Don't clean it away – keep it away! Below is some information on cleaning and care of laminate flooring, this information was provided by EPLF (European Producers of Laminate Flooring). Click here for a downloadable version of this information.
We all know that dirt is brought into the house from outside and then gets trodden into the floor.
The best way of cleaning is to avoid dirt - simply leave it outside the door - but how? Just put down a large doormat at your front door. Better still, if you have two, you can have one in use while the other gets thoroughly cleaned, and vice versa.
Please think about it: walked-in dirt causes damage on nearly all floor coverings: gravel, etc. acts like sandpaper and causes unpleasant scratches! Your laminate flooring will stay beautiful for even longer if you fit felt pads under the feet of your chairs, tables and cupboards - it's easier to move them and prevents scratches.
Another tip: don't forget to equip the castors or rollers on office chairs, filing trolleys and mobile containers with soft treads/castors - these are recognisable by their two-tone construction. Old hard- and/or sharp-edged castors on existing furniture should also be exchanged.
Initial and basic cleaning
Before use, first of all remove wood shavings, dust and dirt with a broom or vacuum cleaner. Cleaning with pure water isn’t always the best thing. Use a laminate cleaner, it's enough to wipe the surface with a well wrung, damp, merely "moist" cloth.
Should stubborn glue residue remain on the surface after installation, it is advisable to use special laminate glue remover - use this only very sparingly according to the manufacturer's instructions, however, otherwise you might dissolve the glue in the joins!
After installation, a thorough cleaning is recom- mended to get rid of any lingering residues of dust and dirt. For this you should use the laminate flooring cleaning products recommended by the manufacturer of the flooring, in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
Maintenance – on-going cleaning in the home
Every floor covering is liable to natural wear and tear, determined by the quality of the floor covering and the actual use - you will preserve its value by regular maintenance. Your new laminate flooring has a hard, impervious surface which dirt cannot cling to and is easily removed. A vacuum cleaner suitable for hard surface floors or dry cleaning with a dust mop or cloth is the sensible way to remove loose surface dirt.
A practical tip: according to experience, this kind of loose dirt can also be eliminated by
a specially impregnated dusting cloth or statically charged cloth. Daily use of impregnated dust cloths can cause adherence of the impregnation and increased clinging of dirt. An initial treatment with film-forming cleaning materials is not necessary.
Do not use beeswax and polish under any circum- stances! They will not stick to the impervious laminate flooring, do not penetrate and cause unsightly staining.
Stubborn dust and dirt
Stains caused by normal use, streaks from shoe- soles, crayons and other dirt can be removed as shown in the following table:
Stain: Rubber smears, shoe heel scuffs, dirt from the street, coloured pencil, oil crayon
Remove with... dry brushing, e.g. with white nylon
Stain: fruit, berries, milk, beer, wine, tea, lemonade
Remove with... wipe off immediately with absorbent cloth, or suitable laminate cleaner if dried on and dry wipe afterwards
Stain: urine, blood
Remove with... wipe off immediately with cloth, or dry brushing with if dried on; wipe off any clinging residue with suitable laminate cleaner, dry wipe afterwards
Stain: nail polish, shoe cream, varnish, lubricating oil, tar, felt- tip pen, ink, mascara, lipstick, carbon paper, typewriter ribbon
Remove with... wipe off with cloth soaked in solvent, e.g. acetone, concentrated vinegar, nail polish remover, universal thinners - use sparingly in each case with very little solvent and only in the area of the stain: Observe safety regulations!
Stain: Chocolate, film of fat/grease, cooking oil
Remove with... suitable laminate floor-cleaning product
An important note: The use of steam cleaners should be absolutely avoided, since hot steam will impair the quality of the adhesion!
No further treatments necessary
Please do not sand, varnish, polish or wax: other- wise you will adversely affect the typical and intrinsic properties of usage of your new laminate flooring. The surface is particularly long-lived and resistant to wear, so please don’t carry out any further treatments. Beyond this, after-treatments can be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.
The advice on care given here is in addition to the cleaning and care recommendations of the laminate flooring manufacturer; it serves as a guideline and is not binding, lays no claim to completeness and reflects as far as reasonably possible the current state of the art.
Experiment is encouraged – warranty claims cannot be derived from this advice. When in doubt, consult the manufacturer/supplier of the laminate flooring product in question.