Regular care for a laminate floor starts with a dry mop.

© ­iStockphoto/Slobo Mitic

Laminate Floor Care

­Even though laminate floors imitate the look of wood or stone, they aren't cleaned and maintained the way wood and stone are. Here are some basic supplies you will need to clean your new laminate floor:

  • Dry mop
  • Vacuum with brush attachment (the softer the better)
  • Sponge mop
  • Clean water
  • Homemade or store-bought laminate floor cleaner

You can make your own cleaner by mixing vinegar and water in equal parts. Another option is to mix equal parts of vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water. These methods dry spot-free quickly, but be sure to work in small areas of the floor at a time. Using cleaners made for linoleum, tile or hardwood may leave a dull, soapy finish on laminate.

First, dry mop the floor thoroughly. Follow it up with vacuuming the crevices and edges with a brush attachment. All loose materials should be off the floor before you wet mop mopping. Work the wet mop in 5-foot (1.5-meter) sections of the floor and dry immediately for best results. To dry the floor, wrap a dry towel around the end of a mop handle, or use safety pins to attach it to a floor duster.

Keep some laminate floor cleaner in a spray bottle for tough stains and for spot cleaning in between your regular cleaning schedule. You can also spot-clean using a window cleaner or your homemade preparation. Never use wood polish on your laminate floor because it will dull the finish and create a very slick walking surface.

Proper care for your floor will make a big difference in how satisfied you are with it, as well as how well it holds up. To learn more about other flooring options, you can follow the links on the next page.