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What Is the Best Way to Clean Laminate Wood Floors?

I am a stay-at-home mom with two boys who keep me busy and give me lots to write about.

Laminate floors look good and are inexpensive and easy to maintain.

Laminate floors look good and are inexpensive and easy to maintain.

How to Take Care of Laminate Flooring

Laminate wood floors are more popular than ever—they look good, they are fairly inexpensive, and they are easy to maintain. If you have or are thinking about installing new flooring, you will want to find out how to clean them so that you can keep them looking new for a long time.

There are several opinions on the best way to take care of your flooring. Following manufacturers' recommendations is always suggested, but that can vary as well, depending on the brand. I have found it is important to try new cleaners in small spots or on any leftover pieces of the laminate so that you can test them without risk of damaging your floors.

Let's take a look at some of the variables so you can decide the best way that fits your lifestyle and still keeps your floors looking beautiful!

Black & Decker SM1620 Steam Mop

Do you have laminate flooring in your kitchen? Then you are most likely worried about making sure your floor is free of germs or any bacteria that might come in contact with food. With today's advanced technology, you don't have to use your Mother's string mop! Steam mops work wonders.

My aunt loves her steam mop! After her back surgery, she finally gave up the old "string mop" and swears she will never go back!

Removing Debris and Getting Rid of Germs Using Microfiber and Steam

Microfiber mops are a great way to remove the surface dirt and debris before applying any cleaner. They are lightweight and easy to use, and usually very affordable. But what about sanitizing or killing germs?

More and more steam mops are being introduced that are safe for all hard surfaces, including laminate wood floors. They really give you great versatility and allow you to cut down on how many different cleaning tools you need.

Are you wondering if steam cleaning is really a good idea? It is one of the best ways of not only removing the dirt and grime from buildup but it can also kill harmful germs and bacteria that you can't see.

There are multiple steam mops on the market today that are approved for use on your laminated flooring. As with any cleaning method, you may want to test a small area to start. I love the feeling of knowing it's okay for my kids to play on the floor.

Steam mops do offer a chemical-free cleaning method that can also be beneficial if you or your family has allergies to harsh chemicals.

Depending on how much laminated flooring you have, your budget, and which features are important to you, you can find the perfect steam mop!

What Is Microfiber?

Microfiber is actually a fine synthetic yarn. It can be used for many things, including:

  • Apparel
  • Accessories
  • Textiles for cleaning
  • Rags
  • Insulation
  • Basketballs

For cleaning wood and laminate flooring, the mop needs to be made of split microfiber so it can absorb dirt, dust particles, and help absorb water.

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Removing the surface dirt and debris reduces the risk of scratching the finish or causing permanent damage. You could also use a soft-bristle broom or even a vacuum that is specially designed for use on this type of flooring.

It really depends on how much you have in your home. If you only have a small room, a broom really makes sense. If you have more than one room, you will want to consider something that will help you clean your floors quickly and easily.

Regardless of which method you choose, just remember that routine cleaning will help keep your floors looking new!

The Best Vacuums for Hard Surfaces

There are several options when you are looking for a vacuum that will do the job. If you have multiple surfaces in your home or apartment, you may want to consider a vacuum cleaner that will work for all of them. Even if you go with a micro-fiber mop or steam mop, sometimes you just want to run the vacuum over the whole house.

Whether you are looking for something lightweight or a vacuum that works for pet hair, there are multiple choices; I just tried to highlight some of my favorites. My sister has two cats, multiple levels, and multiple flooring at her house, and she actually keeps a Bissell PowerEdge on each floor of her house. Sure saves a lot of steps when you get to cleaning.

The kitchen is a good place to use a steam mop

The kitchen is a good place to use a steam mop

Do you think a homemade floor cleaner will work as well as pre-mixed floor cleaners? There are more and more people who are choosing to make their own floor cleaner, and it can be very simple. Some are cleaning their floor with vinegar and a few other household ingredients mixed in for a greener, less toxic way of cleaning.

You can purchase some all-purpose premixed green cleaners that are mostly vinegar & water with a few essential oils added, but many times, these cleaners can leave streaks, especially if your flooring is a darker color. I am including a recipe that my aunt passed down to me once we had finished installing ours a few years ago, and it works well for me.

You may want to try a small area just to see if you are pleased with the results before you do all of your floors. It might not be for you, or it could be the best cleaner you have ever used!

