Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    What is the best way to keep my hardwood flooring clean?
    We live on an Air Force Base and our house has hardwood/laminate flooring, the swiffer leaves a weird film and I don’t feel like it cleans very well, if there a Vacuum/mop combo that works? Thanks.

    • ANSWER:
      I would “not” use a vacuum cleaner on hardwood floors; it’s very easy for an small object to become lodged in the wells or the spin tumbler and scratch the floor. Your best bet is to sweep the floor of all debris. Then, use a non-acidic wood floor cleaner mixing it properly with 1 gallon of water as described in the cleaners instructions. So many people fail to properly measure out the right solution ratio vs water and either leave a layer of film or fail to properly clean. You might want to consider waxing the floor every 6 to 12 months depending on the type of wood floors you have.

  2. QUESTION:
    What is the best way to clean laminate flooring?
    We purchased laminate flooring last winter, and I was told not to use water to clean the floor. The business I purchased it from said to use Windex Multi Purpose cleaner with vinegar, but I haven’t had a lot of success with this. There are still spots that just don’t seem to get clean. I really want it to continue to look new and spotless. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • ANSWER:
      We bought a kit at Lowe’s called ZEP’s hardwood and laminate floor cleaner. It works really well. You spray it on the floor and then use a special dust mop type of thing with a cloth wipe. You can throw the wipe in the washing machine when it gets dirty.

      We have just started using it, and I can already tell a difference. The floors have that same shine they did when they were installed.

      You can probably check at Home Depot or Lowe’s.

  3. QUESTION:
    can i clean laminate floors with swiffer mops?
    I want to know if the swiffer febreze mops could clean a laminate hardwood floor without damaging it.

    • ANSWER:
      Do not use the wet swiffer on it. I would recommend quick step laminate floor cleaner.

  4. QUESTION:
    Cleaning and maintaining hardwood laminate floors?
    I will be moving into a new apartment with hardwood (laminate) flooring in the kitchen and bathroom. I want to keep them in as good a condition and as pristine as when I move in. What is the best way to maintain them? What is the safest and best way to mop them? Any product recommendations? Would it be safe to put a clear plastic “runner” over the kitchen floor to protect it from food spills that could stain/damage it? Should I be concerned about moisture hurting the floor in the bathroom?

    • ANSWER:
      I have tried just about every product out there for maintaining laminate/hardwood floors and in the last year I finally found something that works beautifully. It is a complete system made by Swiffer/Orange Glo. It is much like the Swiffer Wet Jet but it is specifically made for harwood/laminate floors. The system comes with the Battery Operated Mop/Disposable Heads/Floor Cleanser. It cost about 20 dollars for the start up kit and the replacement heads are around 5 dollars and the floor cleanser runs about 6 dollars. It is worth every penny. It keeps the floors free of any build up, keeps the looking brand new, and in some places (like high traffic areas) it made the floors look better than they ever had. I think that this kit would work great for you since your laminate floors are in such high traffic areas and are prone to water damage. The kits are found with all the mop stuff on the cleaning aisle of Target, WalMart and KMart. Check the Swiffer website, too. Sometimes they have 5 dollar off coupons.

      Hope this Helps!

  5. QUESTION:
    cleaning stain from hardwood floor?
    Something red leaked out of a garbage bag onto my hardwood laminate floor. I tried scrubbing it but there’s still a pretty dark stain (looks like kool aid or something). I have to get it cleaned up since we’re moving next month and won’t get the security deposit back with it there. Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Actually removing a stain from a hard wood floor is somewhat complex. I did however find you a website that may help you.. Hint: there probably are not many options other than what this site is stating because liquids tend to soak up in the wood. Good Luck to you though.

