Laminate flooring, a type of synthetic flooring crafted to simulate the look of wood or tile, has improved considerably over the years, making it a popular choice for people looking to improve the appearance of their floors. High-quality laminate floors can accurately imitate the appearance of hardwood at a much lower price. If not properly maintained, however, the finish can dull over time. While many types of laminate flooring are formulated to look like wood, they can’t necessarily be treated or cleaned like wood—for instance, they cannot be exposed to high levels of moisture. Read on to learn what to look for in a laminate floor cleaner and to see why the following products are considered among the best in their respective categories.
- BEST OVERALL: Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Weiman Hardwood Floor Cleaner
- BEST NATURAL: Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner
- BEST FOR SHINE: Quick Shine Multi-Surface Floor Finish
- BEST FOR SCRATCHES: Rejuvenate All Floors Restorer
- BEST FOR STAINS: Black Diamond Stoneworks Laminate Floor Cleaner
- BEST FOR PETS: Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner Vinegar Wash
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Laminate Floor Cleaner
Though it might be easy to assume that all laminate cleaners will deliver a similar result, there are several factors to weigh. Keep these in mind when shopping for the best floor cleaner for your laminate floors.
Natural vs. Chemical
Chemical floor cleaners contain strong ingredients that get the job done. However, organizations like the Environmental Working Group (EWG) claim that some of the chemicals commonly found in cleaning products can lead to asthma, birth defects, and can even be carcinogenic. It’s always prudent to wear gloves while working with potent cleaning agents, and a mask could also be beneficial. While there are risks associated with chemical cleaning products, they typically deliver better results.
Natural floor cleaners are free of potentially problematic chemicals and can be gentler on the skin and lungs. What they gain in possible health benefits, however, they may lose in the effectiveness department. Be wary of products simply labeled “green” or “natural,” as that’s not always a guarantee that they don’t contain harmful ingredients. Instead, familiarize yourself with the commonly used chemical agents you’d like to avoid, and read labels carefully to know what’s in a product. Also look for products that have the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safer Choice label. This proves that the formula has been vetted to ensure that there is minimal risk to your health as well as the environment.
While traditional floor cleaners require you to rinse the entire surface after cleaning, most modern products are formulated so that there’s no need for a second step post-cleaning. That said, there are two types of concentration available in floor cleaners today.
- Concentrated laminate floor cleaners are meant to be diluted with water before use. This added step may be a bit inconvenient but could save you money.
- Complete laminate floor cleaners can be applied directly from the bottle without mixing with water. A non-concentrated formula will inevitably be used up more quickly so is likely more expensive to use than a concentrated product.
Floor cleaners are typically sold in one of three types of packaging:
- Spray bottles feature a built-in nozzle that dispenses a spray of cleaning solution onto the floor. This format is ideal for spot cleaning and use in small areas.
- Squirt bottles allow you to distribute a small amount of cleaner directly onto the floor to be distributed with a mop.
- Refill containers come in large quantities that can be transferred into a spray bottle or the fluid cartridge of a spray mop. Concentrated cleaners are generally available in similar packaging.
Though some products are developed exclusively for laminate floors, others have various applications and are safe to use on multiple types of flooring. For wood and/or tile floors as well as laminate, consider one of these versatile cleaners to save money and prevent the need to switch products in every room. If you do have hardwood floors, it’s important to avoid using a product that could accidentally damage them, so a multisurface pick is ideal. However, for engineered to do the best job on laminate specifically, a single-surface product could be a better choice.
Our Top Picks
Whether your primary concern is stains, scratches, or shine, consider the laminate floor cleaners assembled here. These products take into account the considerations mentioned above, including versatility, application style, and chemical versus natural ingredient content.
Bona has been around for over 100 years, engineering floor cleaning products that perform well without strong chemicals. This water-based cleaner boasts very low VOC emissions and is Greenguard Gold certified for air quality safety. The fluid is formulated to have a neutral pH value, meaning that it won’t negatively affect the finish of your floors. This complete formula comes in a spray bottle for easy application; affordable refill containers are also available. Note that this is not a multipurpose cleaner; it’s formulated for laminate floors and should not be used on the genuine wood floors in your home.
