We recently had gorgeous laminate installed in our living room and I just had to take the opportunity to 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 take extra care 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).
Here’s the advice he gave me…
- Regularly use a soft brush attachment on the vacuum or a swiffer 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 damp mop the surface. No special cleaner/fluid required!
Note: With any product you apply, make sure to lightly spray the surface and not saturate it. Once you’re done mopping, buff/dry with a soft towel.
My sister-in-law has this tried and true recipe that she finds will give a streak-free result. Is it better than the above? Well the vinegar does help cut the streaking and adds a little extra muscle.
Here’s The Recipe:
- 1/2 cup of vinegar
- 1 to 2 squirts of liquid dish detergent
- Bucketful of warm water (about a gallon)
As you can see, no fancy ingredients required! So cheap, so easy!
Using this homemade solution for the last 7 years hasn’t affected the gloss/shine at all on her laminate and she would notice it–she’s got a very particular eye for that sort of thing.
Quick Fix: If you do find the results are streaky, 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 on the flooring 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).
This is just a heads up that checking the guide first is a good idea before rolling up your sleeves and mixing up a homemade batch or a commercial cleaner that differs from what is recommended.
Assorted Care Tips For Laminate:
- 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 space 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. Remember to spot check first in a hidden area!
- Clackity Clack! Keep your pet’s nails neatly trimmed (especially larger dogs). Good quality flooring should hold up fine to their abuse, but when a heavy pup gets excited and starts dancing and scooting around…surface scratches could appear which will dull or damage the finish.