How To Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring

vinyl plank flooring in home

Vinyl plank flooring is a top choice for many homeowners. It’s stylish, easy to maintain, and extremely durable. However, like most flooring types, it still needs to be properly cleaned and regularly maintained to keep looking fresh and new.

Fortunately, cleaning vinyl plank flooring is relatively straightforward if you use the proper techniques and products. This guide outlines how to clean vinyl plank flooring, remove stains, and other tips on maintaining it without damaging it.

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What Is Vinyl Plank Flooring?

luxury vinyl plank flooring

Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) Flooring is a type of floor covering that mimics the look of traditional hardwood but is made from vinyl instead. It is designed to be durable, low-maintenance, and water-resistant, making it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. This type of flooring comes in various styles and colors, allowing you to match it perfectly to your home décor.

LVP is constructed with multiple layers; wear layers that protect from stains, scratches, and damage and a water-resistant central core layer for added strength. The thickness of the wear layer can vary, with thicker wear layers providing greater durability but without the high cost and maintenance needs.

Steps on How to Deep Clean Vinyl Floors

vinyl flooring in home

Supplies List

Step 1 – Gather Your Supplies.

mop and bucket

Before cleaning your vinyl plank floors, gather all necessary cleaning supplies in one place. These may include a broom or vacuum cleaner, a microfiber mop, dish soap, and a bucket. Once you have gathered all your supplies, you can start cleaning your vinyl plank floors.

Step 2 – Sweep or Vacuum Debris from the Floor

Start sweeping or vacuuming the floor thoroughly to remove loose dirt and debris. This step will help make the cleaning process more effective. If sweeping, collect all dirt and debris in a dustpan.

Pay extra attention to high-traffic areas and spots under furniture, where dirt and debris will likely accumulate. Once you’ve removed all loose dirt and debris, you’re ready to move on to deep cleaning your vinyl plank floors.

Step 3 – Mop With Warm Water and Dish Soap

Fill a bucket with hot or warm water and add two pumps or drops of liquid dishwashing soap. Be cautious about not adding too much soap that could possibly contribute to sticky floors.

Dip the microfiber mop in the bucket of water and wring the wet mop out before applying it to the floor. Begin mopping the floor. Mop in small sections, rinsing your mop regularly and changing your mop water as needed for best results.

Microfiber mop heads are known for being gentle on your floors and easy to use. Additionally, microfiber mop heads wring out well, which helps avoid excess water on your floor. Best of all, they won’t scratch your vinyl plank flooring!

Pro Tip – While vinyl plank flooring is known for its water-resistant characteristic, it’s crucial to note that it’s not entirely waterproof. Hence, when cleaning your vinyl plank flooring, it’s advisable to avoid excessive water use and only mop when necessary.

Use caution not to over-saturate the mop and wring out your mop thoroughly so that you are not leaving excess water on the floor, which could lead to warping or other damage. This can also cause the finish to become dull and weaken the adhesive that holds the planks in place. Water can also seep through gaps between the planks and damage the subfloor below.

Step 4 – Let it Dry

Allow your floors to dry fully. To help expedite the drying process, turn on a ceiling fan in the room that was just mopped or open up the door to allow air to circulate.

Optional Step 5 – Get the Scuff off

If you find that there is still stubborn scuff and built-up grime that remains on the floor, you can try the following:

  • Hardware lubricant or jojoba oil –Apply a small amount of either product on a soft towel and gently rub it onto the scuff until it comes off. Afterward, clean the area thoroughly to remove any leftover oil residue.
  • Isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as an alternative cleaning agent. Just rinse the area thoroughly with clean water after applying either of these liquids.
  • Toothpaste is also an option for tougher stubborn stains.
  • Use Baking Soda with water to create a paste-like solution. You can apply this specifically to the stain.
  • Apple cider or White Vinegar – Vinegar is an excellent cleaning agent. Similar to how it cleans a garbage disposal, it can just as effectively clean a vinyl floor. Simply add one cup of apple cider or white vinegar mixed into a gallon of hot water. The vinegar will work wonders on dirt, grime, and stains without leaving behind any streaks or sudsy residue.

