WARNING – do not use any aftermarket cleaners or sprays that state leaves the floor shiny or sparkly or contain any glossing agents, these will leave you without any warranty on your flooring; the manufacturers of the flooring clearly state that no artificial glossing agents, polishes or shining agents such as waxes are to be used on melamine laminate flooring. There are several leading high street brands offering such products; they even say that they are suitable for laminate flooring on the label; this is their opinion, not the manufacturers of the flooring, however, so beware. These companies do not take into account the requirements of many leading laminate floor manufacturers such as Pergo, Quickstep, Krono Original, Egger, Balterio, Berry Floor, etc, and use of these products can often lead to problems and loss of warranty offered.
You should also avoid any laminate floor cleaners that state they are made from soap, as soap needs to be rinsed away, and most laminate floors these days cannot be rinsed or wet mopped due to the click system or ‘v’ groove technology used. The instructions on many soap-based cleaners are incompatible with the newer styles of laminate floors and often lead to damage to the flooring over time. Any concentrate cleaner used that states you mix it in a bucket and soak the mop cloths should only be branded manufacturer laminate cleaners only; many aftermarket cleaners can have chemicals in them that can lead to problems over time with certain laminates. Follow the instructions on the bottles closely, and never overwet the flooring.
Laminate floors are fade, stain, dent, burn, and scratch resistant. However, it is still possible that you may end up with a scratch, chip, or dent that will require repair. Laminate flooring is very tough, but it is not ‘bulletproof’.
There is a range of flooring laminate putties which can help mask any small chips in your flooring; however, they will not cover or hide scratches. Scratches will fade a little with the use of the flooring, depending on how deep; with proper advice and cleaning equipment, you can reduce the risks of damaging your flooring and keeping it looking new.
While laminates are meant to stand up to wear, they keep a new look if you follow this simple advice.
Vacuum or sweep the flooring to remove loose dirt or grit
(*** Caution – do not use any vacuums with a rotating beater bar – hard floor attachments only).
Whilst many laminate flooring manufacturers actually say you can use vacuums with hard floor attachments, we recommend you only use a soft brush to clean the surface grit and dirt away prior to mopping. We have found that if your flooring is suffering from a lot of grit particles on the floor, you do risk the chance of some of this grit getting onto the wheels of the vacuum, and whilst dragging or pushing the vacuum around the floor, it is possible that a piece of grit can stop some of the smaller wheels found on today’s vacuums from going around, this will result in a scratch on your laminate floor.
- Flat mop, using a laminate manufacturer’s cleaning solution. Spray the cleaning solution onto a dry flat mop with a microfibre cloth, do not saturate or over-wet the mop. The mop should not leave moisture behind. The mopped area was cleaned; this should be almost dry. If your laminate flooring has a wood grain-type finish, the flooring should be mopped in the same direction as the grain. (Most good quality laminates have an impressed grain effect in the wear layers on wood-type finishes) cleaning in the length of these grains helps bring back the luster of the flooring; only microfibre cloths can get into these impressed grains, and cleaning across the grain is not as effective. Once mopped with the cleaner spray on the flat microfibre mop cloth, the floor should then be buffed with a dry clean version of the flat microfibre mop cloth; this will help remove any residue from the cleaning procedure.
- Never use polish, varnish, or wax. Most laminate flooring has a pre-finished wear layer; this never needs further treatment, only correct cleaning. There are many after-market (generic) laminate floor cleaners on sale today; many of these cleaners can actually lead to more damage to your laminate flooring over a long period of time. Many of these after-market cleaning products have glossing agents in them, designed to offer your flooring a glossy clean sparkly finish, or have soap included in their makeup. Glossing agents will actually make your laminate flooring appear patchy; as you use the flooring, the worn areas fade as the glossing agent wears off quickly, then you have to constantly keep glossing your floor to keep it looking good, this is classed as a polish and the manufacturers can and will invalidate your warranty as a result if these products are used. The glossing agents and soaps found in many after-market cleaners often cause the flooring to become sticky, and this will cause the flooring to attract dirt rather than repel it. More dirt on your flooring will lead to more scratching with time.
- Never clean with abrasives, scouring powder, or steel wool.
- Wipe up spills/liquids immediately.
- Avoid allowing any liquids to stand on your floor – including your pet’s water bowl.
Dirt is the primary enemy of laminate floors. Walking over time causes fine scratches that lead to dullness, and larger particles of sand or rocks cause visible scratches.