What Would Cause My Floors to Always Look Smeared After Cleaning?

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Streak-free floors ensure that your home remains beautiful.
Streak-free floors ensure that your home remains beautiful. (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Smears on your floor can cause you to wonder what went wrong after you cleaned them. Laminate floors are the most notorious for smearing to occur due to the shiny surface. Cleaning the floor improperly will cause streaks to remain. The streaks that remain behind are often the result of residue left on the floor, but streaks can also form for a variety of reasons. Cleaning the floors carefully and properly will keep them in good condition.

Air Drying

After you mop your floors, you need to dry them with a towel. Mopping and drying your floor in sections will help to prevent streaking. Allowing the water to sit on the floor causes residue to remain behind and you may even notice water spots. Simply swiping a towel over the floor after you mop it helps to keep your floor shiny and prevent it from having a smeared look.

Soap-Based Detergents

Soap-based detergents that are sold in stores contain chemicals that leave behind residues on the floor. Armstrong suggests that you avoid detergents such as “mop and shine” products because they leave behind a dull film on the floor. Instead of purchasing a detergent, clean your floors with vinegar. A solution that contains 1 cup of white vinegar to 1 gallon of water effectively cleans the floors and leaves them shiny.

Wax or Polish

Laminate floors never need waxing or polishing. You may feel like a wax will return the shine to the floors, but the wax can ruin the finish. Waxes and polishes leave a smeared look on the floors due to the residue that they leave behind. If your floor appears dull, always take the time to clean it properly to remove residues that exist currently. Buffing the floor with a towel when you dry it will help to restore its shine and keep the floor in good condition.

Too Much Water

Floors do not require much water to clean them. Too much water on a mop can cause water spots to form and even warp the floor. When you use too much water, it causes more harm than good. Wring the mop out carefully so that it only remains damp. You can also purchase special mops that are designed for laminate and wood floors. These mops do not absorb an excess amount of water and they allow you to clean the floors more effectively.

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