What are some commercial cleaners that can be used?

There are a variety of commercial cleaners that can be used to clean vinyl floors. The best vinyl floor cleaner includes:

Rejuvenate Luxury Vinyl Tile Plank Floor Cleaner

Bona Multisurface Floor Cleaner Spray

Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface Cleaner Concentrate

Tips on Maintaining a Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring

  • Take care of spills and stains immediately – Act quickly if you spill anything. Try to wipe up spills as soon as possible to prevent staining.
  • Vacuum and sweep regularly – To keep the floors clean and well-maintained, it is important to remove any surface debris or dirt using a broom or vacuum before proceeding with any wet cleaning.
  • Use vinyl-friendly solutions only – opt for a specially formulated vinyl floor cleaner that won’t leave any marks or residue. Many products are available on the market specifically designed for this type of flooring, so you can find something that suits your preferences and budget.

What should you not clean vinyl plank flooring with?

  • Avoid using steel wool or abrasive scrubbers that could damage the surface. Instead, use a soft-bristled brush or mop and a mild cleaning solution.
  • Try to avoid using wax-based products or solvent-based polishes. These products can leave residue on the surface of the flooring, making it appear dull and greasy.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals like bleach, ammonia, or ammonia-based cleaning solutions, as they can break down the vinyl, causing long-term damage such as cracking and shedding. These abrasive cleaners can also cause discoloration or even strip away the protective top layer causing it to peel off gradually over time.
  • Say no to a steam mop cleaner – While vinyl is often waterproof, it can’t handle both water and the high heat produced by steam cleaning. Using a steam cleaner may also void any warranties on your flooring.
  • Bypass “mop and shine” products. These cleaning solutions can leave a dull film on the surface of your flooring.

How to Prevent Damage to Vinyl Flooring

closeup of vinyl floor

To ensure that your luxury vinyl flooring stays clean, it’s important to take preventative measures. Some preventative measures include:

  • Placing a doormat or area rug in entryways can help trap dirt and debris before it gets tracked onto the floor. This will encourage everyone to wipe their feet before entering.
  • Removing outdoor footwear when inside, particularly in areas prone to high foot traffic. This will make cleaning your vinyl plank flooring a much simpler task.
  • Avoid wearing high-heeled or stiff-soled shoes, as they could damage the flooring.
  • To protect against furniture damage, use felt pads and vinyl coasters at the bottom of chairs and table legs. These floor protectors can safeguard against permanent indentations and prevent scratches on your beautiful flooring.
  • Avoid dragging heavy objects and heavy furniture across the clean vinyl flooring.

How often should you mop a vinyl floor?

Maintaining clean and shiny vinyl plank flooring is important to keep its looks and quality intact. It’s best to mop your vinyl floor at least once a week or biweekly. A deep clean is recommended at least once a month, especially in heavy traffic areas where dirt and grime quickly accumulate.

If you have pets or young children, it might be necessary to mop more often, depending on the level of activity at home.

Can you vacuum vinyl plank flooring?

Yes, you can vacuum vinyl plank flooring. However, you need to be careful when doing so and make sure that the vacuum head is not too abrasive as it can scratch or damage the surface of the floor.

To ensure that your vinyl plank flooring remains in pristine condition, opt for a vacuum specifically designed for hardwood or laminate floors with soft bristles and adjustable suction levels.

Vinyl plank flooring is a popular choice for many homeowners due to its durability and low maintenance needs. Maintaining the beauty of vinyl plank flooring is easy when you know how to clean it properly. With regular cleaning and care, your vinyl plank flooring will look great for years.

Remember that prevention is critical in protecting the beauty of your vinyl plank flooring. Following these guidelines will help ensure that your vinyl plank flooring stays looking brand new for many years to come.

I hope you have found these simple steps helpful. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this article, so leave a comment below. Feel free to follow me on my social media pages – Pinterest and Instagram or subscribe to my mailing list for other cleanings, designs, and home decor ideas and inspiration.

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Hi! I'm Tamara White