Laminate flooring in your home? Looking a little dirty? With a little dedication on your part, you can clean your laminate flooring, and keep it in the same tiptop shiny shape that it was when it was first installed. Here’s how.
What is laminate flooring?
Back to the material fundamentals of your flooring and what laminate actually is. Laminate flooring has the appearance of real wood, but it’s not. Laminate flooring is chosen over wood for cost savings, availability, durability, because it is easier to install and easier to maintain than its wood counterparts, or all of the above.
Laminate flooring is a multi-layer synthetic product that is fused together. The inner layer of a laminate tile usually consists of fibreboard and melamine resin material.
Basic care for laminate flooring
The top surface of a laminate floor is hard-wearing, and that’s because each tile is covered with a thick coat of resin. As hard-wearing as that may sound, that doesn’t mean your floor will clean itself. The good news is you don’t need to do all that much to keep your floor gleaming.
In an ideal world, you’d sweep your laminate floor on a daily basis. In the real world, if you manage to sweep once a week, that’s great. You ideally want to clear your laminate flooring of excess dirt and gritty debris before it builds up. Your laminate flooring is tough, and is much more scratch-resistant than real wood. Having said that, if you don’t sweep your dirty floor, your feet can manoeuvre little bits of grit into your tiles, which can leave small marks.
Keep on top of your sweeping with a soft, dry-dust mop as opposed to a broom. A floor broom with tough bristles is not a good idea for your laminate flooring because it could damage your tiles. Here’s another tip: sweep in the direction the laminate tiles were laid. Sweep in this way, and you will avoid dirt getting into the narrow crevices in-between each tile.
When cleaning your laminate flooring, don’t fear your vacuum. Yes you can sweep your smooth floor to clear excess debris and fill your dustpan with dirt, but your dry mop won’t pick up pet fur or annoying bits of fluff. Get your vacuum out, and run it over your laminate floor. To avoid any potential scrapes, though, do utilise your vacuum’s brush thistles, and use nozzle accessories to get into corners.
To bring back your floor’s gloss and clean the accumulated grime, get your mop and water bucket out. You won’t need to wet mop your floors as frequently as you do sweep, but when you do, you’ll notice the difference. Mopping your floors once a month should be sufficient; otherwise, when you see that your floor is getting grubby. Everyone loves a freshly mopped floor.
You should clean your laminate flooring with hot water, but not boiling. Run your tap until you reach a little hotter than lukewarm, and you’re set. Do you need to use a cleaning detergent on your laminate flooring? Not particularly, hot water is just fine. If you do want to use a form of cleaning assistance, choose a mild, and preferably natural, liquid. Only consider cleaning your floors with very mild soap or baby shampoo added to your hot water. If you want to go completely natural, diluted white vinegar, a little baking soda or lemon juice added to your hot water will work a treat.
When you do mop your laminate flooring, you don’t want to drown it. If you’re not careful here, this is when you could damage your laminate flooring. Excess water can stain your floor or even warp your laminate tiles if you let water sit on the surface for too long. Remember to clean your floor with a moistened, but not soaking, mop and you’ll be OK. Soak your mop in your hot water and ring out before cleaning.
No need to reach for your mop to clean up every small spill or dirt marks on your laminate flooring, a simple spot clean will do. Clean your floor surface with a non-abrasive cloth such as microfibre. It goes without saying that if you use a cloth with abrasive granules you could end up scratching the surface of your laminate tiles. Clean up spills and dirt marks using a damp cloth with hot water—not too hot though, you don’t want to scald your hands! You might need to go over the one spot a few times with your cloth to get clean.
Got overexcited with your wine and some of it ended up floor-bound? Don’t fret, absorb it with your sponge or cloth and soak the liquid up from your laminate flooring. As long as you don’t leave a wine puddle on your floor, you don’t need to worry, laminate flooring is coated in tough resin to protect it in such instances. Same goes for soft drinks; soak up your spill and don’t leave a soda puddle on your floor.
Stubborn stains are a different story. Clean your kids’ crayon masterpieces from your laminate flooring by rubbing with a little mineral spirits (such as turpentine) and a damp cloth. It may seem obvious, but nail polish can be removed with nail polish remover, and ink with ink remover. Heel marks or scuffs? Try a pencil eraser. With any stubborn stain, make sure you clean the area with warm water after you’ve shifted the grime.
There you have it, basic tips to care for your laminate flooring. Remember, if all else fails and you’ve completely wrecked your floor, laminate planks can be replaced. Phew.
Contact Bennetts Carpets today
At Bennetts Carpets, we can offer you the latest in modern or classic laminate flooring designs. As a locally owned business, we service anywhere in Brisbane, Logan or Redlands. Contact us today on 1300 653 314 or complete the online contact form and we will get in touch with you to discuss our flooring range.