There are many reasons to love laminate floors. They are among the sturdiest flooring options, they’re a more affordable choice than actual hardwood flooring, and when properly cleaned, they can have a lovely sheen that gives any room a sense of elegance.
However, that caveat about laminate floors being nice “when properly cleaned” is easier said than done, and failure to do so can leave your floor looking dull, dirty, and downright awful.
That’s why quality laminate floor cleaners are so important. The best floor cleaners can bring the sheen and shine back to your floor and breathe new life into your décor.
An Intro to Laminate Floor Cleaners
One of the trickiest things about cleaning laminate flooring is the fact that you need to strike a balance between cleaning power and gentleness. On the one hand, you want something that will be strong enough to cut through the dirt and grime, leaving behind a fresh scent and a smooth, clean sheen. On the other hand, more powerful floor cleaning agents can actually damage delicate laminate floors.
Some introductory points to laminate floor cleaning agents to keep in mind are as follows:
- Make sure you’re not just soaking your flooring in an excess of soap and water. Sure, they’re necessary for cleaning, but in terms of deep prolonged exposure, wood and moisture don’t mix.
- Make sure that you are using a laminate floor cleaning agent that matches your specific needs. As we’ll see with the options on this list, while some laminate flooring agents are designed for all-purpose use, others are formulated with a specific purpose in mind, such as using all-natural ingredients or combatting pet stains and odors.
- Make sure you are applying your cleaning agent the right way. There are several ways to apply laminate cleaning agents, depending on the nature of your laminate cleaning agent and the size of the surface area that needs to be cleaned.
- Make sure that the cleaning agents you are employing are safe for the laminate surface and, if you have them, your pets or children.
Best Laminate Floor Cleaners on the Market
1. Rejuvenate All Floors Restorer
This laminate flooring cleaner is an ideal choice for anyone looking to bring scuffed, scarred flooring back from the dead. Certain types of flooring are more susceptible to scratching than others, but it remains an existential threat to all laminate flooring options, and one you need to guard against. This floor cleaner can be used to buff out light scuffs and scratches, allowing you to avoid costly calls to a repairman and allowing you to rejuvenate your flooring in about 45 minutes per application.
In addition to Its buffing ability, it also adds a protective layer which can help block out UV rays. We may not think of UV rays as a huge threat to our flooring, but left constantly exposed to light and unprotected, they can cause your floors to fade. As such, that protective layer might not just help rejuvenate your flooring but save it from fading in the first place.
It does a great job of bringing the shine back into old floors, and does so in an eco-friendly manner. This cleaning agent is GreenGuard certified and is on the low end when it comes to VOC emissions.
It also claims to leave behind 50% more traction than other laminate floor cleaners, meaning you can have a sleek floor without slip-sliding across it.
2. Quick Shine Multi-Surface Floor Finish and Polish
One of the most maddening things about laminate flooring is that it can look great, but only if it is polished and finished on a regular basis. Slip up on your cleaning and you’ll have a dull, smudge-ridden surface in no time.
If restoring sleekness to your laminate flooring is one of your primary concerns when employing a cleaner, you’ll want to give this option from Quick Shine more than a quick look. The formula is specially formulated to not just cut through stains but polish surfaces as well. What’s more, this offering from Quick Shine comes in a 64oz bottle, meaning that if you’re pleased with the product you should have more than enough to last you for some time.
In addition, Quick Shine pairs well with most fiber cloth mops. We tend to use mops for large-scale cleaning jobs, which means that any cleaning agent used in tandem with them needs to be up to the task of taking on large surface areas and restoring them to their former glory. This offering from Quick Shine is able to do just that. Add a second coat for best results.
Add to that good performance on the VOC side of things, and this is a cleaner that can put the shine back in your kitchen floor in no time.
3. Better Life Natural Plant Based Best Hardwood Floor Cleaner
For as important as things such as polishing and cleaning power are, however, for an increasing number of consumers, eco-friendliness is one of the most important factors when choosing a product, especially in industries crammed with strong contenders. As eco awareness gains strength and it becomes both more socially mandated and economically savvy to go green and manufacture in an eco-friendly fashion, companies like Better Life are making their mark as the corporate forces of the future.
