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107 Responses to “DIY Laminate Floor Cleaner Your Grandmother Would Be Proud Of”

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  1. ddee

    I’ve had my laminate in 1 room for 6 yrs & in another for 4 yrs and started out with using the expensive cleaners on the first & continued to get the streaks, so when we put the 2ND room in 4 yrs , we went to the vinegar/water method & I’ve not used anything since. I absolutely love it! I worked @ Lowes with installed sales & even a sales rep.told me that he uses it. What the company doesn’t know, doesn’t hurt them…I’d rather my floor look good & most of the time a warranty isn’t good for much anyway.

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  4. Melissa

    Did half water half vinegar with 10 drops of lavendar in my steam mop. Streaks everywhere! My mom has a microfiber pad. What am I doing wrong?

    • KristaJ

      It could be the floors were pretty dirty to begin with and may need another round but I flip flop between steam mop and regular sponge mop (just depends on my mood and how clean I need the floors) but for 1, usually adding oil and vinegar to your steam mop container could eventually erode the inside of the steam mop (vinegar and some metals may not mix well, especially if you have hard water) as it’s just meant for water and 2: the cloth pads on your steam mop may not absorb so well or the floors are just to dirty for one pad alone. I usually have to change out my pads halfway through the house. AS for the vinegar and oil, maybe try adding a few drops of the oil to your pads before putting them on and spritzing the floor with vinegar where you are about to go over with the steam mop.

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  8. Katie

    I’ve used peroxide and water on my laminate floors. It works great!

  9. Rachel

    I had tried everything and got tired of seeing residue, footprints and streaks! I hate the smell of vinegar but using any oils in it can leave residue also. So strictly vinegar and water do the trick! I was shocked!!! It actually WORKS!!! PS: for those using steam mops on laminate flooring, dont! When the steam is pushed out of the bottom onto the floors in gets into those little tiny seams and will eventually buckle your floor.That was the first thing I was told about when I got laminate. A friend of mine wouldn’t listen and insisted on using her steam mop and has already had her floors begin to buckle in several places.

    • Brandon

      In my experience, this isn’t true.

      I had laminate installed in my last home and for 3 years I steam-mopped it exclusively. I was instructed by the installer that that was the best way to clean them. I just moved into my new home and the builder gave me the same instruction.

      Laminate is still wood. And wood actually LIKES small amounts of water as long as it’s only periodic (ie: the wood can dry for long spells to prevent mold taking hold) and not too much water at a given time (ie: not so much the wood will swell when it sucks it up). For a non-solid wood like laminate, steam mopping fits the bill perfectly — provided you don’t put it on the wettest-setting or mop too frequently.

      My guess is that your friend used too high a setting far too frequently. In my home we vacuumed 2-3 times/week but only actually steam-mopped every few months. It held up beautifully.

      • Whoaaaaa! Laminate is most certainly NOT wood! It is MDF (paper product) laminated with a very thin layer of vinyl. Getting water between the seams will most certainly start curling up. Hot steam may dry quickly enough that there is no damage. The idea is not to let anything puddle for too long because it will cause permanent damage and void the warranty. Mopping is fine as long as the mop is only damp, ie not enough to puddle. The flooring you may be referring to is called “engineered hardwood”, which is real hardwood on the top layer and then usually pine or poplar for the supporting layers in a plywood method. The only complaint with this style of floor is that it dents much easier than laminate or genuine solid hardwood because of the softer wood beneath the top layer.

        • J.Zaring is absolutely correct. My husband graduated UMASS Amherst w a building materials and wood technology degree. Works for Boise Cascade. They are one of the biggest lumber and paper supply companies next to Georgia Pacific. A laminate not wood, and will buckle w water. That’s why they call it a laminate, just like laminate tile is not reak tile. Consider both a glued down fake wood or tile imposter.

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  11. Cptduality

    I agree that using Vinegar and Water leaves a fantastic sheen to the floors, but I’ve read a few places that if you are using it on actually hardwood, it dries the wood out, leaving it prone to splitting, warping etc. Is this true? Has anyone had this issue?

  12. Juanita

    Lol. Why does Dan Rather have to be asleep.

