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How to Clean Laminate Floors?

How to Clean Laminate Floors?

Laminate floors are designed to be easy to clean and maintain and homeowners often wonder how to clean laminate floors. Like anything in your home, your floors need proper care and attention to stay looking great for years to come.

If you are concerned about how to clean your floor, your best routine is to vacuuming and dust mopping daily to remove dirt and debris. For spot cleaning use a damp towel or spray with warm water and vinegar solution, followed by a paper towel to dry your floor.

Once in a while, clean your wood floors with a damp mop and a solution of warm water + vinegar. While cleaning laminate floors, do not saturate your floor with a floor cleaner or water in general. When you mop your floor, avoid standing water on its surface and change your cleaning solution as necessary to keep it clean.

How to clean laminate flooring?

What is the best product to clean laminate floors? I don’t want to use anything that leaves streaks or dulls my floor” You may find tips on the internet and a variety of different products that are recommended. There have been many discussions on the topic over the internet. Some laminate cleaners work great for some people while others have ruined their floors with the same floor cleaners.

One of the most important parts of a successful cleaning is using a good quality mop. The best option will be a mop with a removable microfiber cloth. It is a great idea to buy a couple extra microfiber cloths for everyday floor and home cleaning. They are fantastic to clean laminate floors and for daily house cleaning. You don’t have to use any cleaner, just water and the microfiber cloth. You can use a spray bottle and after spraying the  dirty area, just wipe it using  a dry microfiber cloth.

In my home, I damp mop my laminate floors every week. Unfortunately my floor shows every mark and footprint. Water with vinegar solution brings a shine back! This is the best way to clean laminate. When I started to use vinegar to clean my floors, I could not believe my eyes. Every smudge and mark disappeared and the floor was shiny new! Plus Vinegar is a really great, all natural cleaner: safe, cheap and it also disinfects- I hate using harsh chemicals to clean my home.

Recipe for best laminate flooring cleaner: 

  • For an economical and environmentally friendly floor cleaner
  • Make a solution: Mix  1 cup of white distilled vinegar with 1 gallon of water.
  • Spray sparingly or mop for a fast clean-up.
  • Vinegar with water solution- all natural and non-toxic cleaner

Mix: 1 cup of vinegar + 1 gallon of water

Your laminate floors will look like the day you put them in! For more “all natural ” Vinegar house cleaning tips visit VinegarTips.com

I am adding Lavender or Lemongrass Oil to the mixture of vinegar and water to give the house a great smell. All you have to do is add just 2 drops of any favorite scented oil while cleaning the flooring . My favorite place to buy quality and inexpensive Essential Oils  is New Directions Aromatic . You can also use Essential Oils while cleaning your entire home:)  They disinfect as well as vinegar, just add couple drops to the water and clean kitchen, bathroom, utility room…For aromatherapy beginners  try  “starter kits” with a lovely book how to use essential oils.

When you clean laminate floors  it is also important what you should avoid. Many of you may ask:  “When I do clean laminate floors it is there anything I should not use ?”

Actually there is a list of things you should never use to clean laminate flooring:

  • Do not use polishes or waxes while cleaning laminate floor
  • Do not sand, varnish
  • NEVER use Orange Glow to clean laminate floors
  • NEVER use AMONIA on laminate
  • Never clean with abrasives, scouring powder, or steel wool
  • Stem cleaner are not suitable for use with ant type of laminate flooring ( source: EPFL)

Keep in mind when you clean laminate flooring:

  • Wipe up spills immediately
  • Avoid allowing standing liquids on your floor – including your pet’s water area
  • Dirt is the primary enemy of laminate floors
  • Walking over time causes fine scratches that lead to dullness and larger particles of sand or rocks cause visible scratches
  • Put cushion or felt bottom protectors under chair and table legs to prevent possible scratching
  • Place floor mats and foot brushes at all entrances of your home to pick up dirt
  • Vacuum and dust mop regularly to keep grit from floor

Tips for spots removal:

  • Blood, pasta sauce, fruit juice, wine, beer, soda:  use warm water and vinegar cleaner on a light-colored microfiber cloth
  • Oil, paint, permanent marker, tar or rubber heel marks:use warm water and vinegar cleaner on a light-colored microfiber cloth nail polish remover as needed
  • Candle wax or chewing gum: first harden with ice, and then very gently scrape off the area. Wipe with warm water and vinegar cleaner on a light-colored microfiber cloth
    Do you have additional questions I can answer for you? Simply post your question below this article in a comments area and I will be happy to answer them all.

