My Laminate Floors Look Smeary Even After Cleaning

Updated February 21, 2017

A laminate floor can make an attractive and durable alternative to hardwood, but cleaning it can prove challenging. If you don't clean your laminate floor properly, it may develop unsightly streaks. This can become frustrating, especially if you find the same undesired result after several cleaning attempts.

For Routine Cleaning

Laminate floors have a natural shine and should not require weekly washing. To avoid smearing, try to use dry methods whenever possible. For example, you can safely vacuum and regularly sweep laminate flooring. Clean spills individually, using warm water and a mild detergent. Only wash your laminate floor when you absolutely must.

Use Less Water

Excess water can cause spotting and smearing on a laminate floor. If you use a dripping terry cloth mop, for example, you will expose your laminate floor to much more water than it requires. Much of the water will fail to evaporate in a timely manner, leading to a smeary appearance. Try using a dampened dust mop or microfiber mop to prevent overexposure to water. You can use warm water or a commercial laminate floor cleaner. Wring out the mop head before using it on your floor.

Dry by Hand

If you allow your floor to dry on its own, the moisture may remain on the surface long enough to form spots and streaks, especially if the room has limited air circulation. Use towels to manually buff your floor dry. Not only does this limit the appearance of streaks, it can also prevent the laminate material from warping over time. Laminate has sensitivities to moisture.

Things to Avoid

Though you can keep your laminate floor looking smooth and streak-free by minimising moisture, consider other important precautions to avoid streaks and even permanent damage. Never use harsh cleaning products, chemicals or detergents on your laminate floor. Do not use abrasive cloths or pads to scrub or dry your laminate floor, as they may cause scratching.

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