Why laminate floors?
Laminate flooring is a great choice for anyone who wants the look of hardwood, tile, or stone and wants to save money. Laminate floors or stairs are easy to install, easy to clean, and super affordable!
Laminate flooring is increasingly popular in home décor. It has all the style and class of more expensive flooring, like hardwood or tile, while instilling a sense of comfort in your nest. It comes at much more affordable prices and the benefits to the environment make it a LEED-approved construction material. With the rise of DIY home-owners, laminated flooring gained even more popularity as it is relatively easy to install. Laminate flooring is now an instant classic.
Laminate floors are great for all of those reasons, but especially because of their durability! But keep in mind, even though laminate floors are super durable, they still need proper cleaning and maintenance! If you don’t maintain your floors, you might be shortchanging yourself! If you’re wondering what is the best mop to use on laminate floors, here are some tips for choosing the best mop for laminate floors:
First of all, choose a high-absorbency mop
This is how mopping gets exhaustive and gross: you get started and in five minutes you’re looking at more water than you had to begin with so you go on countless bucket trips to wring it out but the mop head just keeps getting exponentially wetter (and dirtier). It’s like the sunk cost fallacy. You keep trying to wring it out, but in fact, the mop head is getting less and less absorbent with each bucket trip.
This is because standard household appliances are made from cheap materials that are not cost-efficient (for you the consumer, and for the company making basically disposable products). Choose a mop that is made with non-woven fabric and highly absorbent materials. Highly absorbent fibers don’t hold on to moisture and will save you from over-soaking your laminate floors (and taking endless bucket trips.
Types of Mops:
To find the best mop for laminate floors, you’ll want to think about the different kinds of mops available. There are 5 types to consider:
1. Dry: A dry mop is great to dust hardwood floors! These are meant for dry surfaces. They’ve worked best for me when trying to clean dirt, hair, and dust. They don’t need any liquid, because dry mops are meant solely for dry surfaces! This is typically the lightest mop too, since it is not soaked in water.
2. Wet: A wet mop is fantastic to clean up big messes. These are supposed to be both wet and used on wet surfaces, like a milk or wine spill! Wet mops also work great for bathroom or kitchen floors.
3. Steam: A steam mop uses the pressure of steam to clean and disinfect the floors. The heat definitely helps to get rid of germs. While this is a great mop for some floors and carpets, I wouldn’t recommend this type of mop isn’t recommended for laminate floors. The heat from the steam can cause warping to your flooring! While this is not the best mop for laminate floors, it does function really efficiently for linoleum flooring.
4. Spin: A spin mop uses a spinning mop head to rigorously clean up a floor. They are great for regular, everyday dust and dirt. Spin mops also do not use a lot of water, so they’re a good choice for laminate floors!
5. Spray: A spray mop uses a squeeze trigger on its handle to spray misty cleaning solution from its head. It uses this cleaning product to clean up a floor, then allows you to mop it up with the bottom of the mop. The good thing about this mop is that you can put your own preferred cleaning solution into it.
Now that you’re familiar with the different kinds of mops out there, let’s talk about which kind of mop is actually best for a laminate floor!
Sometimes dry-mopping is your best friend
Although you might associate cleaning your floors with a sopping wet mop, this should not be the case when you’re cleaning laminate floors. You will be surprised at the effectiveness of using a dry mop! And actually, using a lot of water will soak the floor and eventually damage it.
You really should not get your laminate floors too wet. They will lose durability and shine with constant over-soaking, which can also lead to harmful and damaging warping. For day-to-day basic cleaning, you can simply dust your floors with a dry mop. If the floors are a bit dirtier, you can use just a little bit of water to dampen the mop, without any other cleaning product!
Choose a product that is specially designed for deep-cleaning so you won’t have to risk scratches or rust getting all over your floor. While some may recommend vacuuming, you run the risk of getting your floors scratched and the heat is also not beneficial for your floors. If you are concerned, cleaning laminate floors is also a lot easier when you use a high-performance mop that is designed to reach the most difficult corners with convenience, but we’ll say more on that later. For especially difficult stains and spills, spray a cleaning solution in the specific area and then mop using the best mop for laminate floors, the dry mop.
