Laminate wood floors need to be cleaned every now and then. Keeping dust and dirt off the surface will prevent scratches from occurring over time. Unlike other floor materials though, laminate flooring can’t just be cleaned the way we are used to cleaning floors.
For instance, can you mop laminate wood floors?
The simple answer is yes if you are using a dry or damp mop, and a big NO if you plan to use a very wet mop. Laminate wood floors are sensitive to moisture. Although the surface has some resistance to moisture, the liquid can get into the cracks in between the plank joints and damage the core.
Technically you don’t want any liquid to get into contact with laminate flooring, and most suppliers if not all will void their warranty if the floor gets damaged by liquid. There are special liquid cleaners though specifically made for laminate flooring, which can be used sparingly to clean the floor.
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Never Clean Your Laminate Wood Floors with Methods that can cause Moisture Damage
Laminate flooring is resistant to water or liquid to a certain degree. Its surface has a special coating that resists liquid. If you spill some liquid over laminate flooring, you just need to wipe it dry the moment it happens and it won’t suffer any damage.
Wiping the laminate flooring with a very wet mop can do the same damage as allowing the liquid to sit on the flooring for a long time. The pushing and pulling action back and forth with the wet mop can encourage the water to get into the joints and get into contact with the floor laminate core.
Any type of cleaning method that can cause any moisture to get into the cracks and joints of laminate flooring is highly discouraged. Which is why even steam cleaners, using hot steam to clean surfaces, is also highly discouraged.
This goes without saying that cleaning solutions such as lemon or pine cleaners, soap, bleach, or ammonia-based cleaners which are diluted in a big bucket of water will not work.
Cleaning Solutions you can use Without Damaging Laminate Wood Floors
Although laminate flooring can’t be cleaned with a regular wet mop, you still can clean it with liquid solutions. There are liquid solutions specifically created for laminate flooring. They are usually sprayed on to the laminate flooring surface and then distributed and wiped off with a dry or damp mop.
Again, not all floor cleaning solutions are the same. If you use the wrong solution, your laminate flooring can develop an unwanted haze, create a dull finish, or even damage the surface. Check the product, and see if the solution is specifically safe to use for laminate flooring. The cleaning solution should not be acidic and should be mild enough as to not thin out the outer layer of the laminate floor.
It’s best to use a spray bottle to apply the cleaning solution. This helps control the amount of liquid you put on the floor. As you move along the floor surface, you give it a little spray with the solution, and then spread it with your mop.
Below are some recommended laminate floor cleaning solutions you can get from Amazon.
Use the Right mop to Clean Laminate Flooring
Not all mops will work well with laminate flooring. A string or strip mop is only best when really wet and when using a bucket filled with a liquid solution, which will not work with laminate flooring. Sponge mops can work but may be abrasive to cause scratches on the floor’s surface. Steam mops, as mentioned a while ago, can also cause moisture damage.
The best type of mop to use for laminate wood flooring, and which is recommended by most manufacturers and suppliers as well, are flat head microfiber mops. These mops are light-weight and have a microfiber pad attachment at the end for spreading any sprayed liquid cleaning solution, and to absorb excess moisture as well.
The microfiber pad is also soft and gentle enough as not to produce any scratches. The microfiber pad can be removed for washing and can be reused several times for cleaning. Replacement microfiber pads are also available if the old ones become unusable.
Below are some of the recommended flat head microfiber mops for laminate flooring in Amazon.
Tips on Cleaning and Maintaining Laminate Wood Flooring
Cleaning and maintaining laminate wood flooring is generally simple once you know what to watch out for and what to keep in mind.
Here is a summary of what I’ve already discussed above a few more tips you can add to your notes when caring for your laminate wood flooring.
- Before you do any mopping, sweep and vacuum the laminate wood flooring to remove any dust, dirt, and debris from the surface. These particles can be dragged around by a mop and can cause scratches on the surface. A regular weekly sweeping and vacuuming of the floor is recommended.
- A flathead microfiber mop is the best type to use to wipe the laminate flooring. It keeps the moisture out and is the best way to use with a spray cleaning product.
- Instead of using a bucket filled with water and cleaning solution, get a properly formulated cleaning solution for laminate floors. These can come in spray bottles or just mix the solution in a separate spray bottle if you’re buying a gallon of cleaning solution.
- It is best to mop in the direction of the grain or plank length to avoid the appearance of streaks.
- Never use oil, pine, soaps, and other non-laminate floor cleaning products. It will most likely create these unwanted haze on the surface that will be hard to get rid of.
- Clean and wash the microfiber pads frequently, so you will always have a clean microfiber mop to use. Never use fabric softeners when you wash them though as it can cause haze to appear when you wipe it onto the laminate floor surface.
- Never use waxes or polishes on your laminate flooring. Laminate floorings are created to be durable and with a specific finish. Using waxes or polishes can damage the finish.
- Avoid any abrasive objects sliding on the surface of laminate flooring. Avoid walking with pointed heels or abrasive shoe soles on the floor. Use furniture felt pads on your furniture you move around the space.
- To minimize dirt and dust from getting on the floor, add an outdoor mat, and an indoor mat where you can wipe your shoes on before stepping on the floor.