How to Keep Your Laminate Floors Spotless

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Laminate floors can add a touch of style to your kitchen, living room, or other indoor space. They typically have a finish that mimics the natural look of wood or stone. Besides visual appeal, laminate floors have other advantages.

For example, they are easy to clean and they are able to retain their glossy finish for a long time. Learning to take care of a laminate floor, however, requires familiarizing yourself with a few principles so that you know what to avoid.

Not following these simple rules can gradually ruin the surface covering, resulting in a blurred and dull laminate floor. Keep your laminate floor spotless with these cleaning guidelines.

Do Use a Vacuum on the Laminate Floor

The recommended way to clean laminate floors is to use a vacuum cleaner. A vacuum cleaner will fetch out all the dirt and grime from the floor, including small crevices where dirt can hide. You must take care not to scratch your laminate floor during vacuuming, however. This means you must turn off the vacuum cleaner's rotating brush to prevent the bristles of the brush from causing damage to the smooth surface of your floor.

Avoid Polishing the Floor or Waxing It

With a normal stone floor or hardwood floor, you can achieve a shiny, clean, look with regular waxing. However, when it comes to maintaining a laminate floor, waxing is a definite no. You do not want to wax the laminate floor or even polish it. This is because when you polish the laminate floor, the laminate material will slowly peel off. Over time, this leaves your laminate floor looking much less shiny, which is what you were trying to avoid in the first place.

As counter-intuitive as it seems, polishing results in your laminate floor being less glossy over time. In addition, wax tends to accumulate subtly over the surface of the laminate floor. On a natural floor this might produce a good result, but will ultimately cloud the sheen of your laminate floor.

Regularly Mop Laminate Floors

Besides vacuuming, another way to clean your laminate floors without damaging them is to mop them with a soft mop. A microfiber dust mop works well for this because of its soft material. With a bit of water, you can gently mop away dust, grime and other dirt. While you can use ample amounts of water to clean hard-sticking food or other sticky dirt, make sure you dry off the floor sufficiently afterwards to prevent cracking.

Use Special Purpose Laminate Cleaner to Avoid Discoloration

It's tempting to use detergent on your laminate floor, but this is a potential problem area. Regular detergent contains chemicals unsuitable for the long-term care of laminate floors. If your laminate floor has become stained and needs detergent, seek out, instead, special purpose laminate cleaner detergent that does not discolor the floor.

Avoid, and Promptly Clean, Liquid Spills

When liquid spills onto your laminate floor, make sure to clean it up and dry it out quickly. Under no circumstances should you let small puddles lie uncleared for multiple days. During the night time, as the shallow liquid cools, it forms small crystals that press against the material of the laminate floor. During the day, the frost warms up again, and then the cycle repeats. Over time, the tear and wear from occasional puddles will erode and crack your laminate floor. You could end up with a very costly repair job or a complete floor replacement.

How Long Can Laminate Floors Last

If you care properly for your laminate floor, it can last for anywhere from 15 to 20 years or more. Durability is a big selling point for laminate floors. The tough material they use retains its integrity and can withstand plenty of wear from humans or pets.

In order to make sure you get the maximum durability that your laminate floor is capable of, stick to the cleaning guidelines above. In addition, avoid anything that could let scratches develop in the laminate flooring. This includes dragging heavy or sharp objects across the floor, letting water sit on the surface of the flooring, or dropping weights on laminate flooring. The better you care for your floor, the longer it will continue to look spotless.