Wooden laminate floors are a popular choice within office and commercial buildings, it’s hard-wearing, relatively cost-effective and looks great. But it takes a certain amount of care to keep it looking good and without the right knowledge, you could end up damaging it.
It is one of the most common types of flooring within large cities as it can withstand high traffic and installing it can happen quickly, without disrupting daily workloads. That’s why commercial cleaning London experts have been perfecting methods to clean laminate floors for years.
Over time, mud, tea and coffee stains and general wear and tear can leave your laminate flooring looking a bit lacklustre but don’t worry, by following our top tips, you can restore your floors to their former glory and have a full understanding of how to clean laminate floors.
What not to do
Laminate flooring can easily be damaged if the right methods and products are not used so it’s crucial to know what to avoid.
Laminate floors and moisture do not mix well, so if there is a spill, it needs to be addressed quickly. Your flooring is made up of segments that have a fiberboard core, if this gets wet it can swell and become misshapen.
Not only does this not look good but if you continue to walk on these swollen boards, they will eventually break.
Never use a steamer or overly wet mops on your laminate flooring as this can cause irreparable damage due to their moisture.
For stubborn stains, it can be tempting to reach for steel wool or other abrasive materials but these will scratch the finish and you won’t be able to reverse this.
Strong chemical cleans with high amounts of ammonia or chlorine can react to the laminate and cause deterioration, especially if frequently used over time. Don’t use products designed to give shine as residue can build up over months and years.
Don’t be taken in by laminate floor cleaners on the market, they are often expensive and aren’t worth the money, especially when you know the alternatives.
Baby shampoo is just one example, a spoonful of this with water can bring great results and it’s gentle enough for laminate floors.
How To Clean Laminate Wood Floors
Depending on the level of dirt on your laminate flooring will depend on how you should address the task.
The best way to remove dirt and debris is to sweep your floor with a dry, soft brush or mop. Standard floor brooms can cause damage so try to avoid these.
Even though laminate flooring is durable, if a lot of hair and dust builds up over time, this can eventually lead to surface scratches.
If you prefer to use a vacuum, this is also acceptable, just ensure you have a soft brush attachment for this surface. Vacuum and sweep in the same direction as the boards, this helps to pick up debris hidden within cracks and crevices between slats.
Then you can move into mopping, use warm water and wring your mop out as much as possible so there is little moisture left. Starting in the centre, work your way outwards covering the entire floor.
You may need to re-soak and wring a few times due to there being so little moisture to begin with.
This method leaves no streaks and is safe for pets, children and any staff members that are vulnerable to chemical cleaners, it is also a great way to start green cleaning.
For stronger cleaning power, mix the water with vinegar or detergent.
Always make sure you fully dry your floor with a microfibre cloth, this prevents any water damage and ensures no debris is left.
Removing Stains From Laminate Floors
Different stains need to be addressed differently, below are the most common stains and how to get rid of them on laminate floors.
Especially in shared kitchen areas, the inevitable spillages from grease can be a nightmare to remove. If your office has laminate flooring, always keep an ice pack in the freezer.
Apply these ice packs to the affected area and wait until the grease has frozen, this is typically about 5-10 minutes.
Then, using a plastic knife, scrape the grease away, never use a metal utensil. Remove the last of the residue with a drop of window cleaner and a damp cloth. Then dry.
Heels marks are often made in the office and quickly make the room look unsightly. Simply use a pencil rubber to erase these away.
Wine, Ink and Fizzy Drinks
Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe these away. If ink has stained through into the floor, use a little detergent or ink remover on the cloth.
Clean the area again with warm water and dry.
Use a plastic knife to scrape this away and use your trusty damp microfiber cloth to remove residue. Dry the area afterwards.
Spray a little window cleaner and wipe away with warm water and a cloth. The sooner this is seen to, the easier it is to remove.
How To Prevent Laminate Floors Getting Dirty or Damaged
Prevention is always the best method when it comes to preserving the life of your laminate floors.
Entry mats at exterior entrances can pick up dirt, sand and small stones that could cause damage to the floor.
Keeping a soft broom or brush within each room that has laminate flooring will encourage colleagues to quickly clean up any mess they have made.
Mats in kitchen areas near countertops can help to catch food and drink spillages and reduce the risk of water damage.
Cover furniture legs with fabric or felt so they don’t damage the floor when sliding or being moved.
Area rugs, especially in high traffic areas will protect your floor and also add an aesthetic appeal to your office.
Following these steps will ensure your laminate floor stays looking good and prolongs it’s life to the maximum. The most important thing to remember is that any wet spills should be seen to immediately and dried out thoroughly.