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Know your floors: How to clean laminate floors
Laminate flooring has developed hugely in popularity since its invention in 1977 due to its realistic look and feel, great value and ease of installation.
Whether you are already a laminate floor fan, or considering ripping up your current flooring in favour of replica wood, the appeal and benefits of laminate are abundant.
Before you start cleaning – know your laminate floors!
Even though laminate floors look like hardwood they cannot be refinished, so it’s worth your time and effort to keep them clean and free from damaging grit and moisture.
Put mats by exterior doors and felt pads under the feet and corners of heavy furniture and chairs to prevent scratching.
It is important to keep laminate clean; as dust, dirt, and grit particles may scratch the surface over time. It is also important to make sure water isn’t allowed to pool on laminate, so make sure you clean up spills quickly.
How to clean laminate flooring
Cleaning laminate floors is easy, you just need to ensure you are using a mop suitable for laminate flooring. Traditional string mops are likely to result in excess water being left on the floor, risking it soaking into the composite wood and resulting in warping over time.
Microfibre flat mops are ideal for cleaning laminate as they remove stubborn dirt while using the bare minimum of water, helping to protect against water damage. The rule of thumb is that floors should be able to dry naturally within 1-2 minutes being mopped.
Here’s our guide for getting the best results out of your clean:
- Sweep and vac floors before mopping – if you get particles on your wet mop, at best you’ll end up with streaks and residue left behind, at worst you’ll risk scratching the surface of your floor. Using a broom to brush away the dirt and debris is a great way of getting rid of rubbish on your floors, however pick a brush that will do a thorough job such as the DuActiva Anti-Dust Broom, then go over it with a vacuum to ensure nothing is left behind. If you’re using a vacuum, use the soft brush attachments, or if that isn’t possible, the hard floor attachments only. If you don’t, the rotating beater bar inside your vacuum could damage your floor over time. We also recommend regularly wiping down the wheels on your vacuum as they can become gritty and end up doing more damage than good.
- Pick the right floor cleaner – if you are laying new flooring, check the instructions on the box and the warranty. Some warranties are invalidated if you use artificial glossing agents, polishes or shining agents. Varnishes, polishes and waxes are unnecessary and shouldn’t be used: most laminate flooring has a pre-finished wear layer which doesn’t need further treatment. What’s more you should also avoid any laminate floor cleaners that state they are made from soap, as soap needs to be rinsed away and most modern laminate floors cannot be wet mopped.
- Use the right mop – a microfibre flat mop, such as the ActiveMax, is ideal for cleaning laminate floor as it removes tough dirt with minimal water – crucial when caring for laminate.
- Go with the grain –always wring out excess water and go with the grain with smooth, even strokes. This will help bring back the lustre of the flooring.
- For regular, between cleans, the Cleaning Robot is great for eliminating dirt and debris while you put your feet up.