  6. QUESTION:
    How to clean and “shine” laminate flooring?
    I have read past postings about this and there seems to be conflicting info :-) . I have purchased a home with laminate flooring…not real hardwood. It is to my understanding that you cannot use any cleaner which contains any oils etc, such as Murphys. I have used vinegar in the water and although they appear clean, they do not shine. Does anyone know of a very good cleaner which will increase the shine? If so, I would love to know about it or any other tips for keeping these floors looking nice, I am not real pleased with my results so far so any advise will help. And yes, I have mopped them over and over and over, I do not think there is a build up on them..but I could be wrong…lol. Any info will be appreciated!!

    • ANSWER:
      yes you correct about the murphys but there is a new product by orange glo that makes one just for laminate flooring it fills in the scratches and shines and seals it. You mop it on and let it dry works great.

  7. QUESTION:
    How do I get floor mat rubber backing off a floor?
    I have some nice, quality throw rugs that I vacuum but never wash. I just discovered today that the backing has stuck to my beautiful hardwood laminate flooring. How can I get it off without ruining my floor?

    • ANSWER:
      Acetone or rubbing alchol will do the trick. Let it dry and then go over it with a laminate cleaner such as Bona to get any haze that may be there.
      Or mist on a white vinegar water solution to clean it up.Just don t over wet the area as you know..
      And to prevent this in the future , there are specisl , very thin , anti slip mats to go under your rug. Get the type made for a hard surface. Come in many sizes so you can cut to size.
      Any questions you can e mail me through my avatar, I ve attended several installation seminars as well as installed a couple 100,000 s/f. GL

  8. QUESTION:
    What cleaning solution should I use for my laminate flooring to make it shiny?
    I have tried all sorts of laminate floor cleaning solutions (pergo floor) and the floor is shiny for a second and once it dries, the residue build up gives my floors a dull look. When I first got the laminate floors, they were so shiny. HELP!

    • ANSWER:
      Bona hardwood/laminate floor cleaner

  9. QUESTION:
    What do you use to clean laminate floors?
    I just had laminate flooring installed in my living room and hallway, and I’m not sure what to use to clean it…

    • ANSWER:
      Hey Austin and Ava’s Mom!

      I work at The Home Depot and worked in the flooring department for a good number of years, you have lots of safe and easy options actually when it comes to cleaning your new laminate flooring.

      While lots of people do a home remedy of mixing a little vinegar with water, I would only do that for hard surfaces, as the laminate planks are designed for little contact with water as possible.

      There are easy cleaning kits that lots of home centers sell, and most that we sell are by name brands that have been around for years. Remember, if you see a multi-purpose cleaner and you are doubtful it is or isn’t for laminate flooring, carefully read the packaging! If it doesn’t say it can be used on laminate flooring on the package, chances are it isn’t good to use it.

      Of the cleaning kits that lots of my customers use; one is a cleaner kit that contains not just the cleaner but the applicator to put it down with as well. It is by Bruce and it works for hardwoods and laminate floors, here’s the link to see it….

      http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100125351/h_d2/ProductDisplay?selectedCatgry=SEARCH+ALL&jspStoreDir=hdus&catalogId=10053&navFlow=3&keyword=bruce+kit&Ntpc=1&langId=-1&Nu=P_PARENT_ID&storeId=10051&Ntpr=1&ddkey=Search

      There’s also another one by Bona that is great as well, it is a Swedish Formula that works for all wood and laminate surfaces.

      http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202528574/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

      These two cleaners are just a few that I am aware of out there, but more importantly, they are two of the ones my customers ask for by name.

      Hope this helps you out,
      aboveaveragejoe

  10. QUESTION:
    how do you clean laminate flooring?
    my family bought a house and the kitchen has laminate flooring and we don’t know how to clean it.

    • ANSWER:
      I use something called Bruce’s floor cleaner, I have only been able to find it at the home depot, or lowes… walmart doesn’t carry it…. It works great! You can buy a pack that comes with something like a swiffer *but a towel around the bottom of it*, I don’t necessarily care for the spray bottle, I would love to be able to use a mop bucket and water, but supposedly w/ laminate you can’t, b/c it will buckle??

      http://www.shop.com/Bruce_Hardwood_Floors_WS109_32OZ_No_Wax_Floor_Cleaner_-11111631-o!.shtml

      Good luck!

