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Question DetailsAsked on 10/23/2016

How do I remove sticky residue from my laminate flooring

Had a protective plastic mat on work area of laminate flooring. After taking it up, it left a sticky residue. How do I clean it off without damaging the laminate wood flooring?

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1 Answer


Hopefully 409 or similar non-abrasive flooring cleaner will take it up - if not, you might have been hit by something the protective mat manufacturers don't put in their instruction sheets and is common knowledge only amongst flooring specialists and architects and such.

One possibility is that it is something spilled that wicked under there long ago - soda or coffee or such. Try the 409 or similar, if that does not work try first a small shot of Dawn or similar dishwashing liquid on a soft wet rag or paper towel to soften and wipe, then wet wipe with clean rag to remove the soap. May take 10-20 seconds to soften the residue. If that does not work, kitchen vinegar (WHITE ONLY, NOT BROWN) on a non-abrasive rag or paper towel followed immediately by several passes with a rinsed out rag or wet paper towel. Another product I have found to work very well (my preferred recommendation for pretty much all hard floors other than concrete) is Armstrong - oh, what is it called - Armstrong hard Surface and Floor Cleaner or some such. OK - looked it up - Armstrong Hardwood and Laminate Floor Cleaner spray. Good for hardwood, laminate, vinyl, clear vinyl covered linoleum, etc.

The more dreaded possibility is that many of these mats (especially some foreign made ones that do not necessarily meet US safety standards) outgas a fair amount of solvents and plasticizers over the first years of their lives (hence the plasticy smell for a long time). Unfortunately, those chemicals are the same or similar to the solvents for the protective clear plastic layer on the laminate floor - so it is quite common for them to partly dissolve or bubble the surface of the laminate. If that is the case, depending on whether it dissolved down to the printed image layer (which creates the pattern or simulated wood texture or whatever you have), a Flooring contractor specializing in laminates MIGHT be able to carefully strip down the damaged protective urethane or other coating and locally recoat it to protect the image layer (which is extremely thin - basically a photo film). In the worst case, I have seen the protective layer AND the color layer peeled right up when a mat that has been there a LONG time is peeled up.

If you know the laminate manufacturer name, you could also contact their technical department about this for their suggestion.

Different manufacturers use different protective layers - so for some acetone would be the ultimate cleanup material, for other Bostic Ultimate Adhesive Remover, for some paint thinner or laquer thinner (nail polish remover). Unfortunately, what works for one brand will ruin another - so before trying anything you would have to experiment on some out-of-the way place like in a closet or under washer/dryer/dishwasher or such. And don't let products like that sit - damp wipe and immediately when done wash with floor cleaner or Dawn or such.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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