Many homeowners prefer laminate flooring because it is reasonably resilient to withstand heavy use while retaining its fresh-out-of-the-box look. The multiple synthetic layers of laminate flooring are bound by lamination that allows it to withstand wear and tear.
However, it is still vulnerable to developing scuff marks over time. Scuff marks are oil-based stains left behind on smooth surfaces by items that have a hard bottom made from rubber, wood, LVT, VCT, and more.
Therefore, walking with shoes and moving objects over or across laminate flooring made from the aforementioned materials creates scuff marks on its smooth surface.
Scuff marks are not permanent when they are eliminated immediately. You use the appropriate cleaning method that is friendly to the laminate flooring.
That’s why we made this comprehensive guide on how to remove scuff marks from laminate flooring.
Table of Contents
What are the Causes of Scuff Marks?
Scuffs are usually caused by furniture or foot traffic. The most common cause of scuff marks is dark-soled shoes. Wearing shoes in the house is likely the root of the problem.
Moreover, furniture movement can sometimes leave scuff marks, especially on furniture with dark rubber furniture pads on the legs.
Does it Matter If There Are Scuff Marks?
Yes, scuff marks matter. They can impact your home’s overall appearance. If not addressed promptly, scuffs could even cause permanent discoloration.
Furthermore, your landlord might dock you some of the security deposit if there are scuff marks on the floors if you rent your home.
How to Remove Scuff Marks from Laminate Flooring?
Immediately you spot fresh scuff marks, and it would be very easy to clean it up quickly as soon as possible. Because when it stays longer, the harder it can be to remove the marks from the laminate flooring.
With that in mind, below are some of the effective ways you may use to remove scuffs marks from the laminate flooring;
Use Nail Polish Remover
Using Acetone-based nail polish effectively removes both soft and tough scuff marks on the laminate flooring. To effectively remove scuff marks with nail polish remover, follow the steps below;
Step 1: Take a clean microfiber cloth and dampen it with the nail polish remover.
Step 2: Gently scrub the microfiber over the scuff mark spots until they completely disappear.
Step 3: Then wipe the spots with a clean microfiber soaked in water to remove the lingering residues.
Step 4: Dry the area with a dry towel or clean microfiber.
Alternatively, you can also use baking powder if you do not have Acetone-based polish remover while following the same procedure.
However, ensure you use the appropriate amount of baking powder or nail polish while following the manufacturer’s instructions before using them on the laminate floor. That’s because it may damage the protective layer which may make the laminate flooring manufacturer invalidate its warranty.
It would be wise to test the effectiveness of the nail polish remover on a separate laminate surface. While for baking powder, two tablespoons mixed with a small amount of water solution will not harm the laminate.
Treat the Scuff Marks with Rubber
As iron sharpens iron, so the rubber does to rubber. Because scuff marks result from rubber residue left behind on the laminate, you can effectively eliminate the scuffs by treating them with rubber products.
For instance, you can use a pencil eraser, tennis ball, or tennis shoe to work on the scuff marks by rubbing on the spots using gentle pressure.
If you use a tennis shoe, place your hand on the shoe’s heel and set the shoe sole over the mark. Then apply a couple of twists using light pressure to the heel.
If you intend to use the tennis ball method, cut an “X” in the tennis ball, stick it on the end of the broom, and then buff out the scuff mark while applying gentle pressure. With a school/pencil eraser, you can work on the scuff marks with your hands until it disappears.
However, before using the rubber mentioned above products to treat the scuff marks, make sure you wipe the scuff marks with a clean damp microfiber cloth.
If your laminate flooring is lighter in the shade, it would be helpful to the effectiveness of the rubber on a discreet surface/area first to ensure it does not produce any discoloration on the laminate.
Apply WD-40 or Toothpaste
You can also use WD-40b and toothpaste to remove scuff marks from the laminate flooring. They are practically versatile for degreasing applications. Dab the toothpaste or WD-40 on the scuff marks using gentle pressure until they disappear.
Then take a clean microfiber cloth, damp it in vinegar to clean any paste residue left behind, and wipe clean the surface with a damp cotton cloth.
Use Commercial Cleaners
Commercial cleaners are also effective in eliminating scuffs, especially the prominent white marks. It would be to use distilled water and non-abrasive commercial cleaners specifically designed to clean laminate flooring like Goo Gone, Simple Green, and more.
Secondly, before applying any cleaner, make sure you test it on a discreet surface to confirm if it does not cause any harm to the laminate.
Lastly, after removing the scuff marks, wipe clean the surface with a damp cloth and immediately dry using a dry cotton cloth. If this method is not effective on prominent white scuff marks, it would be wise to employ the above methods.
How to Prevent Scuff Marks on your Laminate Flooring
Scuff marks are inevitable, but you can prevent them before they become permanent, making them look like scratches on your laminate floor. For that reason, it would be wise if you;
Clean the Floor Regularly
Make it your daily routine to vacuum or sweep the laminate floor and get rid of moisture, dirt, and debris. In addition, ensure you sweep along the lines of the floor. It will help you identify the scuff marks masked by dirt or debris.
However, when cleaning laminate flooring, do not clean the surface with a soaked mop or use a steam mop because moisture or water can easily damage the laminate and layering.
Use a soft, damp cloth to minimize moisture exposure and remove any remaining moisture with a microfiber cloth after a spot or overall cleaning. Not forgetting, it would also be much safer if you use a floor cleaner designed for laminate flooring.
Install Furniture Padding and Put Down Rugs/Mats
Installing furniture pads on the bottom of furniture legs/base provides a long-lasting solution to your laminate flooring.
Furniture padding prevents furniture legs/base from causing scuff marks and damage. Because they absorb the compression and tensional force and friction effects caused when shifting or moving furniture over or across the laminate flooring.
Alternatively, you can also put down mats or rugs in areas that experience high traffic and near any exterior entrances because they easily soak up moisture and dirt from the outdoors.
Besides, mats and rugs are great floor protection, especially when you have pets with sharp claws or when children are playing with toys that have sharp edges.
Handle Stains Immediately and Properly
Always handle the scuff marks immediately. You spot them while they are still fresh because it is easier to clean them quickly before sitting longer.
Nonetheless, the same should also be applied to spills to prevent stains from setting and minimize the risks of moisture damage. If your laminate flooring is stained by ink, crayon marks, nail polish, and shoe polish, it would be helpful to remove them using rubbing alcohol.
At the same time, use mineral spirits to lift scuff marks from grease or tar and treat with rubber if the scuff marks are induced by shoes or any object with rubber.
We hope they can help you remove scuff marks from the laminate floor with the above method. However, it would be best to be cautious while using these methods because the bound laminate and floor layering are sensitive to water products that contain reactive chemicals.
Read More on Laminate Floors
- Can You Use Goo Gone on Laminate Flooring? (Explained)
- Will Acetone Damage Laminate Floor? (Explained)
- Does Laminate Flooring Make your House Colder? (Explained)
- 4 Best Ways to Clean Linoleum Floors That Have Yellowed (Must-Try)
- Laying Laminate Flooring: 13 Common Mistakes to Avoid!