How To Clean Laminate Floors

Laminate floors needs special care to keep clean. Here's how to keep them looking their best for years to come.

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Cleaning laminate floors is quick and easy. There are just three steps to follow for spotless floors:

  1. Sweep off vacuum dust and dirt from your dry floors.
  2. Use a cleaner formulated for laminate floors to clean and disinfect. You can use a mop or hand-wipe with a cleaning cloth.
  3. Dry your floors to prevent water damage and slippery floors.

Here’s a more detailed account of how to clean laminate floors.

How to Clean Laminate Flooring Properly

For regular cleaning, just sweep floors regularly with a soft-bristle broom. You can also vacuum using a soft-brush attachment which will help you avoid scratching the flooring. The Home Depot┬árecommends using the hard floor setting on the vacuum to stop the beater brush from rotating so it won’t scratch the floor. These are the best vacuums for laminate floors.

“To clean up a small spill of liquid on laminate flooring, simply get paper towel or cloth and wipe it up. If you have a sticky or staining liquid, try the solution of one part vinegar to three parts water,” notes Best Laminate, an Ohio-based flooring business.

Deep Cleaning Laminate Flooring

When it comes to deep cleaning laminate flooring, less water is best. That’s because too much water can cause the wood to swell or bubble, fade or make seams separate, according to The Home Depot.

While you can use a cleaning product designed specifically for laminate flooring, or you can mix a teaspoon of unscented clear dish soap into a gallon of water. Use a microfiber mop and be careful not to soak the floors. Use this damp mop method every two to three months.

How to Spot Treat Stains

For tough spots such as oil, paint, markers, lipstick, ink or tar, Shaw Floors suggests using acetone/nail polish remover on a clean white cloth. After removing the stain, wipe the area with a clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining residue.

“For spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth,” according to Shaw Floors.

What About Steam Cleaning?

While a steam cleaner is great at getting grim out of some hard-flooring surfaces, it should not be used when cleaning laminate floors. “The intense heat and moisture it uses to get the job done can also wreak havoc on the adhesive used on your laminate floors,” according to The Flooring Professionals. “Once the steam and moisture break down the adhesive holding the laminate down it will begin to bubble up and may even come loose.”

In addition to avoiding steam cleaning, Shaw Floors suggests avoiding using steel wool, abrasive cleaners and strong ammoniated or chlorinated cleaners. And finally, never use any type of buffing or polishing machine on your laminate floors.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham spent years working in newsrooms, for television and newspapers, and has won several awards for her writing. In 2015, she left her full-time job as a newspaper editor to focus on freelance writing and editing. She has been a Family Handyman contributor since 2017.
In 2019, Rachel lived through a major remodeling project on her home, and she uses that experience to inform her Family Handyman content. She's also an avid gardener (both native plants and vegetables), enjoys keeping up with decor trends and spends a lot of time traveling, cooking and hanging out with her family and their giant dog.