Good morning and happy Sunday! I'm home from church again this week with another sick kiddo. Baby number one was sick last week, so I guess it is only natural for Baby number two to be sick this week. He is currently taking his morning nap, which gives me a little bit of time to get a blog post up.
I'll start by sharing my laminate floor cleaner. Before I get started, it is important to mention that this cleaner is NOT a hardwood floor cleaner. It has vinegar in it, and from what I understand, you could potentially ruin hard wood floors with vinegar. Also our laminate flooring does not have a shiny topcoat on it. You may need a specific cleaner for any kind of hard surface with a special topcoat. Our floors are just plain-jane, snap-together, super durable laminate floors.
When we ripped out our carpet a few years ago and installed laminate flooring throughout the entire house, I spent a lot of time trying to find a floor cleaner. At first, I used my swifter wet jet, only to discover it left horrible streaks on my floors. I then tried the Method laminate floor cleaner with a microfiber mop, but that seemed to leave a residue behind. My favorite store-bought cleaner was the Bona spray cleaner. However, it still didn't leave my floors completely streak-free, and it was starting to get costly to mop my floors a few times a week. The Bona did leave a bit of shine on my floors, which was a plus.
After several failed attempts at finding an inexpensive floor cleaner that actually cleaned my floors without leaving behind a residue or streaks, I moved on from the store-bought products and began experimenting with making my own floor cleaner.
I tried different concoctions from recipes I found online. I found that 1) all the ones with lemon juice left a residue on my floors, 2) the ones that did not use rubbing alcohol left streaks, 3) and the ones that used vinegar....well, smelt like vinegar.
In the end, I decided to use the only DIY laminate floor cleaner I could find that actually worked! It is hands-down the best cleaner I've used on my floors, even better than the store-bought cleaner. I use a simple combination of equal parts water, vinegar and rubbing alcohol. The vinegar is the cleaning agent, the water helps dilute the smell of the vinegar, and the alcohol is a drying agent that prevents streaks.
I keep my cleaner in a spray bottle and use a Libman mop and microfiber mop head to clean my floors. It is important to note that the Libman microfiber mop is the ONLY microfiber mop I have found that does not leave ANY streaks.
I use other microfiber dry mops to dust/sweep my floors, but I will only use the Libman for mopping. I mop my floors a few times a week and change mop pads for each level of the house, so I purchased 6-8 mop pads to keep in my cleaning supplies. I also keep my cleaner in a recycled spray bottle. The bottle used to be a Method kitchen cleaner. I recently took off the Method label and replaced it with my own label.
The only downside to this cleaner is that it does smell like vinegar after immediate use. The smell goes away after a few minutes. I personally have a strong dislike for the smell of vinegar, so once my floors are dry, I always go back and spray the furniture and curtains with air freshener.
I have read here and there that there can be some concern about vinegar possibly fading laminate flooring over time. For me personally, I am going on three years of using this cleaner a few a times a week, and I have not seen any fading on my floors. Our floors look the same as they did when they were installed. Overall, this stuff has been great for my laminate floors! It's easy to make, it's cheap, and best of all it works!