Cleaning Laminate Floors

Cleaning laminate floors can either be a joy or a great frustration. It seems to depend on the pattern and the finish more than anything else. Shinier, smoother finishes seem to show more marks than the more textured flatter finishes. Regular wood grains seem to look streakier after washing than stone or tile patterns.

Laminate flooring is among the most purchased floors on the market. Despite the disadvantages, there are many situations where laminate flooring is the 'right' choice.

Advantages:

a. it's as tough as nails
b. it comes in a variety of patterns and shades - something for every home
c. it stands up well to the wear and tear of pets and children
d. it is easier to install than either ceramic tile or hardwood
e. per square foot cost is less than hardwood and some tiles

Disadvantages:

a. most are not recommended for use in entryways, bathrooms, laundryrooms and kitchens
b. doesn't increase the value of your home in the same way as tile or hardwood

My tips for cleaning laminate floors to a streakless clean:

1. Make sure that the floor is thoroughly vacuumed or dust-mopped. Dust on the floor will just about guarantee streaks!

2. Make sure that your mophead is clean! If there is too much dirt in the mop it will leave stuff behind instead of picking it up.

3. Never let the water get too dirty there is always a little water left behind and dirty water is not what you want left on your floors.

4. Add 1 cup of white vinegar to a pail of hot water. Plain hot water is good enough for cleaning if you are using a high quality microfiber mop, but in my experience the vinegar reduces the streaking. 5. Mop the floor with a minimum of water to prevent damaging the laminate. Microfiber is ideal for that, as it works best with most of the liquid squeezed out.

6. You might want to dry with a soft and absorbent cloth, or make a final pass over the floor with a very slightly damp mop, from one end to to the other end of the room, in the direction of the wood grain pattern. Lift the mop at each end so that it never passes over the floor perpendicular to the grain.

May you enjoy your floors for many years!


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