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  15. Barb McG

    OMG ALL I CAN SAY IS THIS IS THE BEST WEBSITE I’VE COME ACROSS IN A LONG LONG TIME. THANKS FOR REFRESHING ME ON THE SIMPLE THINGS TO USE TO CLEAN. VINEGAR!!!! We were poor gowing up used vinegar and baking soda to clean EVERYTHING. As I got older and more successful, I could afford pricey smell good cleaning products and nothing was cleaning the laminate floor, every product I bought was either a lot of work or left residue. So tonight I Googled what to use and came across your site and all I can say is thank you for CRACKING ME UP WITH SOME GREAT ADVICE! I will continue to be a fan

    Barb McG

  16. Ken

    Vinegar is a big no no for your laminate, especially when mixed with hot water. It eats away at the finish and voids your warranty. You should be using what the manufacturer suggests

  17. H

    I think I’ll try this later this week. I’m so grossed out by the cleaners my husband brings home. He did used to be a professional floor cleaner, so I trust him to know what’s good, I just don’t like it.
    Speaking of my husband, you’re right about the dish soap. He says sometimes people get the bright idea to use it on their floors (thanks Pinterest) and don’t realize that it attracts and traps dirt. Not to mention, it’s nearly impossible to get out of carpets and upholstery..

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  20. I just tried using the vinegar & water & on my wood laminated floors some of the finish came off. Not too happy about that I’m still waiting for the kitchen floor to dry to see if the sticky residue(I think my granddaughter was walking around with chips & ice cream dip*** yea i know weird she wanted to dip her chip in ice cream)came off yet. I walked out there with it partially dry & it didn’t seem tacky.. Time will tell

  21. If I were your grandmother, I would be proud as well. Look at that floor; it looks so clean and new. You could probably even see your reflection on it. Those components are really easy to find and use. I will definitely try this one.

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  25. lina

    Actually it can be really simple without buying any microfiber cloths or bothering with hot water. I had a regular (dusting?) microfiber floor mop which I used to first remove any dust or debris from the floor. I got it for around $10 at Ross stores.

    Then into a spray bottle I mixed 1 c. purified water with 1/4 c. white vinegar and 1/4 c. vodka (less toxic than rubbing alcohol for my little kitten who would be walking on the floors later)

    I removed the microfiber from the mop, got an old hand towel, wrapped it around the mop and safety pinned it to fasten it on the top. Shook the mixture and sprayed the towel about 4 times and began to wipe the floors in 5 foot increments and resprayed the towel to do a new section.

    It was very easy, and it removed grime and marks and left the floor shiny and clean. If the towel is getting too dirty just turn it over and use the other side.
    There is no worry about using too much liquid mix and damaging the floor.

    BTW I lived in Hawaii for most of my life. For sanitary reasons Hawaiians and Asian cultures ask guests to please remove their shoes before coming into their home. This prevents nasty things, disease, germs and so forth, they and you step into on the street from coming into your home as well as not damaging the floor from shoes or tiny bits of grit you may have walked in.

  26. tasha

    Hi Betty, It’s a nice article, but I have to disagree with you on some things. First of all, just because an installer or builder told you to use a steam mop does not mean they are correct. I had a guy at Lowe’s tell me the same thing today. These people just don’t read manufacturers instructions. Laminate is not wood, it’s a composite of non-wood materials with MDF directly under it (easy to get to). Any manufacturer of laminate that I have ever seen strictly advises to not use vinegar, acidic cleansers, nor steam mops.

    I was hoping to find an article that tells me how to use a safe cleaner…but the article was fun anyways!

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  28. Chipper

    I just took all of your advice and cleaned my horrible looking wood laminate floors with the 50/50 water/vinegar mixture – then wiped down with a microfiber dust mop – finishing with an application of just white vinegar applied with a microfiber cloth. I sure hope this works because I am totally and completely fed up with spending an afternoon of cleaning/polishing my floors only to see footprints, streaks, etc. not even an hour later. I am a HUGE fan of white vinegar and use it for many other things so I really hope this works. FYI – I use white vinegar instead of fabric softner and it works great.

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