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?
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.
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.
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