Homeowners usually opt to install laminate flooring because of its low cost, durability, and lower maintenance needs. Laminate costs a fraction of what you would spend on hardwood floors, and modern laminate flooring imitates hardwood surprisingly well. If you looked at your choices and chose laminate, odds are you’re happy with your choice.
However, many owners of laminate flooring encounter the same issue. After a few months, their floor begins to lose its new shine and clean appearance. Trying to fix the issue by mopping, they soon find that their floor looks even worse – sticky and streaky.
Laminate flooring and moisture do not mix! This article will give you some helpful tips to keep your laminate looking its best and free from streaks.
Are You Damaging Your Laminate Floors?
While laminate flooring is very durable, it is far from indestructible! Once damage has occurred it can be very hard to remove without replacing the floor, so prevention is the best strategy.
Laminate floor is a moisture-resistant material, but you’ve probably noticed that using water to mop leaves your floor sticky or streaky. This isn’t permanent, but you should keep fluids to an absolute minimum while cleaning. Larger amounts of water can make the plywood backing of your floors swell or warp.
Besides moisture, homeowners are most likely to damage their laminate flooring in one of two ways:
- Corrosive or acidic cleaners. Always check that whatever you use is certified for use with laminate floors! Your laminate floor supplier should be able to recommend a cleaning product, or follow our instructions below to make your own.
- Abrasive cleaning materials. Make sure that any brooms, vacuum attachments, or other cleaning implements are soft and cannot scratch your flooring. Never use implements like steel wool for tough stains.
Reasons Laminate Floors Look Dull, Streaky, Or Both
Improper cleaning and using too much water is the most common reason your laminate floor looks streaky. Using other soaps or inappropriate cleaning products will usually cause unattractive residues, streaks, or stickiness to be left behind. Dullness is usually caused by the accumulation of dust and grime on the surface of your floor.
How To Clean Laminate With A Home-Made Cleaner
If your laminate floor isn’t looking its best, don’t fear. It should be easy to bring back your floor’s shine and keep it looking great.
We’re going to share a great recipe for homemade floor cleaners. First, however, there are some basic tools you’ll need.
- Dry Mop/Microfibre Mop: These mops can be used dry for removing dust, or slightly damp with your floor cleaning solution
- Spray Bottle: Use this to hold your laminate cleaner and apply directly to the floor or onto the surface of the mop
- Microfibre Cloth: Any tough spots can be easily spot-cleaned and buffed using one of these clothes
To make a good floor cleaner at home, mix ⅓ white vinegar, ⅓ rubbing alcohol, and ⅓ distilled water. Applied lightly this mixture will dissolve dirt and grime while not leaving streaks.
Before you apply the cleaner, first dust or vacuum your floor to remove loose dust and dirt. A dust mop or dry mop can be a great way to do this. If you use a vacuum cleaner, opt for a non-abrasive attachment.
Once you’ve removed all of the obvious dirt from your floor, you can spray a small amount of your cleaner onto your mop and begin to work. Clean your floor section by section and allow it to air dry.
How To Keep Laminate Floors Shiny
The best way to keep your laminate floors shiny and looking great is to clean them regularly – around twice a month.
If you still feel that your floor isn’t quite as shiny as you would like, look into applying a laminate floor polish. Make sure you select a product designed especially for laminate flooring, and follow the instructions to apply it. A polish will make your floor look as good as new, while also helping to protect it against minor scrapes and stains.
Laminate flooring is a great choice for a hardwood-like floor that is becoming more and more popular. By following the simple tips in this guide, you’ll be able to keep your floor shiny and looking as good as new for years to come.