How To Clean Laminate Floors

Laminate floors require a special kind of maintenance to keep them gleaming. To get yours to pass the Risky Business white-sock test, follow these easy tips.

Protect ‘Em

• Wipe up wet spills immediately. Water + Laminate = Disaster

• Place mats under your furry friend’s water bowl and consider a mat under your baby’s high chair.

• Don’t use anything that promotes a shine. These cause waxy buildup that is very difficult to remove.

• Avoid pine scented cleaners. These cleaners leave a dull, soapy residue.

• Steer clear of Murphy’s Oil. It leaves major streaks on laminate.

• Vinegar is widely debated. It’s acidic which isn’t the best for your laminate surface, but many people swear by a little bit of vinegar and a lot of hot water to cut pet grime. Used in abundance, though, it can remove the protective seal on your floors.

• Traditional wet mopping is a no-no!

• No stiletto heels on laminate. Pop those foxy shoes on at your front door on your way out!

• Trim pet nails. The mad dash to bark at the mailman can scrape off the protective layer on your laminate, allowing water to intrude at cleaning time.

• For the same reason, place furniture pads under all table and chair legs.

Maintenance Tips

• Sweep often. A soft-bristle broom can get up most of the pet hair, dust and dirt that collects on your floor.

• To grab the hard-to-reach dust in the corners of your rooms, use a soft-brush attachment on your vacuum.

• Use a damp mop: This means less water has the chance to seep in between your laminate seams. Use very hot water and a few drops of dish soap. Some products that work well are Bruce and Bona.

In A Pinch

• Use a steam mop occasionally for a very deep clean. Not daily, though, because the repeated use of steam can cause the laminate to buckle.

• You can use a window cleaner occasionally for spills but don’t over use ammonia, which can strip protective sealant.

Paying attention to these tips can make your Risky Business floor sliding go way smoother. Your white socks will remain white afterward too!
What’s your favorite way to clean your laminate floors?

Comments (28)

  1. Gene Wicker Jr says:

    Very timely. I'm in a new apartment with laminate floors for the most part and was wondering how to clean them. I've wiped them down with a damp cloth once (by hand no less), but was looking for a better method.

    • Laurie_March says:


      Hope it helps, friend! Try the hot water and drops of dish soap in a bucket….

      Yeah – by hand is not a very efficient option :)

  2. Judy Yoder says:

    I use boiling hot water with seeping tea bags. Soon as you can take very damp cloth .and of course on nees. About every 1 or 2 months. Dry mop in between.

  3. I've always lived in old homes with original hardwood floors until I got married this summer and moved into my husband's house with new laminate floors. Good to know that I'm not ruining them with a weekly steam mopping! Thanks for the tips!

  4. Lori says:

    i hate the laminate in our (new to us) house because it never looks clean. We had been using a Swiffer — which I also don't like because it's not natural in the least. I will give your methods a try and see if I can't make friends with this stuff…

  5. Rhonda says:

    I use a CedarO spray mop that I fill with the Bona Stone, Tile & Laminate Floor Cleaner and it works very well. The spray is just the right amount of water and dries very quickly.

  6. Shirl says:

    Using a mop with a microfiber pad is how I clean my floors most of the time. I dampen the pad and it velcros to the mop and I go over the floors. Once a month or so I will clean the floors like that and then apply Bona with microfiber pad. I always make sure the floors are dry after using the wet pad and go over them with a dust mop pad that velcros to the same mop when they are too wet and this dries them. I vacuum alot and also use a rubber broom to get up dust and other small things and it sweeps up everything very well. Usually do cleaning of the floors in one room or another every day to keep small pebbles or whatever from scratching floors. All this is really working for me. It did take me a time or two to find a microfiber mop that wasn't too heavy for me as I am short and 67 years old and have arthritis. I now have a collection of them that I don't use! I love the one I use now as it had 7 pads with it so I don't have to be washng pads all the time. Good luck with your floors and hope some of this if not all, will help you.

  7. Paula says:

    Where have you been? I have needed this information for 4-1/2 years! I have used Orange Glo, guess I shouldn't have but they do look better. So dusty though!

  8. Laura says:

    What about the Swiffer spray-mop contraption with the attached bottle of their cleaning product? I've been alternating between that and the Murphy's Oil. I see the latter is not recommended due to streaks, but I haven't noted a big problem with that so far …

  9. Lisa G. says:

    Thanks for this great info! I only wish I had known this a long time ago. Can you tell me how I might remove the waxy buildup from "shine promoting cleaners" and the residue left from pine scented cleaners? I found out the hard way not to use these things. My floors used to be beautiful, but now, some spots not so much. Please help!