What does that mean for the actual performance of this product?
For one thing, it means that the plant-based nature of this cleaner makes it one of the greenest and most eco-friendly on this list. If going green matters to you, that plus the pure power at play in this cleaner’s formula should make it an attractive option. It is safe to use around kids as well as pets, and does not contain potentially harmful chemicals such as alkylphenol surfactants or VOCs, and it is produced without petroleum.
What’s more, this offering from Better Life does a great job of putting the shine back into a variety of different surfaces. It works well on not just traditional laminate and hardwood flooring surfaces, but also stone, ceramic tile, and even bamboo, all while leaving behind a citrus-mint-blend scent.
For a laminate cleaner that’s just as strong as traditional cleaners and as good for the environment as it is for your flooring, it’s hard to do better than Better Life.
4. Bona Stone, Tile & Laminate Floor Care System
It may be a bit odd to think of a cleaning product as having “fans” (or maybe not, just ask Mr. Clean) but if any laminate floor cleaner on this list could be said to have an active “fanbase,” it would be this one. Bona Stone is far and away one of the most popular floor cleaner on the market, and for good reason.
For one thing, while we are just concerned with the floor cleaner itself, you can also purchase packages that bundle it with a mop head, microfiber dusting pad, and a small cleaning pad as well. For another, Bona Stone is easy to apply, does not require any rinsing, is non-toxic, and does not streak.
It is specially formulated to be able to tackle a lot of dirt and grime, making it a great choice if that is your biggest concern when it comes to keeping your floor clean. If you have kids or have a frequent problem with mud being tracked into the home, this cleaner can do a great job of getting it out of your flooring while restoring its shine.
It also dries reasonably quickly, so you can apply it shortly before company comes over to ensure that your floors look their best when they arrive.
In addition, this is another laminate floor cleaner that is formulated with an eye towards eco-friendliness, being made without VOCs and being GreenGuard certified.
You may need to put in a little extra elbow grease to get rid of the stubbornest stains, but other than that, this is one of the best-regarded laminate floor cleaners on the market.
5. ZEP Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner
One of the most overlooked aspects of laminate floor cleaners is, as stated, the fact that some work better with certain application methods than others. This offering from ZEP, however, has the benefit of working equally well with sponges and damp clothes as it does with damp mops. It does a great job of cutting through dirt and treating sticky surfaces. What’s more, it is another fast-drying option.
Even better, this is another laminate floor cleaner that can be used for cleaning more than just laminate floors. This floor cleaner from ZEP is also cleared for use on acrylic flooring as well as varnished surfaces and wood with a polyurethane finish.
That versatility means that it’s not just able to work well with laminate floors, but on surfaces employed in cabinetry and baseboards as well. If you want to clean several parts of your home at once and don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of switching cleaners while doing so, this is a convenient option.
It should be noted, however, that while it can be used on a variety of surfaces, it is not intended for use on tile, surfaces afflicted with grout, oil-finished flooring, or floors which need waxing.
Even so, this is a good all-purpose laminate floor cleaning option.
6. Black Diamond Stoneworks Laminate Floor Cleaner
This is a laminate floor cleaner made with convenience in mind. Other floor cleaners require a bit of mixing and preparation before they are ready to be applied to the surface in question. With this offering from Black Diamond, however, all you have to do is spray the surface and start wiping without any mixing or prep time necessary. What’s more, this is another laminate floor cleaner which can be used with both microfiber rags as well as mops.
Black Diamond’s formulate makes use of a “poly-shield” formula called PS3 that attacks soil and keeps it from sticking to the surface. That allows it to break through tough stains. What’s more, it is able to do this without streaking and can restore your floor’s natural sheen.
One thing it doesn’t leave behind is a scent. Many of the options on this list are scented, which is after all a popular choice not just with laminate floor cleaners, but throughout the cleaning industry. The phrase “lemony-fresh” didn’t originate from nowhere, after all.
