How to Clean Laminate Floors

Laminate flooring is a popular choice for those seeking the look of hardwood, but also wishing to avoid the higher level of maintenance. It is much easier to maintain than real wood.

Laminate Floor Maintenance Cleaning

What you will need:

  • Broom
  • Vacuum with soft brush attachment
  • Laminate Floor Cleaner (sold at home improvement stores and large grocery chains)
  • Sponge Mop
  • Bucket of clean hot water

Instructions:

  1. Sweep floors to remove loose dust/debris
  2. Using the soft brush attachment, vacuum floor, making sure to pay special attention to corners where dust and pet hair accumulate
  3. Following the directions on the Floor Cleaner, apply to small section of the floor (5’ x 5’).
  4. Dampen sponge mop, being sure to wring out excess water, and run over area of floor cleaner* going with the grain of the wood with smooth, even strokes.
  5. Rinse mop in clean water and repeat steps 3 & 4 on next section of floor.
  6. There is no need to rinse unless the directions on the cleaner suggest that you do so.

*Be careful if the mop has metal edges as these may scratch the floor.

Laminate Floor Stain Removal

Although laminate floors are generally stain resistant, some stubborn stains may require special treatment. Here are some of the more common trouble makers:

  • Blood: Spray stain with window cleaner and wipe with a damp cloth.
  • Liquor: Dampen a cloth with warm water and detergent and rub spot. If that fails, try using a cloth dampened with denatured alcohol.
  • Grease: Apply an ice pack (a package of frozen vegetables will do in a pinch) until grease hardens, then gently scrape with plastic spoon or butter knife. Remaining residue should wipe away with a couple of squirts of window cleaner.
  • Crayon marks: Rub with a soft cloth dampened with mineral spirits. If that doesn’t work, apply toothpaste and rub with a dry cloth.
  • Nail polish: Use a small amount of scouring powder, warm water, and a plastic mesh pad. Work the scouring powder into a paste and apply, be careful no to rub too aggressively as it may scratch the finish.
  • Ink: Wet a rag with warm water and detergent and rub. If that doesn’t work, try a commercial ink remover.
  • Heel Marks and Scuffs: Rub the marks with a pencil eraser. Mr. Clean magic erasers are great for this.
  • Chewing gum: Remove excess gum with plastic knife and rub residue with soft clothe dampened with mineral spirits.

Keep Your Laminate Floors Looking New

Although laminate floors are low maintenance and scratch resistant, that doesn’t mean they are indestructible or scratch proof. Taking these simple precautions will keep your floors looking new and scratch-free.

  • Keep a broom and/or dust mop handy for daily quick sweeps to avoid accumulation of dirt, dust and pet hair. Swiffer makes a product perfect for this task, such as Swiffer Sweeper® and Swiffer Sweeper Vac.
  • Regular floor cleaners, such as the pine scented kind are not recommended for use on laminate as they can leave a dull, soapy residue.
  • Murphy’s Oil Soap is not recommended for use on laminate as it can leave it looking streaky.
  • For quite clean-up of spots and spills, spray with window cleaner and wipe with a soft cloth. However, do NOT overuse window cleaners that contain ammonia as excess ammonia can strip away the protective sealant on laminate floors.
  • Wipe up water and other spills promptly as excess water or other liquid can damage floors and cause warping.
  • Laminate floors DO NOT require waxing and applying floor wax of any kind can result in a dull build-up.
  • Consider using carpet runners or area rugs (being sure to use non skid pads under either) especially for high-traffic areas.
  • Try to avoid wearing heavy-soled shoes or high heels on wood floors. In fact, barefoot is best!
  • NEVER drag furniture or other items across the hardwood floor.
  • Use furniture pads on the bottoms and legs of furniture (available at any home improvement or supercenters stores).
  • If you have pets, keep their nails trimmed to avoid nicks and scratches.

Cleaners for the Environmentally Conscious

With the popularity of laminate flooring, commercial cleaners can be found at most of the larger grocery stores, supercenters or home improvement stores. However, if you are “thinking green” you can find environmentally friendly versions online. Admittedly though, these “friendlier” versions may not be as friendly to your wallet. For a less expensive and environmentally safe alternative, try mixing 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar with 1 gallon of water. This mixture should cut through most dirt and grime and leave your floors looking clean and streak-free.

Comments

  1. Kathleen says:

    While waxing my kitchen floor, the wax sprayed up onto a painted cabinet; I didn’t notice until it was dry and when I tried to remove it, I was removing the paint as well. Any suggestions on how I can get the wax off of the painted cabinet?

  2. Linda says:

    When removing heel marks and scuffs from my laminated flooring, I use a knee-high nylon stocking. I put it on my foot and rub the marks away quickly.

  3. Joanie says:

    My laminate floor always ended up with spots until I started using a steam mop. Fast, clean and no spots. My floors look new all the time.

  4. Sarah says:

    Hey everyone, well they just installed laminate floor in my house about a month ago. I’m starting to regret getting it simply because it never stays clean! I’ll sweep, then mop, but as soon as I’m done, all of our footprint marks are there on the floor. Any tips on how I can maintain the floor clean and keep this from happening?

  5. Bob says:

    We have tried and love the results of a two step, easy to use system that deep cleans and restores laminate flooring. It is used by floor cleaning professionals around the country, but is easy enough and packaged for the homeowner to use. It’s called LamanatorPlus.

    Don’t ever steam clean your laminate because within a year, it will begin to peak at the edges and you would have to replace boards at that time.

    This LamanatorPlus product will help seal, protect and shine your laminate. It will conceal footprints, pet prints, etc. We also use their Buff Dry Cleaner to maintain our floors. Wow, incredibly good stuff.

    We recommend it to everyone we know with great success. Our friends constantly thank us for the info…
    Good luck, Bob

  6. Dorman says:

    I have just put up a laminated floor and I do not know what my daughter spilled on the floor, but now the floor is stained with a white make. Please explain to me how to removed the stain.

  7. Samantha says:

    Whatever you do, Do Not use furniture polish!! :) The people we bought our house from said to use this and when I did, it made the floor so slippery you couldn’t even walk on it barefoot without falling. It took it a while for the polish to wear down.

  8. Graeme says:

    I work for a flooring store you do not use a sponge mop on your laminate flooring and you should not be dunking the mop into water. You need laminate floor cleaner and a microfiber mop head you spray directly on to the microfiber mop and clean the floor.

  9. Maggi says:

    I don’t have a tip. I have a laminate floor problem. When furniture movers came, they dragged a rubber-tipped sofa wheel that was locked across the floor and there is a long streak there now. How can I remove it without having the floors redone? I tried toothpaste, Goo-B-Gone, erasers, and gentle cleaners. No luck. Help!

  10. Carianne says:

    I use laundry detergent with hot water and then wring the mop out as much as I can so it is just damp… Leaves the floor streak-free every time!!

  11. Mary says:

    I have three small dogs and I HATE my laminate flooring. They leave little footprints all over it and I end up on my hands and knees buffing and mopping. I have it on about 2500 square feet and will not put it in my new house I am building.

  12. Rick says:

    I have a new home with laminate wood floors in three rooms. My dog sometimes drools and leaves dried saliva stains on the flooring. How can I remove these stains? I have tried Wood Floor Cleaner for the Swiffer Wet Jet, but it didn’t work.

