What Can You Put on a Laminate Floor to Make It Shine?

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Distinguishing wood from laminate flooring often requires a close inspection.
Distinguishing wood from laminate flooring often requires a close inspection. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Laminate flooring is a layered, synthetic product that is fused together to simulate wood. When it comes to keeping laminate shiny, it's critical to remember that the surface is not, in fact, wood. Some cleaning techniques from wood floors might transfer, but others do not. Remember that the laminate is simply a shiny, protective coating applied to the top of the product. It can be worn away by an accumulation of dust and particles, or even consumer cleaning products.

Sweeping

Dust, debris and other tiny rock particles left on top of a laminate floor can cut small grooves into the surface, which eventually will deteriorate the quality of shine. This makes your first order of business in maintaining a shine to keep the floor well swept and free of anything that can scratch it. This includes applying pieces of cloth or soft rubber pieces to the legs of any furniture that might scratch the laminate. Keep laminate shiny by not letting debris accumulate on it.

Cleaning Solutions

Mopping a laminate floor with plain old tap water is not a good idea. This only pushes dirt farther down into the surface and into cracks. The store where you purchased the flooring can probably guide you to one of the several brands of cleaning solutions made specifically for laminate. If you didn't have the floor installed yourself, try any lumber or home improvement store that carries laminate. Read and follow the instructions for mixing and applying the solution.

Vinegar

If your laminate flooring shine is only marred by a few scuffs or stains, common vinegar might be able to restore the shine. You should apply a small amount of vinegar solution in an unobtrusive area first to make sure it doesn't cause any damage to the surface. Take care not to use straight vinegar. Mix 1/4 cup vinegar with 1 gallon of water and stir thoroughly, according to the Professor's House website. This might help to remove stains which are interfering with your floor's shine.

Considerations

Though laminate floors are long-lasting, sometimes no amount of cleaning, scrubbing or sweeping will restore the shine. Once the surface has been worn away, there simply is nothing left there that will sparkle. This makes it imperative that you undertake a dedicated sweeping and cleaning approach from the beginning because once the shine is gone, it's not coming back.

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