When it comes to cleaning and taking care of a laminate floor in any room, many people are confused as to how to keep their flooring looking good and feeling good – especially if laminate is a newer material to you. You might be used to something like porcelain tile or hardwood flooring, but laminate flooring is a whole other animal. Below, we will be going over the do’s and don’ts and few ideas for upkeep, as well as how to keep your laminate floors looking and feeling good.

Photo: creativehomedesigner.com

Using A Broom – Mistake

Using a regular old bristled broom is a big mistake when it comes to laminate floors. First off, it can scratch them up. Second off, they don’t really clean the dirt and particles on the floor, they just push them around and they get stuck in the seams of the wood. Instead, it’s a good idea to use a microfiber mop which can be used to dry sweep or find a vacuum cleaner. But, if you do use a vacuum cleaner make sure it’s one that allows you to raise and lower the brushes because even the bristly brushes on a vacuum can scratch the floor.

You Don’t Need Laminate Floor Cleaner

There are hundreds of cleaners available in market which are exclusively for laminate floors. Do they work? Maybe. But, there is an easier and cheaper way to clean your floors and you don’t need a $30 bottle of cleaner. Instead, you can either use regular old water or you can make your own homemade cleaner. Plus, with a homemade cleaner you know what it contains – you can make it as kid, pet or earth friendly as you want. Here are a few to consider:
Vinegar: ½ Cup Distilled White Vinegar and 1G of warm water
½ Cup DWV, 1 G of warm water and 2T of dish detergent
½ Cup DWV + 1G warm water and your favorite scent like fresh lemon juice, lavender or even mint.

Liquid Is A Big No-No For Laminate Floors

When people hear that you aren’t supposed to use liquid on laminate floors, their first question is, “well, how do I clean it then!?” Well, there’s a huge difference between using a sopping wet mop and using something damp. You won’t need a ton of water to clean your floors. If you do use a lot of water, it will seep in between the joints and seams and ruin the floor. That’s why dampness is always a better way to go and you can control the water better.

Shining Your Floor

You shouldn’t use wax on a laminate to make it shine like you would with wood. Instead, you can use a soft cloth or a microfiber cloth to buff it.

Protecting Your Floor

In the same way you shouldn’t use wax to make your floor shine, you also shouldn’t use it as a protection. Instead, it’s a good idea to start looking into mats for your flooring. Mats should be placed at every entry door and you should also start to think about trying to do a no-shoes-in-the-house rule. If you have a place like a mudroom and you have a few people that live in the house – start taking a look at shoe cabinets, storage benches, etc. These tend to have a place where you can place your shoes so they aren’t in the way of the walking space in the room, and you can stay organized, but keep things like mud, dirt and debris off of your beautiful laminate floors. Also, when you have spills and splatters clean them up immediately. Liquids, like with water, can go into your seams and joints and ruin the floor. When a liquid gets spilled on your floor, use a dry paper towel or cloth and dab, don’t push or rub – this can cause the liquid to get pushed down into the flooring and will cause issues with the wood that you’ll have to repair and can also cause more stains than if you just dabbed it up.

If you take care of your floor, you should have it for years to come. The lifespan of a laminate floor can be that of 5 to 15 years – if you don’t take care of, the lifespan is going to be exceedingly lower. If you do take care of it properly, you should easily be able to make that 15-years mark or beyond best of all this flooring does not require huge investment according to marketwatch.com.