Need laminate floor care tips? We’re sharing the best DIY laminate floor cleaner that doesn’t leave a film. It’s so easy and affordable!
Wondering how to keep your laminate floors streak-free clean without harsh cleaners?
You’re in luck!
We’re sharing the best tips and tricks to safely mop your laminate floors, including the best DIY cleaning solution.
After lots of trial and error, we’ve finally found the best methods to care for laminate floors and we couldn’t be happier with the results.
Use these tips for proper cleaning to make your laminate wood floors shine!
What Didn’t Work
We all know to steer clear of abrasive cleaners like steel wool and harsh chemicals on laminate floors (they can damage the protective coating).
But, it’s not so easy to choose the best gentle solution, either.
Laminate is different from hard floors so you can’t buy any old product on the shelf.
Here are some of the cleaners we’ve tried that didn’t get the job done.
These products will leave a streaky laminate floor and aren’t worth the money!
I tried to use our old spray mop and an off-brand laminate cleaner, but I could not believe how streaky and bad the floors looked.
Our builder suggested using only Bona cleaner on the floor, but I had heard stories about how expensive it was and avoided looking into it.
I also looked at using vinegar mixed with water to clean the laminate, but the articles I read on how to clean laminate floors said NOT to use a DIY cleaner. (But, boy, were they wrong!)
When I took back the off-brand cleaner to get a bottle of Bona Stone, Tile & Laminate cleaner I was shocked to see that the off-brand product and Bona were actually almost the exact same price.
The Expensive Bona Stuff
I decided to use Bona and was pretty happy with the results initially, but over time I noticed that my floors were SO filthy after mopping and there was a sticky film all over that I could not get rid of.
It was so frustrating to go through all of that work just to end up with a dirty floor!
I finally asked some of my neighbors what they were using on their floors and so many of them mentioned the film that Bona left.
I wasn’t the only one who noticed it!
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A Good Option
One neighbor suggested using distilled water, a little Dawn dish soap, and some essential oils.
I was considering that option when multiple other neighbors suggested Better Life Floor Cleaner.
I looked up the product on Amazon and was shocked by how inexpensive it was for the amount of product you get.
I immediately ordered it and couldn’t wait to try it out on my laminate.
As soon as I used it I could tell it was better than any other cleaner I had tried. There were no streaks, no film, and it smelled great.
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The Best Option
The Better Life cleaning solution is a good option for cleaning floors, but it still doesn’t work as well as this final method.
Can you believe our favorite laminate floor cleaner is actually a simple DIY formula?
Contrary to what I’ve always heard, it’s safe to use certain products to create your own floor cleaner.
Our tried and true homemade cleaner consists of a few household items you probably already have on hand.
And it makes cleaning your entire floor a breeze!
How To Make the Best Laminate Floor Cleaner
I now use warm water (plain water or distilled) mixed with rubbing alcohol and white vinegar.
Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that will break down film without hurting a laminate surface.
Rubbing alcohol has a nearly neutral pH — neither acidic nor alkaline and it dries quickly. This makes alcohol the perfect safe ingredient to clean laminate floors and hardwood floors.
Some recipes call for equal parts water, alcohol, and vinegar.
But, I prefer 1 cup of water with ¼ cup vinegar and ¼ cup rubbing alcohol.
This solution doesn’t leave any streaks or film.
And it works better than anything else I’ve tried. It’s also so much cheaper!
PRO TIP: If you have any tough stains on your floors (markers, lipstick, ink) you can apply acetone, like nail polish remover, on a clean white cloth. Wipe the spot with the damp cloth, but be sure not to let the liquid sit.
Must-Have Cleaning Products For Laminate Floors
These are the supplies you’ll need to have clean laminate floors:
1. Spray Mop
I use a generic spray mop from Amazon (which I love for the little scrubber tool), but you can also grab one from your local Target or hardware store.
You can also use a spray bottle and microfiber cloth for spot cleaning.
I used to only have one microfiber pad that I would have to remember to wash after I mopped so that it would be clean for the next time. I grabbed this pack of 6 microfiber pads from Amazon and now I don’t have to wash them nearly as often.
3. A Good Broom
You’ll need a good broom to make sure your floor is free of crumbs and dust before you mop. Or you can use a vacuum cleaner if you have a model that works on hard surfaces.
PRO TIP: Gently use the plastic scraper that comes with the mop to remove caked-on spills.
More Tips for Cleaning Laminate Floors
Since I’ve had these floors for several years now, I’ve learned several laminate floor care tips and tricks.
These are for any homeowners out there who may be scratching their heads as to why their floors are so dang streaky.
1. DO NOT use steam cleaners or a mop and bucket to clean your laminate floors. Regular mops produce too much water which can cause warping and moisture damage in the laminate.