Weiman makes some of the best floor cleaners on the market, and with this 128-ounce refill container, the company’s quality product can also be among the most affordable, cost per ounce. Though it’s primarily touted as a hardwood cleaner, it works just as well on vinyl and laminate floors.
This complete formula delivers a high-gloss, streak-free glow without the use of harsh chemicals, meeting EPA Safer Product Standards. What’s more, Weiman’s cleaner fades scratches in your flooring while employing a micro-filling technology to prevent future damage.
When looking for a natural product and have multiple flooring surfaces in your home, this Better Life floor cleaner is a versatile pick. It can be used on laminate flooring as well as hardwood, tile, marble, bamboo, and vinyl. It’s a complete formula that can be dispensed directly onto the floor from its squirt-bottle container.
This cleaner uses coconut- and corn-based surfactants and vegetable glycerin, and while it includes pure essential oils for a citrus-mint scent, it’s free of synthetic fragrances as well as dyes, sulfates, parabens, and petroleum solvents. Better Life’s products are not tested on animals and are packaged using recycled materials made to biodegrade faster than those typically used for cleaning products.
Quick Shine is a leading maker of floor polishes, and this product is formulated to work well on multiple surfaces. The formula adds a protective layer that fills in scratches, evening out the floor’s appearance. This complete product comes in both squirt bottles and refill containers. Certified by the EPA as a Safer Choice Product, the formula doesn’t contain aluminum, ammonia, formaldehyde, fragrances, parabens, or phthalates. This cleaner is made in the United States.
While laminate floors are designed for durability, they can still be susceptible to scratching. For a high-traffic home that sees its fair share of wear and tear, the Rejuvenate All Floors Restorer might be a good choice. The complete polymer-based product functions by resealing flooring and filling in scratches.
Formulated to work on laminate as well as hardwood, vinyl, tile, linoleum, and terra-cotta, this is a versatile product that you squeeze directly onto the floor; give it about an hour to dry fully, and you should see scratches diminished and shine restored. This product is Greenguard Gold Certified for low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
Accidents happen, and if your family members are prone to spills—and not wiping up immediately—this Black Diamond cleaner might belong in your home. This water-based cleaner banishes tough stains (including oil) without leaving streaks. The product provides a high shine and is suitable for many types of flooring, including both hardwood and laminate. It’s made with gentler ingredients than some stronger floor cleaners and is advertised as being safe for use around children and pets. While the spray bottle dispenser allows for easy application for spot cleaning, Black Diamond does offer larger refill containers too.
Pet parents concerned about exposing their animal companions to harsh chemicals might wish to check out Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner. It’s a high-performance, plant-based, natural product that uses vinegar—a well-known alternative to chemical cleaning products—to kill bacteria. It’s a concentrated formula (dilution in water required) that works on multiple surfaces. This Aunt Fannie’s product emits no strong chemical odor, and it received an “A” rating from the EWG.
FAQs About Laminate Floor Cleaners
With the choices available, choosing the best laminate floor cleaner can be a bit overwhelming. If you still have some questions, consider these answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about cleaning laminate floors.
Q. Why does my laminate floor look cloudy?
This is typically caused by using too much cleaning product, which leads to buildup.
Q. How do you make laminate floors shine?
It’s important to remove dust and dirt before applying a cleaning product. After cleaning, you can buff the entire surface with a soft cloth for maximum shine.
Q. How do you deep clean laminate floors?
In order to deep clean, apply a product formulated to be used on laminate floors, like the ones listed above. Use a damp (not wet) microfiber mop or special laminate floor mop to ensure the product is evenly spread out over the surface of the floor. Make sure not to use too much water as moisture can cause damage.
Q. Are steam mops suitable for laminate floors?
No, you should not steam clean your laminate floors. Doing so could cause warping and permanent damage.