  13. Clare says:

    We bought laminate floorboards thinking it would be heaps easier to keep clean than our cream carpet I want my carpet back. Sure you clean and mop and yeah it looks good for about 5 minutes until you walk on it and you get foot marks on the floor in a matter of minutes. It looks like you hadn’t even cleaned it. We’ve tried shoes-off, shoes-on nothing keeps the footprints off. The floor always looks dirty.

  14. TAG654 says:

    I put in laminated floors thinking they would be easier to keep clean than carpet. They are, but here my conclusions:

    Use laminated floor cleaner only on specific spots/areas or eventually it will build up.

    Use water/vinegar/splash of alcohol solution in a spray bottle – a light spray/quick mop of this is all that is necessary but once a month or two – use a steam mop with the same solution. Experience with steam mop: I recently purchased a steam mop thinking it would make it so much easier – but it left major streaks; footprints collected like never before. I was about to send the steam mop back but decided to keep trying. I am embarrassed to say the streaking was caused by all the dirt that the steam was loosening up. My floors were just installed about six months ago, have no kids, etc., so I was quite surprised. I think what it is that each board had a thin plastic covering when it was all packaged up by the manufacturer and probably this had a little bit of sticky residue even though I couldn’t see it. Over the past several months, I think dust just started collecting & adhering to that faint residue & my once a week/casual sweep/mop wasn’t getting it all. I have now thoroughly steamed sections of my floor – sometimes several times over & finally, I don’t have any streaks, footprints aren’t left, etc. I do my casual sweep/mop & I am really pleased with the results. Hope this helps someone.

  15. Tinisa H. says:

    Just want to share this with all of you that are suffering and ashamed of your Pergo floors. I went through the same problem, proud of them in the beginning then ended up hating them, now I love them again even more. I cleaned them with the water & vinegar solution, which just left them dull and streaky. Brought the Bruce’s floor care cleaner and restorer that worked once and only once. Got work done to my house and the work crew had to travel through my kitchen to get to the area of the home that work was getting done to so I put down a runner to avoid them coming in contact (boots & dust) with my floor, which worked. After the work was completed, I felt I couldn’t neglect cleaning the Pergo floors any longer so I did what I had done before and that was not working so I kept trying to find solutions to the horrible Pergo floors I came to dislike quickly. I cleaned with the water & vinegar solution and did the Bruce’s routine a couple of times and still all I got was a very, very dull floor and prints everywhere. I came to hate the floors, so I was searching for something that I already had in my cabinet and ran across Orange Glo. I tried it with one of those microfiber mops and it looked as if it wanted to work, but just didn’t do it enough for me. I needed to see that shine I had when I first purchased them so I tried a Viva paper towel and what do you know – it was a shine in that one area. So I got six or seven sheets and saturated it in the Orange Glo and did a nice big area in a circular motion and the shine kept coming through so I thought I’d let it dry and see what happens. Let it dry and left the kitchen for a few moments to see if I could find the spot I had just did and when I returned, oh what a beautiful site. So I got on my hands and knees and did the complete kitchen and I just love my floors now. They look even better than when I first purchased them. I get so many compliments on how beautiful they look. I really can’t say if the Viva paper towels helped, but I didn’t use anything else to find out if it did or not. So here is what I did: cleaned the floor with the water & vinegar solution (sprayed on), let dry and then applied the Orange Glow Floor Refinisher with Viva paper towels (several times). Good Luck to anyone who is going to try this. I hope I helped someone out.

  16. Iva says:

    After painting, I realized paint had splattered on my laminate floors. How can I remove the paint?

  17. Chrissy says:

    Everyone here is wasting their time with special cleaners, ideas, and guessing games.

    This is how you keep your laminate or Pergo floors spotless:

    Wipe them with a DRY Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Your floors will be absolutely beautiful.

    I am a cleaning expert and was called just yesterday to inspect a Pergo floor that had “Mysterious spots” that the weekly housekeepers could not get off.
    They used the traditional mop methods.
    Upon arrival I saw the only mystery was why they still had a job because those floors were nothing more than filthy from build up.

    I hand cleaned the entire floor with the dry magic eraser and it shined.
    You can also get the Magic Eraser mop. But keep it DRY!

  18. Kelly says:

    Just used the dry Magic Eraser on some dried dog saliva spots on my Pergo floors – it worked great (still had to give it a little elbow grease). Thanks Chrissy! One question – will the Magic Eraser strip off the protective finish on the floors? I know that the Magic Eraser can remove paint if used vigorously (found out the hard way).

  19. Chrissy says:

    Hey! I did an entire Pergo floor that had build up. I never got the impression it would strip the finish. I hope it doesn’t! It works so well. I am actually going to order some melamine, which is what a Magic Eraser is minus the formaldehyde.

    It may be gentler. Will let you know!

  20. Melissa says:

    Wow!!! I had laminate put in about four months ago and I HATE HATE HATE IT!!!!

    Just like everyone, I have tried everything – water, vinegar, recommended cleaners, and they all STINK!!! Why in the world would they sell these floors when they won’t stay clean or free of smudge marks or foot prints. If someone would have told me the TRUTH, I would have spent the extra money… Any ideas?

  21. Chrissy says:

    Use a dry Magic Eraser. Trust me.

  22. Carol says:

    I have tried everything on my 1000 sq. ft. of flooring and nothing does it like Melaleuca Sol-U-Mel.

    Clean and shiny like no other product, smells good too.

  23. Jeanne says:

    I had read to use a little baby shampoo with a very slightly damp mop and then dry, as needed. It seems to work for me. I use a broom and dry Swiffer for daily use.

  24. PJ says:

    We installed a high end laminate floor in our living room in July 2009 and have had no problems with it. We have hard wood floors in our bedrooms, and to me they are basically the same as far as keeping them clean. We purchased the Bona cleaning system when we purchased the flooring, which consists of a microfiber cleaning pad, a polyester dusting mop, and a spray bottle of Bona floor cleaner. Just spray and clean. Takes five minutes. No footprints, no problems with stains, just a happy customer. You can purchase this stuff online or at dept. stores like Kohl’s. Good luck.

  25. Becky says:

    I’d tried everything – the special cleaners for the Mannington brand, Bruce, Bona, vinegar and water, various other mixtures, Windex, a dampened with plain water, etc. ALL leave a hazy film that shows tracks and streaks. It’s necessary to vigorously buff off the film (regardless of what you use to clean with) and you can’t really do that with any mop, but on your hands and knees. This was working me to death in our new 1750 sq. ft. retirement home that I made the huge mistake in believing “low maintenance” laminate flooring. I had to go on Prozac. (Well, almost.) But I finally figured it out. I put a microfiber cloth (from the dollar store) on my Swiffer. I filled a micro-mister bottle (the one that formerly contained $12 worth of Bona) with 70% rubbing alcohol. Lightly spray a small area and with a few swipes, your floor is clean. The alcohol evaporates quickly, so you can get a clean shine without a film. If you have stubborn spots like something sticky or dog slobber, you may need to saturate the stain a little more and wait briefly before buffing with the mop. This absolutely does not leave any dull film and will not build up. I figured if you can put nail polish remover and other strong chemicals on these floors, alcohol shouldn’t damage them. I also use alcohol on my ceramic tile floor in the bathroom because it dissolves sticky hairspray residue better than anything else. In the past, I’ve used alcohol on vinyl floors in the bathroom as well. Our dealer and installer both said do not use steam mops – you don’t know if too much moisture is getting in the unsealed seams until it’s too late. Do not use Orange Glo. It will make the floors dangerously slick and over time, you’ll get a waxy build-up. And I can’t imagine trying to clean my whole house (muddy dog tracks and kitchen spatters) with a dry Magic Eraser, although they’re great for spot cleaning. Now, if anyone says don’t use alcohol, I’m not going to pay any attention. It’s the ONLY thing that works.

