Cleaning floors is one of the most difficult chores to do around the home. You either have to scrub the floor with a mop, or get down on hands and knees with a sponge to ensure they’re really clean. Then no sooner have they dried, when the children and pets run across them! It can be a nearly impossible task keeping them clean in a busy home.
If you have laminate floors, rather than tile or hardwood, you’ll need to take some extra care when looking after them. It helps to have a good mop that can be quickly squeezed out and cleaned, and also a good bottle of laminate floor cleaner.
Why You Should Care for Your Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring has been designed to resemble real hardwood flooring. You can even purchase laminate flooring tiles to resemble tiled floors. But there is a difference between laminate and hardwood. Laminate flooring is also called a floating floor, or floating wood tiles. Unlike hardwood, it’s never glued down—it’s attached to each other through notches in the sides and ends of the wood.
While you may have to adjust the flooring from time to time as it can slip apart, there are many benefits to installing a laminate floor instead of a hardwood floor. If one laminate panel becomes damaged, you only have to replace that one board, not the entire floor. Replacing a few laminate floor boards is also quick and easily, and can often be done by the homeowner, rather than having to call in a carpenter to fix a hardwood floor that’s been nailed and glued down.
A laminate floor board is made from multiple layers. The very top is a clear protective coating, with an under layer that is a bit like a photographic print of real wood. Beneath that is a plywood type of product. Some laminates have clear top coatings with a texture that resembles real wood.
But unlike hardwood or engineered flooring that can be sanded and re-varnished over and over again, you cannot do the same with laminate flooring. Many people also make the mistake of using harsh chemicals on the laminate, which can erode away at the finish.
Most homeowners who have laminate flooring want to have it for several decades before going through the expense of replacing it. The best way to make your floor last is to look after it.
Best Ways to Clean Your Laminate Floor
The best ways to clean your laminate floor involve using cleansers that are safe for its finish. You may also have your own concerns—you pet-friendly cleaners that are also safe to use around children, and safe to use around people with allergies.
Here are a few safe and natural ways to clean your laminate floors :
- Use plain white vinegar. It’s best to not dilute it with water, as vinegar dries a lot faster, decreasing the chances of ruining your laminate floor.
- Add a bit of squeezed lemon juice to the vinegar for additional antiseptic properties, and to make your floor smell good.
- Don’t wash your laminate floors with string or twist mops drenched with water, as the water can damage the laminate flooring over time. The best kinds are the ones with the sponge attachment on the end. You can dip them in the bucket, then use the handle to squeeze out the excess water.
- Use borax mixed with water. It’s also safe to use around pets and children. Ensure you wipe off the excess water immediately if you try this method.
- Mix baking soda with water if you need to spot clean laminate floor boards for pet spills or food spills.
Top 5 Laminate Floor Cleaners to Simplify Life
If you want to simplify your life, buy one of these 5 laminate floor cleaners. You won’t have to mix anything up. Some have a spray nozzle, so you can simply spray them directly onto the floor and either wipe up with a cloth, or go over it with your sponge mop.
1. Black Diamond Wood and Laminate Floor Cleaner with PS3
- For wood, engineered, and laminate floors.
- Offers streak-free cleaning.
- Simple to use.
Black Diamond wood and laminate floor cleaner can be directly sprayed onto your flooring, and is made with a no-rinse formula so you don’t have to do a second step. It’s also hypo-allergenic, meaning it’s safe for allergic people to use. It works on all types of flooring.
How Does It Work?
You’ll be able to save time and money when using the Black Diamond cleaner. You can simply spray it directly onto your laminate floors, and immediately wipe it dry. There’s no need to use a large amount, as the fine spray nozzle applies a wide spray angle of cleaner to the floor.
This cleaner can remove spills, dirt, dust, and soil from footprints without removing the exterior coating from the laminate.
You can also pour some cleaner into an equal amount of water if you’d prefer to wash your floors the traditional way. If you do this method, ensure you immediately wipe up the excess water, as it can damage the boards.
The Black Diamond laminate cleaner was made to be safe to use around your children and pets, so you won’t have to worry about wiping it up afterwards.
The cleaner has a pleasant and very light almond-like scent that won’t linger once it has dried. It does not leave a coating or finish on the floor.
2. Bona Stone Tile and Laminate Floor Cleaner
- Made in the USA.
- Sold in an easy-to-pour bottle.
- Dries quickly, with a no-rinse formula.
The Bona Stone tile and laminate cleaner is all your need to clean every floor in your home, from stone, to vinyl, laminate, terrazo, marble, and tile. The Bono company has been around for one century.
How Does It Work?
