If you've just installed a brand new laminate floor, you'll no doubt want to keep those boards looking good for as long as possible. Unfortunately, that means you'll have to clean your flooring every once in a while, but worry not - we're here to make it as easy as possible for you!
By following these basic guidelines, you can virtually guarantee that your laminate flooring will stay beautiful for years to come. Laminate flooring is an exceptional choice for almost any interior due to its excellent quality and affordable price, in addition to the fact that it's really easy to look after - here's what you have to do:
1. General Cleaning - The easiest way to keep your laminate floor clean is with everyday household cleaning products such as a dry dust mop, a dustpan and brush, and a vacuum cleaner with soft brush attachment. Hoover, sweep and mop your floor on a regular basis to prevent scratches and a buildup of excess hair, dirt and debris. Don't use a string or sponge mop, as these tend to hold a lot of water (which is definitely not a good thing for your laminate flooring - excess moisture can damage the floor's protective layer and cause the boards to warp over time). Anything you spill on your laminate floor should be cleaned up immediately using a cloth or sponge.
2. Hot Water Wash - Every few months, or after an area of noticeable mud/dirt has been spotted, a thorough wet wash should be performed. Do this with hot water, as this is generally less likely to leave streaks or harm the aforementioned protective coating. Once again, we advise avoiding string/sponge mops; instead, use a damp microfiber mop. Clean from the centre of the floor, working your way out in order to avoid walking on areas that you've already cleaned. Dry with a clean microfiber cloth or leave to air dry if the floor isn't too wet.
3. Cleaning Solutions - Mixing your own household cleaning solution is another great way to clean your laminate floor when necessary. One commonly-used solution combines vinegar, water and washing up liquid. In a squirt bottle, mix 1 part vinegar with 3 parts water and a squirt of washing up liquid. Shake well to create a cleaning solution that can be used to tackle stains that have made your laminate floor look dull or faded. Be sure to wipe up the solution immediately after use with a damp, non-abrasive cloth or mop, as failing to do so may cause the vinegar to wear away the protective coating. Again, dry the floor using a microfiber cloth or air-dry if possible.
4. Problem Stains - You may find it difficult to clean tough stains such as blood, ink, wine and shoe marks with any of the above methods. If these stains are causing you problems, you may be able to get them up using household products such as window cleaner, nail polish remover, or even a pencil eraser. These products can harm your laminate floor if used incorrectly, so follow these simple tips to remove those more stubborn stains:
- Blood - Spray a small amount of window cleaner on the stain and wipe away immediately using a mildly damp non-abrasive microfiber cloth.
- Chewing Gum - Gum can be removed with a plastic knife (do not use a metal knife for this purpose, as this may scratch the floor). Any residue left from the gum should be wiped with a mildly damp non-abrasive microfiber cloth.
- Fizzy Drinks, Wine & Ink - These stains can be easily removed using a mildly damp non-abrasive microfiber cloth. If the stain persists, apply mineral spirits to the cloth and be sure to re-clean the affected area.
- Nail / Shoe Polish - Applying a small amount of acetone nail polish remover to a mildly damp non-abrasive microfiber cloth should be sufficient to remove these stains.
- Heel Marks & Scuffs - Use a pencil eraser to rub over the marks until they disappear.
- Grease - Freezing grease with an ice pack or a package of frozen vegetables will make the grease harden. Then, simply scrape away the grease with a plastic knife and wipe the area with a mildly damp non-abrasive microfiber cloth.
5. Deep Cleaning - Occasionally, your laminate floor may require a deep clean. To do this effectively, we advise using a steam mop, but take caution as repeated use may cause the laminate flooring to buckle.
How to Maintain Your Laminate Flooring
Now that we have looked at how to clean your laminate floor, it is important to know how to maintain it in order to reduce the amount of cleaning needed and to prolong your floor's good looks. Here are some quick maintenance tips:
- Place felt pads under all table and chair legs.
- Place pads/mats under pets' bowls and babies' high chairs.
- Remove shoes before walking on the floor (and keep a door mat at each entrance to catch any dirt/debris).
- Trim pets' nails to avoid damage to the laminate floor's protective layering.
Cleaning and maintaining your laminate flooring as described in this guide should keep your boards in tip-top shape for a long time to come.
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