  26. Jo says:

    I just had my entire first floor done with high-gloss laminate flooring. Love it, but is there anything you can do about the footprints? You can only see them at an angle, but ugh. I have a dry erase mop – will try it on these floors.

  27. Dana says:

    I am so tired of scrubbing floors and seeing no reward an hour later. I have a two-year-old, a five-year-old and a lab, oh and a husband. So you can guess my laminate floors have high traffic. I tried with laminate floor cleaner and water and vinegar, but same result, dull floors. Thanks to all the helpful hints, but the one that worked best for me was the water and alcohol. My beautiful floors that we installed ourselves are back!

  28. Heather says:

    There are a lot of opinions on laminates. I find Mr. Clean heavily diluted in very warm water is the only thing that works – the hot water and the alcohol-based cleaner with just a little bit of grease make for a gorgeous floor. The only times I have had a problem is if the dilution isn’t enough.
    I need the water for movement on those floors. If the traffic areas are heavy, I go over them with a warm (very wrung out) mop first, then do a final clean after that.
    Buffing dry works, too.

  29. Glenna says:

    If you use a cleaner of water, vinegar and alcohol, what proportions do you use?

  30. I hate them too! says:

    I hate the laminate floors also. We installed them in our mobile home instead of carpet. Sure wish we would have purchased the carpet. Our cat hates them also (he can’t run and play like he did on the carpet at our apartment.) Tried every cleaner and nothing works. Still have the foot prints and they always feel dirty under your feet, no matter how much you sweep and do the vinegar and water cleaner. I don’t recommend them for anyone.

  31. Tonia says:

    I have laminate flooring in about 50% of my 2000 square foot house and I would NEVER get it again. Hardwood is the only way to go and I wish I had spent the extra and got a floor I could actually take a mop to; this has been a nightmare. I’ve got the streaks and the smeary footprints and the constant worry about water and liquid spilling on the floor. Like a complete idiot, I had the stuff put in my kitchen and in a bathroom. Can anyone claim to be dumber than that…I highly doubt it. I’m going to try the alcohol thing and if that doesn’t work, I may just start drinking alcohol. At least I now see there are many others like me who’ve made the same mistake. I feel a little better having read all these comments.

  32. Cindy says:

    I had Columbia laminate at my old house, which I absolutely loved. It cleaned up beautifully with the Bruce laminate floor cleaner. At our new house, we installed SPI laminate flooring. I hate it. If I could afford to take it out and re-do it I would. I’ve tried every concoction to clean it and nothing seems to work. It’s always dull and streaky looking. I’ve even contacted SPI to ask them how to clean the floor. They told me to use vinegar and water, which is what I’m using. They also told me the color I chose is a known problem and has recently been discontinued. Great. I’d would definitely by laminate again, but only the Columbia brand.

  33. Tami says:

    Wow…similar story here. Looked great at first, but as the weeks went on, the footprints drove me nuts. The store sold us Bona WOOD cleaner and my mom, who cleans homes, insisted that’s why – we needed the Bona for Laminate, because duh, it’s a laminate floor. So I went back to the store and the guy acted like I didn’t know what kind of floor I had. I said we just bought it from you three months ago…it’s not hardwood…it’s laminate, you know, 1/4 of the price of hardwood. He then says maybe I’m wrong and it’s engineered wood…um, no sir, it’s laminate…please give me the laminate cleaner (it was behind the counter). Then he insisted I needed to try the vinegar and water treatment once a month to cut grime and that I need the WOOD cleaner…have mercy. Tried the water and vinegar, now it’s footprints and streaky. Moving to alcohol next. We only did one room and the entry, before deciding on doing the whole first floor; it’s not looking promising.

  34. Maria says:

    I have high-gloss laminate hardwood, and they are so hard to keep clean. Many people in the hardware stores suggested using a steam mop. Is that safe to do overtime. The boxes say safe for laminate, but I’m worried about the heat lifting them with moisture.

  35. Sandra says:

    I only wish that I had read all the comments here before putting laminate throughout my entire house. I thought that with kids and pets, that having laminate would be so much easier to clean than carpet. Boy was I wrong. I had no idea that it would be so hard to keep clean. I’ve tried everything to keep my floors clean, and nothing seems to work, except to not walk on it. Now, I have footprints and stains that seem to be permanent; even after trying to rub them off over and over again, they are still there. Big mistake putting in a dark cherry color too. My cats love to put their paws in their water dish and guess what….they walk on the floor and leave paw prints all over the laminate, which makes me crazy because if you don’t wipe them up immediately, they leave marks that you have to buff off. I’m trying the water and vinegar solution again. Already tried Windex. I guess next I’ll try the vinegar, alcohol and water mixture. Couldn’t hurt. Cleaning this floor every week is driving me crazy, and my family is tired of me being such a maniac about keeping it clean. I only wish the salesperson would have told me the truth about laminate. I would have spent the extra money on something I could have mopped and steamed.

  36. Glad I'm not alone says:

    We just had our 90% of our floors done in laminate. Approx. 2,000 sq. ft. Sure wish I had found this forum before hand. There are more “don’t do’s” than anything. So much for low-maintenance. I’d do anything to have my carpet back!

  37. Carrie says:

    I finally threw in the towel and hired someone to help me keep my house clean. She tried Bona on my Mannington laminate, which was OK the first few times. The last time, it was like an ice rink in my dining room and kitchen. My son wiped out too many times. I asked her to use something else – too slippery. This time, the vinegar and water combo was even worse! She also tried my Pergo spray cleaner and the Mannington spray cleaner, neither of which helped. She is stumped! It’s like the finish is slick now that the floors are wet-cleaned regularly, whereas for the past three years, I have been using a Swiffer vac and Mannington spray as needed. Maybe we just aren’t used to clean floors at our house…

  38. Sue says:

    I just had a new floor put in yesterday. It looked great until they cleaned it with BONA. All it did was streak and leave footprints. My husband is using a walker and every move he made left a mark. I got out the old vinegar water, a damp cloth and started scrubbing in the direction of the grain and doing a section about 3-feet wide from one end to the other. I’d wipe it off with a paper towel again in the direction of the grain as I was working my way from one end to the other. Now my floor has its natural sheen and no streaks or marks. My husband’s shoes and walker do not leave any marks and I’m walking barefoot with no prints. I love my new floor now. Yeah for old fashion Vinegar!