  11. QUESTION:
    I want to put hardwood laminate floors in my house.?
    I want to put hardwood laminate floors in my house but I have two dogs that occassionally may wet on the floor. One is old and the other is just scared of bad weather. I would like suggestions on a good brand to purchase and any experiences you may have had with the same type problem.

    • ANSWER:
      Armstrong is a good brand. I dont have dogs, but have a toddler that is constantly spilling stuff on the floors. They hold up well, just try and clean up the mess right away. When it soaks in is when the problems occur. And when you wash it use something like a swiffer instead of a mop and bucket so you dont get too much water in the cracks. I love mine, and are a great cheap alternative.

  12. QUESTION:
    What’s the best thing to use on a laminate floor. I want mine to look shiner.?
    I have been using Zep Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner but want your input if you know of something better and who sells it.

    • ANSWER:
      I use Zep, I spray it on the floor…and to dilute it I use a spray bottle of plain water and spray that on it as well, equal amounts. My floors look much better than it did when I just used plain Zep.

  13. QUESTION:
    How do I clean original hardwood floors?
    We just discovered the original hardwood floors in our home, approx. 40 years old. They are a stained wood and in great condition. But now I need to know, how do I wash them on a regular (once or twice a month) basis?

    • ANSWER:
      If the floors have a lot of wax build up you are going to have to get a wax stripper for wood they sell it at any hardware store if the floors are new or are the laminate flooring with the impregnated finish use just soap and water then dry with a sponge mop after rinsing the soap off .wood is very easy to clean if it is cared for do not use liquid gold or anyother polish a good detergent for wood products is Murphys Oil Soap it is made for wood follow the directions.

  14. QUESTION:
    how to clean laminate hardwood floors so there’s no streaks?
    we have laminate hardwood floors and i was told to use very little water and a mop to clean the floors but this only leaves behind streaks were i mopped even if i dry them with a soft towel, what products can i use that won’t leave behind streaks?

    • ANSWER:
      1/4 cup white vingar to 32 oz water in a spray bottle.. Use a terrycloth or microfiber mop. Pretty much just damp mop. Spray the mop with the mixture and mop.

  15. QUESTION:
    How do I clean a hardwood floor with a hard gluey residue on top of the glossy finish?
    My girlfriend accidently put one of those glossy coat finishes on my laminate floor that already had a glossy finish. It ended up destroying the floor and now there is a hard glue like residue on top of the orginal glossy finish. I have tried about 6 times to get the stuff up the traditional way, but it won’t come up off the floor. Can you recommend something?

    • ANSWER:
      Try using a clean cloth with Mineral spirits on it. Wipe a small (6inx6in) and see how it works.You can buy spirits from any hardware store…..3-4$ a quart

  16. QUESTION:
    What is the best cleaner to use on laminate flooring that will provide a lasting shine?
    My floor is a light hardwood looking laminate and I cannot find a cleaner that stays shiny for more than a day or two. I have used Mop and Glo, but it doesn’t have a lasting shine.

    • ANSWER:
      If you can buy furniture polish in bulk go for it.I have used pledge on my office floor just dont fall .It can get slick but it does shine. you can also use a paste wax and softly buff it. Mop and glo is more for the no wax vinyl.It also builds up.Try the wax and maybe invest in a small buffer for longer shines

  17. QUESTION:
    What is the way to clean a hardwood floor?
    I have distressed,low gloss,oak floors that were recently put in throughout the house,and I can’t seem to find anything that will clean them without leaving streaks where I have mopped. It looks like there is a cloudy film over the floors. This is not a laminate floor. It is suppose to look distressed,but there is no gloss at all to them now. I need some help.
    Christine

    • ANSWER:
      most floor cleaners need to be rinsed from hard wood flooring.