The best cleaning product for laminate floors
There are many different cleaning products available for floor cleaning, and especially if you are using a spray mop, you’ll want to look into these and pick the one that works best for your floor. My personal favorite floor cleaning product is the Champion Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner. It’s non-toxic and environmentally sound, but it also is powerful when you’re using it to clean up a floor. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about it being too harsh and potentially damaging your floor.
I also like to finish up the job using Champion Hardwood & Laminate Floor Finish/Shine. This makes your laminate floor look glossy and professional, as well as helping to protect it from further dirt and grime. This should be applied after you finish cleaning the floor as a last, final touch product. Like I mentioned earlier, you want to be careful about how much liquid is on your laminate floors, so squirt a very tiny amount onto your dry floor before spreading the cleaner with a damp mop or sponge. The finish should dry in about 60 minutes.
You should probably choose a machine washable mop
This is simple: Your mop should not live in a bucket, or be cleaned inside it. The more you leave your mop soaking in water, the less absorbent it will become. Choosing the best mop for laminate floors is actually easy when you know to choose a mop that is machine washable. It’s also important to store it under the right conditions: somewhere dry, but airy (NOT in a damp corner of your supply closet). And more importantly, don’t go for cheaper mops because the poorly-made fabric will only spread lint on the floors as you mop.
When your mop is machine washable, you can easily just throw the mop head into the washing machine, making sure all the dirt disappears and it’s free to use the next time you have a mess. Plus, washing the mop head in your washing machine will get rid of the gross bacteria lingering from cleaning. Your mop will be clean and ready for use with the press of a button.
Best of all, since your mop is washable, the lifespan is very long! This is so useful if you have a busy schedule and can’t commit to a hand wash.
Choosing the best mop to use on laminate floors
This may seem like unnecessary advice, but sometimes we forget about practical usability when we go shopping for the best floor mop. Home-cleaning is hard work, don’t choose a product if it weighs more than a newborn. When choosing the best mop for laminate floors, a quality lightweight product is key for efficient cleaning. Remember that you can’t be leaving your floors absorbing moisture for a long time, so speedy work here is key. You also need a mop that can reach those awkward corners around the house, so steer away from the rectangular-shaped sweepers commonly sold in grocery stores.
How to clean laminate floors
Since you now know the best mop for laminate floors, it’s important to know how to use the mop to clean your floors. Laminate floors can be easily affected by water, or any fluid, including cleaning fluids. If you spill something and don’t wipe it up right away, the liquid can swivel into a seam in the flooring. If it leaks down through to the fiberboard core of the flooring, the laminate flooring will swell and even start to peel away.
To prevent this from happening, you need to know the steps of cleaning a laminate floor.
Step 1: Dry Cleaning
Honestly, there’s no competition for what method is best for laminate floors. You should definitely Start with dry cleaning the laminate floor thoroughly with your dry mop. You can also use a vacuum or a broom if you have these on hand. You want to eliminate the extra dirt and debris. This helps also to get rid of any extra liquid that might be hanging around on your laminate floor.
Just walk your dry mop around your floor, swiveling the mop head to make sure you reach the stubborn corners of the room and and gather any particles which might be lying around.
Step 2: Damp Mopping
Once you’re done dry cleaning your laminate floor, you’ll probably have cleaned up most of the larger pieces of dirt. But the floor might still feel grimy to the touch. Any spots, streaks, or odors that were on your floor before dry mopping will probably take a little more effort to remove. This is where damp mopping comes into play.
You do not want your mop to be sopping wet. If you squeeze your mop, no excess water should come out, but it should still be damp to the touch. When the mop is too wet, this is when the extra liquid can leak down into the crevices and ruin your laminate floor, which is the last thing we want to happen! If your mop is slightly damp but not leaking water, that’s perfectly fine.
What to avoid when cleaning laminate floors
Like I mentioned above, make sure your mop is not wet. A wet mop and a laminate floor will never be friends, so you want to keep the two away from each other. Another thing to remember is not to bleach your laminate floors or use any other harsh chemicals or a cleaning tool like steel wool. Another thing to watch out for is floor buffer or polisher intended for pure hardwood floors. These harsh materials can damage the outer layer of your flooring, leading to ruin.
The best mop for laminate floors: dry mop
To ensure your floors are stainless, you’ll want to find a mop that is versatile. I really prefer a mop that is strong on stubborn stains but isn’t too heavy. The weight really matters, because you are mopping the floor, not doing an arm workout! My favorite mop is useful and inexpensive.
