How to Remove Buildup on Laminate Floors

Like wooden floors, laminate can catch sticky residue if not cleaned properly. Wax buildup, some types of dirt from shoes, and the use of the wrong cleaning solutions can leave buildup on laminate floors. But, what is the easiest way to remove buildup from laminate flooring?

To remove buildup on laminate flooring, first, sweep the floor to remove any loose dirt and then scrape off the sticky residue using a plastic blade. Next, wipe the area with a mild cleaner made of vinegar, water, and rubbing alcohol in equal parts. Mop the whole floor with a mop as usual and allow it to dry.

Laminate flooring is made with a shiny, good-looking top layer. With time, you might notice that your floor is becoming pale and dull. I have had the same problem, and I am sure you are here wondering how it got there and how you can get rid of it and renew your floor’s original look.

Dull laminate flooring is caused primarily by dirt trapped by the floor itself.

So, what’s the cause of this dull build-up on your laminate flooring?

Causes of Buildup on Laminate Flooring

How to remove buildup on laminate flooring
How to remove buildup on laminate floors


Many people have been misled to believe that anytime a laminate floor becomes dull, you should apply wax to regain its shine back. This phenomenon is however wrong and not the way to go.

Wax is actually not only bad for the floor, but also a hazard to you. The floor will become shiny, true, but it becomes extremely slippery. Not only that, wax collects large amounts of dirt and makes the floor even worse.

Soaps and Cleaners

Every time you purchase cleaners for laminate flooring, always read the ingredients of the product. Not all floor cleaners and soaps will do a perfect job of taking out dirt on your floor. Make sure to check and confirm that the cleaner you have does not have any wax infused in it.

Some cleaners have ingredients that stain and discolor your floor. If you are not so sure of the best cleaners for laminate flooring, always contact your floor manufacturer/supplier. Some manufacturers might even have their own cleaners designed just for the type of laminate flooring you have in your home.

READ MORE: Is Pine Sol Good for Your Laminate Flooring?

Now that you know the cause of the build-up on your floor, the next question is how do we get rid of it?

It’s not really an easy task, it’s going to take some time but believe me, the results will be worth your while if you follow exactly the steps, I’ll give you. I’ve done it a couple of times so I’m sure you will manage. Just a little patience.

How to remove build-up on laminate flooring

Cleaning laminate flooring and getting rid of any wax and sticky residue, you’ll need a vacuum cleaner, a plastic scraper, hair drier, vinegar, water, rubbing alcohol, and a soft microfiber cloth/sponge.

Here’s how to get rid of buildup on laminate flooring:

1: Remove any loose Debris on the Floor

Sweep the floor using a soft bristle broom to remove any dust and lose debris in order to get the best results. A great broom that won’t leave scratches on your laminate flooring, for example, is the BISSELL Smart Details Hardwood Floor push broom.

This also makes the process easier. You can sweep, but It is advisable to suck up the dirt with a vacuum. Some debris can scratch the floor as you drag them while sweeping, as the laminate’s top layer is very thin and fragile.

So, run the vacuum thoroughly on your floor and all places under furniture. Preferably, take the movable furniture to the other room, so you can have a clear working space.

2: Scrape the Residue off the Floor

Use a 4-inch plastic drywall blade because steel scrappers easily damage the laminate’s top layer. You can also check in the nearest hardware; they are easily available.

To make the job quite easy, You can use a hair drier to heat and melt the wax. Set it at medium heat for safety and do not use hot water to melt the wax.

Another don’t, is using a steam mop. It is a bad idea. Do not try that. Water may seep into the joints.

When scrapping laminate flooring, always scrap along the length of the planks and never across. The reason behind this theory is that going across makes streaks and may stuff wax into the joints of the floor.

3: Wipe with Homemade Cleaner

Once you’re done with the scraping, the next step is to make a solution and do the last clean finish.

Take ½ cup of rubbing alcohol, ½ cup of white vinegar, and ½ cup of water and mix this thoroughly in a container. This combination is very effective, especially in removing stains in laminate flooring.

Using a soft microfiber cloth, rub the wax remains away, only in one direction. Don’t do the normal back and forth cleaning. Rinse and wring the cloth repeatedly to ensure you don’t make the floor dirty.

For really difficult stains, you can use mineral spirits or paint thinner. It does a good job and does not leave a visible residue.

4: Let the Floor dry

After you’re certain that you’ve done a good job wiping, you should give it some time to dry, I usually leave it for about 30 minutes minimum.

When it’s dry, you can check if there are any spots you missed. Just take the cloth you used and eliminate the stains.

By this time, I am sure you are proud of the job you did. The floor at this point is fully restored and shines as if it was new.

Good luck!

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