  39. Donna says:

    I can’t believe that laminate is this impossible to clean. I feel much better after reading these posts because I have never had floors look as bad as mine do. The footprints and paw prints drive me up the wall. I have about 1000 square feet of laminate and was sold on hardwood until the last quote. What a headache! I refuse to have to buy a special cleaner for laminate. The salesman even said they were easy to clean. I have to try alcohol; water and vinegar didn’t work for me. All of those years I had hardwood and could just a use damp mop with water!

  40. Deb says:

    Scary! I just had laminate installed (over 1500 square feet) to help with allergies and make upkeep easier. I assumed I’d be using vinegar/water, as I use it for just about all my other cleaning, but the salesman said, “Oh, no! You’ve got to use our specialty cleaner; vinegar will strip the wear layer!” I read the label and that cleaner would be taking a step backwards in the allergy war! And it’s also not very Eco-friendly. The salesman also said not to use a steam cleaner, so I’ve just been using a damp microfiber mop, and my floors are getting dull and streaky. I’d like to try the vinegar/alcohol/water mixture, but what percentages should the mix be? Does anyone reading know this?
    Also, I have a thought about why some folks posting have a worse time. It seems likely that the high gloss, darker colors are giving more trouble. I choose a low gloss, kind-of medium oak color with hopes it would be easier to clean. One other thought on laminate versus carpet: Our laminate floors aren’t any less dirty, the dirt just sits on top waiting for us to figure out how to get it out, whereas with carpet, what we can’t vacuum off the top gets buried forever in the carpet pad.
    I’m going to go search the ‘net for information on the effects of vinegar on laminate, and if I find anything interesting, I will post it here. Thanks to all for the input!

  41. Linda says:

    We have only had our floor down one week and I’m cracking up already. We went for a high-end laminate floor with a moisture barrier and a 25 year guarantee! Not sure what to call these marks, I guess they’re like skid marks: clear, straight lines. We can’t get them off! I can’t see them everywhere, but in front of the TV, or where the light catches them, they are bad. I’m becoming obsessive about it now; I think I’m going to crack up, help please!

  42. Cheri says:

    I want to try the vinegar and alcohol treatment, but I wonder if anybody can give a good formula for the mixture? Or, do you mix them?

    Thanks!

  43. Myl33 says:

    I cleaned my mom’s floor with the goal of putting a smile on her face. Ends up, she rushed to ask me what I used, and so I answered saying Mr. Clean soap product. She got mad and told me not to use such products on laminate floors since it can damage it. I would like to know if this is true?

  44. Jeepurz says:

    Don’t use a steamer; you are simply injecting steam into the joints, which will cause them to swell, voiding the warranty.

  45. Annelie H. says:

    Okay, I agree with all who say laminate floors are definitely not “easy maintenance.” We have laminate on the entire bottom floor, which is high traffic (due to kids): kitchen, family room, dining and living room, as well as the mudroom/bathroom. Everything is a gorgeous cherry color. I do believe that when you have tried a cleaning solution, and then vinegar (which I believe makes it dull), you are making a layer of build-up that might not come off the first time you try something new, like steam cleaning or alcohol.
    The Magic Eraser trick works OK, but “elbow grease” doesn’t even cover it. I can’t imagine doing the entire floor like this. But when I do try that, I can literally see the vinegar/cleaner film come off, which is what I want! I don’t know, but the hot water with alcohol and microfiber cloth, then dry after, sounds like the best to me.

    The reason why I had to comment on here is to ask all who insist you want your carpet back: Do you think the carpet isn’t dirty, or do you love not seeing the dirt? Americans are so fooled into thinking their heavy vacuums with rollers CLEAN carpet. It’s crazy. Everywhere else, people realize carpet is a wonderful haven for dirt, parasites, dust, and other awful bugs, etc., causing horrible air in our homes, possibly allergies, and trapping dirt or worse. It’s a wonder to me that people even compare carpet to laminate. Obviously, the laminate is going to show the dirt more, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there on the carpet. To compare laminate to linoleum, hardwood or even tile makes more sense. Don’t fool yourself and think it’s sanitary or healthy to have carpet in kitchens/dining areas/bathrooms or even high traffic living rooms. Especially with kids. YUCK.
    -European living in the U.S.

  46. Nancy says:

    I hated carpets and all the cleaning and vacuuming I had to do, not to mention all the germs and smells that hung in the carpets. So for my birthday, we did laminate flooring. Not only was it tougher than they said to install, but after, well, I just loved it. So sweeping every few days; no big deal, right? Wrong! Now my floors are dull. We live in low light, so no one sees the footprints or pug prints. I don’t want to wreck my floors, I just want them clean and shinny. Oh yeah, my floors are Shaw floors, and the customer service line was no help when I called them. Someone help!

  47. J. says:

    I’ve read through all your comments and am seeing a common theme, one that has not been addressed.

    Most complaints seem to center around ‘smears’ and cleaned floors that look instantly ‘dirty’ again minutes after a thorough clean. My experience is that laminate floors ‘reflect’ marks according to how much natural light comes into the room at any given time. How do your ‘dirty’ floors look at night in soft artificial lighting? My hunch is most of you will be saying they look really good.

    I have laid good, quality laminate floors throughout the entire upstairs area of our house, and in our kitchen, and our large, high traffic mudroom. Upstairs (down for one and a half years) looks great until the afternoon sun comes flooding in the windows, then you see the footprints. Downstairs looks constantly great because both rooms are not as well lit by natural light.

    I use nothing but water over a microfiber cloth to wash my floors once a week, and they look fine. Believe me when I say I am extremely anal about floors looking good so it is not as though I have low expectations for this flooring. We live in a rural, cold, northern climate with two dogs and two cats so my floors are subject to a real workout on a daily basis.

    I understand that no floor is ‘no maintenance’ and I understand that dirt and gravel will damage any surface over time. I sweep on a daily basis to keep the floors free of dirt and gravel which will scratch the surface and eventually lay it open to accelerated wear. That’s another reason I don’t use vinegar; if the surface is scratched at all, I can’t imagine that vinegar, over time, wouldn’t be corrosive to some degree.

    I love laminate flooring with a passion! I have hardwood in our living room and while it is a wonderful, ‘alive’-looking floor, I love the laminate for ease of maintenance. Don’t be put off by all the negative talk. With realistic expectations and regular cleaning (yes, all floors need constant cleaning – it’s part of being human and having feet that track dirt!), your laminate flooring will serve you well.

  48. Matt says:

    I was starting to get worried because the new floors I put in at my business were starting to build up streaks, marks, and a chalky dull haze. My solution for cleaning was water and Zep hardwood floor and laminate cleaner, until tonight when I decided to clean the floors using a wet Swiffer (24 pack). I cleaned the floor in smaller sections, let it dry and re-cleaned it about four times until the new Swiffer pads were staying clean. I went through 22 Swiffer pads in one 2-hour cleaning session and the floors look new again. This is a business, so everyone who comes in wears shoes. I’ve walked all over the new floors since the cleaning and they look very good. Just to let you know, my business is in Minnesota and we salt our roads when the snow comes. This year, the snow melted easily as it was warmer than usual, so when people came in my store, they usually had wet, salty feet, which is what I believe was causing the chalky haze leftover after cleaning. I’m going to go over the floors once daily with the Swiffer and I’m confident that they should stay nice from here on out. Daily maintenance, to me, is an easy trade-off for having a carpet that would have been permanently destroyed from these conditions. Anyway, I put in the hard work and it looks great. But if I ignore the floor, it looks terrible.

