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Can You Clean Laminate Floors with Bleach? (Quick Answers)

The use of bleach for non-laundry purposes is quite common among householders. Especially at this point in time, when people take disinfecting surfaces inside the home very seriously, you may think about using bleach to clean as well as disinfect your laminate floors. 

However, you might be wondering if it’s a good idea or not. 

Cleaning laminate floors with bleach 

Cleaning laminate floors with bleach may not be a good idea. Many laminate floor dealers discourage cleaning with bleach. Bleach is a very strong cleaning agent that can ruin the finish and color of laminate floors. It may be wise to clean them with cleaners that are made for the purpose.

Installing laminate floors can change the whole outlook of your home. You wouldn’t want to do anything that can ruin the beauty of your laminate flooring. 

While cleaning is an important ritual in every household, using bleach to clean the laminate floors can cause more harm than good. Even many flooring dealers strongly discourage the idea of using bleach on any type of laminate floor.

Laminate floors are mostly made of wood or plastic. Oftentimes, plastic laminate floors have faux stones or wood finish. Wood laminate floors are made with resins, wood, and plastic. The beauty and longevity of your laminate floors depend on how you use and maintain them. 

If you use them with caution, you may be able to enjoy their beauty for a long time without needing to replace them.

Bleach is a strong cleaning agent. It works as a disinfectant which is why it is very popular for disinfecting surfaces. It can help remove bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants from various surfaces. The use of bleach is considered safe on nonporous surfaces. 

If used on porous surfaces, it can ruin the texture and structure.

Now, the use of bleach is not actually recommended for laminate floors as it can ruin the outlook of the floors if used frequently. However, many consider the occasional use of bleach on laminate floors to be safe as long as you apply it with caution and follow all the steps properly.

Since wood is porous, it is a bad idea to clean the wood laminate floors with bleach. This can ruin the texture of the floor and also cause swelling as the liquid enters the seam. Since plastic is nonporous, it might be okay to use bleach on plastic laminate floors occasionally. 

You can’t do this regularly as you always have the risk of letting some liquid seep through the seams. Also, frequent exposure to bleach can ruin the glossy finish and color of the laminate floors. You can only apply a well-diluted bleach solution on the floor. 

Bleach is very strong with a pungent odor that shouldn’t be used undiluted. Undiluted bleach can ruin the beauty of your laminate floor. Also, concentrated bleach is harmful to your lungs, eyes, and skin. 

For a better idea of how you can take good care of your laminate floors, you can talk to a dealer or a professional to discuss the matter. It is wise to use only the recommended cleaning materials to ensure the beauty and durability of the floors. 

3 reasons why you should not use bleach on laminate floors

There are reasons why you should not be using bleach on laminate floors as it might not do what you want it to do for the floors. 

Strip off the glossy finish:

Bleach has sodium hypochlorite in it which is harmful to the laminate finish. If you use bleach regularly on laminate floors, the sodium hypochlorite content will take the glossy finish off. 

Occasional exposure to bleach may not be as harmful as long as you wipe the area clean with fresh water and then dry it immediately after using it. However, using a diluted solution is a must. 

Whiten the flooring:

Bleach is a dyeing agent. It can dye the laminate boards if used frequently. If you use bleach regularly to clean the laminate floor, it will start making the floor turn white. The whitening of the floor happens fast if you use the bleach in a concentrated form.

Also, you should know that once the laminate floors get ruined, you may not be able to restore the real color and might have to replace the damaged floors.

Swelling of the flooring:

You can never ignore the possibility of some liquid seeping through the floorboards. If any liquid goes through the seams, it can result in swelling and buckling of the laminate floors.

Is it ok to use bleach on laminate floors occasionally?

It may be okay to use bleach on laminate floors occasionally. But you must make sure that you don’t make this into a habit. It is not necessary to clean laminate floors with bleach solution. Instead, there are plenty of other ways to take good care of laminate floors. 

You can also find cleaning solutions specially made for laminate floors. 

Now, if you must use bleach to clean the laminate floors occasionally, make sure that you only use a well-diluted bleach solution on the area. Also, don’t forget to wipe the area clean afterward with fresh water just to make sure that all the bleach residues have been removed.

Also, dry the area immediately. Bleach is stronger than you think and prolonged exposure to laminate floors can be very harmful. 

How much bleach to use on laminate floors to clean?

It is considered wise to avoid using bleach on laminate floors since bleach is way too strong for the laminate finish. Also, there’s always the risk of some liquid getting inside the boards and making a mess. 

But some people consider the occasional use of bleach on laminate floors to be safe. But in that case, you must ensure that you’re using a well-diluted solution of bleach.

You should never use bleach undiluted. Concentrated bleach can be harmful to both the laminate floors and your health. The ideal way to use bleach will be by mixing 3/4 cup of bleach into a gallon of water

This way, the bleach will lose its maximum strength and you can safely use it. You can apply the solution to the laminate floor by following the steps properly. Make sure to keep the doors and windows open as ventilation is important when you’re working with bleach. 

How to clean laminate floors with bleach?

You should not use bleach on wood laminate floorings as they are porous hence the bleach solution can seep through the pores and damage the flooring. It may be okay to use bleach on plastic laminate floors but that too, only occasionally. 

The following steps will help you understand the process better. 

Dilute the bleach with water:

This step is very important and can’t be skipped. You have to dilute the bleach with water first to make it usable on laminate floors. Add 3/4 cup of bleach to a gallon of water and mix well. 

Keep in mind that a concentrated volume of bleach can ruin the color and texture of the laminate floors. Also, diluting it will ensure your safety as well since bleach can irritate the lungs, skin, and eyes. 

Apply on a test area to check for color change:

This step will save you from the misfortune of ruining your laminate floors completely. You can test some solutions on a little area to see if the color changes or not. If not, you can proceed with the application. Otherwise, you may need to dilute it even more. 

Or perhaps, you can give up on the idea of using bleach to clean the laminate floors. 

Apply the solution using a mop and wipe the area clean: 

Now you can apply the solution by using a mop. Let the solution sit for five minutes. Then you can scrub it off the floor by soaking the solution. Next, you need to wipe the area clean with the help of fresh water and a microfiber cloth to get rid of any residue. 

Make sure that you don’t use too much liquid for a long time as it can be harmful to the laminate floors. Dry the area immediately. 

Final Thoughts 

Cleaning laminate floors with bleach may not be a wise option if you want to ensure the beauty and durability of your laminate floors. Bleach, being a very strong agent, can strip the glossy finish off the floor as well as whiten the color. However, occasional use is often considered safe.