How to Make Laminate Floors Shine

Harold K. Hardesty
Harold is a Flooring Specialist at TheHouseWire, educating people on the flooring by writing guides about the topic. He is a well-seasoned flooring specialist with experience in the industry for nine years.
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Updated October 27, 2023

A simple method to bring back the shine on laminate floors

How to Make Laminate Floors Shine

Being durable and versatile, laminate floors are a top choice for flooring among homeowners. Since they offer similar benefits to hardwood floors minus the exorbitant cost, it’s understandable why you’d prefer them over the former.

An advantage of laminate floors is their ease of maintenance. However, this does not mean that your floors will never need any upkeep.

In fact, laminate floors tend to lose their shine with time, due to dust and debris buildup. So, is this time for replacement flooring? Not at all.

Let’s discuss a simple DIY method to make your laminate floors shine. 

What You’ll Need

Here are the supplies you’ll need to clean laminate floors:

Step by Step Instructions

Following this method, you’ll have to keep the laminate floors unoccupied and traffic-free for a considerable time. Thus, I’d suggest cleaning the floors at night and letting them dry until the next morning.

Step 1: Clean the Floors

Before applying the laminate floor polish, clean the area to remove any mess. Vacuum the floor you want to work on. Make sure you’re using the hard floor attachment to prevent scratching and abrasion on the floor.

Alternatively, you can clean the floors using a microfiber mop. It’s safe for laminate floors and does not break the adhesion under the flooring, as a steam mop would.

Step 2: Apply Cleaning Product

If haze forms on the laminate floors while cleaning, it’s possibly due to the wrong choice of cleaners. Remember not to use oil-based or soap-based cleaners on laminate.

Instead, opt for water-based cleaners, as they’re gentler and don’t cause warping.

Also, you can specifically buy a cleaning product designed for laminate flooring. Alternatively, make a cleaner at home using a few products in your kitchen.

Mix half a cup of white vinegar in half a cup of water. Mix the ingredients to form a clear solution. Then, add half a cup of rubbing alcohol. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle.

Now, divide the floor into smaller regions. Spray your homemade or store-bought cleaner onto a small section of the floor. Do not spray in generous amounts as laminate floors are not designed to retain wetness.

I’d say start working on smaller sections of the floor and gradually move to the bigger areas, like the living room or the bedroom.

Step 3: Wipe the Floor

Use a microfiber mop to wipe the floor, moving in the same direction as the grain. When you’re done, the floor shouldn’t look too wet. Rather, it should be damp.

Never use a sponge on laminate floors as it will leave streaks, making the surface overly wet. The same goes for steam and string mops.

Step 4: Use Bona Laminate Floor Polish

If the floors in your house are too old and dull, a cleaner alone won’t cut it. In such cases, floor polish is your best bet.

The Bona Laminate floor polish is a water-based, non-toxic solution that is good for you and the floors. Along with leaving the floor shiny, it also prevents coughing and wheezing that is often caused due to inhaling fumes from toxic cleaners.

You can also buy the Bona applicator pad, specially made for laminate floors, to facilitate the process. Remove the pad from the applicator and run it under tap water to dampen it.

If there’s too much moisture in the pad, wring it to ensure no water is dripping from the ends. Then, reapply the pad onto the microfiber mop and start working with the floor polish.

Apply the polish to a small section of the floor. Without stepping on it, move the mop in the grain’s direction to spread the polish evenly. The product should be sufficient to form a layer on your floors but not too concentrated to cause excessive wetness.

Keep working in smaller sections until you’ve covered the whole area.

Step 5: Air Dry

Let the surface air-dry overnight. Do not walk on them for at least two hours. Keep pets and kids away from the floors until they’ve dried.

Step 6: Buff the Floor

Lastly, go over the floors with a microfiber cloth. By now, the laminate should be dry, and you’ll quickly spot an area that you may have missed. Rub this section and buff it to restore the laminate’s shine.

Step 7: Keep Laminate Floors Shiny

Although simple, this process can be quite time-consuming, considering you have to work in small sections. You wouldn’t want to do it every few months, would you?

Instead, you should ensure that your wood floors do not lose their shine in the first place.

Vacuum the floors regularly. If you allow dirt and dust to remain on the floors for an extended time, they will stick to the laminate, making it dull. Vacuum laminate floors once a week, using a hardwood floor attachment.

If you have an active household, vacuum the floors twice or thrice a week to keep them clean.

Similarly, mop the floor using a laminate floor cleaner at least once every week. Make sure you’re using floor-safe cleaners, preferably water-based. Do not use cleaners containing harsh chemicals, oils, or soap.

Most importantly, as soon as there’s a spill, wipe it off with a paper towel. Laminate floors are, no doubt, exceptionally durable, but they’re not designed to get wet. If water remains too long on the floors, it can damage the texture and cause warping.

Tips and Warnings

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  • When working on laminate floors, only use cleaning methods that are suitable for the flooring. Instead of using a string or steam mop, use a microfiber mop or a vacuum cleaner.
  • Laminate floors are prone to scratching. Thus, do not use abrasive cleaning supplies, such as a scrub brush or a sponge.
  • Use a microfiber or lint-free cloth for cleaning laminate floors or wiping spills.
  • Avoid using wet cleaning methods on laminate as they warp the surface. These include mop and bucket, steam mops, steamers, and spray mops.
  • Table and chair legs can cause scratches on the floor. To prevent this, put protective felt pads on the furniture legs.
  • Only use cleaners that are specific for laminate floors. If you’re using a store-bought cleaner, follow the instructions properly and only apply the recommended amount.
  • Do not make the floors overly wet while cleaning, as laminate doesn’t retain wetness well.
  • Wait for 24 hours before putting heavy items, such as furniture, back on the floors after cleaning.

Final Words

No matter which type of floor you have in your house, it’s crucial to follow the proper cleaning methods to ensure the material’s longevity. Otherwise, you’ll be spending all your savings on renovating the floors every year.

In this guide, I’ve discussed a simple yet effective method to restore the laminate floor’s shine. Although some people disagree with the prospect of using polish on laminate, it’s entirely up to you if you’d rather use a cleaner alone or complement it with floor polish.

If you’re doing the latter, make sure you only use wax or polish from reputed brands. Now, it’s time for you to get your microfiber mop out and get to work.

  • Did you find this DIY method helpful?
  • Have you ever cleaned your laminate floors?
  • Did you know about the tips for keeping the floors safe?

Let me know it all in the comments below.

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