You don’t need to be obsessed with HGTV to realize that when it comes to indoor décor, wall-to-wall carpets are out. But not everyone can afford top-notch hardwood flooring, nor should they, considering the wear-and-tear that comes with pets, children and other life occurrences. Enter laminate floors — the stylish but affordable way to update your space.
Whether you have preexisting laminate floors or you’re considering investing in them, there are a few rules to follow when it comes to maximizing their lifespan. Namely, sweep them regularly, protect them with a swanky (but affordable) area rug, and when vacuuming, use a soft brush attachment and set the machine to the “hard-floor” setting to avoid unnecessary scratches.
How to Clean Laminate Floors
When it comes to cleaning laminate floors, be sure to use products made especially for them. That’s particularly important because standing water on these floors can cause the laminate to bubble or swell, plus the seams could separate and the color could fade.
If you prefer to use a home solution, dilute a teaspoon of unscented and clear dish soap in a gallon of water and be careful not to wet the floors too much. Mops made of microfiber or other high-absorbing material are a great pick for this job. If you are using a regular damp mop, limit cleaning to every couple of months and be sure to wring it out as much as possible before mopping. When you’re done, be sure to give floors one final wipe with a dry cloth (again, microfiber is preferred!).
Last but not least, never wax or polish laminate floors. Since laminate is made to be shiny without such treatments, doing so actually makes your floors dull.
What to Look For in a Laminate Floor Cleaner
First and foremost, ensure that any solution you purchase is actually designed with laminate flooring in mind. Then, consider your own needs. Are you looking for a product that will help clean up scratches and dings, or are you in the market for a laminate floor cleaner that’s designed for general use? Are your floors shiny enough, or do you want something that will give them that extra little boost? And be sure to consider children and pets, who may be more sensitive to some formulas than others.
1. Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner
BEST NATURAL PRODUCT
Freshen up floors with this no-rinse, plant-based cleaner that’s designed for all kinds of hard floor surfaces — including laminate. We love that the ingredient list is free from alcohol, dyes and synthetic fragrances (it’s naturally scented with grapefruit, peppermint and bergamot extracts), plus the cleaning agents themselves are derived from coconut and corn. It’s a safe formula for kids and pets, plus it’s just better for the planet.
2. Rejuvenate All-Floors Cleaner
Add streak-free shine with this popular cleaning spray, which more than 86% of users on Amazon rated at four stars or higher. We’re fans of the fact that you can spray this cleaner directly onto surfaces (no bucket required), as well as the fact that it doesn’t leave behind a residue when used according to directions. The added Shine Booster technology also boosts floors and leaves them with a nice little shine, making this one of the easiest products to use when it comes to bringing floors back to life.
3. ZEP Ready to Use Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner
Looking for clean and sparkly laminate floors without the hefty price tag of some of the other cleaners out there? ZEP offers you a good bang for your buck with its gallon-sized cleaner. All you need to do is grab a spray bottle, point, spray and wipe clean with a dry cloth or mop. Users with pets love how easily it cleans up their floors, while others are fans of the fact that it doesn’t leave behind a sticky residue.
4. Pledge Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner Concentrated Liquid
A little of this formula goes a long way on your sealed floor surfaces (some users claim a bottle lasts them for up to six months), eliminating dust and dirt without leaving any residue behind. The formula is oil-free and doesn’t require any post-mop rinsing, plus it’s friendly for multiple surfaces so if you’ve got a mix-and-match floor situation going on in your house, you can use it in all of your rooms.
5. Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner Vinegar Wash
If you like the idea of cleaning your laminate floors with a vinegar-based wash but don’t really love the idea of making one yourself, this pet-friendly cleaner will help you eliminate grease and grime. The concentrated formula comes in a variety of scents including eucalyptus, lemon, lavender and mandarin, all of which are formulated with 100% essential oil blends.
6. OdoBan No-Rinse Natural pH Floor Cleaner
BEST FOR PETS
If you have pets then you already know the level of mess that they can leave behind on your floors. Unfortunately, a lot of cleaning products out there can be harmful to dogs and cats. Enter OdoBan’s natural formula, which is specifically designed to eliminate stank while restoring shine, and all with naturally derived ingredients and no harmful chemicals.
7. Bona Hard-Floor Cleaning Machine Formulation
BEST MACHINE FORMULA
If mops and towels just aren’t your thing and you prefer to clean your laminate floors with a proper hard-floor cleaning machine, you’ll need a formula that’s designed to stand up to such powerful devices. That’s where this citrus-scented, water-based floor-cleaning formula comes in handy. It works with most upright machines and is free from harmful additives, plus it dries fast so that you can quickly clean your floors and be on your way.