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How to Clean Laminate Floors and Make Them Shine

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How to Clean Laminate Floors

Laminate floors are a popular flooring choice because they’re durable, affordable, and easy to maintain. But let’s face it: they don’t always shine like real hardwood or tile.

So how do you make laminate flooring look as great as its more expensive counterparts? Read on for tips and a practical guide on how to clean laminate floors. We’ll cover details like how to make laminate floors shine, and how to get paint off laminate flooring, and we’ll help you set a regular routine you can follow to keep your floors looking their best.

How to Clean Laminate Floors: A Practical Guide

Let’s look at all the details about how to clean laminate floors so you’ll know exactly what you need to do.

Be Sure to Read the Manufacturer’s Cleaning Instructions

Every manufacturer of laminate flooring offers specific maintenance and cleaning instructions. The information we’ll cover in this article applies to laminate flooring in general, but be sure to check the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your flooring as specifics can vary.

Cleaning instructions may be on the box or product packaging, and you can also find them on the manufacturer’s website.

A Basic Routine for Cleaning Laminate Floors

To keep your flooring looking like new and to prolong its life, be sure to clean it on a regular basis. Of course, the frequency and intensity of those cleanings will depend on your use and details like how much foot traffic the area gets on a daily or even weekly basis. If you have kids or pets, or if the flooring is in an area of your home that gets a lot of use, you may need to clean it more frequently. But here is a general guide to serve as a starting point.

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
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Shark NV356E S2 Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum
Shark NV356E S2 Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum
  • Large dust cup capacity with lift away functionality to easily clean hard to reach areas
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  • Powerful and lightweight, brush roll shutoff, deep carpet, and gentle bare floor cleaning
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BISSELL 2252 CleanView Swivel Upright Bagless VacuumBISSELL 2252 CleanView Swivel Upright Bagless Vacuum
  • Powerful pet hair pick up with triple action brush roll with scatter free technology
  • Swivel steering to easily maneuver around furniture and other obstacles
  • Clean edges and corners with edge-to-edge cleaning 
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Best Value
eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum
eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum
  • Powerful vacuum cleaner with 5 height adjustments and XL dust cup
  • Smooth wheels ensure hardwood floors won’t sustain scratches or gouges
  • Multiple accessories are included to extract dirt, pet hair, freshen up your car, curtains, ceilings, or door frames
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Weekly Cleaning

On a weekly or sometimes daily basis, depending on the use and where your laminate floors are placed in your home, sweep the floor to remove surface dirt, crumbs, debris, and pet hair.

There are a number of cleaning products that can be used for this task depending on the area of the home and your personal preference. Using a broom or dry mop with a brush and dustpan would be sufficient. Or a vacuum using the hard floor setting (or just on suction without the beater bar running) to avoid damaging the floor.

Spaces, such as the kitchen or bathroom, with laminate flooring, should be deep cleaned by mopping on a weekly basis to address the messes that can occur, remove germs and bacteria as well as avoid allowing spills to harden and become more difficult to remove in the future.

Related: The Best Mop for Laminate Floors Reviewed and Ranked

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Best Overall
O-Cedar EasyWring Microfiber Spin Mop & Bucket Floor Cleaning System
O-Cedar EasyWring Microfiber Spin Mop & Bucket Floor Cleaning System
  • High-quality microfiber uses only water to deep clean to remove dirt, grime, and up to 99% of bacteria
  • Bucket designed for easy, hands-free wringing
  • Triangle design allows for easy cleaning in hard to reach places, such as corners
  • 3 washable microfiber pads are included and the long adjustable handle extends up to 48 inches
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Casabella Microfiber Spin Mop and Bucket SystemCasabella Microfiber Spin Mop and Bucket System
  • Complete bucket and spin mop system that easy to transport with 2 handles and wheels with storage compartment
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Libman Spin Mop and Bucket
Libman Spin Mop and Bucket
  • Absorbent microfiber mopping system for tough spills and messes or overall room cleaning
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  • Microfiber mop heads can clean easily with just adding water, also machine washable
  • Comes with an adjustable handle so all sizes can use
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Occasional Deep Clean

While the broom and vacuum will help to keep the floors clean most of the time, occasionally, you’ll need to give the floor a more intense cleaning. Here is how to deep clean laminate floors.

It is important to note that you should not use more water than necessary when cleaning laminate floors. Excess water will cause the floor to warp or bubble and will damage it. If you’re using water, use only a very small amount so that it will not soak in and damage the flooring.

You can use a damp mop on laminate floors, and we recommend the microfiber deep cleaning mop from E-Cloth. This should be done once a week to monthly, depending on the amount of foot traffic, dirt, and grime the flooring is exposed to on a regular basis. Do not saturate the mop. Instead, it should be damp or just barely wet.

