When I bought a new home, I made sure to install laminated floors. There were plenty of reasons that they were better than hardwood or marble. They don’t fade in the sunlight and are resistant to scratching. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how hard they would be to clean.
Keeping Your Laminated Floor Clean Needs to be a Top Priority
Laminated flooring isn’t cheap. On average, it costs about $8 per square foot. The good news is that the average laminated floor lasts about 20 years. However, the longevity of your floor depends on how well it is maintained. If you clean it regularly, it should last 30 years. If you let too much dirt accumulate or spread the dirt around too much, it may not even last a decade.
Fortunately, it becomes a lot easier after you learn how to clean them properly. Here are some tips to make housekeeping with laminated floors easier.
1. Don’t Use a Broom
This may sound odd, but you don’t want to use a regular broom to clean your floor. Dirt is abrasive, so using a broom to move it can ruin your laminated finish.
Instead, you should use a vacuum cleaner or dry dust mop. They will prevent small particles of dirt from scratching away at your floor.
An effective and scratch-free vacuum cleaner is usually best. However, a dry, microfiber mop will work well if you have a lot of hair or dust on the floor.
2. Don’t Use String Mops
When you need to wash the floor, you don’t want to use string mops. It takes forever to clean the floor with them. They also leave long streaks for several days.
Microfiber mops are a lot better. They pick up debris, rather than pushing it around the floor. You can also use them to clean your floor a lot quicker.
3. Clean the Floor at Least Once a Week
You paid a lot of money for your laminated floor. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for dirt to ruin the coating.
You should get in the habit of cleaning your floor at least once a week. If you have the time, you may want to clean it twice. It will go faster if you clean it more often and you won’t have to worry about scratching the surface while trying to remove any debris that has collected over time.
4. Never Use Abrasive Cleaning Products
You don’t want to use scouring pads, Comet or other abrasive cleaning products. They will cause serious damage to your floor if you aren’t careful.
5. Use Small Amounts of Water Without Detergent
When you need to wash your floor, it is important to be as minimal as possible with your cleaning products. You should restrict yourself to a small amount of water (ideally less than half a cup for every five square feet). If you soak a single microfiber pad in water, you should be able to use it to clean two rooms.
You don’t want to use any soap-based detergents at all, because the alkaline level is too strong for a laminated floor.
6. Keep Furniture Away from All Laminated Floors
There are several reasons not to keep furniture on laminated surfaces. First of all, furniture can leave very deep scratches on laminated floors if it is moved. Since people are going to sit on furniture, they are more likely to eat on it. There is a good chance they will spill things on the surface, which is going to make cleaning more of a hassle.
If you do plan on keeping furniture on your floors, you want to make sure they place down carpet pieces underneath it to minimize the risk of scratching. You should also discourage people from eating on it as much as possible.
Clean Carefully and Clean Regularly
Most laminated floors don’t last as long as they should, because people don’t take good care of them. You need to clean them regularly if you want them to last.
As long as you clean your floors at least a couple of times a week and avoid using harsh cleaning products, they should last for at least 25 years.