Hardwood Floors & flooring

How to Clean Laminate Wood Floors

by Anita Alvarez

cleaning laminate wood floors

An investment in laminate wood floors is a cause for celebration - this shiny, clean surface sparkles cleaner than most other types of wood at your disposal. But to keep it that way, you need to learn how to clean laminate wood floors to preserve its finish and keep the floor looking brilliant. There are a number of strategies you can use to keep laminate wood floors in great condition.

Free of Debris

Leave dust, dirt and other particles on your floor too long, and you'll risk scratching or denting it. Instead, use a broom with soft bristles or a dry mop, and regularly sweep up dirt and debris even if you don't see it right away. If you don't have either of these tools, proceed with caution before using a hard-bristled broom or a vacuum that's not designed for hard-surface flooring. Laminate is fairly resistant to scratches, but sweeping with impunity could still damage the floor over time.

Hot Cleans a Lot

Because laminate is covered with its own protective resin, according to the Wood Floor Covering Association (WFCA), it doesn't use waxes and polishes that can warp the look of your floor after enough traffic. So one of the best ways to clean laminate wood floor involves a bucket of hot water and a mop. Hot water itself is sanitizing, and rids the floor of grime and dirt the same way you'd clean a dinner plate quickly under a hot faucet. Hot water is also safe to use on any wood flooring as long as the mop is only damp. It doesn't leave streaks like cleaners with harsh chemicals can.

To clean your floor, fill a clean bucket with hot water, and then dip your mop into the bucket. Squeeze the mop out and then use large, sweeping motions, running the mop over your floor systematically. After a few passes, insert the mop back into the bucket to rinse out the dirt, then repeat.

If the water in the bucket becomes sufficiently dingy, you're making progress but it needs to be emptied. Drain the bucket, fill it with clean hot water and continue cleaning the floor. Be sure not to leave excess water on the floor; in fact, consider drying the floor with a separate mop or cloth as you go.

Cleaning Can Be Naturally Safe

Another great response for how to clean laminate wood floors involves a bucket, hot water, a mop, Murphy® Oil Soap or a similar natural cleaner that's safe to use on laminate. Using the mop strategy outlined above, follow the manufacturer's directions for diluting the water with your soap.

Systematically go over your flooring with the mop, being sure not to leave any water behind. Regularly dump out the dirty water for a new solution and add more soap. Laminate doesn't need aggressive ingredients to remove typical stains, so a mixture of natural cleaner and water is the perfect middle ground for everyday maintenance.

With these best practices for cleaning laminate wood, you can ensure that your investment pays off, and looks like new even years after installation.

This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.