      (put a cup of vinegar in a gallon of hot water for rinse)make sure mop is clean
      and then when dry, to restore luster, it must be buffed (like shining shoes)

      my mom struggled to keep their old oak wood floor nice so my dad stripped it and refinished it and then put gymnasium floor sealer on it. It looked great and was easier to clean.

      If you do use a sealer, be sure to read cleaning instructions on the package.

  18. QUESTION:
    Can a steam cleaner be used on laminated floors?
    I have alot of laminated flooring in my house. I recently purchased a steam cleaner I was wondering if I can use it on my laminated floors as well my tile and hardwood?

    • ANSWER:
      You best refer to the manufacturer’s care instructions if you can. I would not recommend using a steam cleaner for sure. Laminate flooring looks almost like the real thing and it is on the surface because they use a thin wood veneer but all the material under that veneer is most likely not wood at all but a man made wood substitute only. Those floors will warp and cup if too much water (especially hot steam) gets down into any/all of those seams & joints. The hot steam may also loosen the top veneer also, it’s glued only & we use hot steam or heat to remove wood veneers and laminates. You’re not suppose to wet mop them either and must use a damp mop only and certain cleaners. It’s okay to use the steam cleaner on tile and solid/real hardwood flooring (but be sure it’s solid/real hardwood flooring). Don’t let sales people fool you with the term all-wood either, all-wood is not solid wood, it’s a wood veneer over plywood or particle board only (because they’re both made from pieces or layers of real wood). Furniture makers use a lot of all-wood, (it saves a lot of trees too), but that term is very misleading & people think they have solid wood furniture when actually they do not. Most of the least expensive furniture out there is all-wood and the wood grain finish is just painted on only…yes it’s easy to do and you can buy a wood graining kit to do it yourself at home too.

  19. QUESTION:
    How do I remove scuff marks on laminate floors?
    I have furniture with felt pads under the feet to protect my laminate floor. When I was dragging one of the love-seats around, it made scuff marks in the laminate? Any suggestions on clearing the scuff marks? I tried some Bruce hardwood floor cleaner and Goo Gone, but no luck.

    • ANSWER:
      try magic eraser

  20. QUESTION:
    How should I clean my old hardwood floors?
    My house has old hardwood floors. Most of the living room and dinning room floors are covered with large area rugs. We want to take the old rugs out but there is a dirt line that is left around the perimeter of where the rugs were. Under the rugs the wood is nice and pretty still. Don’t have the money right now to hire someone to come in and buff the dirt out so I was wondering if there is a way of cleaning the floors ourselves without having to rent a buffer?

    • ANSWER:
      Hi,

      If you are going to clean it by hand, I would try a Magic Eraser cleaning pad and plain water to clean the floor. Another little more expensive option is to use a Steam Floor Mop to clean the floor. Haan, Oreck and Bissell all make good quality Steam Floor Mops. The investment is not too much and it can be used on all your hard floors throughout your home. Steam floor mops are a great way to clean the floors and they really do work.

      I have been in the cleaning business for over 30 years and there are many ways to clean floors. I recently discovered a website that is dedicated to clean floors. The site to my surprised was free and after spending some time reviewing the site, I discovered that the site was accurate with its information. I would recommend checking this website out for cleaning all floors including wood, laminate, tile, stone, concrete, marble,ceramic, grout, vinyl, etc. The link is as follows, it is worth the visit and will guide you to how to clean all the floors in a home or a commercial building. Good Luck. http://www.keepingfloorsclean.com/

  21. QUESTION:
    How do I remove wax from a laminate floor that I should not have waxed.?
    Bought a new laminate floor and wanted it to have more of a shine. Went out and purchased rejuvinate floor cleaner which ended up being a wax. I now have white marks scratches and scuff marks due to the wax and would like to remove the wax without damaging the floor.