35 comments

  1. I have the same problem as many,dull film shows every shoe or foot print ,chair marks(covered w/pads) I have always used products for lam floors,and vin & water still dull.I have used mico mops rinsed with water after vin wash no good.Whats too do?

    • Linda, I would try to use acetone on a small area. It’s safe to use on laminate flooring and it will not damage it at all (laminate flooring is resistant to chemicals). It is possible that cleaning products created a thin layer sitting on the top of the flooring surface and this may create the “haze” you are referring to. Mopping with water and vinegar should follow. Make sure to have your windows open when using acetone.

  2. Thank you for this information. I’ve been thinking about trying this and was happy to find more info on it. For others wondering, I use a steam mop on my pergo floors about once a week, sometimes more and haven’t had any problems with it yet. Been using it for a year now.

  3. I forgot to ask if it is OK to use a steam cleaning floor machine using the vinegar/water mixture you recommend? Is the temperature of the steam cleaner too hot for laminate flooring? On the demonstrations for these steam cleaners the sellers for three companies show them cleaning laminate and wood floors. Of course, they want to sell their machines, but I would like to know if this is safe from an unbiased view point. Thanks in advance for answering my question; very much appreciated!!!

    • Hi Karen we do not recommend using a steam cleaner due to the fact that you have the possibility of moisture setting in your laminate and that can cause the laminate to swell and buckle. We recommend just using a damp microfiber cloth and warm water and vinegar. Thanks for your question I do hope this helps you. Brittany

  4. This is the first site I’ve looked at that I have been able to print. THANK YOU a million times over for that and all the useful hints. We just had our Pergo flooring installed and are thrilled with the outcome. The installers recommended that we go on the Internet to obtain instructions for cleaning. I appreciated your suggestion for the use of essential oils; LOVE that idea and plan to put that to use immediately. Thank you many times over for your information!!

    • Hi Karen you are so welcome I’m happy you found our site helpful that makes us very happy. Thank you for your appreciation we are always happy to help. Brittany

  5. Please help.. what can I use to clean laminated wood floors. and they look so nice but when they’re dried they look terrible what can I use to stop the streaks

    • Ginger, we recommend to use a water and vinegar mixture or laminate flooring cleaner such as “Alloc Free and Clean” to clean your laminate floors. Do not saturate the floor with too much water. Too much water can possibly cause water damage.. Fred

  6. Hi I have an Alloc commercial flooring that was installed in my hair salon. I am having serious difficulties cleaning it. I have used the free and clear on a dry mop and it still shows every streak. There is no shine to this floor whatsoever and every footprint is shown. Obviously this is a high traffic place and no one ever told me that it would look horrible 100% of the time. Even if it is clean the minute someone steps on it you see everything. I had a Pergo before this that had a high gloss and all I had to do was wipe it with a damp cloth and even at that it barely showed any footprints.This was an insurance replacement and this is the floor that they recommended .Not happy at all. I spend more time trying to clean my floor than cutting hair!

    Chrystine

  7. I am very disappointed with my pergo laminate. It is only a month old. It shows all paw prints, foot prints and
    it does not have a nice shine. I keep it clean with a dust mop. So its not caused by dirt. What can I do?

    • Pat, it depends on what kind of finish you have on your laminate. High gloss or non textured laminate floors will tend to show more foot and paw prints on average than textured or hand-scraped laminates. The only thing that you can do is keep cleaning the floor as usual and maybe put down an area rug or floor mat for the high traffic areas.

  8. I’ve read all your comments and wonder – why if you recommend vinegar / water to clean pergo floors, why ,when I purchased my pergo flooring was told only to use pergo cleaner to clean it with, which I promptly purchased.

    • Colette, Vinegar and Water is a good household mixture that is very effective at cleaning laminate flooring. Pergo recommended that you only use their Pergo brand flooring cleaner because they wanted you to buy their product. It will not void your warranty if you use vinegar/water or another brand of flooring cleaner to clean your floor.

  9. I’m a professional house keeper and have found over the years that on laminent flooring (not nessecarily pergo) in rooms with abundant natural light no vinegar mixture or anyother cleaner that I’ve found remove the natural oils from barefeet!!!! I can get them off my hand scrubbing the entire area, but in a high traffic area…that is time consuming and exhausting….is there anyother product that will remove the natual oils from these floors safely?

