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How to Clean Laminate Wood Floors

These dos and don'ts for how to clean laminate wood floors will ensure you don't ruin them!

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How do you clean laminate floors? Read the Instructions First

Different manufacturers may have specific instructions for how to clean their laminate wood floors. If you have access to their recommendations, be sure to read and follow them. If you're just considering getting laminate floors, here's your guide to DIY installation.

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sweepSyda Productions/Shutterstock

Sweep, Dust or Vacuum Dirt

Dirt is the biggest culprit for dull laminate floors. To keep laminate wood floors looking great, you must commit to sweeping, dusting or vacuuming. If you are vacuuming, make sure you use the soft flooring attachment. If you're in the market for a new vacuum, check out this guide before you make a decision.

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Avoid Wet Mopping

It's not a good idea to wet-mop wood laminate floors. Excessive water can seep into the seams and cause damage like swelling, warping and delamination. When learning how to clean laminate floors, you should also be mindful to avoid liquid cleaning products, soap and oil-soap detergent. And, if you have a major spill, be sure to wipe it up quickly.

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Use a Damp Cloth for Spills

While mopping is a no-no, all you really need to clean up spills is a slightly damp microfiber cloth. Just be sure you use the cloth to blot spills and spots as soon as they happen to avoid water damage to your laminate floors. When it comes to installing laminate, be sure you pick up some samples to find the right match for your home.

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Acetonesezer66/Shutterstock

Get Rid of Tough Spots With Acetone

If you have tough spots you need to clean on your laminate floors, such as oil, paint, markers, ink or lipstick, you can apply acetone, like nail polish remover, on a clean white cloth. Wipe the spot with the damp cloth, but be sure not to let the liquid sit. Here are more DIY laminate floor repair tips.

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flooring cleanerShaw Floors/Amazon

Use a Laminate Cleaner Spray

Several brands offer sprays specifically designed for cleaning laminate, if you 're looking for more than just vacuuming and a damp cloth. The R2X Hard surface cleaner from Shaw Floors, for instance, can be sprayed onto the floor lightly and wiped away with a soft cloth. A good tip for laminate floor installation is mixing and matching colors and adding a few stone tiles as accents.

Photo: Courtesy of Shaw Floors/Amazon

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Avoid Fabric Softeners

If you wash, dry and reuse your mop heads, avoid using any fabric softeners in those loads of laundry. Fabric softeners contain chemicals that can cause a dulling build-up on your floors. Laminate flooring is an inexpensive option for your home. Here are several others.

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dust grabberAllerTech

Don't Use Magnetic-Style Cleaning Pads

Because too much moisture is bad for cleaning your laminate floors, you may consider the use of dry magnetic-type pads that pick up dirt and soil. But these should be avoided, since they can cause buildup over time, resulting in dullness.

Photo: Courtesy of AllerTech

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BuffingOreck/Amazon

Avoid Buffing or Polishing Machines

Any type of buffing or polishing machine should be avoided. Although buffer/polishers are not as aggressive as floor sanders, they're still not recommended for laminate floors. Furthermore, using cleaning agents that contain wax, oil or polish will only dull your laminate floors.

If you have hard wood floors, however, you can refinish them in a day.

Photo: Courtesy of Oreck/Amazon

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waxElectrodry Carpet Cleaning

Stay Away from Steel Wool for Hardened Dirt

If you have a spot on your laminate wood flooring that has hardened, such as candle wax or chewing gum, avoid using steel wool. Instead, harden the spot thoroughly with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper such as an old credit card. Follow up by wiping clean with a damp cloth.

Here are our to 12 cleaning tips for the really tough stuff.

Photo: Courtesy of Electrodry Carpet Cleaning