Vinyl floors are known for their sleek look, comfort, durability, versatility (different colors), easy installation, and maintenance. However, like all the other floors, vinyl floors require regular upkeep, cleaning, and maintenance. This guide explains everything you need to know about cleaning vinyl floors.
4 Easy Ways to Clean Vinyl Floors
Method 1: Mopping and Vacuuming
Dry mopping and vacuuming are best for regular cleaning or slightly dirty floor. Ensure you use a soft bristle broom for dry mopping and a soft brush attachment with the vacuum.
- Start mopping your room from the corners and progressively move towards the center.
- You also have to mop under furniture and along the baseboards.
- Sweep the debris into the dustpan and dispose it off.
- Choose a vacuum that allows you to turn off the rotating brush. A rotating brush isn’t suitable for the vinyl floor as it can damage it.
- Vacuum your room by starting from one corner and proceed to the other.
- Make sure you are also cleaning the gaps between vinyl planks and corners.
Method 2: DIY/Natural Cleaners
DIY cleaners are cheap, easy to make, and give excellent results. You can use the following cleaners to clean vinyl floors.
Water and Vinegar Solution
- Add one cup of vinegar into a bucket of warm water.
- Dip your mop into this solution.
- Wring out the mop thoroughly so that it will only be damp, not wet.
- Mop your floor in S-pattern to remove all the dirt and debris.
You can also add a drop of dish soap to the water and vinegar solution to enhance its cleaning ability.
Baking Soda Paste
If your vinyl floor has some stains, baking soda is the best natural ingredient to remove them.
- Make a paste of baking soda with water.
- Apply this paste over the stain with a soft cloth or rag.
- Rub the stain with the rag gently to remove the stain completely.
- Repeat the process if needed.
- After removing the stain, wipe the floor with a clean damp cloth.
If you want to make a stronger paste, you can also add a few drops of vinegar to the baking soda paste.
Vinegar, Dish Soap, & Isopropyl Alcohol (All-purpose & heavy-duty cleaner)
- Add ½ cup white vinegar, ¼ cup isopropyl alcohol, 2-3 drops of dishwashing soap, and 6-8 drops of essential oils in 2 cups of warm water.
- Mix well and transfer the liquid to a spray bottle.
- Spray and mop with a damp mop.
- You can increase the ingredient quantity to make more solution. Use a mop damped in the liquid to clean vinyl floors.
Spot Testing: You’ll find many DIY cleaning solution recipes online; most of them work. However, it is always better to test the solution on a hidden spot to see if it works fine. The same goes for commercial cleaners.
Method 3: Floor Cleaners
Commercial floor cleaners are another good option to clean your vinyl floor. Before using any cleaner check its label, whether it is made for vinyl floors or not. Floor cleaners having neutral pH are good for cleaning dirt and light stains from the vinyl floor. Most vinyl planks are water resistant but not waterproof, so you don’t have to over-wet your floor with water and cleaner. Following the manufacturer’s instructions for floor cleaners’ is ideal.
Use little water to clean your vinyl floor with a commercial floor cleaner. Too much water can damage the vinyl flooring. You can use a small quantity of your floor cleaner to use with a mop. Make sure you just have to dampen your mop.
You should avoid using ammonia cleaners. Besides this, please avoid using concentrated bleach and abrasive cleaners on the vinyl floor as they can also damage the planks and reduce their shine. Use mild floor cleaners that are safe to use over vinyl floors.
Method 4: Automatic Mops
You can also use a few automatic mops to clean laminate floors. Swiffer wetjet is a great option for cleaning laminate floors.
Any mop that doesn’t use water or heat for cleaning is okay for laminate floors. However, you must check compatibility before using.
How to Remove Scuff from a Vinyl Floor?
Once you have done cleaning your floor, there might be some scuff present on your floor. You can remove small scuffs easily that don’t have scratches beneath them. Large scuffs and scratches are hard to remove, so you have to replace the plank in this case. To remove minor scuffs, use one of the following methods.
- Use a melamine pad or sponge and buff the scuff with it. The scuff will be more likely to disappear.
- You can also use any canned lubricant to remove the scuffs.
- Olive oil or jojoba oil is also recommended for dabbing the small scuff.
- You can also use rubbing alcohol with a rug to lighten the scuff.
After removing the scuff, wash off the floor to make it safe for walking. Any oil residues on the floor can cause slipping.
How to Remove Various Stains from the Vinyl Floor?
- Food Stains: Food stains are common, especially if you have toddlers at home. You can remove food stains with baking soda and water paste, vinegar-based cleaning solutions, or commercial cleaners.
- Beauty Product Stains: Wipe off the stain as much as possible with a paper towel or an old cloth. Don’t use anything abrasive or steam mop to clean the stains. You can spray some rubbing alcohol over the stain and gently scrub it with an old toothbrush. You can also use a high-quality nail polish remover to remove stubborn nail polish stains.
- Paint/Art Supplies Stains: Paint and crayon stains are best removed with mineral spirit. Place a cloth damped with mineral spirit over the stain for 1-2 hours and then wipe to remove the stain.
- Rust Stains: Rust stains on vinyl floors are quickly removed with oxalic acid. You must dilute it before applying it to your floor. Moreover, don’t forget to test it on a hidden spot and follow the instructions on the packaging.
- Pen Inks: Hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol quickly and effectively remove pen inks.
- Hair Spray Stains: Tinted hair sprays may dull the spot where they fall. You can clean such stains with 1-2 drops of shampoo mixed in water.
Maintenance Tips for Vinyl Floor
- Do not use paste wax or solvent-based polish/shiner on vinyl floors. Add a few drops of baby oil to your DIY cleaner to make your floors shine.
- Wipe up the spills as soon as possible and try not to let them sit on the floor for a long time.
- Never use a vacuum with beater bar turned on; always use a soft scrub brush with your vacuum.
- Don’t scrub vinyl floors; use soft brooms.
- Avoid cleaners with harsh chemicals such as ammonia, bleach, and chlorine.
- Don’t drag heavy furniture over vinyl floors.
- Always use damp mops to clean vinyl floors; never pour the liquid directly on vinyl floors.
- Add a welcome mat to your home and place mats in high-traffic areas.
- Make sure your pets have clean feet before they come inside.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use Swiffer on vinyl floor planks?
Swiffers are entirely safe to use over vinyl planks. Swiffer wetjet is one of the best spray mops to remove stains and grease from the vinyl floor. It efficiently cleans the stains from the floor without taking much time. However, you must never pour the cleaner directly on the floor while using a Swiffer mop.
What to avoid using over vinyl floor for cleaning?
You should avoid using a beater bar attachment with a vacuum to clean vinyl floors as it can damage the floor. Also, avoid using abrasive scrubbers and cleaners with high pH on vinyl flooring. Use mild or homemade cleaners to clean your vinyl flooring.
Can I use a steam cleaner to clean the laminate floors?
No. You must not use steam cleaners on laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is sensitive to heat and moisture. Using a steam mop may not cause immediate damage like a wet mop, but it will weaken your floor, resulting in warping, peeling, or loosening.