Laminate flooring is found in many homes. This type of flooring resembles natural hardwood, but is actually a man-made material comprised of several layers of wood compressed together to get the same strong texture and durability as hardwood. The type of laminate used for flooring is covered with a gloss or polyurethane finishing coat, giving it a strong and sealed surface that prevents damage and liquid absorption. Since you have this smooth top coating, the laminate floor is fairly easy to clean and care for.
Cleaning your laminate floors on a regular basis is often all that is required for day-to-day maintenance. You typically only need to remove loose dust and buildup that could dull the look of the laminate finish. Loose debris can be collected with a soft broom, dust mop or even a vacuum if you have heavier chunks of buildup. Sweep over the floors as needed to collect this loose dust.
Every one to two weeks incorporate a cleaning routine that removes buildup and disinfects the floor. Cleaning can be done with one cup white vinegar to one gallon water. Use a mop to apply the solution. Wring out the mop well before wiping across the laminate as you do not want excess moisture standing on the laminate for an extended period of time.
Steam mopping can collect heavier set-in spots of residue and also provides a deeper cleaning and disinfecting. If using a steam mop make sure it is labeled safe for use on laminate flooring and use a steam cleaning solution safe for laminate. If you're able to use your own solution, fill the cleaning canister with one part white vinegar to three parts water. Push the steam mop over the laminate floor and pull the steam trigger to keep a light steam flow coming out of the mop as you clean the laminate.
Things to Avoid
Do not use any type of wood furniture polish on your floor as it can leave behind a slippery residue that could cause dangerous slip-and-fall accidents. Do not use and harsh chemical cleaners as these can eat through laminate finish. Do not use any type of metal scrubbing tools as this will scratch the finish as well as the laminate. Also avoid the use of bleach, which could discolor the flooring.