That said, if you or someone you know is extra-sensitive to certain scents, or you have pets or children who are hyper-sensitive to smell, that otherwise-welcome “lemony-fresh scent” may be a little less desirable. If so, you’ll want to opt for an unscented cleaner, and this is one of the best such options on the market. On a safety-related note, Black Diamond’s formula is non-toxic, is made from biodegradable ingredients, and is hypoallergenic.
7. Howard Products FW0016 Wood Polish & Conditioner
This one is a bit of a deviation from the other laminate floor cleaners on our list insofar as it more explicitly focuses on a specific part of the floor cleaning process, namely polishing. If you are looking for a more all-purpose floor cleaner, one of the other choices may be a bit more versatile. On the other hand, if polishing your laminate floors and restoring their shine is your primary concern, this may be a great choice for some prime polishing action.
This offering from Howard Products makes use of a unique mixture of Carnauba Wax and beeswax, which allows it to not just clean floors, but give it an extra sheen when polishing them. That is due in part to the fact that it contains “conditioning oils” which Howard Products claims “feed” wood flooring, and can be used on laminate surfaces as well. This is supposed to help prevent these surfaces from drying out or becoming faded.
One nice thing about this laminate floor cleaner and polisher is that it is open about its abilities. It does not claim to be able to cut through mountains of dirt or grease. On the contrary, it openly states that it can be used on antiques, dining tables, and cabinetry in addition to flooring. Since those surfaces are often made with softer or more delicate materials than in laminate flooring, the formula would seem safe for use on more sensitive surfaces.
If polishing your laminate floors is your primary concern, this specially-formulated option may be a good choice.
8. Folex Hardwood Cleaner
Do you have dogs and cats? Do you have laminate floors? If your answer to both of those questions is yes then congratulations, you’ve just made your floor cleaning efforts that much harder. Now, in addition to all the other elements of floor care and cleaning which we’ve covered so far, you have to deal with the problem of pet stains, scratches, and odors. We all love our pets, but we don’t exactly love what they can do to our floors.
Thankfully, there are hardwood cleaners such as Folex which are specifically formulated to help treat laminate and hardwood floors for pet stains and odor. It obliterates foul odors and leaves behind a lovely scent of fresh almonds. What’s more, the application is nice and easy. All you have to do is apply a little bit of Folex to a damp cloth and apply it lightly to the site of your pet’s little “accident.”
In addition to the potency of its pet cleanup abilities, Folex can also fulfill many of the standard cleaning and shining goals expected of a laminate cleaner.
If you are looking for a solid laminate floor cleaner that can handle the regular rigors of floor cleaning as well as pet accidents, this can be a good option.
9. Method Squirt+Mop Hardwood Floor Cleaner
Let’s say that you are looking to clean your laminate floors, but don’t want to opt for one of the bigger-name options already given. If that’s the case, you may find yourself looking for something that’s even easier to use. If that’s the case, you’ll want to look at this option from Method. All you have to do is squirt it on the floor and use it in combination with a mop – it’s as simple as that.
In addition to the extreme ease of application, part of what makes this a good bare-bones laminate floor cleaner is the fact that it dabbles in several of the features listed with other products.
For example, it is made with non-toxic materials, which is always a good way to go. What’s more, it is plant-based and biodegradable, further adding to its credibility as a safe, eco-friendly choice. As stated, all you have to do is squirt it on the surface you plan on cleaning, meaning that rinsing before or after is rendered unnecessary. Finally, the shower nozzle is ergonomically designed, making it that much easier to use.
For a simple starter laminate and hardwood cleaner, it is hard to do better than this option from Method.
10. Pledge Multi Surface Antibacterial Everyday Cleaner
One threat to your laminate flooring and home décor that we have barely touched upon is bacteria. If you have kids or pets, you know all too well that they aren’t always the most considerate where flooring is concerned. Despite your best efforts, they continue to track in mud and muck from the outside, bringing with them all manner of germs. School-aged children in particular are notorious for bringing home germs, given what a Petri dish public schools can be.
If you are going to keep your floors not just looking good but also safe and bacteria-free, you might want to consider a cleaner that not only allows you to bring back the shine but has antibacterial measures as well. In that case, you’ll want to consider this handy multi-surface cleaner from Pledge.
