Cleaning Tips: Hardwood vs. Laminate

Cleaning Tips Hardwood vs. LaminateAfter installing new floors, you may be wondering how to effectively clean them, especially with the winter months approaching quickly. Whether you have hardwood or laminate, we will provide you with helpful tips and tricks to keep your floors looking brand new for years to come.

For hardwood floors, you can start protecting the life of your floors from the moment you are finished with the install process. Purchase welcome mats to keep snow and ice off of your floors, and install protectors on the bottoms of your furniture to avoid scratching.

To clean the floors, you will want to vacuum first, to remove any dirt or dust that your mop will not pick up. When vacuuming, try using an attachment that is not too rough, such as a floor brush or a type of electric broom. Anything that has firm bristles can scratch the floors.

This type of cleaning is good to do every few weeks, because it will keep dirt and dust from building up on your floors, especially in the corners. For a more deep cleaning, which may be done every couple months, you can use a wood cleaner diluted with some water. Exact measurements for this will be provided for you on the container of the cleaning agent. Use a soft sponge, wet it, and then wring it out until it is almost completely dry. You can then mop your floors, avoid leaving any area too wet, or with puddles of water; standing water can damage your hardwood floors.

If you decided to go for a laminate floor instead of hardwood, these floors need to be cleaned more regularly to prevent staining and warping. You should wipe up spills immediately, and avoid leaving any water on the floor’s surface, as this can cause warping. You can dust and use a dry mop for these cleanings every few weeks, and every few months you should do a deeper clean with some water. Things you should avoid when mopping a laminate floor are: spraying cleaner directly onto the floor (this may stain it), using a harsh cleaning agent (this may stain and damage the laminate) and using too much water to mop (this may cause warping).

You can clean your laminate floors in one of two ways.

  1. With hot water alone, you can mop the floor without the mop being too wet. If the floor is damp, you can let it dry naturally, or use a microfiber cloth to dry the floor. Microfiber cloth is your best option because it is soft, and won’t scratch your floors. The hot water is good for the cleaning process because it prevents streaking, and is the most gentle on the surface of the laminate.
  2. For more serious wash, such as during the winter or perhaps if the floor is noticeably dirty, you can use a mild cleaner. Mild cleaners such as baby shampoo, or an unscented dishwashing soap will work perfectly!

Once you are done mopping, you are ready to continue enjoying your brand new floors! As a reminder, with each type of floor you want to be careful with standing water. You can either dry your floors with a soft cloth, open some windows or turn on a fan to speed up your drying process. Taking care of your floors will keep them looking brand new for years.

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