If you browse nearly any home cleaning hack site or book, you’ll often see mentions of using plain white vinegar (WV) to clean your laminate flooring. But is this commonly used cooking ingredient safe for floors? Depending on who you ask, the answers are varied. The acidic nature of the WV makes most people wary of using it on their own floors. But if used correctly, this low-cost solution can keep your floors looking and smelling nice, but with the added benefit of sanitizing while you clean.
So, if you have white vinegar on hand, you can keep your floors looking nice without having to run out and buy a bunch of floor cleaning solutions.
If you want to learn how to use WV for your own laminate flooring, keep reading. Or if you’d rather have it done professionally, just call up a company like New Generation Flooring in Newcastle and they can send someone out to provide a free quote.
First Things First…
Before we tell you how to get your floors looking brand new, let’s talk about where people go wrong when cleaning their laminate flooring. The most common ways people sabotage themselves is by:
- Using the wrong cleaners.
- Mixing and matching cleaners
- washing their mop heads or cloths with the rest of their clothes
Walking up and down any cleaning aisle at your grocery store presents its own unique challenges. There are so many chemicals and solutions to choose from, it’s hard to know which one to pick.
It doesn’t help when some of the products ‘promise’ to do this or that.
For the purpose of cleaning your laminate flooring though, we’re going to go against the grain and tell you to avoid the expensive cleaners, and avoid the confusion of trying to figure out which products to use.
Many of them promise to shine dull-surfaces, but what ends up happening over time, is the oils in the product end up building up in layers, creating a dull finish which will eventually need to be stripped.
The next offender is mixing and matching various chemicals.
Maybe you can’t decide between Pine-sol or Mr. Clean. Maybe you like mixing and matching the two whenever you do decide to mop your floors.
Mixing and matching chemicals like this can also cause the chemicals to react to one another, which then leaves a hazy and dull finish on all floors.
Finally, think about what you do with your mop heads when you’re done with them. Do you throw them in the wash with your next batch of clothes, and even treat them to a luxurious splash of fabric softener?
If you do, you need to stop now.
Wash your mop covers or heads in their own wash or with your other cleaning rags.
Never add fabric softener, as this will act as a waterproof coating that prevents chemicals from leaving OR entering the mop covers—preventing them from ever getting clean.
Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s talk about how to use white vinegar to clean your own floors.
How to Clean Your Laminate Floors with White Vinegar
Before you can begin mopping, you need to start with a clean surface first. This can be done by sweeping or vacuuming with a canister vac and floor attachment.
Be sure to move furniture around, like garbage cans, chairs, and potted plants, to make sure you get every spec of dirt and hair.
The last thing you want to be doing is mopping dirt and hair around.
For this reason, canister vacuums are the best, hands down.
Now, you’re ready to move onto mopping. For this you’ll need:
- A flat mop and bucket
- 2 cups of warm water
- ½ cup of white vinegar
- 2-3 drops of your favorite essential oil *optional* Good choices are citrus smells, like oranges or lemons, but you can pick and choose whatever you like.
First, mix up the ingredients in your mop bucket and dampen your mop head cover, and wring well. You want the mop cover to be damp. Not dripping wet.
Excessive moisture can be harmful to laminate flooring. It can also leave behind a dull and streaky finish; something you want to avoid for both appearances and money wise.
Now, replace the mop head cover on your mop and start at the furthest point of the room.
You’ll be mopping yourself out of the room so as to avoid tracking up your floors with your own footprints. With a slight twist of the wrist, begin walking backward while mopping in ‘W’ like strokes.
Your strokes should overlap each other making sure no surface goes untouched.
Keep doing this until you’re standing at the entrance of the room and you’ve mopped the entire area.
Enjoy a glass of wine while you let things dry.
White vinegar can safely be used on laminate flooring. The trick is not to overdo it with the excessive moisture. So if you normally mop with the old-fashioned string mop and bucket, throw those out, or at least avoid using them on your laminate flooring.
For best results, use a flat mop and make sure the mop is damp. This is the key to clean and streak-free floors.
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