Laminate flooring is a popular feature in buildings today. The professional and clean aesthetic can transform any room. However, such nice flooring comes with certain maintenance guidelines that need to be followed to prevent premature damage and diminished quality. From everyday cleaning practices to the occasional deep spring cleaning, using the proper materials with the right methods can prolong the functionality and appearance of your laminate floors.
Day to Day Laminate Floor Cleaning
Establishing a cleaning routine for your laminate floors can decrease the amount of deep cleaning needed to maintain it. Sweeping with a soft-bristle broom allows you to collect larger pieces of dust, crumbs, and hair from the day. An angled brush is also useful for getting into tight spaces where debris tends to collect easily. Sweeping is a good method to clean the majority of the debris from your floors, but going in with a dust mop, if you have less to clean or as a second-round after sweeping, is a good practice. Since sweeping often leaves some particles, cleaning laminate floors with a mop later on can cause the particles to drag and scratch the laminate. This is why dust mops are a more promising method to collect smaller pieces of dust, dirt or hair.
If you prefer to vacuum, set the machine on a hard floor setting to prevent the rotating brushes from scratching the laminate. Something to keep in mind when cleaning laminate flooring is to prevent objects from scratching the material because, over time, supposedly small damage can add up and degrade your floors.
Sweeping, dust mopping or vacuuming is recommended weekly for optimal maintenance of laminate. However, this depends on where your office is located and your office lifestyle as many factors influence how often you should clean, such as having office pets, high office traffic, etc.
In addition to sweeping or vacuuming throughout the week, tending to spills as soon as possible is essential. Reducing the amount of time a stain sits on your floors should always be a priority. For water-based spills, wipe them away with a clean microfiber cloth. Remember, avoid letting water sit on laminate to prevent permanent damage. For wax or gum messes, harden the spot with ice to easily and carefully scrape off the surface. Then, go in with a slightly damp cloth to clean any residue left over. For oil-based spills or color stains, use acetone or nail polish remover on a white cloth to work through the grease and to eliminate stains on the laminate. Again, use a slightly damp cloth to clean up any residue. No matter the type of spill, make sure the laminate floor is completely dry to prevent any further damage.
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Deep Cleaning for Laminate Flooring
Spills and messes happen. And since a cleaning routine is mostly for minor collection of dust throughout the day or for stains that need immediate attention, occasional gentle, yet effective deep cleaning practices help save your laminate floors from long-lasting damage.
Mopping laminate floors needs to be done with special care and consideration. Something to always remember is to minimize the amount of water used to clean because excess water, or liquids in general, cause the laminate to deform, fade or separate at the seams. When using a mop to deep clean, make sure it is never soaked or dripping wet. It is crucial to wring out extra water and to have a barely dampened mop to collect dust, dirt or any other particles. If you would like to take extra precaution, use a laminate floor mop with a microfiber cloth to clean well and also use less water to prevent damage. After mopping, use a dry microfiber cloth to clean up any leftover moisture to avoid sitting water. Although small amounts of water left by your mop may seem harmless, not practicing proper drying habits can lead to bubbling and lifting of your laminate floors over time.
In addition to using minimal water and proper mopping methods, opting for cleaning products and solutions that are made for laminate is best because they are gentle yet effective on the material. The most expensive cleaners are not always the best, however. Look into cleaners that are made specifically for your floor type to ensure you are not using harsh elements, like oil-based cleaners that can leave streaks and ruin the quality of laminate flooring. If you are ever unsure about a product, researching can be your best approach. Or, you could make your own solutions by combining small amounts of unscented dish soap, vinegar or rubbing alcohol with water.
Even if you are using a cleaner that is made for laminate floors, use the product sparingly to avoid damaging the floor’s finish and leaving residue.
Aside from using a traditional mop to clean laminate floors, using a steam mop can provide a deep clean as well. However, be cautioned that steam can introduce small amounts of water to the floor joints and eventually lead to damage. If you do choose to utilize a steam mop, be sure to dry your floor with a clean microfiber cloth to eliminate as much leftover moisture as possible.
Mess and Damage Prevention
Preventing messes and damage to laminate floors is better than having to deep clean them more often. Equipping your office with the proper materials to accommodate for different factors, such as chair mats for your office, is a smart move.
For larger furniture, lay down protective mats, vinyl rugs, and furniture pads to prevent objects from dragging and scratching. Note that it is also important to be wary of the materials you are placing directly on laminate to prevent unintended damage. For example, be sure that vinyl rugs are laminate-approved to prevent them from sticking to your floors.
In addition to protection under furniture, placing indoor and outdoor mats can help prevent loose dirt and outside debris from ending up on your floors in the first place. A good practice to further prevent outdoor materials from collecting indoor is to not wear footwear inside. Shoes inevitably collect debris on the underside which easily transfers to laminate and increases the amount of cleaning needed to remove them.