Best Ways to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring

Clean and shiny looking vinyl plank flooring looks fantastic, and it can be a great addition to your home. Keeping your vinyl flooring looking great is not as hard as you may think.

Vacuuming or mopping as needed, together with some occasional deep cleaning, will do the job as these floors are quite easy to maintain. The majority of the stains can be wiped off relatively easily. And vinyl plank flooring is highly durable, making it ideal for messy rooms like the kitchen or even living rooms with a lot of foot traffic.

For our new house in Lewes, we chose vinyl plank flooring for the kitchen, living room, and dining room. I want the floor to last as long as possible and look as good as possible.

We moved to our new house a couple of days ago, and I thought this was a great moment to search and understand general guidelines for vinyl plank floor cleaning and learn a few tips and tricks to get the job done.

What Should I Regularly Do to Keep Vinyl Plank Floors Clean?

If you have vinyl plank floors installed, you know that they are durable and easy to clean and should last long and look great as long as you keep a reasonable cleaning routine.

Eliminate Dirt

Best Ways to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring - Mopping floor

Dirt, dust, and any particles cause abrasion. When walking over dirt, you are applying pressure on it, and over time, it will produce scratches and similar damage. 

Vacuum cleaning is the best option to remove dirt

Sweeping is another option, but unfortunately, it is not the best because sweeping mostly drags the dirt over the floor, causing damage over time. If you choose to sweep, make sure your broom is made of very soft material.

By using a vacuum cleaner, those impurities are lifted and removed from the spot, and the negative impact is minimal. Choose vacuum cleaner attachments suitable for hard floors, which will not scratch or damage it.

Vacuuming should always be the first step in the vinyl flooring cleaning routine. The next thing you could do is mopping the floor. 

If you want the floors to be shiny and brand new looking, you can clean them with a soft mop, preferably microfiber one. No detergents or cleansers are necessary, just luke-warm water. Depending on room size and level of dirt, frequently change the water to prevent staining. 

If you are mopping frequently, make sure you remove all the excess water from the floor, especially in moisture-prone areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

Eliminate Stains

Floor stain

Stains should be removed as soon as you notice them, the same as any spills. Standing liquid can damage many different kinds of flooring, including vinyl.

If there are any unexpected spills, use a microfiber cloth to remove the liquid by gently pressing it without scrubbing. After that, you may clean the spot with a mop. 

Baking soda mixed with water is going to be your best friend when it comes to food or juice stain removal.

If you notice scuffs on the floor, use any kind of natural oil, like jojoba, to treat them. Put a few drops on the cloth and gently rub them. They will be less visible, and you will prevent further damage.

Avoid Chemicals

It may be a surprise for a floor so durable to hear that this material is susceptible to chemicals. You should avoid them while cleaning, and if you accidentally spill some on the floor, you should instantly remove it. If the spill is from abrasive cleanser, you should be careful not to rub it on the floor. And, of course, you should use water and a mop to clean every trace of it.

Abrasives and chemicals are substances that greatly influence the appearance of your floors. By keeping them away, you will ensure a long and great looking life of your vinyl plank flooring.

How to Deep Clean a Vinyl Floor?

Deep clean tools

Sometimes, a vacuum cleaner and a mop are not sufficient.

Every now and then, you should clean the floor thoroughly. You don’t need to use expensive or special cleansers for this. White vinegar, or mild dish soap, mixed with water, is a great solution to make the floor shiny and smelling fresh.

If you decided to use vinegar, adding a cup into 2 gallons of water is enough. And remember to use a non-abrasive mop.

When you finish cleaning with the vinegar or soap, use a clean mop and warm water to remove soap or vinegar residue. After that, your floor should look shiny and new.

If you have a steam cleaner, avoid using it on vinyl floors. High-temperature steam may cause damage. It may seem easier and faster than mopping, but you will likely damage your vinyl plank floor.

When deep cleaning, homeowners move furniture and different items to reach inaccessible areas. You should be extra careful when doing so. Using rollers is not advisable, and dragging heavy items will also cause damage.

The ideal way to move furniture if you want to preserve your floor is to simply lift it and move it. Because of the weight, that is not always possible. If you have to push it, you can use furniture sliders for hard floors to avoid scratching and make it easier to move.

Use usual vinyl cleaning methods underneath the furniture. Before moving it back to its original place, the floor has to be completely dry.

Some homeowners think they should wax their vinyl plank flooring. This step is not necessary to keep them clean and shiny looking, so you should avoid it. Some waxing products may even damage the floors.

Can I Use Other Cleaners for Vinyl Floors?

Yes, you can, but first, you should know what to avoid.

Avoid using abrasive cleaners, strong chemicals like bleach or chlorine, very low or very high pH factor liquids, industrial or machine oils, and even strong soaps.

There are a variety of vinyl-safe cleaners in many stores, which are great for floor maintenance. Some homeowners dislike the smell of vinegar, so if you are one of them, you can invest a few dollars into those products. Make sure to read the instructions of the product you choose.

If you want to use dish soap or any other kind of soap, make sure it is pH neutral. Cleansers containing oil may seem appealing as you may think the floors are going to be shiny. Try to avoid them, the same as wax. Especially using large quantities, because vinyl, unlike wood, could become slippery. Gentle oils are ok to use on small scratches.

Using mild soap may leave marks over time if not removed entirely after every cleaning. If you notice that your floor is dull looking and has no shine, use vinegar or any store-available vinyl cleaners to restore its original color and shine.

Additional Tips and Tricks for Vinyl Floor Cleaning

Cleaning Tips and Tricks

Besides regular cleaning, there are a few more tips to help you maintain your vinyl plank flooring:

  • If the vinyl flooring is across the entire house, put a doormat in the hallway to clean the dirt from your shoes before entering the house
  • For bathrooms, use mild hair shampoo as a cleanser to remove residues of beauty and styling products
  • If you want to restore the original shine on older vinyl floors, use a polish made especially for floors that don’t require wax
  • Buy floor protectors for the heavy furniture to minimize the risk of dents and scratches if you accidentally move it
  • Never use sharp objects to remove dried staining as it will always result in damage, no matter how handy you are
  • If there is a damaged area, keep it dry at all times as moisture can enter the scratches and make the damage even worse
  • Change heavily damaged floor areas, if possible
  • When vacuum cleaning, try not to aggressively drag the vacuum cleaner over the floors as it can result in scrapes
  • Never use hot water to remove persistent stains or dried residue because high temperatures can cause damage
  • To remove dried residue simply apply a very wet cloth with vinegar on top of the stain and wait a few minutes for the stain to loosen up
  • If you have children, try not to let them aggressively play on the floors, or even better, protect the playroom with a carpet and let them enjoy it
  • Pets can scratch the vinyl floor, so you should think about some kind of floor protection in rooms where your pets are

Vinyl plank floors look great, and they can be incorporated into different home styles and decorations. From colors and patterns to quality, you can choose among some excellent options available on the market. What makes vinyl floors such a good option is their low maintenance and high durability. By following these simple rules, your floors will remain in excellent condition for many years.

After all this talk about cleaning, you may want to learn how to stay motivated to do chores.

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