Homemade Vinegar Floor Cleaner Recipe

Here's a simple recipe for vinegar-based floor cleaner.


  • Vinegar (white/distilled)
  • Alcohol (rubbing)
  • Water (H2O)
  • Dishwashing liquid (your favorite)
  • Orange or lemon oil (optional essential oils)


Mix equal parts of vinegar, alcohol, and water, then add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Add a few drops of the oil if you want to add a scent. I usually put the mixture in a spray bottle for easy use.

The Best Way to Clean Small Sections of Your Floor

Slip-sliding away your dust!

Okay, dusting your floors with your slippers sounds a little silly, but not when you are wearing your Slipper Genie Microfiber Cleaning Slippers.

Just slip them on and slide into all those small spaces that mops can't go! Perfect if you only have a small area that needs to be cleaned. They are available for men or women and feature various colors.

Safe for all hard surface floors, machine washable, and so easy to use. A great way to easily remove dirt, dust, or pet hair from small areas.

Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring

Are you considering remodeling, building, or maybe in the market for buying a home? You should know some of the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision. Some people simply love their flooring, while others swear to never have them again! So why is there so much difference of opinion?

Well . . . just like any material you use in your house, it really depends on several points that will help determine what works best for you and your family. For example, budget, ease of installation, pets or no pets, kids or no kids, durability, time and effort into cleaning it, possible resale value, allergies, etc. I think you get the picture; you should always list these types of questions before making a decision about any type of flooring you are considering before you buy.

Laminate Floor Pros:

  • The price fits most budgets
  • Easy to install
  • Durable
  • Unlike hardwood, there are no defects in laminate
  • Works in most rooms, including bathrooms, laundries, and kitchens
  • Stain-resistant
  • Easy to clean

Laminate Floor Cons:

  • Not real hardwood
  • Can be noisy
  • Slick
  • Resale value may not be as good
  • Can not be sanded and refinished
  • Limited design and customizing

Learning how to clean laminate wood flooring is just one way to maintain your floors. Besides cleaning there are other tips you need to know about protecting your laminate flooring. First, you should never let water or other spills stand any longer than possible. Wipe them up with a dry cloth immediately to avoid any damage. When you use cleaners on your flooring, you should apply with some type of spray bottle, microfiber mop, or other damp mop designed for cleaning laminate wood floors.

You should also avoid high heels or shoes that might leave scuff marks on your floors, going barefoot is always acceptable! If you have to move furniture around, place felt pads on the legs or feet of the furniture prior to moving.

If you have pets, you will want to keep their nails trimmed to avoid scratches on your laminate wood floors. You should also be aware that laminate floors do not need waxing and you should avoid harsh cleaners especially any that contain bleach.

Mop the Floor With Microfiber Mops

Microfibre mops are always a great backup or to use when you just need to spot clean or do a quick run over the main traffic areas. Some days just call for a simple, basic cleaning that is quick and easy!

If you don't already have laminate flooring and you decide to use it in your remodel, which rooms would you put it in? Many people love it for the ease of cleaning it, but would you want it in your whole house? Is it good for bathrooms?

Let us know what you think!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Please Share Your Ideas on Cleaning Laminate Wood Floors

Jeff on May 24, 2019:

You obviously don't understand the ramifications of using steam on a floor that consists of layers of plywood and glue.....not the smartest idea, expanding and contracting the wood layers at a rather rapid pace with both moisture and heat.

Truly a horrible idea if you want any longevity with your flooring.

sbconcepts (author) on August 25, 2013:

@mel-kav: Thanks for stopping in for a visit! I love hearing what works for others. Keep us posted if you end up trying the steam cleaner. My mother-in-law loves hers.

mel-kav on August 25, 2013:

I use a microfiber mop. I've never thought about using a steam cleaner. I would like to try that.

sbconcepts (author) on August 21, 2013:

@PromptWriter: The steamers are great and yes your floors will thank you! Thanks for stopping by!

Moe Wood from Eastern Ontario on August 18, 2013:

It is my dream to someday have one of those steamers. I think my floors would really appreciate it. LOL

sbconcepts (author) on August 12, 2013:

@BlowDryBar: Thanks for stopping by and hope you found some useful information!

sbconcepts (author) on August 12, 2013:

@Mommy-Bear: My mother-in-law uses one of the wider microfiber mops for daily cleaning and for deep cleaning she lover her new B&D steam mop. She also has a hair salon with laminate floors and uses it up there as well and just loves how easy it is to use. Thanks for sharing!

sbconcepts (author) on August 12, 2013:

@chrisbrock lm: Thank you chrisbrock! glad you found it helpful.

