How to Clean Vinyl Floors (and How to Keep Them Clean)

Last updated on October 21, 2023

Do you have vinyl flooring at home? Here’s how to clean vinyl floors properly and how to keep it clean. Read on!

Vinyl floors are one of the top choices for many homeowners since they look elegant and are available at a reasonable price. Besides, these floors are also known for their easy installation process, durability, comfort, and sound-reducing quality. On top of that, they are easy to maintain too!

However, sometimes our ignorance makes even the simplest things go wrong. To do anything properly, we must have appropriate knowledge of it; maintaining a vinyl floor is not any different. If you want your vinyl floors to be in top-notch condition for a long time, there are some tips and tricks you should always keep in mind:

Vacuum Your Floor Everyday

To many of us, it may seem insignificant, but in fact, the fine grit in dust is sharp enough to damage the outer layer of your vinyl floor, just like sandpapers. Therefore, it’s essential to clean them off from the floor as neatly as possible, and an easy-breezy way of doing this is using a vacuum.

While there are several types of vacuum cleaners available in the market, you need one that would clean your floor without leaving a mark or damaging the surface. So, make sure you get yourself the best vacuum for luxury vinyl plank floors.

You should vacuum your floor every day, especially on those days when there is heavy foot traffic in your home. Use a brush or a felt surface as an attachment to run along the floor. Since the coarseness of rotating brushes or a beater bar can harm the finish, attachments with them should be avoided. 

Sweeping Would Also Do

As stated earlier, dust can be really harmful to your floor and leaves scratches while you walk on it with dust under your feet. One very cheap and clever solution for that is to use a broom and sweep your home regularly. You should make a routine of running your broom across your home at least once a day.

Sweeping frequently will also help prevent the dirt from getting ground in and affecting the longevity of your vinyl. It is something that anyone can do; it is also an excellent physical exercise too. So if yours is a big house, then you can distribute the duty amongst your family members to save your energy and time.

Use a Doormat

Prevention is better than cure; this is true for your vinyl floors too! So using a doormat is always recommended. Daily, we carry a lot of dirt in our shoes and may bring it all home from outside if we don’t have a doormat at our doorstep, thus adding extra sweeping time.

Doormats not only protect our floors from dust and dirt, but they also save them from the other crucial enemy, chemicals. Chemicals from asphalt may get stuck in our shoes. If not wiped off, it can affect the floor and make it yellow.

Besides keeping our floors clean, doormats also enhance the beauty of our entrance; it is overall a win-win situation!

Apply the Mildest Cleaning Technique

Using a heavy-duty cleaning method to give your vinyl quick and crisp grooming is never a good idea; instead, you must use a gentle cleaning method, such as sweeping or vacuuming your floor every day and wiping off every spill immediately.

For dirt that doesn’t go away that easily, you can use warm water and mop with it. But remember, the water should be warm, not hot; and your mop should be damp only, not completely wet. However, if your floor doesn’t still get clean enough, go for a soap that is specially designed for floor cleaning.  

Clean with the Right Cleaner

Is your vinyl floor made of no-wax vinyl, or it is an older vinyl that needs waxing? The answer will decide which cleaner you should be applying to. There are cleaners available, especially for cleaning no-wax vinyl, which come with directions written on them as well. So if yours is a non-wax vinyl, clean it accordingly.

Old vinyl floors should be cleaned with warm water and detergent. First mix them well, then dampen a mop or sponge with the liquid and rub with it thoroughly; try to keep the wax intact to avoid reapplying it. Afterward, make sure to rinse them thoroughly with clean, cold water regardless of what the soap label claims.

Avoid Over-wetting the Mop

While water is an excellent cleaner for your vinyl floor, it can harm it too. So, take care not to drench your vinyl with an overly wet mop since the water may get into the edges of cracks and cause the corners to go loose or curl. To keep your floor intact, the mop should always only be dampened during cleaning.   

Rinse All Soap Thoroughly

There are floor cleaning soaps in the market that say you don’t need to rinse them. But no matter what soap you use, if the residue remains on the floor, it collects dirt. Therefore, rinse well with water whichever soap you use, and stick to cleaning with clear water as much as possible.

Preserve the Sheen

No-wax vinyl is made with a clear polyurethane coating to make it shine. For this, if the wax is used, it won’t stick well on the coating, making it messy and ugly, which you’ll need to strip off. Therefore, if it says no-wax, don’t wax, and don’t use mop-and-wax products, either.

To restore the lost shine of your no-wax vinyl, here is what you should do:

  1. Use a polish or sealant made for no-wax flooring.
  2. Clean the floor thoroughly before applying the polish.
  3. Apply one or two thin layers following the directions on the label.

If mopped perfectly, as stated before, the sheen of the polish should last a year long. So remember to maintain that well.

However, if your floor is made with old vinyl, it would usually require wax. In that case, wax it when it loses its shine, using the right amount of wax as directed.

Threat the Hairspray Buildup with Shampoo

Just like shampoo washes away hairspray from your hair, it can remove the buildup from your vinyl too. Shampoo can be a great vinyl cleaner as well. So if there is a hairspray build up on your floor:

  1. Mix a little amount of shampoo with a gallon of warm water.
  2. Damp your mop with the mixture and mop.
  3. Rinse it well with clear water. 

Use Protective Feet for Heavy Items

Furniture and home appliances that are too big or heavy-weight may leave a dent on the floor if kept in one place for a longer time. To prevent this, get floor protectors from the hardware shops to use while setting them up.

Say No to Rolling Casters

Rolling casters can damage your vinyl by leaving scratches or stains on its trail. So it’s better not to use these on your vinyl floor to maintain it.

Don’t Drag Your Furniture Directly Over Your floor

You may need to drag and move your furniture sometimes while rearranging them or taking it out for sale. Never ever drag them on your floor; instead, make a ramp with plywood sheets and move your items over them.

Maintaining a vinyl floor is really simple. Just follow these easy tricks, and keep your floor in top-notch condition for years. 


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