Laminate Lament

Dear Home-Ec 101,
Hi! I hope you lovely gals can help me…

My husband and I are remodeling a house, and we installed laminate, faux wood floors. We probably did it backwards, because since installing the floors, we’ve had plumbers and tilers in…and now the floors are filthy! We need advice on how to clean them.

The manufacturer (Shaw *cough*) was of no help at all; they provided no tips other than encouraging us to buy their “special” laminate-cleaning product. They never addressed the fact that we’re talking about a lot of dust, drywall, and grime here. You can’t get laminate flooring fully wet, so regular mopping is out. We have a layer of remodeling dust that seemingly won’t be phased by a broom and Swiffer WetJet. Also, we’re talking about an entire houseful of laminate flooring. Can you help?
Laminerd

how to clean laminate flooring

Ivy says:

I’ve used several methods to clean my laminate flooring and I don’t have a clear favorite way to clean them. It seems to get randomly streaky even with methods I’ve used before that worked just fine. I know, weird. Here are the two methods I’ve used that seem to work the best, though.

For really dirty floors, first vacuum thoroughly using the bare floor setting on your vacuum cleaner. Then get a mop bucket, rags,  and well diluted vinegar.   Get down on your hands and knees to wash and dry the floor. Just make sure you’re wringing out the wet rag thoroughly so it’s not soaking wet. If the floor is particularly grimy be prepared to go through a few rags.  Some wet is fine, though, since you’re immediately wiping the floor dry – just be sure not to get it soaking wet. The only problem I’ve had with this is sometimes the floor ends up streaky. I’ve heard it’s because of the hard water in my area, so if you live in a hard water area, try using distilled water.

guide to clean floors

Click the picture for more tips!

The other thing I’ve found that works really well is Windex®. My only concern is while it works for my flooring, it may not for yours – test an inconspicuous spot before doing the whole floor. I’ve found that Windex works really well, without leaving streaks.  During mud season, when my floors are really dirty, I’ll do the vinegar and water routine and then go over it with Windex to keep the streakies away.

Good luck!

it your household questions to helpme@home-ec101.com



16 Comments

  1. gwen on April 2, 2016 at 4:13 am

    409 works great on my floors which are laminate try it it works but at the end of the day this is just Formica flooring and I wish I had not bought it it is to much work to keep up and if water ever gets in the cracks it will swell up and it does chip also wish I had went with linoleum floors they clean easy look good and is much cheaper then wood tile or laminate when they ware out just replace with new one cheaper and you can mop them

  2. Barb on February 21, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Boni is awful. We have Pergo and for a few years using Torly’s product to clean it was great. After 13 years of this laminate I think it is time to replace because nothing I have tried works anymore. Will try to strip it today and see what happens. I am not optomistic. Will replace with hardwood.

  3. Bicks on February 20, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    I’m going to move into a house with laminate floors and I thought I’d just use a steam mop – isn’t that good enough?

  4. Sara on July 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I have laminate flooring and I use a mixture of Murphey’s Oil Soap, vinegar and water in a squirt bottle with a microfiber mop. However once a month or so I have to do the hands and knees bit. If you are worried about hardwater causing streaks then I would dissolve some borax or washing soda into hot water and use that.

  5. Rachel J on May 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    My husband installed fans to our new rental house that just had dark laminate wood flooring put in. Sheetrock got all over the floors. After sweeping and vacuuming I just mopped with hot water and a string mop. After that didnt work I bought mop & glo and tried again. When that didn’t work I tried orange glo with a microfiber mop. When that didn’t work I tried Murphy’s oil soap with another brand new microfiber mop. I tried taking a cleaning brush to the floor. I then tried the water and vinegar with rags and the Windex.
     
    After all this the floors look a little better, but it is still completely obvious that there is sheetrock stuck in these dark floors. I really need some help here. 

  6. Louise blessed on December 30, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    which is best to install, laminate with the layment attached or installing with a seperate layment

  7. biz4bo on December 7, 2011 at 5:06 am

    Get a cedar stick I have three. I use one to wash floor once a week after I have vacumed well I clean it with the vinegar water then I have my second stick and one of my kids dry the floor right behind me (winter rainy season I clean sometimes daily) then twice a month I use Bono with a lambs cloth afther I have complerly cleaned and dryed floor. I am a cleaning nut tho you can buy the cedar mops/sticks @ walmart and if go to there website they always have coupons.

  8. Daniel Möbel on February 22, 2011 at 7:51 am

    We had a similar case when we were changing our wood floors with laminates. In the end we switched to vacuum cleaners which worked very well.

    • Annie on April 3, 2011 at 12:41 am

      After you wash floors with water and vinegar try BONO..it is wonderful. You can get at Ace Hardware…..In areas I do not use alot I only wash every other week but Bono every week. Good Luck

  9. michael on June 28, 2010 at 10:24 am

    you should purchase real timber floors in stead of cheap imations and all of youre problems would be solved, timbers from around the world australian hardwood etc. if you put up with some inconvienience at the beginning these problems would not occur later.

    • Jenny on August 18, 2010 at 10:57 pm

      That was not helpful advise Michael. You maybe able to afford 'real' hardwood floors, but many of us can't, thus we install laminates.

      • Jessica Sager on April 19, 2015 at 2:24 pm

        Spot on, Jenny! (Pun intended? Ha!) Also, if you live in an apartment, as I do, you have no say over flooring choice! I have a feeling they would not be pleased if we replaced our laminate flooring with Michael’s alternative.

        • Heather Solos on April 19, 2015 at 3:29 pm

          People. Sigh.
          There are places where real wood just doesn’t make financial sense. I am fixing up a home, it’s the neighborhood where I grew up. Here, it just doesn’t make sense to invest in tile as the investment won’t ever offer a return. I am living in the home and fixing it up one room at a time. I am so excited to have a new -laminate- floor in my bathroom, installed on Monday. I save and pay cash for each renovation so I had been living with a very ugly temporary fix for months.
          Genuine hardwood flooring would not be a sound investment, I may go with engineered in the main living areas, but laminate is still being considered. (It’ll be a rental when all is said and done)

  10. Tom on June 17, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    The windex or vinegar/water suggestion sounds good to me; however, I have a slightly different problem: I sprayed silicone spray for my patio door slider and a few spots went on my laminate flooring, which my wife hates (and so do I)! My question(s) are: What can I clean up the silicone with; can I use a Bissel Carper Cleaner in that area without messing the floor up? The Bissel is a new one with hot water coming out. My wife keeps the floor clean so it is only the silicone that is showing…help!

  11. Kim on November 5, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    I was desperate to get rid of the streaks. Apparently the streaks are caused from "soap" buildup. I mixed one part rubbing alcohol, one part water and 1/2 part vinegar. Sprayed it on and wiped it clean. Now I use a steam mop on mine once or twice a week. (I'm not sure about the long term effects of a steam mop but my floors are old and will eventually be replaced.) Works like a charm.

  12. Soggy Cheerios on April 1, 2008 at 1:53 am

    I had wood laminate floors and what worked best for me was water and vinegar as well. I diluted some in a large spray bottle and used a microfiber mop (the one I’ve got is from videlia? Not sure on the spelling- but I got it from walmart. I’d get the removable head wet- ring it out and then spray and mop, spray and mop until it needed to be rinsed again. Worked like a charm.

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