Multilayer hardwood parquet flooring, also called laminate, is made up of multiple layers unlike traditional wood flooring. While the outer surface of the laminate is natural wood, the underlying layers are usually made of plywood or high density fibreboard. Laminate flooring should be cleaned regularly to prevent scuffs or stains on the surface. Start with a broom and scoop, then work your way up to using the manufacturer's recommended liquid cleaners.
Part 1 of 3: Remove dirt and debris from your laminate flooring
Step 1. Sweep every day
Dirt particles and small stones appear in the house every day. Sweep up any dirt with a soft bristle brush. Pay special attention to areas where a lot of debris tends to accumulate, such as the area in front of front doors. Collect dust and dirt with a scoop and discard outside.
- If left on for long periods of time on the laminate flooring, it will break into small particles and scuff or damage the hardwood top layer, and large stones will scratch the veneer of the flooring.
- Sweep your laminate flooring regularly to keep it in good condition. You can extend the life of your multi-layer parquet flooring by sweeping or vacuuming the floors daily.
Step 2. Vacuum the floor gently
You can use a vacuum cleaner if you don't like using a broom or want to be guaranteed to get rid of dirt. Be sure to select "hard floor" mode for the vacuum cleaner brush. The rotating bristle bar will now rise to the top position. When lowered, the bristles on the bar will catch dirt and scratch or damage the veneer surface on the floor.
It will be very difficult to get rid of the scratches if the brush damages the laminate surface
Step 3. Wipe the floor with a mop and dry microfiber cloth
Use a microfiber cloth to clean the floor and remove any dust that has blown into the house or that you put on your shoes. Water will damage your laminate flooring, so the dry microfiber cloth mop head will effectively remove dirt and debris on the floor, including those that cannot be removed with a regular brush. Wipe your laminate flooring at least once a week.
Don't scrub your laminate with a wet cloth and only use a microfiber mop. This material is very soft compared to a regular rag and therefore does not scratch the surface of the flooring, and you do not have to use water
Step 4. Wipe the floor with a slightly damp cloth
You may not have a microfiber mop on hand. In this case, you can use a traditional cotton rope tipped floor mop. Squeeze out the water thoroughly before mopping your laminate floor. It should be only slightly damp, because you don't need a lot of liquid to clean your laminate flooring properly. Blot off excess moisture with a towel if there is a lot of water left on the floor after cleaning.
Slightly damp cotton ropes do an excellent job of removing whitish stains from spilled liquid on the floor
Step 5. Lay a rug at the entrance to the house
Such a rug will protect the hallway from dirt and will shorten the cleaning time of the laminate if it is placed near the front or back door. The rug retains most of the dirt, dust and debris that could be in the house.
- Place one rug at each entrance for visitors to dry their feet on. At the same time, an extra mat inside the house will allow guests to wipe the soles of their shoes one more time to get rid of fine dirt or dust.
- Shake out the rug once a week to keep dust out of the house.
Part 2 of 3: Use a liquid cleaner
Step 1. Purchase a liquid detergent recommended by the laminate manufacturer from your store
Multi-layer parquet can only be washed with liquid detergents from the manufacturer of the floor covering. Different types of artificial parquet can only be treated with certain products, and using the wrong type or brand of liquid cleaner can seriously damage the wood. Contact your laminate flooring manufacturer by phone or email if you are still unsure which type of cleaning agent is best to use.
- Buy a liquid multi-layer parquet floor cleaner from your local store.
- If you can't find it in a store near your home, look for the "All for cleaning" or "All for the floor" section, or head to a hardware supermarket such as Leroy Merlin or OBI.
Step 2. Spray liquid cleaner onto the stain
Particularly dirty areas of the floor, stains or spills can be removed with a liquid cleaner. Apply a small amount of liquid cleaner directly to the laminate and wipe with a foam mop or just a clean piece of cloth. Rub until the stain is completely gone, adding cleaner as needed.
- After removing the stain, no liquid cleaning agent should remain on the floor. Collect any liquid immediately with a clean paper towel or cloth. The product does not need to be washed off with water.
- You will have to work with your hands in nooks and crannies that cannot be reached with a mop to remove some stains. Pour some liquid detergent onto a clean cotton cloth and gently wipe the dirty floor.
Step 3. Avoid cleaning products that are designed for use on tile or vinyl flooring
The area of application of such products is completely different, although these products themselves look the same and even stand side by side on the shelves in a home goods store. Tile or vinyl cleaner can permanently damage your multi-layer parquet floor.
Also, such products will not be able to make the surface of the laminate completely clean. If you have any questions about the use of various cleaning agents, you should consult the laminate manufacturer and find out which products will not harm the flooring
Part 3 of 3: Preventing Floor Damage
Step 1. Wipe up any spilled liquid immediately
If you spill water or any other liquid on the laminate flooring, it must be cleaned up immediately. Otherwise, after a while it will be absorbed into the floor covering and damage the wood or veneer. There may also be a stain that cannot be removed.
Spilled liquid should be gently blotted up. When cleaning, do not rub or press down hard on the puddle. Otherwise, there is a risk of deforming the veneer layer or pushing the liquid through the cracks between the laminate planks and thereby damage it
Step 2. Don't use vinegar and ammonia
While these corrosive liquids can clean some types of surfaces, they are more likely to damage laminate flooring. Ammonia and vinegar destroy and spoil the veneer that is glued over the hardwood plank.
Step 3. Never use a steam cleaner to clean multi-layer parquet flooring
Although a steam cleaner is considered a very useful carpet cleaning tool, never use it on faux parquet flooring. The steam that escapes from the steam cleaner under pressure will damage the finish as it penetrates the veneer and the top layer of the laminate.
Washing with a steam cleaner is much more damaging to laminate flooring than other types of cleaning that use a lot of water (for example, a wet mop). The steam cleaner forcibly presses moisture into the wood, which leads to deformation of the lower layers of plywood or fiberboard
Step 4. Never use a brush with stiff bristles
Do not use harsh, abrasive cleaning products such as steel wool or wire brushes on wooden floors. Such tools will almost certainly scratch or otherwise damage the top layer of the veneer.
Step 5. Wipe up any remaining liquid immediately
Although hardwood laminate is quite resistant to liquids unlike natural parquet, you should not leave water or liquid cleaner on the floor for too long. Dry the floor with a towel if some cleaning agent remains on the surface after cleaning.