The Laminate floors give you the benefits of the solid wood floor without its added expense. It is tough, versatile and beautiful. It is a good pick if you want a modern floor type that at the same time looks classic. A plus on it is how easy it is to clean and maintain if you do it the right way.
Since laminate is good flooring for kids and pets, it gets dirty quickly with kids and pets running around. Hence, you need to clean and disinfect as a protective measure against germs. Keep reading this article and see how you can clean and disinfect your laminate floor the right way.
An Overview Of Laminate Floors
Laminate floors also called the floating wood tile was first made in 1977. It has since then gained acceptance in the United States and beyond. It is an economical substitute for the solid hardwood floor. Its structure is of four intertwined layers. Like solid wood, laminate floors also need to be cleaned and disinfected to maintain their shine and ensure it’s germ-free. However, harsh cleaning chemicals are a No-No for the laminate floor. They will cause more harm than good to your floor.
Disinfecting The Laminate Floor
You don’t just disinfect a dirty surface. First, you ensure the surface is clean, free of dirt and crumbs then you disinfect. This theory also applies to the laminate floor. Here are some steps to best practices for disinfecting your laminate floor.
Step 1: Clean your floor.
The first step towards cleaning your floor is sweeping. Sweeping should be done regularly preferably daily. This is to eliminate the build-up of everyday dirt, debris or stains on the floor. When dirt is left to accumulate over time it can ruin your laminate floor by causing scratches.
Use a dry dust mop or a vacuum with soft brushes to sweep through the floor’s surface. Avoid brushes with stiff, bristle ends as they are not suitable for the laminate floor. When sweeping, it is best to follow the pattern the laminate floor was laid. This lets you easily pick debris hidden between the laminate floor tiles.
The next step to having a clean floor is to dry up spills immediately. Laminate floors are not waterproof. Their wear layer can get stained when spills are left unattended. Clean up liquid spills with a dry soft cloth. You can dampen the cloth if you want to remove residual stains from a spot.
Furthermore, when it comes to deep cleaning the laminate floor, you should use a mop. Avoid using steam cleaners and other cleaning devices on the laminate floor as they can damage it. For the laminate floors, mops are the most preferred for their deep cleaning.
For a better cleaning result, you may use mild detergents or vinegar for cleaning. You may also use cleaners labeled suitable for the laminate floor. Here’s how to use vinegar for cleaning the laminate floor.
How To Use Vinegar To Clean The Laminate Floor
Step One: Dilute the vinegar. Vinegar in its concentrated state is harsh, so it should be diluted before use. Cleaning your laminate floor with diluted vinegar helps brighten its look by removing built-up dirt and stains. To make your vinegar solution, dilute 60mls of vinegar with 940mls of water in a spray bottle and shake vigorously.
Step Two: Apply vinegar to laminate. Carefully spray vinegar solution to sectioned segments of the laminate floor. As you spray, you wipe along. Do not spray the whole area once. This may cause vinegar to wear before you can wipe it off.
Step Three: Wipe with a damp sponge or a soft microfiber cloth. Just after the vinegar is sprayed, wipe the laminate surface with a soft cloth. Also, avoid wetting the floor with excess fluid. This is because excess moisture on a laminate floor can cause it to bounce. You should also dry up large fluid patches with a dry microfiber cloth.
Step 2: Clear the Stains
Here are suitable ways to clear your laminate floors of stains.
a. If there are bloodstains on the floor, you can use a window cleaner to get it off. To do this, you will need a window cleaner and a microfiber cloth. You will spray window cleaner on the spot stained with blood then wipe with the microfiber cloth. Ensure the cloth is damp in warm water first. Also, blood stains are easier to remove as soon as they are spilled.
b. If there are chewing gums bonded to the floor, you can get them out with a plastic knife. Avoid using knives made of steel on your laminate floor as they may leave scratches. To lift off the gum, gently scrape gum from beneath using the plastic knife. Next, damp a soft sponge and use it to clean the surface. This will help remove any gum remains.
c. If there are ink stains or ones from drink spills, you can easily remove them with a wet soft cloth. Mild detergent may be required for tough stains. Once the stains are gone, clean the surface dry. For polish stains, add a small amount of polish remover on the floor before cleaning with a damp cloth
d. If there are grease stains, you can spray a window cleaner over it, then wipe with a microfiber cloth.
Step 3: Disinfect the Laminate floor
To disinfect your laminate floor, you should use only cleaners approved by EPA. These cleaners kill 99.9% of germs and are oftentimes suitable for most floors. Also, ensure to follow guidelines for usage given by the brand manufacturer. Before using any brand, it is your first test on a less obvious part of the floor. A pre-test helps you know whether or not the cleaner is good for your floor. Do not use bleach or strong chemicals on a laminate floor, it may damage it.
Also, ensure to don your rubber gloves, wear a mask and other necessary equipment to keep your skin protected. You do want cleaners spilling into your face nor do you want to contaminate the surface with your hands. Cleaning products should also be stored away from the reach of children and pets.
You can also provide doormats at your door entry. This helps to reduce the amount of shoe dirt and germs entering your home.
Can You Use Swiffer Wetjet On A Laminate Floor?
The Swiffer Wetjet is suitable for your laminate floor. According to forte, “The wet Swiffer is best for small space cleaning” while “The WetJet is better suited for large areas”
Are Steam Mops Suitable For Laminate Floors?
Although the laminate floor is tough, it can still be damaged by moisture. Steam mops may not be suitable for your laminate because of the moisture they emit. Some floor manufacturers warn against them, thus using them may rub you off a warranty claim. Says Forte.
Laminate floors have gained popularity in recent years. Though its maintenance is not difficult, it is necessary to take caution while at it. Avoid excess water when cleaning. And, disinfect with EPA-approved cleaners. Before purchasing a mop, check your manufacturer guidelines on what is suitable for the floor.