  49. Donna says:

    Oh my goodness. I wish I had investigated Pergo Laminate further before purchasing. I have 80 boxes right now waiting to be installed. Have I made a huge mistake?

  50. Anne says:

    I hate my flooring. I would never get it again. Reading the comments, I see others have the same issue-footprints/streaks/film. I will try some of the cleaners and hope at least one works!

  51. Christine says:

    So glad I found these postings! We have dark brown laminate wood, and the streaks and footprints were killing me! I tried every cleaner out there: vinegar solutions, steam mop; all left bad streaks. :( The Magic Eraser worked, but I decided quickly that it is impossible to clean 1000 square feet on your knees with a little Magic Eraser. So I tried the alcohol only and it worked the best out of all the suggestions.
    I put some rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and misted the floor, then took a mop with a clean microfiber pad and mopped until it was all dry. For the size of our floor, I need two to three microfiber pads because it starts streaking as soon as the pad gets too damp. So, thank you Betty, you saved me from going nuts over this floor mess! ;)

  52. Jo says:

    Right or wrong, I have always used the Swiffer-type wet cloths on my three rooms of laminate wood flooring and NEVER had any problems. From the point of installation, I thought the recommendation to use only a product from the flooring manufacturer was to get you to purchase more from their companies. One room of Pergo is probably fifteen years old and looks as good as the day they installed it. Another room with our laminate flooring is a high traffic area, and also is the room where our dog eats and drinks. I think the answer is not to get the flooring excessively wet during the cleaning. I use the dry mop or vacuum first and then go over the floor with the wet mop. Looks great.

  53. What do I do now? says:

    I thought I was told that it was okay to move furniture across my laminate floor, but I see marks (not scratches), which don’t come up with the recommended Bona cleaner. Any ideas?

  54. Jane says:

    I made the huge mistake of having dark laminate installed! It is always marked and streaked and dull. I have tried everything mentioned and absolutely hate them. Anyone have any answers for dark laminate?

  55. Judy says:

    I have a hallway about twelve feet long with light laminate and have only used the wet Swiffer pads and Swiffer mop on it. It looks fine. When I notice streaking while it is wet, I just go over the same area again. I do worry that the wet Swiffer pads will cause problems in the future though.

  56. Toni says:

    I use the same method to clean my laminate floor that I use for the marble floor in my kitchen. Microfiber to dust, microfiber with warm water only to clean, and microfiber to dry. I’ve had the marble floor a lot longer than the laminate, and I think the laminate is a breeze when comparing the two. Marble is porous, so you better get to spills quickly. Both of my floors are dark and, yes, show everything, especially dog’s drool. I guess I don’t mind staying on top of it because I hate carpet. I just find that warm water works the best. I dust it often and wipe it down thoroughly once a week. I have a really cheap laminate in a bedroom, and I’ve used everything on that floor, Pledge, ammonia, Pine Sol, whatever I have around, really. The spots always come clean, but it does get that film. I think you’re better off just maintaining with warm water. Save the cleaners for the tough spots. I also think this floor holds up well in the scratch department. I have a lot of light coming through, and while I’m careful with the floor in the living area, I’ve dragged a lot of stuff around that floor in the bedroom and it still looks great. Both of my floors are Pergo and I couldn’t be happier. Warm water!

  57. Gina says:

    If any of you are even considering laminate versus hardwood and can find a way to buy the hardwood, please do so. When you drop something on the laminate, the noise is horrible, even though I bought a sound proof liner. Big joke; it doesn’t work. Remember, it’s just plastic. I really made a mistake. A very big mistake.

  58. Kristy says:

    Has anyone used a steam mop for a few years on their laminate floors? I’ve heard many people say they’ve used one and it’s not caused any damage, but I’m interested in long term use.
    Thanks.

  59. Barbara says:

    Thought I was the worlds worst house keeper – my laminate floors show everything! I am going home from work and trying the alcohol method to see if it will clean the footprints (which are driving me crazy). We are getting ready to move to a new house and I am going to try the engineered hardwood – anyone else tried this and how is it for keeping clean?
    Thanks!

  60. Yelena says:

    ALCOHOL FORMULA:
    1/3 cup water
    1/3 cup rubbing alcohol
    1/3 cup white vinegar
    3 drops liquid dish washing soap
    5 -10 drops lemon essential oils (optional)

    Directions:

    1) Combine all ingredients in a clean spray bottle.
    2) Spray sparingly on laminate floors and mop up.
    3) The rubbing alcohol helps speed up the drying process.

  61. Joy says:

    Will the vinegar and Water, then the Orange Glo work okay? I have used that on my Hardwoods and it looks good.

    Thanks.

  62. Jodie says:

    Every laminate floor will probably respond differently to anything used. However, when we were pricing flooring, we took every sample home and left it in a tub of water to see which one lifted, swelled, or fell apart first. We tested all the major brands in addition to unbranded commercial products. Every high end product lifted, expanded and basically fell apart within an hour – some quicker than others. We left the commercial products in the tub for 48 hours and they came out looking the same-no lifting, swelling and still beautiful. We bought from a wholesaler and paid less than the expensive hardware department store brands. My point is that using a steamer or sloshing around a bunch of water may damage your floor worse than a chemical. You won’t notice it right away, but in 6 months to a year after weekly cleanings, you will. One thing I truly believe is that your laminate floors are cleaner than your carpet – I GUARANTEE IT! Unfortunately, feet prints and other marks are going to happen. I haven’t figured out how keep the feet prints off longer than a few days unless my kids wear socks; however, I do have a solution for marks. Lemon oil and elbow grease. Just make sure you use a vinegar/alcohol mist and one of those super absorbent cloths to remove the oil. Don’t use any cleaners that contain oil or you’ll get the build-up. For weekly cleaning use a mister clean with warm water and add a small amount of vinegar if you want to. Regular cleaners won’t keep it clean longer so why use all those chemicals? If you don’t feel vinegar is enough, add alcohol to the mixture. Start out with a tablespoon and add more until the floors meet your expectations – every floor is going to require a different amount because every floor and it’s environment is different. YOU FIND THE AMOUNT THAT WORKS FOR YOU! The key is to use those absorbent cloths and a spray bottle set on mist. And change out your wet cloths often! I’ve tried many products including products meant for laminate floors. Not only do they invalidate your warranty, but they also leave buildup or do nothing that good ole naturals vinegar, water and alcohol can do. Also, we have large area rugs in the living room and dining room in addition to runners at every door. It cuts down on the amount of foot traffic.
    p.s. If you MUST have a recipe, some people use 1/3 each of water, rubbing alcohol and vinegar in a mist bottle, but I strongly encourage you to make your own based on your environment. Good luck.

