consider because although it’s expensive it’s not going t be anywhere near as costly as replacing the flooring and it can produce incredible results.

This an exercise that you really only need to consider once every 5 years and the more effectively you maintain your flooring on a regular basis the longer it will be before you need to go down this.

Unless you are very experienced in DIY this is not something to do yourself. Call in a professional floor fitter as the last thing you want to be doing is attacking your expensive floor and ripping layers off it if you don’t know what you are doing.

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