Cleaning Wood Laminate Floors
To someone who is used to living in homes with carpeting, wood laminate is a big change. More newer homes are now being furnished with this beautiful looking, but "pain in the butt" flooring. My family recently moved into a newer home. My first response to the glowing wood floors was, "Yes! These are gorgeous! It's going to be so easy to keep them clean!" Boy was I wrong. With two dogs, a 2-year-old, and one on the way, it is quite the task.
First of all, there is nowhere for hair/ dust/ debris to accumulate, other than your corners. With normal carpeting, you don't see the hair as much, but it is there. It has a place to collect, in the fibers. A simple vacuuming can do wonders to keep the carpet looking and feeling clean. Wood laminate floors do not have that. Right away I found that little pieces of dust and debris would stick to my feet. They just have nowhere else to go, so they stick to any material they can. I love being barefoot, so I found this unsettling. It is not a fun feeling, having gunk on your feet in your own home. No matter how clean the floors seemed, every little piece of anything would stick to my skin! Yuck!
Another problem wood laminate floors present is the fact that a regular vacuüm seems to violently spray debris around the floors. This spitting action can throw particles up to ten feet around your beautiful floors, thus giving you even more "specs" to stick lovingly to your feet. Lastly, if there is any bit of water or liquid, it will, very soon, have dirt and particles stick to it. And then dry in awesome drops of nastiness.
So, the first thing I heard was that a "Swiffer" can work wonders on these floors. So I take myself to the store and snatch up one of these. I bought the wood laminate/ all floor cleaner as well. The "Swiffer" did a great job of not leaving water or streak marks. But you have to push ridiculously hard. When it comes to getting up those little spots of nastiness I told you about, you have to use a torque force that could would rival The Hulk's punch! I actually broke the top of the handle in two! And with my ever growing pregnant belly, I was worn out! It's just not practical, unless your floors are already very clean. I do recommend it for creating the "shine" after a thorough cleaning.
Next, I think mop! Why in the heck not? It will take care of those dried sticky spots a lot easier than breaking my back, and plastic tools, such as the "Swiffer." The problem with this is that my husband was terrified that water would ruin the flooring. As I told him, it's wood laminate. Not real wood. Real wood can indeed be very ruined by water. Wood laminate is alright. Just as with everything, though, make sure you are not leaving sopping piles of water on the flooring for a long time.
So here I am, getting all set up and ready for this. Sweep, sweep, sweep. Awful! When you have a whole downstairs area to sweep, it can get tiring. I think, "Oh my goodness! I cannot do this all the time! There has to be an easier way." I researched vacuums that are good for these kind of floors, but found mixed reviews everywhere about the "spitting of dirt" issue. I also do not have $500.00 to spend on high-end vacuums. Then I thought to myself, "How about a Shop Vacuum?" They usually suck up little specs of crud. I went to the store and picked one up for $40.00. Then I crossed my fingers and tried it. It sucked up those little "specs" and hair like a pro! The corners got cleaned out in a microsecond! Then a simple sweep from side to side across the floors was enough to get the little "specs" and hair up with ease and speed!
Now all I had left was those spots of nastiness. So here I go with my mop, and a bit of "Pinesol". Mopping just like I normally wood any floor. Done in a fraction of the time a "swiffer" takes! Without breaking my back or the handle. Alright! Clean floors at last! So, now the only problem was the streaks or dull looking floor that I had left. Clean, but not too pretty. So, a simple "Swiffering" now gave me that golden shine I first fell in love with. And, without having to push so hard on tough spots, it was done a lot easier and in less time!
So, if you have wood laminate floors, there is hope! It's never going to be as easy as vacuuming up carpet. But, at least spills are easier to clean up. That is a big plus! And with a little care and time, you can have beautiful floors. I would still invest in some slippers though. No matter what, "specs" are ruthless! Hope my tips help for you. Good luck with your wood laminate floors.