How to Clean Laminate, Linoleum and Vinyl Floors

Dents, scratches and spills can be quite a predicament on your hard or semi-hard floors. On the other hand, they are very easy to maintain. It can typically be done in two easy steps. First dust and sweep away the dry dirt. Then mop. By mopping the floor without sweeping beforehand, dry soil becomes wet and gritty, leaving unwanted scratches on your floor.

Cleaning Laminate Flooring

The installation of laminate floors can be done as a DIY project. However it is important to remember that while the individual planks are factory sealed, there are gaps between these planks and the edge of your floor, which are not sealed. The planks may lift up if too much water seeps into these gaps.

To clean laminate floors, you have the following choices:

  • A dry mop or electrostatic stop mop especially for laminates.

You can choose from various brands that attract the dust that sticks to laminates.

  • Use a vacuum cleaner with the brush bar setting off.
  • Sweep the floor using a soft broom.

For laminated floors found in bedrooms and living rooms, any of the above-mentioned methods should be sufficient. However for laminated floors found in the kitchen, a follow up with a just-damp mop would be ideal. For especially dirty floors, a specialist cleaner should be used. Alcohol-based mop cloths are effective on tough dirt and the alcohol evaporates quickly.

Polishes, general floor cleaners and multi-surface cleaners should be avoided. The use of detergent will dull the floor.

If you have many laminated floors, a steam mop would be a good investment. Wetting the floor with steam is safe and effective and it usually dries within 30 seconds. A steam mop is also effective for windows and sofas. It is also highly effective in killing germs on hard floors.

Ground-in dirt may be highly tempting to clean using a liquid wash. A gentle soapy wood cleaner can work in a room with low humidity. However, it must mopped dry afterwards. I’ve done this successfully for many years in my kitchen, where constant dry heat is provided by means of an AGA cooker and have never encountered board lift up.

Cleaning Linoleum and Vinyl Flooring

Linoleum and vinyl both are both used to make waterproof, hard-wearing surfaces for the wet rooms in your home. Linoleum consists of natural fibres while vinyl is completely man-made.

Both types of surfaces can be cleaned with the following steps:

1. Remove grit by either sweeping or vacuum.

2. Use of a floor cleaner, either a diluted detergent, or even a homemade multi-purpose cleaner.

Apply water sparingly. Wring the mop thoroughly before you apply onto the floor.

Use two separate buckets – one containing cleaning solution, the other containing plain water. The bucket of detergent solution can be kept fresh and made to last for the entire floor by submerging the mop in the plain-water bucket after every sweep of the floor, wringing it out before dipping it again in the soapy water.

3. Rinse the floor thoroughly by mopping it with clean water.

Care must be taken to not get the floor overly wet. A glossy finish can be maintained on the floor by coating with a water-based polish for vinyl or linoleum. For best results, repeat this twice a year.