Top-Rated Mop
E-Cloth Deep Clean Mop
  • Made with high-quality microfiber
  • Clean with just water
  • Perfect for wood, laminate, tile, and vinyl

The Deep Clean Mop from E-Cloth is our favorite mop for keeping the floors in your home clean and free of bacteria. This inexpensive, lightweight mop cleans effectively with just water, no need to mess with mopping solutions. The reusable mop head will save you loads of money compared to single-use products, plus it's better for the environment. This compact mop is also easy to store when you're not using it, thanks to convenient hook and loop fasteners.

After mopping, you may want to wipe the floor with a dry microfiber cloth or mop to remove any standing water. The microfiber cloth from E-Cloth is the top-rated product on our list of the best microfiber cloths for cleaning your home and would be excellent for this task.

Another option is using a steam mop on laminate floors, but this must be done with caution. Be sure to not use excessive steam or water, which can damage the flooring, and wipe the floor dry immediately after using the steam mop. Also, do not let the steam mop sit on one spot for any length of time as this can cause steam and moisture to be pushed between the boards and cause warping.

If you’re using a cleaning solution, use one that is made specifically for laminate floors.

Related: The Best Spin Mops

How to Make Laminate Floors Shine

How to Make Laminate Floors Shine - Person Vacuuming

If your floor has a dull look, which is more common with older laminate floors, you may want to know how to make laminate floors shine to improve the overall appearance. The first step is to clean it adequately on a regular basis by following the instructions in the previous section. If you clean the floor regularly and quickly clean up any spills, your laminate floor should look great for years.

However, if you find it looking dull even after thoroughly mopping, you may want to take an extra step to make it shine. There are a number of laminate flooring cleaning products you can use, but many of them contain harmful chemicals that are not only harmful to you and your loved ones but to the environment as well. Alternatively, you can create a simply DIY cleaning solution that will make your laminate floor shine.

You will need:

Mix equal parts of the warm water, white vinegar, and rubbing alcohol in a large spray bottle. Test the solution in a corner or less noticeable area of the room to ensure that there are no undesirable effects on your particular type of laminate flooring. Spray the floor in sections and use a slightly damp mop to wipe and clean the laminate floor with this cleaning solution.

The white vinegar and rubbing alcohol work to break down stubborn dirt, grime, and greasy residues to restore the laminate flooring to its original shine. Remember that excess moisture can damage laminate flooring, so you just want to use a small amount and wipe up any excess liquid with a microfiber cloth or mop.

How to Get Paint Off Laminate Flooring and Other Stubborn Spots

Wet or Dry Paint

There may be times when paint accidentally gets on your laminate flooring. If you notice it while the paint is still wet, simply wipe it up with a wet or damp rag. Just be sure that you get all of the paint and that no standing water is left on the flooring. If necessary, wipe with a dry rag, microfiber cloth, or towel to remove any standing water.

If the paint has already dried by the time you notice it, the best option is to use a mixture of equal parts vinegar, water, and natural dish soap. Just place the solution on the spot and let soak in for 5 minutes before wiping/rubbing off with a microfiber cloth. This mixture usually works to remove dried paint from laminate flooring, but if needed, you can also add some rubbing alcohol to the mixture. And this is how to get paint off laminate flooring.

Marks, Scuffs, or Spots

Other tough cleaning marks or spots such as markers, crayons, or shoe scuffs can be scrubbed with a wet microfiber cloth. If that doesn’t work the DIY solution listed above can be used.

Sticky Spots

Sticky spots such as modeling clay, glue, or gum not caught and addressed right away can be a little difficult. The best way to remove this type of issue is to apply very cold temperatures to the hardened spot using ice to harden it even more and then gently scraping the dirt off with a blunt tool (a butter knife wrapped in cloth could work for this). After scraping the bulk of the spot off the floor, to deal with any remaining residue, you can spray on some laminate floor spray or the DIY solution listed above and wipe clean with a cloth.

Hard to Remove Spots

Another powerful scrubbing tool that can be used to address these tricky spots and marks left on laminate floors that will be gentle is the Universal Stone Cleaning Paste. Just wet a microfiber cloth, rub the product on the top of the dried paste block and rub on the spot you are trying to clean. This eco-friendly cleaning paste does wonders in boosting the cleaning ability of the microfiber cloth and a little goes a long way so the paste block lasts a long time and can be used on many different surfaces.

Universal Stone Cleaning Stone - 650 g Universal Stone Cleaning Paste

Related: How to Clean Sticky Wood Floors

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Dos and Don’ts When Cleaning  Laminate Floors

When cleaning laminate floors, there are just a few things you need to consider before you start. If the manufacturer has a cleaning guide or instructions on how to clean your laminate floors, please read them before you start cleaning. 

