Laminate floors are a great option for homes because they come in many color, texture, and shine options, and are relatively easy to clean; this also makes them well-suited for homes with children and pets. Nevertheless, to get rid of muddy prints, spills, stains, and dust, you still need effective cleaning methods that will allow your floors to retain their natural sheen.
To clean high gloss laminate floors, you need to vacuum often to remove dust and debris and damp-mop monthly for a thorough clean. Also, only use cleaning products suited for laminate floors, and avoid waxing, abrasive cleaners, or steel wool, which might harm the floor’s protective layer.
High gloss laminate floors are highly durable, so they can withstand a lot of standard wear and tear; however, they require regular cleaning. In this article, we’ll provide all of the useful tips and tricks so that you can keep your laminate floors clean without ruining them.
Vacuum Your Floors Regularly
To maintain your high gloss laminate floors in tip-top condition, you need to clean them often. This entails weekly vacuuming of the floor surfaces to eliminate dust, dirt, and debris. A good vacuum cleaner will remove dirt from cracks and crevices without scratching your floors.
Ensure that you use a vacuum cleaner with a hard floor attachment. A vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment is also great for picking up hair and dirt.
Vacuuming ensures that any grit brought indoors by children, pets, or dirty shoes gets removed. Such dirt can cause scratches on your laminate floors, causing them to lose their appealing shine. Vacuuming is also more effective at picking up fine dust particles than sweeping.
Dirt residue and build-up could also result from using inappropriate cleaning materials such as lint-filled cotton cloths; such dirt could reduce the quality of your laminate. Take extra measures to keep your floors clean by having everyone leave their shoes outside and wipe off spills and stains as soon as they appear.
Consider sweeping high traffic areas of your home daily to get rid of surface dust and dirt and prevent them from sticking to the floor surface; this is especially essential if you reside in a sandy location or near a beach.
Damp-Mop Your Laminate Floors Regularly
For more thorough cleaning, damp-mop your floors once every month. However, floor surfaces that attract high foot traffic, like kitchens and bathrooms, will need cleaning more often than this. Deep cleaning might also require you to move away furniture and area rugs. Remember, always vacuum or sweep your laminate floors before you start mopping.
Shiny laminate flooring is both water and splash-resistant; thus, it’s easy to clean messy spills. Start by lightly spraying the floor with an appropriate laminate floor cleaner. Follow this by wiping your floor using a mop with disposable pads or a reusable microfiber head.
When cleaning the floor, try to mop along the wood grain to avoid leaving behind streaks. Use a dry mop to remove any extra water and a soft cloth to buff the floor; this will allow the floor to restore its sheen.
Once your floors are spotless, allow them to air dry. You don’t want to walk on the wet laminate since this could mar its shine. In case there are some dull spots, use a dry cloth to buff them, revealing the floor’s natural luster.
Avoid Using Too Much Water/Liquid When Cleaning
Make sure to wring out the mop before each use to help reduce its moisture content. Additionally, avoid using too much cleaning solution since this will oversaturate the floor. In general, you should try to avoid using string mops since they retain a lot of moisture, making them harmful to your laminate floor.
While it’s not easy for moisture to penetrate the underlying flooring since the lacquer layer forms a protective barrier, too much moisture is not advisable. This is because it can cause cracks, warps, watermarks, or joint-line separation.
That said, keep away from steam mops as they are unsafe to use on your high gloss laminate flooring. While modern-day laminate floors offer better resistance to moisture and spills, the steam could lead to warping, which might harm your flooring. At worst, this type of damage could void your warranty.
It’s best to avoid any water-based cleaning tools such as spray mops and the traditional mop-and-bucket to prevent this kind of damage and warping from happening.
It’s essential to keep your mops thoroughly clean but avoid using fabric softener when washing them. This is because fabric softeners contain chemicals that could cause your laminate floors to become dull with time.
Again, avoid using dry magnetic pads since they attract dirt. They can also lead to a build-up that will dull your flooring’s luster.
Use Appropriate Floor Cleaning Solutions
A good floor cleaner is gentle, safe, protects your floor, and does not allow your flooring to retain a film that attracts dirt quickly. Such a cleaning solution doesn’t have to be expensive either.