BlowDryBar on August 11, 2013:

I've been looking for a better way to clean my wood floors! Thank you!

Mommy-Bear on August 04, 2013:

I have one of those really wide microfibre floor mops which does a greta job.

chrisbrock lm on August 03, 2013:

Great lens. I like your tips!

sbconcepts (author) on July 24, 2013:

@garagerob: Thanks garagerob! I love finding new ways to clean my house that either make it a little easier or save time, and I love passing that on to others.

sbconcepts (author) on July 24, 2013:

@Faye Rutledge: Wow! 13 years that really speaks to the quality of the Bissell, thanks for the info. It seems easy to find information about how products do when they are fairly new but finding the ones that are tested over time can be more difficult. Thanks again for sharing partybuzz!

sbconcepts (author) on July 24, 2013:

@Greathaul2013: Now that is a great idea! Goodness knows they can sure leave tracks as they go through the house.Thanks for stopping by!

garagerob on July 24, 2013:

Great lens! Some really good tips here. Well done!

Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on July 22, 2013:

I have hardwood floors and I clean surface dirt with a Bissell 3-in-1 Vacuum. I LOVE it! I've used one for over 13 years now and it gets the job done!

Greathaul2013 on July 18, 2013:

What about the Pet Sweep slippers for dogs? haha

sbconcepts (author) on July 05, 2013:

@linsm76: I like the way you think! I used to swear by Mr. Clean and Lysol products but I have really changed my cleaning habits over the last few years.

linsm76 on July 05, 2013:

I vacuum my laminate floors first, then use my Swiffer to dust mop for any residue. I also use vinegar and water. Whatever you do, products such as Mr. Clean, etc are not to be used on laminate floors because they can and do damage the finish.

sbconcepts (author) on June 25, 2013:

@soaringsis: That is one of the best ways to insure you end up with the least amount of scratches too. I love the feeling of my floors when I get done, just wish they stayed that way a little longer. But when you have a family... it is a constant battle to keep them clean. Thanks for sharing!

soaringsis on June 25, 2013:

I always vacuum first, then use a micro mop which leaves the floors shining.

sbconcepts (author) on June 10, 2013:

@jeskasight: You are welcome! I hope it will help, not sure if the spots from the Pine sol will go away completely. I am not a big fan of it either. I had used it in the past for several cleaning projects and always seemed to have issues with spotting and a filmy residue that I could never get rid of completely. I learned the hard way it is always best to test small areas to see how they react. Good luck and thanks for sharing!

jeskasight on June 09, 2013:

I do NOT recommend pine sol. Ive been using it for a year now and I dread washing the floors as it leaves spots and streaks. We are renting and I just had it on my to do list to find another product. Im off to buy some vinegar and a microfiber mop so I thank you for your help!

productosexpres on January 16, 2013:

Sorry I make a mistake with the URL, follow this link if you want to know more about how to remove spots.

productosexpres on January 16, 2013:

Vinegar can successfully tackle almost every kind of muck that ends up on the floor. And with a mere fourth of a cup of it, mixed with some regular warm water, you will be equipped to get your laminate floor spotless. If you want to see more tips for clean and remove spots in clothes and floors look this lens How to remove stains? Tips and methods

Gloria Freeman from Alabama USA on December 19, 2012:

Hi good tips for cleaning any floor.

anonymous on December 07, 2012:

Good tips here for cleaning laminate floors.

aquarian_insight on July 16, 2012:

I have this great sponge mop that does the job so well - all that's needed is some very hot water! Vinegar is also a good natural cleaner.

BestLaminateInc1 on July 05, 2012:

We always recommend white vinegar and water to our customers. This will remove any film left by other cleansers. Nice lends!

ccsonian on June 16, 2012:

My Hoover hard floor cleaner worked well at first. Now it streaks the floor up. I have not found a consistently good way to keep the laminate looking good. Vinegar and water isn't too bad, but it stinks! I need to try your suggestions.

tricomanagement on April 01, 2012:

vinegar and water works very well. Found Whip-it (love it, by the way) is great

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