Can You Wax Laminate Flooring?

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can you wax laminate flooring

You’ve had your laminate floors for a few years now, and over time they’ve started looking a bit dull.

So you wonder – can you wax laminate flooring?

It seems like wax would be an easy solution to bring your floors back to life.

Unfortunately, the answer is no. You cannot wax laminate. 

Here’s why.

Is it Okay to Wax Laminate Flooring?

You should never use wax on laminate flooring. Instead of making your laminate look shiny, the wax will make your floors look cloudy and feel sticky. 

You can, however, use a laminate polish, like Bona’s Hard Floor Polish. Products like these can give your floors a bit of extra protection and shine.

How to Make Laminate Flooring Shiny without Waxing

how to make laminate floor shining without wax

In some cases, a laminate floor loses its shine, not because it’s old, but because it’s been improperly cared for.

For example, using the wrong type of cleaner, too much cleaner, or dirty mop heads can cause the laminate to look cloudy and lose its shine. 

If this is the case for you, you’re in luck. It’s really easy to make your floors look shiny again. You just need to cut through the top layer or build-up that’s causing your floor to look dull.

Here’s what to do:

  • Thoroughly vacuum your floor
  • Mop with a mixture of ½ white distilled vinegar and ½ water
  • Buff the floor dry using a microfiber cloth

This will remove any build-up on your floor. If your floor still looks dull, consider using a polish specifically made for laminate.

How to Properly Care for Laminate Floors

To keep your floors shiny going forward, you need to take care of them properly.

Aside from regularly vacuuming and sweeping your floors, the most important thing you can do is use the correct mopping solution. You should avoid all soap and wax-based cleaners. 

These cleaners will cause build-up, making your floors look cloudy, streaky, and feel sticky after mopping.

Instead, use a cleaner made for laminate like Black Diamond Laminate Cleaner or a simple vinegar and water mixture. Never saturate your mop. In addition, always wipe up any standing water left on the floor when you’re finished mopping.

Can you Refinish Laminate Flooring?

If you’ve tried cleaning and polishing your laminate flooring and it still doesn’t look good, it is possible to refinish your laminate.

However, it is much riskier than refinishing hardwoods.

Unlike hardwood, laminate is composed of several layers. The layer with the wood finish is very thin, making it hard to sand down. If you sand too far, you’ll ruin the floor and need to replace it.

With that said, if you want to try to refinish your laminate, here are the steps you’ll need to take:

  • Prep the floor
  • Use a chemical etcher
  • Lightly and evenly buff the floor
  • Apply stain
  • Apply a sealant

You can read a full tutorial here.

Frequently Asked Questions

faq wax laminate flooring

Can I buff laminate floors?

You can buff laminate floors with a dry microfiber mop or towel. However, you should never use a buffing machine with an abrasive pad on the laminate. These machines can quickly break down the thin layer of pattern on your floor, leaving you to replace it.

The only exception is if you’re trying to refinish your laminate flooring and understand the risks that come along with it.

Can you use a Magic Eraser on laminate?

You should never use a Magic Eraser on any type of flooring with a finish. Magic Erasers are abrasive and will eat through the topcoat and maybe even the stain.

Bottom line: Magic Erasers are one of the worst cleaning tools for flooring.

Why does my laminate have white spots on it?

Excess moisture and heat cause white spots on laminate flooring. So, if you spilled something hot on the floor or dropped a curling iron, that could be why you see those spots. If not, it’s likely from a spill that has sat too long.

Conclusion

Is waxing laminate flooring a good idea? Well, you can, but you shouldn’t.

Putting wax on laminate will only cause it to look cloudy, streaky, and feel sticky. The best way to make your laminate shine is to clean it properly and use an appropriate polish.

If that doesn’t work or your laminate is in terrible condition, you can try to refinish it, but honestly, that’s a very risky move.

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AUTHOR

Katie Barton lives with her husband and three daughters in an 1800’s style log cabin in southern Ohio. She thinks cleaning is relaxing and is considered the organizing go-to person by her family and friends. She runs the blog Cabin Lane where she shares about cleaning, decluttering, and minimalism. See full biography here.

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