The Bona cleaner can be poured into a bucket to be used with your mop or sponge. It won’t leave any residue on your floor, so you won’t have to worry about rinsing it afterwards. You don’t even have to add water, which is often not recommended when washing laminate floors anyway.
You can also use it for mops that can be filled with cleanser, or pour it into a spray bottle.
This cleaner will provide a slight shine for laminate flooring that has been getting a bit dull over the years.
This cleaner has been designed to be safe for the environment, so you can pour your dirty water down the drain. It’s also safe to use around your family and pets. If you’re someone who likes to mop your floor two or three times a day, this cleaner will keep your laminate looking its best for a long time.
3. Bruce Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner
- Good for ground-in dirt and soil.
- Good for mopping or spot cleaning.
- Use directly from the bottle.
The Bruce hardwood and laminate floor cleaner can be poured directly from the bottle into a bucket, mop, or spray bottle. You don’t need to mix it with anything else. It’s been specifically designed for all types of laminate flooring that have the urethane finish, and won’t erode or damage them.
How Does It Work?
There’s no need to mix with water. Use it for spot cleaning, or to clean all the floors in your home with bucket and mop. You can also use it on no-wax types of hardwood flooring.
Bruce cleaner will not leave any residue or longterm build-up on your floors, even if you use it frequently. It will provide a small amount of lustre to keep your floors looking their best, so is suitable even if you have old laminate floors that are starting to look dull.
This product can be an eye and skin irritant. If you are spot cleaning, rather than using a mop, wear gloves to clean your floor, and pour the product slowly into the bucket. If you do get some in your eyes, or on your skin, flush out with warm water for several minutes.
If you have pets or children, ensure your floors are 100% dry before letting them into the room.
4. Sheiner’s Hardwood Floor Cleaner
- Provides cleaning, polishing, and protection for all laminate floors.
- No-rinse formula.
- Has a light citrus scent to freshen the home.
Sheiner’s hardwood floor cleaner not only cleans, it also polishes, and provides a barrier protection for laminate flooring. You don’t need to rinse the floor after using it. It won’t leave any smudges or streaks.
How Does It Work?
This cleaner has been made in the USA and meets the flooring industry’s high professional standards. It can be used on many types of flooring, so if you also have hardwood floors and linoleum, you only have to purchase one type of cleaner. You can also use it on wood furniture.
While it adds a light sheen, it will never add a polish that can leave a waxy build-up, nor leave smears or film. You can use a rag, sponge, or mop for application.
This product is biodegradable and eco-friendly, so you can use it safely without worrying that it will provide a negative impact on the environment. It’s safe to use around children and pets, and is considered non-toxic.
If you have been using other cleaning products on your floor, you can safely switch to Sheiner’s hardwood floor cleaner without worries of any negative chemical interaction.
5. Weiman Laminate & Stone Floor Cleaner
- Can be used for laminate, linoleum, ceramic and grouted tile, marble, etc.
- Has a triggered spray nozzle.
- Non-toxic biodegradable formula.
Weiman laminate floor cleaner works for any brand of flooring, but can also be used on tile, marble, and any other non-porous types of floors, so you don’t have to worry about having several different types of cleaners in your cupboard. It has a trigger spray-nozzle so you can easily do spot cleaning in any moment.
How Does It Work?
You can either spray it directly onto a sponge or cloth and use it to clean the floor, or you can spray it all over a section of your kitchen floor and wait a minute or two for it to set in. Then simply wipe down with a slightly dampened sponge.
It does not leave any sort of residue on your floor. Your floors will be clean and bright. You’ll also find that it will get rid of footprints, scuff marks, and water spots. If you find you have some hard-to-remove marks, spray the cleaner on and let it soak in for five minutes, then wipe down.
Weiman laminate floor cleaner is safe for the environment, so you can safely rinse your sponges and mops in the sink, and not have to worry about the chemicals getting into the water reservoir.
This cleaner is also non-toxic, so you won’t have to worry about rinsing your floor after using it. It’s safe for pets and children to walk across, even when your floor hasn’t quite finished drying yet.
It’s often best to choose non-water-based laminate floor cleaners, as they dry faster. Since laminate has a plywood base, it can be prone to moisture, and start to break down over time. Mixing up your own laminate cleaners with vinegar, or buying store-bought laminate cleaners can actually extend the life of your floor, as you’re not washing them with water or other chemicals that can erode away at the finish.
When laminate floors haven’t been properly cared for, they can start peeling up at the edges. Unfortunately, there isn’t any way to repair this damage. While new laminate boards aren’t expensive, it’s possible that the laminate’s colour, size, and texture may no longer be available for sale.
With a bit of care and attention, when you view your laminate floors a decade from now, they’ll still look as bright and as new as they did on the day when they were first installed.