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Laminate floor and cork roll on wood osb background texture. Wooden laminate floor and chipboard set with copy space
By Amy Pearson December 28, 2023

Maintaining the lustre of laminate floors is a common goal for many homeowners, but achieving that sparkling cleanliness can sometimes be elusive.

In our exploration of laminate floor care, we’ve covered essential tips for both cleaning and avoiding common pitfalls that might hinder the shine. Let’s delve into the art of keeping laminate floors immaculate by first understanding how to clean them effectively, addressing the mystery of persistent dirt after mopping, and finally, discovering what not to use when caring for these resilient surfaces.

How do I make my laminate floors clean and shiny?

Laminate floors are a popular choice for many households due to their durability and easy maintenance. Keeping them clean and shiny doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a few simple steps and the right approach, you can ensure your laminate floors look pristine and inviting. Let’s explore some easy tips to make your laminate floors clean and shiny.

1. Regular Sweeping and Dusting: Start by regularly sweeping or dusting your laminate floors to remove loose dirt and debris. A soft-bristle broom or a vacuum cleaner with a hard floor setting can effectively pick up dust and prevent scratches. This simple step helps maintain the cleanliness of your floors on a day-to-day basis.

2. Gentle Cleaning Solutions: When it comes to cleaning laminate floors, less is more. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the surface. Instead, opt for a mixture of warm water and a mild, pH-neutral cleaner. Alternatively, vinegar diluted with water is an excellent natural solution for cleaning laminate floors. Apply the solution sparingly to avoid excessive moisture on the floor.

3. Soft Microfiber Mops: Invest in a soft microfiber mop for a gentle yet effective cleaning method. Dampen the mop with the cleaning solution and wipe the floors, making sure not to oversaturate them. Microfiber is gentle on laminate surfaces and helps to trap dirt and dust without leaving streaks behind.

a little daughter and her mom clean the house, a child washes the kitchen floor, a cute little helper girl cleans the floor with a mop, a happy family cleans the room.

4. Say No to Excess Water: Laminate floors and excessive water are not the best of friends. Too much water can seep into the seams and edges, causing the floor to swell and lose its shine. Always wring out your mop thoroughly and wipe up spills promptly to prevent water damage. It’s all about keeping it dry to keep it shiny.

5. Protective Furniture Pads: Prevent scratches and scuffs by attaching felt or rubber pads to the legs of your furniture. These protective pads create a barrier between your furniture and the laminate floor, preserving its shiny finish over time.

6. Avoid Steam Cleaners: While steam cleaners might be suitable for some flooring types, they are not the best choice for laminate floors. The high heat and moisture can compromise the integrity of the laminate, leading to warping and dullness. Stick to the gentle cleaning methods mentioned above for the best results.

7. Periodic Polishing: Give your laminate floors an extra boost of shine by using laminate floor polish or wax designed for this type of flooring. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and be sure to choose a product suitable for laminate surfaces. Periodic polishing can enhance the lustre of your floors and provide added protection.

Why are my laminate floors still dirty after mopping?

Mopping your laminate floors with the hope of achieving a sparkling clean finish only to find them still looking a bit lacklustre can be a puzzling situation. Fear not, as we delve into some common reasons why your laminate floors might still be dirty after mopping and how to address these issues.

1. Residue Buildup: One culprit for perpetually dirty laminate floors is residue buildup from cleaning products. If you’re using a floor cleaner that leaves behind a sticky or soapy residue, it can attract dirt and make your floors appear dull. Switch to a residue-free, pH-neutral cleaner or consider diluting your current cleaner to avoid leaving unwanted deposits on your floors.

2. Incorrect Cleaning Solutions: Using the wrong cleaning solution can also contribute to persistent dirt. Harsh chemicals or products not specifically designed for laminate flooring might damage the protective layer, leaving the surface more susceptible to dirt and stains. Stick to gentle, laminate-friendly cleaners and avoid excessive use of water to prevent damage.