If you use an unsuitable cleaner, it will leave your floors looking dull and unattractive, meaning you’ll need to clean them sooner than you had planned. Worse still, it could leave behind an unsightly haze that’s almost impossible to get rid of, thus causing irreparable damage to your laminate floors.
While there are various branded cleaning solutions, it is not necessary to buy a cleaning solution that goes by the same brand name as your laminate flooring. However, some homeowners prefer retail cleaning solutions like Black Diamond because they believe these cleaners are better at static control.
Some cleaners even eliminate bacteria, fungus, and mold, so it’s advantageous to use them since they have multiple uses.
TIP: if you choose to use a commercial cleaner, get one designed for high gloss laminate floors; this is usually indicated on the packaging. Such cleaners have a low PH level, so they won’t damage the floor coating.
On the other hand, an acidic cleaner makes your floor dull and might remove the protective finish. Dull, discolored floors can also result from using cleaners containing oil, soap, bleach, or ammonia.
Ultimately, it’s advisable to try out various cleaning brands until you find the one that meets your needs. Try out the cleaner on a small test area first and proceed to use it on the rest of your floors if you like the results.
Consult Your Flooring Manufacturer
Manufacturers like Shaw laminate flooring might also recommend for the best laminate floor cleaner and shine restorer based on the laminate floors you’ve chosen for your space. This is an excellent way to avoid voiding your warranty by using inappropriate cleaning formulations or cleaning styles.
Besides, it’s safer (and cheaper) to keep your laminate looking shiny and attractive using the right cleaner than to try and fix damage caused by an unsuitable one.
Don’t forget to read and follow the cleaning instructions spelled out on your floor cleaner’s label. Each cleaning formulation is different, so you want to make sure to use your cleaner as recommended and keep your floors clean for longer. You can also get additional information from the company or brand’s website.
Avoid Using Abrasive Floor Cleaners
All laminate floors feature a clear protective layer that makes them durable. High gloss laminate floors on their part boast a tough lacquer layer that’s long-lasting and resistant to impact and to fade. Nonetheless, the shiny finish makes scuffs and scratches more evident, so it needs protection.
To avoid scratching and damaging this protective finish, you want to stay away from abrasive cleaners, steel wool, or scouring powder. Also, if you have an electric vacuum cleaner, avoid using a beater bar on your floors.
If your furniture has plastic wheels attached to them, replace them with soft rubber ones; these are not likely to damage the flooring when you move the furniture.
Avoid Polishing Your Laminate Flooring
Polishing and waxing make hardwood floors shine, but this is not recommend for your laminate floors; this is because rather than giving your floors a sheen, waxing or polishing dulls and ruins them. Besides, high gloss laminate floors are designed to have a shiny appearance, so this procedure is unnecessary.
To explain this further, waxing covers up the already glossy surface of your laminate floors. Furthermore, it encourages the build-up of dirt and grime. What results is a dull, cloudy looking laminate floor that’s far removed from its natural shiny look.
Another important point to note is that you should also check that your preferred floor cleaner does not contain wax among its ingredients. As we previously explained, it will not help keep your floors shiny but will instead leave streaky, greasy marks.
Use DIY Laminate Floor Cleaning Solutions
If you are in a pinch or you prefer using a homemade cleaning solution, you can use vinegar and water. This mixture is not only environmentally friendly, but it’s safe to use around children and pets. It will also help you restore your floors’ shiny look at an affordable cost.
As a natural cleaning agent, vinegar breaks down the waxy build-up without harming the laminate surface. You can also use it to get rid of adhesive that remains stuck to the finish after installation.
To make the cleaning solution, mix equal amounts of warm water and vinegar and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. It’s best to use warm water as it prevents streaks from forming on your floor.
Vinegar has a pungent smell, but it doesn’t last long, so you shouldn’t worry too much about it. You can also soften the scent by adding a little essential oil such as eucalyptus, lemon, or a good-smelling dish detergent to your cleaner. However, bear in mind that these additional products could make your floors look dull.
If you are looking to get rid of ink stains, shoe polish, nail polish, or crayon marks, try adding rubbing alcohol to the water and vinegar mixture. For best results, allow for the same amount of rubbing alcohol as vinegar and water.