    • Carol says:

      Lisa, I just bought laminated flooring to put in my house. I am 67 years old and am going to install it myself in a 15X27 foot room. I research everything I do so in my research I read about a product called "Laminator". See if you can find it on line. The product claims it can make your laminate floors look like new again. It removes all of the residue left by the wrong cleaning products and restores the original shine. They also recommend using it to seal your floors when they are new. It helps prevend moisture and other damage. I plan on sealing my floors as soon as they are installed. I hope this helps.

  10. Helen says:

    I moved into an apartment where the previous tenant put wax on a no-wax floor. Dirt and grime have been ground into the wax and I cannot get this floor clean. ANY suggestions on how to remove this waxy, dirty build up will be greatly appreciated. The landlord will not replace the flooring.

  11. Lenore says:

    We have dogs and I hate my laminate floors clean them and paws leave marks they never look clean and have tries all of the above

  12. Cathy says:

    I found that a steam mop about once a week cleans them then but have not wanted to use more. Glad I haven't. Swifter wet mop does not really clean & floors no longer shine. I tried vinegar. did not shine. I am going to try hot water and Bona. Thanks for the timely information.

  13. Martha England says:

    I use an O cedar dust mop in between cleaning with Bona mop with bona spray.
    Since I am eighty years old and I don't have any pets I don" have to mop too aften.
    This was recommended by Lowe's .

  14. Linda says:

    We have had laminate for the past few years and the best thing we have found is to damp mop with water that has a drop of murphys oil soap in it and dry immediantly. We do this every couple months and dry mop in between. Floors still look as good as the day they were put in.

  15. Judy Kelly says:

    I don't need to know how to clean a floor but our slab has cracks in it and moves from season to season. Is there any thing you can but down before you put your floor covering to keep this from showing. Something such as a floating floor?

  16. Colorfast says:

    I do like using natural cleaners and have been buying Seventh Generation for about 18 years now. But in this case, my understanding is that water is not your best option for laminate. Our installer recommended using Bona, available at Home Depot and several places. We bought the kit that includes a spray bottle, a dustmop and damp-mop for $20. You can also just buy the Bona spray bottle if you prefer. Bona Spray evaporates more quickly than water. Bona has a product for laminate that is separate than hardwood, so be sure to get the right one.

    Whatever you use, I think it is key not to let the cleaning go too long.

  17. Bernie says:

    I dust with a microfiber mop once or twice a week, and that's it. Damp mop only (seldom) with warm water & small amount of vinegar. The floors look fabulous. Love it!

  18. Nina says:

    I use a damp microfiber cloth (warm tap water) whenever there are spots such as water (dripping from the dog's mouth after drinking) and go over the entire floor once a week. My floors are 10 years old and still have a good shine.

  19. Stephen says:

    I've been searching high and low for this info. I watch DIY and HGTV all the time and would see this very, stunningly beautiful brunette, I was like who is this??? Wow, beautiful and full of helpful advice. I have high gloss laminate floors, they haven't look this nice since day one. Thanks Laurie.

  20. Kate says:

    Excellent thanks for your advice this is my first laminate experience :) :)

  21. Summertimer says:

    I use a microfiber velcro pad that attaches to a large flat mop. I use plain water and wring it out very well before attaching to the mop. About once a month or so, I use the spray Bona or a laminate floor cleaner with the same type of mop. The laminate floor cleaner gives the floor a nice subtle sheen. In between, I vacuum or sweep just about every day as we live on a beach where a hardwood floor wouldn't work with sand and sand is a no no for any floor. My floors are about 9 years old and look great.

  22. Jocelyn says:

    I just tried vinegar on my laminate a few hours ago. I had not read this first. Weird…
    I was so very pleasantly surprised at how clean my floors became. Loved it!

  23. Ronie Melvar says:

    As for me, I make sure that there's a clean cotton cloth in one of my drawers so that when someone spills liquids on my laminate floor, I'd be as fast as a rabbit to clean it up.

  24. Amy says:

    Rubbermaid makes a mop with a refillable bottle. We use that with washable pads and fill the bottle with water and some vinegar and it works like a charm. It so far hasn’t removed the seal on our pergo floors. We have non pergo laminate that is ok also. you can also just use a spray bottle with vinegar/water and the mop with the removable/washable microfiber pads. The wider the mop, the faster your mopping task will go is my advice. The only downfall on the Rubbermaid is that it stops working soon after b/c of a suction problem. It might be better now since our mop is about a year old.

  25. Luis says:

    I use the bona with the spray and micro fiber mop and still get a filmy residue look any suggestions on what I can do to make my laminate floors look like new?

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