As the name implies, not only is this a cleaning agent which features a bacteria-fighting formula, but it is another choice among our cleaners which can also be used on other surfaces. While it isn’t formulated to buff out scratches or handle some of the laminate-specific challenges addressed by other cleaners, its combination of ease of use, gentleness on surfaces, and bacteria-fighting ability can make it a welcome addition to your cleaning arsenal.
Laminate Cleaners: Buyer’s Guide
As the preceding list demonstrates, there are several approaches to laminate cleaning, a few factors stand out above the rest in terms of selling points between options.
For one thing, you’ll want to make sure you have a clear idea as to what you want from a formula. While you obviously want the cleanest floors possible, you’ll have to decide at the start whether that is your primary concern, or whether there are other factors which matter just as much if not more. For example, you may decide that dealing with scratches or pet odors is even more important than basic cleaning.
You’ll also need to consider how you intend to apply the product to your floors. This may sound trivial, but it can actually have a huge impact on which laminate floor cleaning option you choose, with different options being better suited to one or the other. For example, microfiber mops are one of the most popular methods of application. If that’s your intent, you’ll want to get a cleaner that comes in a larger bottle or jug and can handle those large surfaces.
Then there’s the matter of pet and child safety. If you have either, make sure to check and make sure that whatever formula you are using is confirmed to be safe to use around them.
If you are planning on addressing scratches, you’ll need to make sure that you are getting a formula which is capable of buffing them out. Some of the options on this list are specially-formulated for buffing, so one of those or something similar which is formulated to fill in or otherwise treat scratches would be ideal.
Throughout our list, we mentioned the fact that different floor cleaners have different degrees of strength. While you always want to make sure that the floor cleaner you are using is strong enough to get the job done, when in doubt, go milder. Laminate flooring can be softer and gentler than its hardwood or tile counterparts, and you don’t want to accidentally damage it with a formula that is too strong. It is preferable to add a bit of extra elbow grease or up the amount of cleaner you are using than discover that you’re using something too strong and pray that it hasn’t damaged your flooring permanently.
By that same logic, you will want to avoid using any floor cleaning agent which is heavily acidic or abrasive. These provide a bit of extra cleaning power, but are typically far too strong for laminate floors. Some of the no-go options for laminate floor cleaners include bleach and VOCs.
The latter are a perfect springboard for diving into eco-friendliness as a factor. With the environment becoming a huge issue financially and ethically for companies and consumers alike, both parties are trending more and more away from VOCs in cleaning products and more towards cleaner, safer options. While options such as Better Life’s plant-based solutions lead the pack, there are many options on this list which eschew VOCs in favor of a more nature-friendly formula.
Is It Oil-Based?
Another thing you’ll want to stay far away from when it comes to laminate floor cleaners is cleaning agents that make extensive use of oil-based solutions. Besides any environmental consequences, using an oil-based solution can have a negative effect on your flooring, leaving streaks. What’s worse, once present, these streaks can be notoriously tricky to get out.
You therefore always want to make sure you know exactly what’s in the bottle of floor cleaner you’re planning on using before you actually start to apply it to the surface in question.
Then there’s the matter of buying either a pre-diluted or pre-mixed formula. Many of the options on this list come this way. This allows them to be used right out of the box with little to no preparation. What’s more, while you should always check before applying it to your laminate flooring, most of these floor cleaners do not require further dilution to be safely used with laminate floors.
Finally, let’s say that you want to use one of these cleaning products in conjunction with either vinegar or a steam mop. Both are popular home cleaning choices on their own, so can they be paired with laminate floor cleaners? In theory yes, though vinegar is the far safer choice of the two.
Remember, too much water can be a nightmare for laminate floors, so if you choose to use a steam mop in combination with one of these floor cleaners, a monthly or bi-monthly cleaning should be more than sufficient.
Laminate floors can be a brilliant decorating choice, as long as you do what’s necessary to keep them in good condition. That means cleaning them regularly, which in turn means cleaning them the right way with the right cleaning agents. With the help of this list, you’ll be able to find the right laminate floor cleaning choice to bring back the sheen of your floors and breathe new life into your home décor scheme.