  63. judy says:

    I did my living room, dining room, and all large rooms in laminate. I hate these floors! I don’t want carpeting either with my pets, I do have a laminate floor cleaner, and it does pick up the dirt and animal hairs, but around my wall edge’s flooring I have to get down and clean, as the machine won’t clean these areas well. I plan on moving next year and I will have it really clean. I do wax my flooring and have a nice shine. I will never purchase this type of laminate flooring ever again. Waste of money, and have to clean too often. I also don’t get the results I really want when I clean. Wish I would have found this site last year, I would never have done it!

  64. Diane says:

    I have to agree with most of you that laminate floors are a lot of work. But, have you ever removed carpet and seen what is underneath? Gross! No more carpets will ever go in my house. I have a great big drooly mastiff, a salsa dripping husband, two cats, and another hairy creature who thinks he is human, plus kids and grand kids. Still working on a solution to the perfect cleaner, thanks for all the helpful ideas here.
    Diane

  65. Connie says:

    Bought a house with Pergo floors and I hate them. No matter how we clean, they always feel dirty to my bare feet. They look awful and the sound of dogs walking on it will drive you crazy. My husband used a Shark steam cleaner on them twice and now some of the pieces are curving up at the seams. Please, be sure you don’t use a steam cleaner! Also, think long and hard before you buy Pergo. Read as much about it as you can.

  66. Julie says:

    I just bought a condo with laminate floors in the bedrooms, dining room, and living room. I covered them temporarily with cardboard and craft paper during the remodel. Now that construction is complete, I have been using the Swiffer over and over again, trying to get a clean appearance to the floors, but they are dull and show steaks. I am hoping that I don’t have trouble finding a way for them look nicer than they do now!

  67. Kim says:

    Have light oak laminate (three plank) in kitchen, and textured medium oak laminate (three plank) in living room. Love, Love, Love it! Hides dirt like you wouldn’t believe. Someone said don’t use ammonia; but when the floor was installed eight years ago in the kitchen, we had ceramic tile put in the bath and the installer said to use ONLY ammonia and water to clean them both. I have never had any build-up whatsoever on the laminate. I also only clean them about twice a month and hit them with a little Dirt Devil vac every other day or so. I have three cats and four people living in the house. I will say, before we did the living room, we brought home a sample of some cherry high gloss laminate and it showed fingerprints/footprints just from the sample box we loosely laid. Wrapped it up and took it back – too much work! Our floors are low gloss and lightly textured and are just beautiful. Wish I had them throughout. I hate carpet. Whoever came up with the idea of laying yarn on the floor is a nut.

  68. Mindy says:

    I have a dark cherry high gloss laminate in the house we just bought. I loved the flooring when we looked at the house, but I swear if I can’t get the foot prints and smudges off I am going to have to be medicated! Seriously, I have OCD and have spent hours on this floor! Someone said alcohol will ruin the shine, is that wrong? I have people coming over Sunday and these floors can not be smudged! It’s driving me crazy! Like straight jacket crazy!

  69. Gale says:

    From what I have read, it sounds like the high gloss laminate floors are a nightmare to keep clean. I am hoping that the matte-finish light walnut laminate that I have ordered will be easier to keep clean. I will try some of the cleaners that have been posted. I have a lot of light in the rooms that I am having done and three small dogs. So it will be very bad if the light shows paw prints. Wish me luck!

  70. eileen says:

    This thread is totally freaking me out! We just put in a high-end laminate yesterday and I was searching for a DIY cleaner instead of purchasing a commercial product. I’m reading this thread and someone mentioned how even high-end laminate fell apart in a water experiment. Crap! The whole point in buying what we did was because of our dogs; we have three, and one is getting old. We thought this would be the solution to stains. You guys rained on my parade big time.

  71. Ursula says:

    Just cleaned my laminate flooring with the vinegar and water solution and they shine like new. I used a steam mop without the steam. Meaning, I just used the microfiber cloth and I mopped! The shine on my floor is stunning, thanks to all the comments given. I am so happy!

  72. Heather says:

    Relax, they are not so bad. I’ve had mine installed now for over five years and they look the same as the day they went in. I have a dog and two kids. Yes they do show marks, streaks, etc., especially with sunlight hitting them. I have shutters in my windows to divert the light during the day. Plus we are in Texas, so I don’t like sun coming straight in. I use a dust mop daily to quickly sweep up. It literally takes me about 10 minutes for the whole house. I only clean the floors once a month (on my hands and knees). I have about 2000 sq. ft. Usually a mist of a little Simple Green diluted with water and a microfiber cloth to immediately wipe it up does the trick, though I’d like to try the alcohol method, too. I have really dark, high gloss floors and I always get great comments about how my floor looks so nice. I’ve lived in houses with tile everywhere (too hard on the legs/feet, and lots of mopping, grout never feels cleaned), carpet – vacuum for hours and still feels dingy. Yes, my engineered laminate floors have echoes when walking, footprints when the dog comes in wet from outside, scratches/dents from dropping stuff (I use a furniture marker to repair), but overall I feel the floor is very clean compared to other options. If you are thinking about laminate go for it, and live in your house. I think the longer wear and tear on the floors the easier they get to keep clean.

  73. Christina says:

    I bought a 1750 sq ft home in May that had laminate floors already throughout the entire home. I sweep the creases first, next to the wall out to the middle. Then I use the Mr clean mircofiber wet/dry mop. I go along to get up all the dust and dirt. Then I do the foot test; walk along the floor, sliding to feel for dirt you may have missed, then use a Swiffer Wet Jet (they have one for wood that is sold at Walmart). I use the multipurpose one with Febreze. The fragrance smells great! I put a widow fan down so it dries well and if there are any streaks, I take a towel and wipe them up. They go away; my floors always look good. I have three children all under the age of nine and I live in the country where we also have horses that I ride, and a husband who is a mechanic, so lots of messes I am always cleaning up behind.

  74. Carmen says:

    Mine are cherry and streak and leave footprints all over. I have tried everything but the alcohol. I hate them!

  75. Carmen says:

    OK, here is what I did. After reading all of your comments I did the following: 1 cup water, 1 cup white vinegar, and 1/2 bottle of alcohol. Spray it on the floor and use the steam mop without being plugged in, as I did. I use the Swiffer dust mop with a microfiber rag. They are beautiful, streak free and spots that have been there in the hall going into the kitchen for nine months now are gone. Believe me, I just cancelled an appointment with a carpet store to measure for carpeting! I could not stand looking at these floors one more day, but I found the trick to make them look and smell beautiful! P.S., I also used it on my ceramic tile in the bathroom and kitchen, and they came out beautiful as well.

  76. Serena says:

    I was told not to use a sweeper with a brush on my floor, but I find the Swiffer vacuum doesn’t pick up crumbs very well. Is there an electric sweeper that is recommended for laminate floors? I use just plain hot water on my floor and with the ceiling fans going, they dry pretty quick. Just want to know what type of sweeper to use.

