How to Remove Buildup on Laminate Floors [5 Easy Ways]

Laminate flooring can be prone to wax buildup that requires extra effort to clean. However, this buildup can be managed with simple household items like a broom, mop, white vinegar, and rubbing alcohol. Simply clear the entire floor of debris then mix together a buildup removal solution. A solution made of warm water, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol works best. Use a mop to spread this vinegar solution over the laminate surface to remove buildup. If any buildup remains after this, use a plastic scraper to remove it.

How to remove buildup on laminate floors

5 Methods for Removing Dirt and Buildup on Laminate Floors

There are a couple of cleaning methods that can be used to remove floor wax and dirt from your laminate flooring. Below, we’ll cover the most effective methods.

Vacuum or Sweep

Using a vacuum cleaner or broom is vital to clearing out dirt. Getting rid of dirt is a prerequisite step to removing buildup from laminate surfaces. Lingering dirt particles can interfere with removing buildup. Vacuuming is more effective than sweeping, so use a vacuum if possible.. However, a broom can work in a pinch as long as you are thorough. 

  • Sweep or vacuum thoroughly to clear the dirt before moving forward.
  • Lingering dirt particles interfere with buildup removal.
  • A vacuum is more effective for cleaning up dirt than a broom.

Work your way from one end of the laminate floor to the other. Make sure to double back to ensure all particles are removed. Watch out for corners and tight spaces where extra work may be required.

Microfiber Cloth

For more stubborn dirt patches in hard-to-reach places, microfiber cloth works great. Microfiber is an especially fine weave of cloth. This makes it incredible at picking up dirt and other debris. Dirt can often seem to cling to microfiber like it’s held on by magnetism. In reality though, the dirt is just caught on several hyperfine strands of the cloth.

  • Microfiber cloth easily traps dirt in its fine weave.
  • It is a great tool for cleaning hard to vacuum places quickly.

Simply run this cloth over dirt in a hard-to-reach space and it should pick up nearly all of it. Continue running the cloth over the area until all dirt is absorbed. 

Vinegar Solution

One of the best solutions for cleaning buildup is a mixture of warm or hot water and a cup of vinegar. When mixed together, this vinegar solution helps to dissolve the waxy buildup. The debris of the buildup can then be washed away with the water and mop. 

  • Vinegar solutions can remove waxy buildup.
  • The waxy residue will still need to be cleared from the floor with a mop and water.

You can also use a spray bottle to spray extra vinegar on especially tough buildups. Either way, be sure to apply the vinegar to areas with buildup. Then wipe away the buildup with warm water and a mop.

Cleaning Solution

A store-bought laminate floor cleaner is tailor-made to remove buildup. Simply use according to the label instructions to combat buildup. As with vinegar solutions, you will still need to clean up the laminate after it is removed. 

  • Cleaning solutions are made by companies specifically to remove buildup.
  • You will need to mop up the solution and buildup afterward.

This means using warm water and a mop to remove any lingering laminate buildup. Use this laminate cleaning solution to make mopping laminate a breeze.

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Scrapers come in all different materials and can be especially useful in clearing thick buildup. Use a plastic or rubber scraper, to avoid damaging your laminate surface. Then, angle the scraper to peel off waxy buildup without gouging the floor material. Run the angled scraper over the waxier parts of your laminate to remove the buildup. 

  • Scrapers are a great tool for removing heavy buildup.
  • Be careful to avoid scratching or damaging your laminate.
  • Rubber or plastic scrapers are best for laminate because they are less likely to cause damage than metal scrapers.

Scrapers can scratch your laminate floors if you aren’t careful. For this reason, use this plastic floor scraper to minimize the risk of scratching your floors.

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What are Your Laminate Floors Still Dirty After Mopping?

The most common reason why your floors are still dirty is a failure to remove the surface dirt prior to mopping. You need to vacuum or sweep your laminate floors prior to mopping. The next most common reason your laminate is still dirty is that the buildup is too thick. Thick buildup may require more abrasive cleaner or cleaning implements. A scrub brush or scraper can really help remove thick buildup.

  • Failure to vacuum or sweep loose dirt before mopping.
  • Dry, dirty, old, or ineffective mop.
  • The buildup is thick and waxy, which requires scraping.

An ineffective mop will commonly leave laminate floors dirty after mopping. Sponge mops, for instance, aren’t very good at cleaning up buildup. Microfiber mops tend to be much more effective. Use this flat head microfiber mop to clean wax from laminate floors. Always be sure your mop is clean and wet before using otherwise it can leave your floor dirty.

How Often Should You Mop Your Laminate Floors?

Buildup from laminate floors should be mopped every 1–2 weeks. This regular cleaning will prevent thicker buildup from accruing on your laminate surface. Mopping more frequently can help you remove buildup before it becomes an issue. As buildup accumulates, it becomes harder to remove.

  • Mop laminate floors twice a month for best results.
  • You can also exercise your best judgment and mop when your floor looks like it needs it.
  • The longer buildup remains without mopping, the more dirt and debris it will accumulate.

Some laminate manufacturers do recommend light mopping every day. However, this is very labor-intensive and unnecessary. Mopping on a weekly or bi-weekly basis is all that’s required.

How Do You Get Buildup Off of Laminate Floors?

Removing buildup will require a vacuum, a cleaning solution, and a reliable mop. While tougher buildup may require additional tools like a floor scraper, most homeowners will only need these three things. Here is a handy and short reminder of what it takes to clean laminate floors:

  • Vacuum or sweep up all loose debris before mopping.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to pick up dirt in hard-to-reach areas.
  • Use a vinegar solution or laminate cleaner with a mop to remove buildup.
  • Scrape away, especially tough buildup.
  • If your mopping is ineffective, consider getting a new mop.
  • You only need to mop every two weeks but can mop more frequently if your floor looks like it needs it.

Be sure that you don’t soak your floors when mopping. Soaked laminate can warp and split. Instead, it’s recommended that you use a damp mop or limit your water to avoid soaking.

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