There’s a reason just about every designer on popular home TV shows ends up installing laminate floors. It’s made out of wood composite (materials like sawdust pressed together), but looks just like solid hardwood flooring. Plus, it’s often cheaper, easier to install, and (wait for it) comes with a clear protective layer on top. But it still requires regular care.
First, Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, says to stock up on these essentials:
- Bissell Zing Bagged Canister Vacuum ($50, amazon.com)
- Microfiber mop ($40, amazon.com)
- Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner ($10 per bottle, amazon.com)
Got it? Now learn how to use these products:
How to Clean Laminate Floors
1. Regularly run a canister vacuum, like the Bissell Zing Bagged Canister Vacuum, over the surface to remove dirt and debris from cracks and crevices. “If you only have an upright model, turn off the rotating brush to keep the bristles from scratching your floors,” says Forte. Work your way around the floor, cleaning one area at a time.
2. Every one to two months damp-mop the floor for a more thorough cleaning, using a specialty cleaner, like Good Housekeeping Seal holder Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner. Pro tip: Keep the mop damp, not wet, so you don’t oversaturate the floor.
3. To prevent damage, do not polish or wax a laminate floor. Also, don’t use abrasive cleaners, scouring powder, or steel wool. They have the potential to scratch the floor and damage the protective finish.