Laminate floors are inexpensive, easy to maintain, and offer a stunning alternative to hardwood floors. They are relatively easy to clean, as long as you don't soak them in moisture as they can warp under heat and humidity.
Like any flooring, a laminate surface can get dirty easily due to the nature of its use. You can use a commercial floor cleaner to remove the dirt, but harsh chemicals may end up damaging the laminate material instead. Here's how to properly clean and disinfect laminate floors:
How to Clean and Disinfect Laminate Floors
Step 1: Vacuum the Floors Clean
Firstly, clean laminate floors with a vacuum cleaner to remove any loose dirt and debris. Go around the entire floor area twice, and focus on small gaps, corners, and crannies to gain a complete clean. Alternatively, you can use a dust mop to sweep the floor clean.
Step 2: Create a Safe Cleaning Solution
When looking for appropriate commercial cleaners, be sure to get ones that can clean laminate floors without damaging them. Laminate flooring can warp when soaked, and they can also discolor with certain ingredients. Go for laminate-safe cleaning products instead.
Alternatively, you can opt to create your own safe and effective cleaning solution that won't damage your laminate floor. Mix together a tablespoon of dish soap in a liter of water, and use this solution to clean laminate wood floors.
Step 3: Mop Your Laminate Floor
Wet your mop with the cleaning solution and wring out the excess moisture. Remember, moisture is the number one limitation for any laminate material, so be sure your mop is not dripping wet as you clean laminate floors. Apply the cleaning solution sparingly.
Go over each area, including areas under office furniture, chairs, and desks. Start mopping from an inner corner, and work your way out towards the door of the room. Let the laminate floor dry before stepping on it.
Step 4: Disinfect Laminate Wood Floors
Disinfect your laminate wood flooring using light steam, rubbing alcohol, or a commercial laminate floor cleaner. Avoid using abrasive disinfectants like ammonia and bleach, as these may cause damage and discoloration to your laminate wood floor.
Take precautions when using a steam mop to disinfect laminate floors. The heat of the mop combined with the moisture from the vapors can easily dissolve the adhesive of your laminate flooring. Go over each area of the floors with the steam cleaner no more than twice at a time. Let the floors completely dry afterwards.
Both Pine-Sol and Lysol are safe to use for laminate floor cleaning, and they disinfect as they clean too! There are several commercial disinfectants that are safe to use on laminate wood floors. Always read the label before using the cleaning solution on your floors to avoid damaging them.
Use your laminate floor mop to spread a thin layer of the disinfectant all over your floor. Follow the instructions on the bottle for proper usage, and dilute the disinfectant if you feel that the solution is too strong for your floor mats.
Unlike real hardwood floors, you can clean laminate flooring with rubbing alcohol. Simply spray a light layer of rubbing alcohol on the floor, and use your mop to spread the disinfectant to the corners of your floor. Let the alcohol dry before stepping on the floor.
Also read: How to Disinfect Hardwood Floors
What to Avoid When Cleaning Laminate Floors
1. Abrasive Cleaners
Steel wool, scrubbing pads, and other abrasive cleaners can scratch and damage your laminate flooring. Use a soft bristle broom, microfiber cloth, or soft mop to clean the floors instead, and avoid applying too much pressure.
2. Excessive Steam Cleaning
Steam cleaning laminate material will kill off germs and viruses, but excessive steam cleaning can damage the floors as it soaks the material in vapor. When using the steam cleaning method to disinfect your floor, only go over each area once or twice at a time to prevent damage.
3. Ammonia or Bleach Cleaners
Ammonia and bleach can discolor your floors, leaving streaks and rough spots. Avoid using these solutions to clean your floor, and always check the ingredients list of your cleaning solutions before using them on laminate material.
How Often Should You Clean Your Laminate Floors?
Vacuum or sweep your floors daily, and do a daily mopping as well. Don't wait until you see the floor dirty before you clean. You should clean and disinfect your floors everyday. If you tracked dirt into the house or office, or the floors have spills on them, clean them up immediately to prevent staining.
For commercial spaces, floors see high foot traffic daily, so it is good to clean the floors at least twice a day to maintain its pristine condition, and disinfect the floors during opening and closing of the commercial space.
How to Protect Your Laminate Floors
You can opt to use a sealant to protect your floors from moisture. Wax or oil-based cleaners can form a protective layer on top of the laminate material to keep it from getting wet. Here are other tips to keep your laminate floors in good condition:
- Only use floor cleaners made for laminate material.
- Trim pet nails to avoid scratches - even for office pets.
- Don't step on laminate material with stiletto heels, soccer cleats, or other pointed footwear.
- Clean up spills immediately.