Other suitable cleaning ingredients include:
- Baking soda
- Dishwashing liquid
- Ice (for removing candle wax or gum)
Attend to Messes Immediately
To preserve your laminate flooring, you want to attend to liquid spills and stains as soon as they occur. If you have children or pets, this might happen more often than not. Luckily, if you know what you need to do to clean the mess, you are already a step ahead in maintaining your floors.
To get rid of most household stains, you can use the vinegar and water solution. But since these stains come in many forms, here is a helpful guide on how to remove them from your laminate floor quickly:
- Scuff marks: Fresh scuff marks are easy to remove with a good scratch mark floor remover. For older ones, use a white eraser followed by a water-vinegar solution to remove them.
- Candle wax: This is easy to deal with. Wait for the wax to dry off, then use a rubber scraper to lift the wax off the floor. Next, wipe your floor with a microfiber cloth dipped in a solution of vinegar and water.
- Glue: Dry glue can be challenging to remove. Therefore, wipe up spilled glue at once, then use clean paper towels dipped in acetone to clean what remains. Finish up with the vinegar and water solution to remove any lingering traces of the glue. For stubborn glue stains, try a commercial adhesive remover.
- Coffee, wine, or juice: To avoid damaging the flooring, wipe off the spill immediately. Use clean paper towels to soak up most of the liquid, then spray a mixture of vinegar and water onto the spot. Wipe the patch with a paper towel until it’s spotless. This method also works on dry stains.
- Furniture polish: If your furniture polish finds its way to your laminate floor, clean up the slippery mess using the vinegar-water solution.
- Chewing gum: As mentioned earlier, use ice to harden the spot, then gently use an appropriate plastic scraper to remove the gum. A credit card is superb for this. Take care not to scratch the flooring surface as you do this. After removing the gum, use a damp cloth to wipe the spot clean.
- Pen marks: Kids love drawing, but most of their artwork might take place right on your laminate floors. However, this is not a big deal since you can remove permanent marker and pen stains using acetone. Pour the acetone on clean paper towels and wipe off the offending marks. For tough spots, repeat this procedure with clean paper towels until all visible marks are gone.
Hard-to-get-rid stains, consult a flooring expert for the best solution. You don’t want to ruin your flooring by making guesses and find yourself in an expensive situation.
Reduce General Wear and Tear
Many homeowners love laminate flooring because it is durable and easy to take care of. It’s also tailored to sport a clean, shiny look, which you can maintain through proper care.
However, exposure to ultraviolet light and frequent usage eventually cause laminate floors to lose their glossy sheen. Also, grit bought in by dirty shoes and feet can dull and scratch your laminate flooring.
Nonetheless, there are steps you can take to minimize the general wear and tear on your glossy laminate floors. Try out the below suggestions:
- Rotate area rugs often to ensure the floor is exposed to traffic and light evenly.
- Blot out liquid spills as soon as they occur to avoid them soaking into the floor.
- Avoid dragging furniture across your floors to prevent scrapes – lift the furniture instead.
- Prevent potential scratches on your floors by placing protective pads underneath furniture legs.
- Prevent scratches and dents by trimming your pet’s nails and not walking on your laminate floor in stiletto heels.
- Follow a regular cleaning program to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating in your floor space.
- Steer clear of cleaning formulations that contain oil and ammonia as they can damage the floor’s finish.
- Use cleaning products like microfiber mops and cleaning formulations that are specific to laminate floors
- Place floor mats on all entrances to help collect moisture, dust, mud, and dirt and prevent them from getting pulled into the house.
- Refrain from waxing your floors as this forms a dull build-up that also makes your floors rather slippery.
Watch the below video for more tips and tricks:
Finally, you may want to reapply the finish on your laminate flooring every couple of years. This will help maintain the flooring in mint condition and renew its glossy sheen. Consider investing in a touch-up kit as well for those moments when your floor gets scratches. The kit contains filler material and will help you preserve the finish by concealing any floor damage.
Wrapping Things Up
Maintaining high gloss laminate floors is not a difficult job. However, you need to use the right tools and methods to ensure you don’t damage your floor. Once you learn how to keep your floors clean, you will enjoy having beautiful laminate floors in your space for years to come. Follow the tips in this article, and your laminate floors will remain shiny and flawless for the long haul.