When it comes to that initial dry cleaning phase, there is one mop that is truly the best mop for laminate floors the Champion Old Fashioned Dust Mop. This mop is designed to clear the dust and debris from your dirty floor with ease in the initial dry mop cleaning phase. You won’t have to worry as much about perfecting your damp mopping skills, because the Old Fashioned Dust Mop will provide a fantastic first cleaning and leave you with little dust left to clean up.
My favorite thing about the Champion Old Fashioned Dust Mop is that although most times you can just shake it clean, the mop head is washable. You can simply use some light detergent and water to soak the mop head, then air dry it, and it will be as good as new! While this might make some other mops flimsy and hard to use, this mop simply gets refreshed when it’s cleaned, which proves the longevity of the product!
The best mop for laminate floors: wet mop
The wet mops available to us in order to clean wood floors are various, but there is one kind of mop to definitely stay away from when cleaning this type of floor: the steam mop. A steam mop is not only unnecessary, but it could actually harm your laminate floors! The heat from the steam can cause the flooring to warp and become damaged.
There are a lot of great mops available, but my personal recommendation would be the Champion Super Yellow Mop. It’s super effective for laminate floors, along with hardwood floors, ceramic tile floors, and concrete floors (like those you might have in your garage). In my experience, this mop can get even tough cleaning jobs done. This is really the best mop for laminate floors.
The Champion Super Yellow Mop is also lightweight. This makes it really easy to use. When the mop is too dirty to continue, you can just rinse it out, lightly wring out the mop by hand, and continue cleaning. This versatility is again just what makes the Champion mop not only reusable, but also the best mop for laminate floors.
Tips for keeping your laminate flooring like new
Even after your floors are clean, it can be a real struggle maintaining their excellent look. With our busy schedules, it feels like they frequently slip back into states of dirt and grime! But there are a few things to remember if you want to keep your laminate floors looking fresh:
1. Clean up spills as soon as they happen so water doesn’t leak into your flooring. The best way to keep your floors looking premium is to act quickly and properly, like wiping down a plank right away when you notice it’s sticky.
2. Water needs to be used very minimally. Any standing water (like a puddle of floor cleaner or a spilled cup of coffee) can cause your laminate floor to swell and morph, especially for materials like vinyl.
3. Clean your flooring using the damp mopping method about every two to three months, more if needed, but always be careful when using water.
4. After you’re done mopping, use a microfiber cloth to go over your floor and make sure no excess liquid remains there. This cloth can also be used to go over your baseboards or any detailed features or edges in your floor or furniture, to make sure each nook and cranny is cleaned effectively!
5. Vacuum and sweep your floor regularly. Maneuver your cleaning schedule or switch around your shifts to make sure this is your number one priority. Since it’s important you aren’t scrubbing with soap and liquids too often, these spaces should just be kept generally clean.
Think of the environment and sustainability
Yes, we know that climate change is real and that most commercial cleaning products are filled with toxic substances that no human should be around. Or pets! Small animals are especially prone to skin allergies due to living (and tumbling and fumbling) so close to the floor. Now, it’s hard to stay up to date on the latest chemical hazards. But you can use home-made cleaning solutions, or low-impact, all natural cleaning products, with an effective mop.
For a simple and convenient recipe, add one part vinegar to four parts water in a bottle and spray away. You can also add oils and essences, like mint and hibiscus, for a more fragrant result. If you chose laminate flooring, you probably already know that it is more hygienic, durable and cuts down on CO2 emissions from the production process and manufacturers. So, you should choose products that follow the same standards of sustainability. You should never use bleach or abrasive cleaners on your laminate flooring.
It is important to note that vinegar is corrosive and will attack, corrode, and degrade any metal that makes up the mop you are using. With that said, use with caution. A safe and non-corrosive alternative would be to use a floor cleaner such as those offered by Champion Supplies. It’s definitely to your advantage to use my favorite, the Champion Hardwood & Laminate Floor Cleaner. This cleaner will clean up the spots on your cedar, making those floorboards look sparkling and beautiful again.
With the right cleaning supplies and the best mop for laminate floors, you will avoid health issues and help fight environmental degradation. Hopefully, now you have a better idea on what is the best mop to use on laminate floors. Happy cleaning!