Laminate today is among the most affordable, popular and demanded floor coverings, both for home and office. This demand is easy to explain: laminate is quite easy to install, belongs to inexpensive coatings, has a wide range of colors and textures and looks stylish and modern, as well as a high durability. However, laminate has its weaknesses. In particular, to ensure a long and effective service life of this covering, you have to observe some nuances of caring for its surface.
How not to harm laminate floor?
Laminate panels are wood fibers pressed in a special way, due to which their surface becomes extremely dense and resistant to external mechanical influences. A special protective coating gives them an attractive look and shine mimicking panels of natural wood or stone.
A usual mopping agent is not suitable for laminate: its components can damage the protective layer of the surface and make it tarnished or even deformed. Strictly unsuitable for cleaning laminate floors are products containing ammonia or soap, it is these substances that provoke the loss of the surface luster. Besides, such agents leave streaks which are not so easy to eliminate, so you have to wash the floor one or even more times with clean water. At the same time, excess of moisture is harmful for laminate, excessive contact with water can cause swelling and distortion of the panels.
Besides of aggressive chemistry, hard sponges and rags or abrasives cannot be used for washing of laminate flooring, as they easily damage its surface. To wash the laminate, the best option is a mop with a soft nozzle, such as microfiber, or a soft sponge. A microfiber duster can be used, for example, to wash a particularly dirty area by hand or to wipe off some spilt liquid.
Can you clean laminate with wet-and-dry vacuum cleaners?
It goes without saying that wet-and-dry vacuum cleaners are very handy to operate, but they are not suitable for laminate cleaning. The reason is that a wet-and-dry vacuum cleaner leaves excessive water behind, which is harmful for laminate. When using a wet-and-dry vacuum cleaner, the cleaning agent is sprayed onto the surface, and then moisture and agent residues are removed. This method is ideal for washing of linoleum, tiles, carpet, but not for laminate. Of course, there are expensive high-power models of wet-and-dry vacuum cleaners which thoroughly collect moisture after cleaning, but they are only the very few, their manufacturers do not give an explicit guarantee that the floor will remain intact. As a result, the owners of the floor will have to experiment at their own risk. The result of using a wet-and-dry vacuum cleaner often becomes swelling of the flooring and its permanent damage, since there are no ways to “fix” deformed panels, they can only be replaced
Washing the laminate floor with no streaks: useful life hacks
Washing the floor begins with a visit to the store and choosing a special agent for laminate. It must not contain alcohol, ammonia, alkalis (including soap), abrasive particles, that is, any components able to spoil the delicate covering. The package must have an icon indicating that the product is suitable for laminate floors. The optimum solution is UNICUM mopping agent for laminate. It is specially designed for this type of flooring, does not contain components which can provoke tarnishing or deformation of the panels, there are no streaks or traces on the laminate after applying the product. The product not only ensures impeccable cleanliness, but also creates a protective layer on the floor which prevents new contaminations and gives an attractive shine to panels. In addition, the agent has a disinfectant action and, therefore, children can safely play on the floor.
Excess moisture is harmful to the laminate! It means that duster or mop nozzle must be moist, not wet, and for this purpose, after wetting them in water with diluted mopping agent, they have to be thoroughly wrung out.
Stains on the floor are washed separately with the use of a little sponge of microfiber and a few drops of the mopping agent. After removing the stain, the entire floor is washed.
Besides of stains, baseboards and corners shall be be wiped with the sponge: they accumulate dust and dirt more, and it is hard to “take them out” from there with a mop. It is worth not to be lazy doing it with your hands – in this case, dirt will not accumulate and the room will be clean.
Remember to use protective gloves, since they protect your skin against the mopping agent components.
The frequency of cleaning depends, of course, on how quickly the floor becomes dirty. The best option is considered to be a daily dry cleaning of the floor with a vacuum cleaner — it is important not only from a hygienic point of view, but also from a practical one: vacuum cleaner removes small motes which can scratch the floor surface. Wet cleaning in such case is done once or twice per week.
Laminate floor is attractive, environmentally friendly, durable and not so maintenance-demanding as it may seem. Following simple rules of cleaning such floor will help you preserve its appearance and functionality for long.