Laminate floors are a popular choice for many homeowners because they are easy to care for and maintain. However, if not cleaned properly, laminate floors can become dull and start to show wear and tear. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to clean your laminate floors without leaving a film.
Why does my laminate floor leave a film?
When a film starts to appear on your laminate floor, it is usually a result of using cleaners that are too concentrated or that contain alcohol. When you walk on floors that have this type of film, you leave dry dirt and footprints behind, causing the film to become more visible and accentuate dirt marks. This can ultimately lead to the floors becoming more worn and needing to be replaced sooner than if you had taken better care of them.
How to clean laminate floors without leaving a film
The best way to clean your laminate floors is with a diluted solution of bathroom detergent. Pour the detergent into a gallon bucket and fill it with warm water. Clean the floor using the bucket as a makeshift mop. It is best to use old clothes or a rag as you do not want any fibers from your clothing being left behind on the floor. After you have cleaned the floor, drain the bucket and add three-quarters of a cup of plain white vinegar.
Mix the vinegar into the water and slowly pour the mixture over the floor. The acetic acid in the vinegar will help to rid your floor of the film-forming chemicals without compromising the floor coating. Vinegar is also a natural deodorizer, so your floors will also smell fresh after this last step.
What are the best commercial cleaner options?
If you would rather purchase a cleaner, there are a few on the market that do not leave a film behind. The Scotchgard brush-on sealer (also available in a spray bottle) is a great product to use to prevent dirt from sticking to your floor. You can also purchase cleaners that lack alcohol and concentration, thereby ensuring that you do not leave a residue behind as you clean.
There are several brands available that make great all-purpose cleaners that work well on laminate floors as well as other flooring types. We have provided links below to few of our favorite cleaning product brands that are free of harsh chemicals and solvents, and are great for use on laminate floors as well as hardwood, tile, and more.
- Better Life Natural All-Purpose Cleaner
- Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner Spray
- Mrs. Meyer’s All-Purpose Cleaner Spray
- SC Johnson Stride Neutral Floor Cleaner
How often should I clean my laminate floors?
It is recommended that you clean your laminate floors at least once a week. More frequent cleaning may be necessary if friends and family are prone to dropping food or spilling drinks at home. Alternatively, you could put down a rug or a chair cover and instruct guests to avoid walking in that area when they are carrying potential messes with them. This will prevent you from having to clean your whole floor every time someone eats a snack. You should use the bathroom detergent and vinegar solution described above. It is best to rinse the floor with plain water after using the vinegar solution so that the acid does not leave a residue behind.
Should I use a mop or a broom to clean my laminate floors?
It is best to avoid using a broom to clean your laminate floors. The brushes in the back of most brooms are likely made from nylon fibers which could get stuck in the flooring materials used in laminate floors. A mop, however, can be a safer option as long as you are using a soft, dust-free cloth to do the wiping. Make sure that the handle of the mop does not leave any marks on the floor and that the head of the mop is soft enough not to damage the floor coating and make it slippery.
Dusting and vacuuming weekly, plus spot cleaning for real messes as they arise, is the best cleaning routine for laminate floors. If you follow the tips above, you won’t need to worry about your floors looking, feeling, or being harmful to you or your family. And they will stay looking brand new for years to come.