3. Too Much Water: Laminate and excess water don’t mix well. If you’re using too much water while mopping, it can seep into the seams and edges of the laminate, causing it to swell and lose its shine. Opt for a damp mop, wring it out thoroughly, and focus on removing dirt without saturating the floor.

Robotic vacuum cleaner working on laminate wooden floor

4. Insufficient Sweeping: Mopping alone may not be enough to tackle stubborn dirt and debris. Start by sweeping or vacuuming your floors to remove loose particles before mopping. This simple step ensures that you’re not pushing dirt around and allows your mop to effectively clean the surface.

5. Worn-Out Protective Layer: Over time, the protective layer on laminate flooring can wear out, making it more prone to collecting dirt. If your floors are older or have experienced heavy foot traffic, consider applying a laminate floor polish or wax to rejuvenate and protect the surface. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the best results.

6. Incorrect Mopping Technique: Believe it or not, there is a right way to mop laminate floors. Avoid using excessive force or abrasive scrubbing, as this can damage the surface. Instead, use gentle strokes, and make sure your mop is in good condition. Mop in the direction of the floorboards to prevent water from seeping into the seams.

What should you not clean laminate floors with?

Laminate floors are a fantastic choice for their resilience and ease of maintenance, but caring for them requires a gentle touch. There are certain cleaning practices and products that can do more harm than good. Let’s explore what you should steer clear of when cleaning laminate floors to ensure their longevity and shine.

1. Say No to Excessive Water: Laminate and water are like acquaintances who should keep their distance. Too much water can seep into the seams and edges, causing the floor to swell and lose its shine. When cleaning, use a damp (not soaking wet) mop, and always wring it out thoroughly. Promptly wipe up any spills to prevent water from lingering on the surface.

2. Harsh Chemicals and Abrasives: Laminate floors have a protective top layer, and using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners can compromise this layer. Steer clear of products containing bleach, ammonia, or other strong chemicals. These can strip away the protective coating, leaving your floors vulnerable to scratches and dullness. Opt for pH-neutral, laminate-friendly cleaners to keep your floors in top condition.

3. Steam Cleaners are a No-Go: While steam cleaners might be superheroes for some cleaning tasks, they are not suitable for laminate floors. The high heat and moisture generated by steam cleaners can damage the laminate’s integrity, causing warping and reducing its lifespan. Stick to more laminate-friendly cleaning methods to maintain the beauty of your floors.

Picture of steam cleaner over floor or carpet. High quality photo

4. Avoid Wax and Polish Buildup: Laminate floors are designed to be low-maintenance, and applying wax or polish is unnecessary and can lead to problems. Wax buildup can make your floors slippery and attract more dirt. If you crave extra shine, opt for laminate-specific floor polish applied sparingly and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

5. Abrasive Tools and Scrubbing Pads: Scrubbing your laminate floors vigorously with abrasive tools or pads is a recipe for disaster. The top layer can be scratched, leaving your once-gleaming floors looking worn and tired. Choose soft-bristle brooms, microfiber mops, or soft cloths for cleaning. These gentle tools effectively remove dirt without causing damage.

6. Oil-Based Soaps and Detergents: Using oil-based soaps or detergents might leave your floors looking clean initially, but they can leave behind a residue that attracts dirt. Over time, this buildup can make your laminate floors appear dull and difficult to clean. Stick to mild, laminate-friendly cleaners for a streak-free and clean finish.

7. Don’t Forget Furniture Pads: While not directly a cleaning issue, neglecting to use furniture pads can lead to scratches and scuffs. Place felt or rubber pads under the legs of your furniture to prevent them from scratching the laminate surface. This simple preventive measure goes a long way in maintaining the pristine appearance of your floors.


In the journey to pristine laminate floors, we’ve uncovered practical insights on effective cleaning methods, troubleshooting persistent dirt issues, and understanding the do’s and don’ts of laminate floor care.

Remember, it’s about striking the delicate balance between cleanliness and care to enjoy the beauty and longevity of your laminate floors for years to come. So, armed with these tips, embark on your floor care routine with confidence, knowing that your laminate floors will continue to be a shining testament to a well-maintained home.

Amy Pearson