And a steam mop can ruin the seal which could lead to dust and dirt getting caught in the seams.
However, I do love steam cleaning for other parts of the home like window seals and shower tiles.
2. Make sure to sweep before mopping. This first step is pretty much a given, but you should also go one step further and use a microfiber dusting pad to lock away dust, hair, and common household allergens before getting the floors wet.
Make sure you remove area rugs so you can clean under those, too!
3. Less is more. You don’t need a ton of cleaning solution to get your laminate clean. Just a few sprays every few feet does the trick! You want a damp mop not a wet mop!
4. Mop with the grain of the laminate. One of the best ways to reduce a streaky finish is to mop with the grain of the laminate; so whichever way the planks were laid across the floor.
5. Use a clean pad every time you mop. You’ll reduce any streaks and smears on your floors if you use a clean microfiber pad when you mop. I grabbed this pack of 6 microfiber pads so I don’t have to constantly wash them.
6. Give yourself some time after mopping before you walk on the floor. Our laminate cleaner dries fast, but you’ll give yourself the best chance for a streak-free clean if you don’t have to walk on the floor immediately after cleaning it.
This will also prevent footprints on your laminate wood flooring. Another tip is to wear socks when you’re on the laminate.
7. Be sure to wipe up spills right away. You never want to let water sit on your laminate or it can warp, so use a paper towel to get those spills cleaned up right after they happen.
If you happen to spill milk or something greasy on the floor, don’t mop it right away! Instead, soak up as much of the spill as you can with a paper towel. Then use a damp paper towel to wipe up any remaining liquid, trying not to spread the mess across the floor. Finally, you can mop it with the DIY laminate floor cleaner.
If you start mopping spilled milk, it will spread across the laminate and create a sticky, filmy mess for days until you clean it with a new mop pad or just plain water.
There are several common causes for cloudy laminate floors. Here are some of the top reasons and solutions:
1. Hard Water Deposits: If you have hard water in your area, the minerals present in the water can be left behind on the laminate floor, resulting in a cloudy appearance over time.
Solution: Use distilled water with vinegar and rubbing alcohol to clean the floor (1 cup water + ¼ cup vinegar and ¼ cup alcohol). Vinegar helps to dissolve and remove mineral deposits. And rubbing alcohol helps the floors to dry quickly. Avoid using excessive water when cleaning/
2. Incorrect Cleaning Techniques: Using abrasive or harsh cleaning tools, such as scrub brushes or abrasive pads, can cause micro-scratches on the laminate surface. These scratches can trap dirt and make the floor appear cloudy.
Solution: Opt for soft microfiber mops or cloths when cleaning laminate floors to avoid scratching the surface. Avoid using abrasive tools or harsh chemicals that can damage the laminate. Gentle cleaning techniques are usually sufficient for removing dirt and maintaining the floor’s appearance.
3. Wear and Tear: Over time, the wear and tear on laminate flooring, including scratches and scuffs, can make the floor appear dull or cloudy. This is more likely to occur in high-traffic areas.
Solution: Regularly maintain the floor by using protective felt pads on furniture legs, avoiding dragging heavy objects across the floor, and using entryway mats to minimize dirt and debris. If the floor is heavily damaged or worn, it may require refinishing or replacement.
Vinegar is a great natural cleaning agent that’s safe for laminate floors. It does a great job at removing film and leaves a streak-free finish when combined with water and rubbing alcohol.
Yes, Dawn dish soap is generally safe for use on laminate floors. It can be an effective and gentle option for cleaning laminate surfaces. However, it’s important to use it properly and follow these guidelines:
1. Dilute the Soap: Mix a small amount of Dawn dish soap with water in a bucket or spray bottle. The recommended ratio is approximately one tablespoon of dish soap per gallon of water.
2. Test in a Small Area: Before using the solution on the entire floor, test it in a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage or discoloration.
3. Use a Damp Mop or Cloth: Moisten a mop or cloth with the diluted Dawn solution. Avoid saturating the laminate floor with excessive water, as this can cause damage.
4. Gentle Cleaning: Gently mop or wipe the laminate floor with the dampened mop or cloth. Avoid using excessive force or aggressive scrubbing, as it may scratch the surface.
5. Rinse Thoroughly: After cleaning with the Dawn solution, rinse the floor with clean water to remove any residue. Ensure that no soapy residue is left behind, as it can make the floor appear cloudy.
It’s worth noting that different laminate flooring manufacturers may have specific cleaning recommendations, so it’s always a good idea to check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer or consult their website for any specific guidelines or precautions.
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Do you have any cleaning tips for laminate that I missed? Have more questions about laminate floor care? Let me know in the comments!