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Tips For Cleaning Laminate Floors

Posted By Tipnut On August 28, 2009 @ 6:21 am In DIY,General | 106 Comments

We recently had gorgeous laminate installed in our living room and I just had to take the opportunity and ask the installer what he recommended for washing it. Although it’s much easier to care for than real wood flooring and I’ve had it for years in other parts of the house, I want to maintain the high gloss that this one has (it would be a shame for it to dull over time or be plagued with streaks from washing).

BucketHere’s the advice he gave me…


  • Regularly use a soft brush attachment on the vacuum or use a swiffer [1] style tool for picking up dirt and hair. Sweep or vacuum in the direction that the pieces are laid so that you pick up all the crud between the grooves instead of trapping it (especially if it’s mock-hardwood style that has the grooves between each “plank”).
  • Mix a couple quick squirts of gentle liquid dish detergent in a pail of warm water. Wring out the mop well so there won’t be any water dripping then use to damp mop the surface. No special cleaner/fluid required!

My sister-in-law has a tried and true recipe that she finds will give a streak-free result:

  • 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • 1 to 2 squirts of liquid dish detergent
  • Bucketful of warm water (about a gallon)

Using this homemade remedy for the last 7 years hasn’t affected the gloss/shine at all and she would notice it–she’s got very particular eye for that sort of thing. If there are streaks, increase the vinegar amount gradually until the solution is just right.

Did You Know: Many manufacturers require that only their brand of cleaners are used or the warranty is voided. On one hand I understand it (For example: if bleach was used to hose things down–should you really be eligible for all new product under the warranty?), but on the other hand–total ripoff considering there are suitable solutions that are cheap and effective (you’re locked into buying their product for the lifetime of the warranty–which can be up to 30 or 50 years for some brands). Just a heads up that checking the warranty guide first is a good idea before rolling up your sleeves and trying a homemade batch.


  • Put felt pads on everything, underneath furniture legs, tv stands, coffee tables to help prevent scratching.
  • Place an area rug in the common seating area (by the couch in front of the tv for example). Helps prevent damage in this high-traffic area as well as a layer of protection for accidental spills from beverages.
  • Lift furniture when moving pieces rather than sliding them.
  • Remove tough stains like shoe polish, spilled nail polish, tar, etc., with an acetone based nail polish remover.

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[1] swiffer: http://tipnut.com/make-your-own-swiffer-cloths/

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