Cleaning Wood Laminate Floor
Cleaning Wood Laminate Floor
One of the greatest advantages of laminate floors is that they require minimum effort to clean and maintain but can look great for years. Most laminate manufacturers warranty their residential for 10 to 25 years against staining, wearing and fading. All you really need for cleaning are a vacuum cleaner, a dry mop and a damp towel for more difficult stains. Laminates are built to stand up to wear, but to keep them looking like new, here are a few recommendations.
Large pieces of sand or rock can cause visible scratching. These are usually easy to catch by having floor mats and foot brushes at outside doorway entrances. Dirt which gets past the mats and brushes can cause invisible scratching that eventually leads to dullness. So, vacuum and mop regularly to keep grit off the floor. For dry cleaning, vacuuming or sweeping is usually sufficient. Using a dust mop or polisher (FULLER D.C. Polisher) on a regular basis also helps reduce the scratch-causing crumbs. Never clean with abrasives, scouring powder or steel wool.
Damp clean laminate using a vinegar or ammonia-based solution (Labor Saver Floor Cleaner by FULLER). You can also make a homemade cleaner for your laminate flooring by pouring 1/4 cup of vinegar into a 30 to 32 ounce empty spray bottle then fill with plain water for a quick solution. Then, dampen a mop with water and mop, spraying the floor as you go along. When damp mopping, avoiding standing fluids so you do not saturate the floor. Wipe immediately! Other possible cleaning fluids that have been suggested include:
A multi-floor cleaner (FULLER Multi-Floor Cleaner)
vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water (equal parts)
1/3 white vinegar, 1/3 rubbing alcohol, 1/3 water, and 3 drops dishwashing liquid (1 quart total)
Spot Cleaning Tips
To remove oil, paint, permanent marker, tar, rubber heel marks, use a neutral cleaner on a clean light colored cloth. If needed, use alcohol or a nail polish remover containing acetone.
To remove blood, fruit juice, wine, beer, soda pop, pasta sauce, use warm water. If needed use a neutral cleaner on a light colored cloth.
To remove candle wax or chewing gum, first harden with ice and then scrape very gently. Wipe the rest with warm water on a clean light colored cloth.
If your laminate is scratched, see if you can buy a touch up stick from your manufacturer. The area you repair will look, hold up to traffic and wear just like the rest of the laminate floor. If your floor manufacturer does not offer a touch up kit, check your local home improvement or hardware store for wax sticks made for floors. If you still can’t find a fix-it-stick, pick up a large box of quality crayons from the art and craft section of your favorite discount store. Whether using a wax stick for flooring or a crayon, that matches the color of your floor, you’ll need to move the stick in the same direction as the scratch, then buff with a soft cloth.
In case of more severe damage, which is unlikely to take place in most of the homes, a trained professional can be called to replace a plank. The new plank should be almost indistinguishable from the rest, if done properly.