Both hardwood and laminate flooring can look amazing in your home, but no one ever talks about maintaining its shiny and new appearance. Over time, this flooring becomes streaky or dirty-looking from the wear and tear of everyday life. If it seems like you have tried everything to maintain your flooring but nothing seems to be working, look no further. With an educated approach, your hardwood or laminate floors will be looking exceptional in no time.
Before discussing the best methods for cleaning hardwood and laminate flooring, it is important that you educate yourself on the material that you are working with.
Hardwood flooring is one of the most common types of flooring out there. Hardwood flooring is made from trees that have been harvested for a long period of time. This makes it more durable than other types of flooring, so it is able to stand up to more rigorous cleaning techniques.
Laminate flooring is a synthetic flooring material made from varying materials such as melamine resin and fiber-board materials. Then, it is protected by a laminated layer which makes it durable and long-lasting. Laminate is made to simulate hardwood flooring.
The best way to keep your flooring looking its best is to do basic cleaning techniques on a regular basis. These techniques are not deep cleaning. Rather, they are simple things that you can do easily every day.
- Remove spills right away to avoid staining the floor.
- Put felt pads under the legs of furniture to prevent scratching or damaging the floor.
- Use doormats to prevent mud from getting on the floor.
- Minimize excessive heat usage so the moisture does not damage the floor (this includes direct sunlight, a space heater, etc.)
- If you have pets, make sure their paws are wiped before entering the house. Also, keep a mat under any food bowls to prevent spillage directly onto the floor.
- If there is gum or another substance on the flooring, carefully scrape it off without scraping the laminate.
These simple maintenance techniques are going to make cleaning much less of a hassle. Also, they lengthen the life of the flooring by protecting it against harmful conditions.
When it comes to deep cleaning your hardwood or laminate flooring, there are many different techniques to choose from.
Vacuum: A vacuum for hardwood/laminate floors is the simplest way to clean them because anyone can do it. Before using it, make sure the wheels and bottom of the vacuum are clear of any harmful particles such as gravel. This will prevent the vacuum from scratching the flooring. Then, simply vacuum up the dust and dirt that is covering the floor. It is crucial that you vacuum with the grain of the wood, as you will pick up the most dirt this way. Using any extensions on your vacuum will allow you to reach places such as corners and furniture.
Cleaning solution: It is important that you are using a cleaning solution that is meant for your specific floor type whether that be hardwood or laminate. There are two good options for getting a good cleaning solution: buying a suitable one for your flooring or making your own. If you choose to buy a solution, make sure that it is curated specifically for your flooring. If you choose to make your own, you can make a solution with either rubbing alcohol or vinegar.
A simple way to make a cleaning solution for your hardwood or laminate floor:
- 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar
- 1 squirt of liquid dish detergent
- Put it in a spray bottle for easy use
*You should be using white vinegar in the solution. Other types of vinegar may leave a residue on the flooring.
Mopping: It is crucial that you use a minimal amount of water when cleaning your floors. Water does not work well with hardwood and laminate flooring. It is best to “dry mop” with a little bit of solution on the mop. The mop needs to be made from the right material in order to prevent streaks from occurring on your flooring.
Acceptable mop materials include microfiber, terrycloth, or cotton. They require little water to get the job done, and they never leave your flooring streaky. Be careful not to use too much cleaning solution or else there will be a residue or film left on the floors.
You should never use mops that run on water like spray mops, string mops, or sponge mops, These will damage the hardwood or laminate material and will likely make the floors appear streaky.
When mopping the floor, make sure not to push too hard. Even though hardwood and laminate flooring is durable, scrubbing too hard will cause the flooring to damage easily. You will want to avoid this to keep the flooring long-lasting.
|What To Do||What Not To Do|
|Remove all furniture before cleaning to reach the entire surface area.Use microfiber cloths to buff the floors after cleaning to leave a shiny appearance.Spot clean weekly so you won’t need to deep clean often.Do basic maintenance every day to ensure the longevity of the flooring.Consult your flooring manufacturer if you have questions specific to your type or brand of flooring.||Mop with excessive water. Water and laminate do not mix very well.Use a minimal amount of cleaning solution to avoid any residue.Use any multipurpose cleaning solution already at home. You need one that is specific for flooring.Use sponge or string mops.Using polish, shine, or wax enhancers. These are not necessary for laminate flooring and will likely leave a residue.|
Your hardwood/laminate flooring is something that you should take care of for the sake of its longevity. Ensuring that you are using the right products and techniques for your flooring is essential in making it look the best it can be. With the right maintenance strategies, you can ensure that your floors will look shiny and new for a long time.