  77. Susan says:

    I agree with other comments about comparing laminate to carpet; not even the same. Carpet is dirty, especially if you have pets. Comparing laminate to hard surface floors is best. I’ve had both. In my new house, I’m opting for laminate over hardwood because of the dogs. My dogs ruined my hardwood in the last house despite me keeping their nails nice and trim. They run back and forth when they see something in the window, can’t get their footing, and run in place for a second. A year or so of that caused horrible scratches in the wood surface – a problem you don’t get with laminate.
    As for foot prints showing up; this happens with hardwood also. The darker the wood, the more your foot oils will show up. If you have a lot of pets and people in the house, opt for a lighter color wood so you don’t see the marks. No cleaner will make a difference on stains from the natural oils on you and your pets’ bare feet that show up after walking on it.
    I typically alternate on my cleaners, but the one most frequently used is water and vinegar. Vinegar is acidic and can dull the shine though, so I’ll occasionally go over the floor with a protectant to give it the shine back.
    One last comment on those of you considering using water only. Please use *something* to sanitize your floors. Never using anything to clean the floors except water is really gross. Feet step in all kinds of disgusting things. Water does not clean things like fecal matter that you stepped in from the public restroom, or dog poop matter from the back yard, etc. That’s just gross. Please use something like vinegar or alcohol to sterilize that.

  78. Joan says:

    My husband just finally installed the laminate floors in our kitchen and dining room. I am glad that I came across this, because I think I will be using the alcohol formula. I hope that this formula will work.

  79. Lori says:

    Boy am I ever glad that I went with a distressed hardwood. Just reading all this stressed me out.

  80. Pannags says:

    I’m almost decided on using Pergo laminates for my apartment, which currently has vitrified tiles that are quite popular here in India, but the comments in this forum sound very alarming indeed. One thing though; I find a lot of comments on footprints and pug marks, but none of the samples that I saw at the showroom were glossy and therefore I wonder how one could notice them? Are the laminates given some coating to make them shiny? Appreciate feedback on this.

  81. Rick says:

    I would never buy laminate again, ever, especially in the kitchen. I’ve tried all of the above and haven’t been able to get a shine back on mine. I’ve always used just warm water on a DAMP microfiber mop. However, one day I used the sponge with dish soap to wipe up a spill and was amazed how much dirt was there. So I used a 1/2 cup of vinegar to a gallon of water, which did a good job with the dirt, but no shine. I’ve used the Pergo cleaner, still no shine.

    Other problems: the NOISE. Every sound is amplified, especially silverware dropped – incredibly loud. Also, you have to be very careful with water because it will swell and you get peaks and valleys in the floor. Also, I would NOT USE ALCOHOL as these floors are plastic and alcohol attacks plastic – it will certainly dull it even more over time and eventually ruin the finish. Next time: linoleum!

  82. Joseph says:

    My two-year-old daughter marked my laminate floor with crayon. So not thinking, I cleaned it with rubbing alcohol and now there is a white stain that won’t come off. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  83. Marilyn says:

    Wow!!!! I’ve read every one of your comments. Now, I’m really confused. My laminate just went in a week ago, and the first time I cleaned it on my hands and knees three times!!! OKay, so I too, am anal. My installer said to use the Bona, which I have used just once so far, but he also told me to buy lemon oil. I have to admit, I’m not sure how to use it on my flooring. It’s great on furniture. I have high-end laminate, which according to the the installer is just as good as the hardwood. I don’t know; I’m not an expert in this area. But in reading your comments, I think it has to be on an individual basis; brand, thickness, color, manufacturer and so on. Now, I’m trying to buy an area rug for on front of the TV and am more confused about that. Vinyl vs. rubber vs. latex backing. Every store has a different idea of what kind to install. I want to put the best in to ensure protection of my floor. Have any of you put area rugs down? What kind did you buy and mostly what kind of backing do you have? I’m exhausted just from running around trying to get the right area rug. Anyone have anything to share on that subject? Your comments are realy good and for the most part, pretty valid. Thanks for all the info; it’s been an eye opener. Marilyn

  84. PT says:

    Well, I just had cherry high-gloss laminate put down last week and I was about to shoot myself for it. I first used Method laminate cleaner with microfiber mop; streaked and dull. Then used the Bona cleaner; even more dull. Tried vinegar/water/soap mixture; still dull. So I spit on the floor and rubbed it in. Perfect. So then, I got a warm wash cloth and wrung it out. Washed floor and dried with a microfiber towel, like as in wax-on/wax-off method. It looks brand new. A damp towel and fiber towel to dry in small sections is all they need. Footprints, well, gonna have to live with them. Wearing socks makes a world of difference. I have a cleaning service clean house every other week and they cleaned my old hardwood floors on hands and knees so that will stay the same. Just no solvents or polishes with urethane in them, as Bona has. My girlfriend has satin laminate; wish I followed her advice, as hers never looks streaked or dirty. Oh a woman’s advice!

  85. Granny says:

    Have had laminate since 2007. I have an energetic Jack Russell who skids from one doggy door, through the house, to another doggy door that goes into garden all weather. Also, I am in a wheelchair or using a walker and leave lots of wheel tracks with sand, gravel, etc., but would not swap for dirty carpets. I do have a cleaner and when the floor looks really dull, she does a second wash with clean water only. Using clean hot water for a damp mop seems best and changing the water and mop-head frequently gets a streak-free result. Remember, it is your home and not a show house.

  86. Regretful me says:

    I am so regretful that I didn’t do more research before I replaced my two rooms with laminated floor (it was carpet). If I read this earlier, I would have spent more (double money) to install hardwood in the rooms. Beside the cleaning solution that the company provided, I will try to circulate the air in the room and see if there will be less dust. I hope it is the air flow problem. I have no problem cleaning the laminated floor, but I just wonder where did that dust came from? It looks like candy floss, but they are dust.

  87. Melanie says:

    Regretful,
    Laminate floors are known for their static electricity, which would attract dust. The actual dust could be from the installation process (construction). Some ideas for solutions: you could try vacuuming and/or washing the walls (these articles might help: How to Clean Painted Walls and How to Wash Walls) to remove the excess dust; you could even vacuum or wash the ceilings if you wanted (this article might help: How to Clean Ceilings). You could also try wrapping a dryer sheet over a floor sweeper or Swiffer and that might decrease the static electricity at least temporarily. Increasing the humidity might also help and so might your idea of improving the air circulation. Then again, at least your floor was nice enough to collect the dust into easy-to-clean-up dust bunnies for you. :)
    Source: Kronotex – Static Electricity

  88. Ruth says:

    At least I don’t feel so bad about my dark cherry laminate now. Seems like everyone is having the same difficulty. It was beautiful when first installed; now it doesn’t look so good. I’ve been using the vinegar/water solution. Carpet is out of the question for me due to allergies. Getting down on my hands and knees is also out of the question for this little old fat lady.

  89. What to do says:

    I am so confused, especially since I’m sitting here now with a $$$ steam cleaner (still in the box). Just wanted to eliminate footprints on my high gloss, less than 60 days old, laminate floors??? Need help.

  90. Mary Ann says:

    I have had my laminate floors for over a year and simply LOVE them. I don’t have pets inside, but do have three grandchildren that are over all the time. I use the microfiber sweeper to sweep the dust weekly, but then use an additional light vacuum cleaner to vacuum up all dust right before I clean them, which is once a month. I just use the Bona cleaner for laminate floors and water. I use a rug in the middle of the living room and a runner in the hall; these help tremendously in keeping the floor cleaner for a longer period of time. In deciding if laminate flooring was for me, I did a lot of research and it depends on each household as to what and who all is living in it like dogs, children, heavy dirt, etc….Good Luck!