Do Clean Laminate Floors Frequently 

Dirt and grime on your laminate floors will make them look dull and aged, and potentially cause unnecessary wear and tear on your floors due to scuffing and scratching. You should sweep, mop, or vacuum your laminate floors once a week at a minimum to keep them looking vibrant. If you decide to use a vacuum, make it a point to use the hardwood setting to avoid scratching your floor and damage.

Clean up spills immediately. Microfiber cloths are great to have around for this reason as they are super absorbent and soft to prevent any scuffs to flooring, tables, and countertops. A perfect choice is the general-purpose cloth from E-Cloth. Not only are they high-quality and durable, but they’re also very affordable.

Our Top Pick
E-Cloth General Purpose Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
  • High-quality microfiber
  • Affordable
  • Clean with just water

Our favorite microfiber cloths for use around the home are the general purpose clothes from E-Cloth. Whether you're wiping down the kitchen table, countertops, or scrubbing just about any other surface in your house, these clothes are effective, durable, and affordable. Over the course of a year, you'll save a huge amount of money on paper towels and cleaning solutions, plus you can keep the chemicals out of your home.

Don’t Use Magnetic Style Cleaning Pads

This may seem like a great way to clean your laminate floors without saturating them with water, but continuously using magnetic cleaning pads can lead to a buildup of dirt that can leave your floor looking dull over time.

Do Use a Laminate Floor Spray 

Some cleaning sprays are specifically designed to work on laminate floors. A good example is the Black Diamond Stoneworks Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner.

The Black Diamond Spray is perfect for laminate floors. It gives you a stress-free look and you can also use it on other types of floors. You can clean your house until it’s spotless and also rest assured that your cleaning product is friendly to the environment and bio-degradable. All you need is a clean cloth and you can spray and wipe off tough stains. The Black Diamond Spray is not lethal when ingested and would be safe to use around kids and pets.

Black Diamond Stoneworks Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner: For Hardwood, Real, Natural & Engineered Flooring –Biodegradable Safe for Cleaning All Floors Black Diamond Stoneworks Wood & Laminate Floor Cleaner

Check the price on Amazon


Don’t Use Liquid Cleaning Products and Wet Mopping

If you saturate your laminate floors with water, they can easily get warped and your flooring will develop water stains. Saturated floors can also lead to delamination and your floor can soak up the water and end up swelling, which would be unsightly. Make sure you only use a slightly dampened mop on your floors and clean up any spills as soon as possible with a clean cloth.

Don’t Use Buffing or Polishing Tools 

It might seem like a good idea to polish or buff your laminate floor but using buffing and polishing machines can dull the surface of your laminate floors over time and can cause scratches. Just sweep and use a slightly dampened mop. Contrary to popular belief, using cleaning products that contain any wax or oil can cause your laminate floors to dull over time. 

Don’t Use Abrasive Tools To Remove Hardened Dirt

When you spill wax or get some gum on your floor and it hardens, it can be quite tempting to pull out some steel wool and scrub your floor clean. Using abrasive tools like steel wool to remove hardened dirt can severely scratch your floor and leave a roughened patch that will negatively affect the overall look of your floor. 

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Top Choice
Shark NV356E S2 Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum
Shark NV356E S2 Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum
  • Large dust cup capacity with lift away functionality to easily clean hard to reach areas
  • Anti-allergen complete seal technology plus a HEPA filter that traps 99.9 percent of dust and allergens
  • Powerful and lightweight, brush roll shutoff, deep carpet, and gentle bare floor cleaning
9.8
Check Price on Amazon
BISSELL 2252 CleanView Swivel Upright Bagless VacuumBISSELL 2252 CleanView Swivel Upright Bagless Vacuum
  • Powerful pet hair pick up with triple action brush roll with scatter free technology
  • Swivel steering to easily maneuver around furniture and other obstacles
  • Clean edges and corners with edge-to-edge cleaning 
9.7
Check Price on Amazon
Best Value
eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum
eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum
  • Powerful vacuum cleaner with 5 height adjustments and XL dust cup
  • Smooth wheels ensure hardwood floors won’t sustain scratches or gouges
  • Multiple accessories are included to extract dirt, pet hair, freshen up your car, curtains, ceilings, or door frames
9.6
Check Price on Amazon

Final Thoughts on How to Clean Laminate Floors

Laminate flooring is a great option because it is both durable and affordable. Your flooring can look great if you maintain it, and in this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know about how to clean laminate floors. Establishing a regular routine to sweep and vacuum is the most important step with periodic mopping, then you can use the water, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol solution when you really want to make laminate floors shine.

If you’re considering how to get paint off laminate flooring, the easiest natural option is equal parts water, white vinegar, and natural dish soap.

With these tips, you should be able to keep your laminate floors looking new for years to come.

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