    • Mary-Lynn, we sell Alloc Free and Clean Laminate flooring cleaner on our website http://www.bestlaminate.net. It is probably the best laminate flooring cleaner on the market. Also I use a swiffer on my laminate floor and it seems to work pretty well at removing everything from footprints to dirt and dust.

  10. What if your pergo floor has developed a film over the years? Our kitchen floor is white granite (pergo select). over 8 years it has significantly dulled with a film over it. With a lot of elbow grease, i can make a dent in it spot by spot, but don’t have the time or energy to scrub really hard for the time it would take to clean it thoroughly. sad ot be in this condition, but that’s where I am. Suggestions?

    • Rich, I’m not sure what kind of “film” has developed on you flooring but if it does clean off you can try to use acetone on a rag to try to clean off the film. Try the acetone in an inconspicuous are just incase the acetone has adverse effects on your flooring. If the acetone doesnt work then nothing will probably work. If you cannot clean the film off I would give Pergo customer service a call and tell them to send out a warranty claims inspector. Good Luck. Fred

  11. Can the vinegar/water solution be used to clean Alloc laminate floors?
    Thank you in advance for your answer

    • Hi Jan~ You can most definately use the vinegar/water solution on the Alloc floors! It can actually be used on any kind of laminate floors. If you want to get rid of the harsh smell of vinegar, you can add a few drops of essential oils as well! http://100pureessentialoils.com/. Enjoy your floor!

  12. Patricia Hilbrink

    Can Swiffer be used on Pergo floors?

    • Patricia, thank you for your question.

      You can use dry or swiffer on lamnate flooring, however we noticed that wet swiffer has way too much water on it to safely clean laminate flooring. We also noticed that wet swiffer is leaving smages and strikes on the floor surface; so if you are looking for the best cleaning expierience opt for a good quality microfiber mop and water+ vinegar solution. Make sure to use damp mop- do not saturate your flooring with water. Laminate flooring does not like water:)

  13. Hello,
    I would like to know if it is safe to use a steam mop, such as the Shark Steam Mop, on wood laminate flooring. I would only be using the Steam Mop about once a month, but would not want to damage the floor.
    I appreciate any information you can give me on using steam to clean this type flooring.
    Thank you,
    Diana Megginson

    • Decision is yours- you can do it on your risk. Remember all laminate flooring warranties does not cover
      a water damage. Check your warranty if using this kind of equipment is allowed /forbiden by manufacturer and be sure your floor is installed properly- and there is no gapping so stem (water vapors) are not trapped init. The steam penetrates between the joints and expands the wood and may be the reason of “buckiling”.

  14. How can I get orange glow wax off of my pergo floors? Please help!!!!

    • Orange Glow is very hard to remove. The only solution that works is aceton. One of our customers tested and it worked, however you have to be very careful -keep windows open and fix small sections at the time.

    • This is an old question I noticed, but I have personally done this so I wanted to respond for anyone who might also have this problem. This stuff is very hard to remove and should be taken off the shelves. My husband and I bought what was our dream home with gorgeous cherry wood floors. Unbeknownst to us the previous owners had been using OrangeGlo to clean their floors for who knows how long. Not long after we moved in I noticed that the floors looked awful. They were dull and had footprints all over them. Everytime I tried to mop, they still seemed dirty and smudgy. It seemed to get worse every time. So I spent hours and hours researching wood floors and cleaners and how to remove wax buildup. I tried some different things and finally settled on this: I soaked a rags in a solution of warm water and vinegar. I placed the rags on the floor in sections and allowed them to sit for 10-15 minutes. (Don’t worry if you have as much OrangeGlo on your floor as I did, the water will not damage it. Also keep in mind that I did wring the excess water out. ) Then I removed the rags one at a time. The area under the rag should have a whitish haze. At that point you are ready for removal. I found that a plastic putty knife (one with a smooth edge so it doesn’t scratch the floor) was the right tool. Then scrape away. The residue will practically scrape up in sheets. The areas that had the least amount of residue were the hardest to remove. This is a hellatious task especially when you have 2000ish square feet of it as I did. I know it’s not what you want to hear when faced with it, but it can be done. It takes time and perseverance (months in my case). But every little section you can finish is a win. Keep in mind though that it looks terrible in the meantime. The wood underneath it much more beautiful, but not nearly as shiny. Good luck and never use that OrangeGlo crap again!!!

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