    • ANSWER:
      There are wax removers on the market, you can try one of them, but the best thing is ammonia water if you can stand the smell, but ammonia will cut the wax, it will be a get down on your knees job, using a damp sponge and rinse well and wipe up. Try a small section of the floor first in an area that isn’t noticable to see if it is going to work for you. Everyone I know that has a laminate floor wants the shine, but you only get that with real hardwood, seems they would make a product that would make the laminate shine a little more.

  22. QUESTION:
    How to clean beer on laminate and hardwood floor?
    I was just wondering what the easiest way to clean beer that has been left overnight off of laminate and hardwood flooring. If it is possible, is there also a way to make the smell go away quickly?

    • ANSWER:
      First clean up with warm water and cloth. The use lemon scented murphy’s oil soap. Murphy’s should work to remove any left over residue and the smell.

  23. QUESTION:
    How to clean puppy urine from hardwood floors?
    I have a new puppy and we are trying to housetrain him. We are restricting him to areas of the house that have laminate floors until he is potty-trained. I have read that it is important to completely remove the urine smell or the dog will think that is where he is supposed to go next time. I have read not to use products that contain ammonia. What is a good cleaner/disinfectant that I can use?

    • ANSWER:
      You need to get a cleaner with enzymes that will break down the proteins in the urine.Those are the things that are left behind by normal cleaners and what your dog smells and will continue to mark over and over.Natures Miracle is a popular brand that is known to be effective.

  24. QUESTION:
    what is the best way to clean my hardwood laminate floors?
    i have a Swiffer mop but i just don’t like the job it does. what is a good product to use that will clean the floors without making them sticky or slippery?

    • ANSWER:
      Most laminate makers will have their own spray ( just a light spritz) that you just have to go over w/ a terri cloth swivel headed dust mop. I always use it to clean up after I ve installed a new floor. Mopping isn t a good idea because of the potential for water damage.. GL

  25. QUESTION:
    Is laminate flooring hard to keep clean?
    I am considering installing laminate flooring in my dining/living room. People tell me it is hard to keep clean? Is this true? I take care of a two and one-year old grandkids.

    • ANSWER:
      The best thing about laminate flooring, besides looking nice of course, is that it is made to look good for years with MINIMUM EFFORT.
      All you really need for cleaning laminate are a vacuum cleaner, a dry mop, a damp towel and a little common sense. If you really hate vacuuming you can use an old fashioned broom or dust mop instead. After removing grit and dust you can damp mop the floor using one of the many cleaning products on the market that are especially formulated for wood or laminate floors. The best part is that you don’t have to polish, wax, or scour your laminate flooring to make it look good.

      Dirt and rocks can cause visible scratching that will eventually lead to dullness. To protect against this vacuum, sweep or dust mop the floors on a regular basis. Also use floor mats or entry door mats. The other alternative is having everyone remove their shoes when they come in, –that behavior is for white carpeting and real hardwood flooring. We want things to be a little more relaxed so that we don’t have to go ballistic every time the dog crumbles her chewy bones on the floor.

  26. QUESTION:
    How to get my laminate floors clean?
    I have laminate floors that look like hardwood. I’ve mopped them with pinesol, febreeze floor cleaner, the clorox mop thing-when I’m done mopping it just looks like I’ve spread the dirt around-I can’t ever get the dirt up off the floor. Does anyone know of any products I can use to get the dirt off my floor and make it look clean???

    • ANSWER:
      Vinyl laminate floor?

      A damp, almost dry mop. A spray bottle filled 1/2 white vinegar, 1/2 water. An old towel.

      Spray an area with the vinegar and water, do not soak the area. Mop the area. Dry the area with the towel (drag it around with your feet) if necessary. You don’t want moisture seeping down between the boards.

      I use a Sh-mop. It comes with three mop covers that I can change as they get dirty, then throw in the laundry.

      With this method there is no bucket to accidentally spill over.

