Step 1: Remove Loose Soil
To capture grit, dust, and dirt on laminate floors, use a dry dust mop, electrostatic disposable mopping cloth, or vacuum. If vacuuming, choose one that’s suitable for hard-surface floors with the beater bar disengaged. A traditional broom is not the best choice because it can leave grit in the cracks between the laminate boards. Don’t forget to remove any throw rugs or mats and clean under them!
Step 2: Select a Cleaning Solution or Make Your Own
With dozens of commercial laminate floor cleaners in the marketplace, check the labels to ensure you’re using one suitable for laminate flooring. Do not use hardwood floor cleaner or wax on laminate floors.
To save money and still get a clean, streak-free floor, make your own laminate floor cleaner by mixing 2 quarts water with either ¼ cup distilled white vinegar or ½ cup isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Pour the solution in a spray bottle and label it for easy use.
Step 3: Damp-Mop the Floor
Lightly spray a small area of the freshly vacuumed floor with the cleaner you’ve chosen, being careful not to over-wet the floor. (If the floor doesn’t dry within a minute or so, you’re using too much.) Using a microfiber mop, work in a grid pattern starting in one corner of the room so you don’t miss any areas. If the floor is really dirty, rinse the mop head as needed and wring it until just slightly damp.
Step 4: Buff to a Shine
To create a shine once the floor is clean, buff it with a microfiber cloth in one of three ways:
- Use a clean, dry, microfiber mop
- Place a microfiber cloth underneath a mop head
- Work on your hands and knees using a microfiber cloth.
How to Remove Scuffs From Laminate Floors
Remove scuffs from shoes and furniture by buffing the area with a slightly abrasive microfiber cloth or a clean tennis ball. Alternatively, try a new art gum or pink school eraser. Dampen the scuff and erase it away.
How to Prevent a Film or Residue
The best way to prevent filmy streaks on your laminate floors is by carefully selecting your cleaner and determining the right amount of it to use:
- If using a commercial cleaner, ensure it’s specifically formulated for laminate floors.
- If using a DIY cleaner made with vinegar or rubbing alcohol, don’t worry about streaks because they have no ingredients that linger on the floor to cause streaking.
- Do not use all-purpose cleaners, dishwashing liquid, or floor waxes that promise a shine.
- Use only the slightest amount of any type of cleaning product. The floor should not remain wet for longer than two minutes.
- Buff the freshly cleaned floor with a dry microfiber mop or cloth to prevent streaks.
Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Laminate Floors
- Using a vacuum with a beater bar. Aggressive beater bars are great for carpets but can dent or scratch laminate floors.
- Using a stiff broom for sweeping. Stiff broom bristles can drag grit across the floor, scratching the surface of the laminate and leaving grit in the cracks between the boards.