  91. Lexi says:

    Help! I was pushing my daughter around my brother’s house in their Crazy Coupe and I scratched the floor around the corners where I turned. The wheels are black plastic. Has anyone had this happen? What is the best way to remove the scuffs? Thanks so much!

  92. Melanie says:

    Lexi,
    This is the article that you need: How to Remove Scuff Marks from Flooring.

  93. Lexi says:

    Thanks Melanie! I will try those and see if they work!

  94. Linda says:

    I have used a steamer on my “marble” laminate floors in the kitchen for four years. When I changed brands of steamers, I noticed that the floor isn’t getting clean now. I will try the solution to see if it helps. The floor is still tight and intact. Whenever water drips on the floor, I immediately clean it up with a rag I keep on the floor for just that purpose. I am going to try a cleaner and see if that makes a difference.

  95. Jaime says:

    Try 1/4 ammonia, 1 cup vinegar and then fill a 5 gallon bucket with hot water. It will clean anything. I use it on tile, laminate, etc.

  96. Shelley says:

    We put in Mannington laminate two weeks ago (Diamond Bay Collection, Brazilian Cherry Natural – medium color, satin finish) just in our front hallway. We were going to do the entire downstairs, and decided to just do the hallway as a “test” first. Our concern was whether or not our two dogs would be able to walk safely on it, or slip and slide, and whether or not their nails would scratch the flooring up the way they did on the previous hardwood. Boy, am I glad we didn’t do the whole house. No slipping or scratching at all, but every footprint/pawprint shows. The recommended Mannington Ultra Clean cleaner and microfiber mop just kept making it worse. A hazy film was building up; I could write my name in it with my finger! Streaky, spotty, hazy, smeary, and awful! I tried everything I could think of, and after finding and reading this site, tried misting with rubbing alcohol, and immediately scrubbing with microfiber rags and my hands and knees. The hazy film is gone; the footprints/pawprints are gone. The streaks and spots are gone. OK – it has only been a couple hours, but so far, so good. I will give it a couple days and see how it holds up. We were ready to tear it out and try Bruce Park Avenue laminate in the Makore finish instead. It is lighter in color and a very high gloss. If anyone has either of these two laminates I mentioned, please comment on how you are cleaning it and how you like it. I will re-post in a couple days with more “long-term” results from my alcohol cleaning. I’m hoping now that I have the gook stripped off, maybe I can maintain the floor with a simple damp mopping without using alcohol or getting down on my hands and knees.

  97. SHelley says:

    Follow up – It has been 2 weeks since my previous post where I cleaned the entire floor with rubbing alcohol. The floor is holding up well. All the smeary haze is gone. I actually called Mannington customer service and they advised me to clean the entire floor with blue Windex until the haze was gone. They stated that this was build-up of cleaning product. I find this pretty incredible, since I had only had the flooring for 2 weeks. Just how much “build up” can one acquire in 2 weeks??? Anyway, her advice was to clean it with the blue Windex until the haze was gone, then to spot clean with Windex as needed. Apparently, even Mannington knows that their Mannington laminate cleaner is utter junk. Since then, I have had a few dog paw prints to clean up, but we have had an awful lot of rain, so wet paws are going to leave prints on any floor. The weather has dried up somewhat now, and the only spots I need to clean up now are where the dogs lay and drool. They love lying on the new laminae flooring, and they fall asleep and drool. No problem – just give a quick spray with Windex, and hit it with a microfiber mop, and it’s beautiful again. I do have to sweep daily with the Swiffer Vac, as every little piece of lint, etc., does show. But, I believe we will finish the downstairs with the same laminate now. I was ready to tear it all up and go with something else, but now that I have been able to get it clean and the smeary look gone, I think I can be happy with it. I tried vinegar and water, but even that doesn’t do nearly as good a job as the Windex. And since Mannington’s customer service rep instructed me to use the Windex, I feel it is safe.

  98. Bob says:

    When I attempted to pick up a small runner on the floor, I knew I had trouble: it was one of those “Princess” mats for kids, and had been on the floor for a few months in an un-used room. The rubber bottom had adhered to the laminate mobile home flooring, and I had to really yank on the runner to get it off the floor. Now, I have a dried-on mess that a damp cloth won’t even begin to clean up. I am wondering what to use. I am moving soon, and the landlord will have a fit if she sees what this runner did to the flooring. I tried dish detergent on a damp cloth, and if I really scrubbed and scrubbed, some of the mess loosened up, but it will be a long process involving tons of elbow grease. Any ideas out there? Thanks, Bob

  99. Melanie says:

    Bob,
    This is the article that you need: How to Remove Rubber Backing from Vinyl Flooring. According to the Goo Gone website, Goo Gone is safe to use on laminate.

  100. Disgusted says:

    So, the advice I am reading over and over is to live in the dark (put shutters on your windows, don’t let in natural light, don’t turn on the TV as sunlight/bright light will show how disgusting the floors are), get on your knees every day and scrub your whole house with a tiny Magic Eraser using unlimited elbow grease….(umm…NO, I have a life to live), or lay down runners and area rugs (what’s the point of the flooring, then…anyway I can’t because my sweet old cat thinks rugs are for peeing on). My landlord said to wash the floor JUST ONCE EVERY THREE MONTHS by lightly spraying a little warm water mixed with a capful of vinegar and then mopping dry. Apparently she believes that the residents levitate rather than walk, and that her laminate purchase came with the bonus package that included a force-field dirt/water barrier. I’ve tried vinegar/water/alcohol, floor cleaner, and even Pledge 99% natural multi-purpose cleaner that says it’s for laminate (that actually worked, until I forgot to levitate). I was so excited about the newly installed laminate when I moved in, thinking it would be beautiful and so easy to clean; instead it looks like I am a slob. I am too grossed out to even walk on the floor barefoot and dread that my guests might do so (unlikely since they can see how filthy the floor is with streaks and cloudiness and footprints, oh my). Thank you for letting me vent. I will check back here to see if anyone has any new solution. I’m off to mop the floor again, this time with vodka (which was also suggested): a splash for the floor, a splash for me. When I’m done mopping, I won’t care what it looks like.

  101. Carol says:

    I clean my laminate floors with a spray bottle filled with warm water and a few drops of Dawn dish soap. For spots, I use an old credit card to rub the edge across the spot. The floors are so slick, these spots come up easily. I also use just a soft micro cloth mop. Blue windex is also good for a quick clean up of spills. If I get a scratch, I use a crayon of the same color to fill in the spot.

  102. Kevin says:

    Here is what I have found. I have tried most everything to clean my glossy laminate floors and it all leaves streaks or a white film after cleaning. Do THIS: buy a nice microfiber mop where the microfiber cloth can be removed and cleaned. Use non-streaking Windex, lightly spray and mop with your microfiber mop and keep going till it’s dry; don’t stop. You don’t need to scrub, just buff it out. This works very good; the best thing I have found…

  103. Kay says:

    I have dark laminate floors and was frustrated for a while. I finally just used a damp regular mop to clean five rooms. Tracks rarely show &dust doesn’t show as much. I also have ceiling vents that I felt made the situation worse. So, no soap or cleansers, and a damp regular mop works well.

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