  27. QUESTION:
    Can you get the smell of cigarette smoke out of a home for sure? Or it will always be there?
    I am going to be renting a house soon. The former resident used to smoke. She said she didn’t smoke in the house be we do smell some smoke. It’s not overwhelming but it’s there.
    The landlords said they will paint the house and steam clean the carpets. Carpets are only in the bedrooms but the rest of the house has hardwood-look laminate flooring.
    Should I ask them to take the carpet out? Or would steam cleaning the carpets get rid of the smell/
    Thanks!

    • ANSWER:
      Painting the home is not the only way to get rid of the smell of smoke. They will need to use a sealer first. Then paint. TSP all walls that are enameled and the cabinets. Then paint the area`s that have paint. These are the steps needed to assure of the smoke being gone. Carpets can be cleaned and deodorized. The ceilings would need to be sprayed Or rolled if it has Accoustic ceilings then a spray would need to be done.

  28. QUESTION:
    Can I use wet Swiffer on my laminate hardwood floors?
    I don’t know if I use it whether they will buckly because it is a wet cloth thing. They have dry ones, but I want to clean up “drop” spots and such. Does anyone have any idea of a laminate hardwood floor cleaner that works really well? I saw a posting on here that someone used a cleaner that makes it shine and smell really good. I am just afraid of it making them buckle if I use something wet. Any suggestions?

    • ANSWER:
      I have been using the Swiffer dry and wet cloths on my laminate floor for two years. I never used anything else, and am very satisfied with the results.

  29. QUESTION:
    How to care for laminate hardwood flooea?
    I have laminate hardwood floors, and I’ve been using pinesol to clean them. I think the pinesol is fading them. Am I using to much or is there something better thAT I can use to clean them?

    • ANSWER:
      Laminate floors are very low maintenance. Ironically, if you use a lot of cleaning products on them, they will actually look worse…they will get smudges and streaks, like you’re experiencing. And never use steam on laminate…steam can absolutely ruin laminate floors. It can cause warping and even cause the veneer to peel right off.

      Having said this, exactly how do you maintain a laminate floor? Mostly just by vacuuming it. When you need more than a vacuuming, use a microfiber mop and plain old water. No cleanser, no vinegar, no nothing…just water. Let the mop do the work. Microfiber is fantastic at removing dirt and streaks and doesn’t need a cleanser to help.

      In your case, I would definitely vacuum and then mop with a microfiber mop. Wet the mop and use it. No need to dry the floor, but also don’t let water pool on the floor. You want a good damp mop, but not puddles of water. (Streaks of water are ok.)

      If you don’t already have a microfiber mop, you can buy them at Walmart, Target, Kmart, Home Depot, and even Dollar General.

      I’ve never used anything but a vacuum and a microfiber mop (plus water) on our laminate floors and they still look fantastic after all these years.

      Hope this helps.

      -

  30. QUESTION:
    How can I get my ferrets to stop going right outside of their litter pans?
    I have 2 ferrets. One is almost 4 years old and the other one just turned 1. BOTH of them are pooping and peeing right in front of their litter pans. We have hardwood floors and laminate floors and they are ruining my laminate flooring. What can I put on their so they WONT keep doing this.. and they are clean litter pans. I clean them ALL the time.

    • ANSWER:
      I have had a similar problem. You may be cleaning the box too often. If the box loses their scent, they won’t want to use it because it is not theirs. They may think it belongs to someone else and go in front of it to establish dominance or they have no where else to go.
      Solution:
      I suggest that you put fresh litter in the box and put some of their poop in it. This makes it known that the box is in fact theirs. This also helps get the message across that this box is for defecation and nothing else. Try to only clean the box once a week if possible. Only dump out the litter and wipe it down with a rag. Heavily clean it twice a month. This should resolve the problem.
      If Problem Doesn’t Resolve:
      1. Take them to the vet to see if there is an internal problem. This is common for most animals.
      2. Give Them Away. It is not what I would suggest but if they are becoming a large problem, it is best for them and you.
      I hope this helps!!


how to clean hardwood laminate flooring