Keeping Your Home Sparkling: Learn How to Clean Vinyl Floors

A Simple Guide on How to Clean Vinyl Floors

Sep 04, 2023
Out of all the types of flooring that you can get, vinyl flooring is one of the most popular. What are the different types of vinyl flooring? Why are they so popular? What is the best way to clean vinyl floors? These are the questions that we will provide answers to in this article. 

Once you have a better knowledge about vinyl floors and how to maintain them, you will be able to get the best out of them. Whether you have them at home or an office or any other commercial space, it is essential to be aware of proper care of vinyl flooring. If you can maintain vinyl floors properly, you will end up with sparkling-clean flooring which will always look as new as the day when it got installed. Read on to find out more information about vinyl flooring.

Seamless wood texture, hardwood floor texture

Types of Vinyl Flooring

1. Tiles

You can get vinyl flooring as square-shaped or rectangular-shaped tiles. It looks like stone, but you can get tiles printed to look like marble or wood as well. The advantage of using vinyl tiles is that they are easier to replace when required. It is also possible to use tiles of different colors and designs and arrange them in patterns.

2. Planks

Vinyl planks are meant to give the appearance of hardwood planks so that the flooring looks like a hardwood floor. The advantage is that you get your flooring to resemble hardwood at a fraction of the cost. Another benefit is that vinyl is more stain-resistant and durable than hardwood. It is also easier to clean.

3. Sheets

Vinyl sheets are typically available in rolls of 6 to 12 feet in width. The advantage of using vinyl sheets is that the number of joints is less. This form of vinyl flooring is suitable for small rooms like kitchens, bathrooms, and mudrooms. Sheets are also preferred for such rooms because they are more resistant to moisture, due to the low number of joints in the flooring.

Cleaning Vinyl Floors Without Tears: What You Need

Of course, there is nothing like a mop and a bit of soapy water to keep your flooring clean most of the time. The recommended method is to run a wet mop over the floor, frequently dipping it in a bucket of soapy water and squeezing it. Then, if you pass a dry mop over the floor, your floors should keep nice and clean. However, you sometimes need to consider the material that the floor is made of when it comes to spills and stains, especially when you have to clean vinyl floors. Before we go into the best way to clean vinyl floors, here’s what you will need to do the job:

1. Vinyl floor cleaner*
2. Wet mop and dry mop
3. Bucket of water
4. Mug
5. Scrubbing brush
6. Stiff broom with a handle
7. Best rated vacuum cleaner (optional)
8. Washcloth
9. Dishwashing liquid

*When we talk about vinyl floor cleaner, there is no standard type or brand. The cleaning agent that you use depends on the kind of stains or spills with which you are dealing. We will go more into detail about which cleaner you need to use depending on the type of stain. You can get commercially available vinyl floor cleaner. There are different types available. We will also discuss the various home remedies that you can use, like using vinegar, jojoba oil, baking soda, and so on.

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The Best Way to Clean Vinyl Floors

Let us first deal with the first consideration that you need to make while dealing with vinyl flooring. The fact of the matter is that there is no best way to clean vinyl floors, but there are different ways to do so. The method and vinyl floor cleaner you use depend on what you are trying to achieve on your flooring. So, we will touch upon different scenarios that you may encounter in your quest to clean your vinyl floors. 

1. Everyday Cleaning

Seamless wood floor texture, hardwood floor texture
Seamless wood floor texture, hardwood floor texture

● A Daily Sweep

If you do not clean dust and dirt daily, it can get ground into the surface as people walk around the room. Dirt has an abrasive action which can cause scratches and cause the surface to lose its luster. Hence you would do well to sweep or vacuum every day. If you use a vacuum cleaner, remove the beater bar from your attachment to avoid scratches.

● Cleaning the Spills

Do not delay mopping up spills when they happen. Even water, if spilled, will leave a mark. Oily food and sugary drinks tend to get absorbed by the surface, and once they have dried, they become more challenging to clean. It is also unsafe to leave spills as someone could slip and have a fall.

● The Value of Vinegar

Vinegar can clean things without being too harsh. If you use a vinegar solution for your everyday cleaning, your floors will look fresh all the time. Generally, the harsher the cleaner, the more adverse effect it will have on your vinyl flooring. 

To clean vinyl floors with a vinegar solution, add one cup of apple cider vinegar to a gallon of hot water. Dip a mop in the solution and clean your floors. If you would like to get a shine, you can add a few drops of jojoba oil to the solution. Don’t be too concerned about the vinegar odor. It will go away, once the floor dries. 

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● ATF as a Vinyl Floor Cleaner

If you can get hold of it, aviation turbine fuel (ATF) also imparts shine to vinyl flooring. Just add a few drops to your cleaning solution. Just like vinegar, the somewhat pungent odor of ATF will fade away as it dries.   

● Using a Commercial Vinyl Floor Cleaner

If you aren’t comfortable using vinegar, you could try a commercial cleaner. However, make sure that you use the right type of floor cleaner. You get no-wax cleaners and cleaners for waxed floors. Be aware of the kind of floor you have and ensure that you get a matching cleaner. Also, try to choose mild floor cleaners and reserve the harsher cleaners for deep cleaning stubborn stains.

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2. Deep Cleaning

● Lifting Embedded Dirt

Dishwashing liquid mixed with apple cider vinegar makes a suitable solution for deep cleaning. You can use this to remove embedded dirt from the floor. To get better results, use a scrubbing brush or mop with nylon bristles.

● Straightening Scuffs

Vinyl flooring is highly prone to getting scuffed. You can remove scuff marks by rubbing them with a cloth dipped in WD-40 or jojoba oil.

● Removing Ink Stains

You can remove Ink or other pigmented stains with a bit of rubbing alcohol. Rub a cloth dipped in alcohol on the stains. The alcohol will remove the stains, but will not damage the vinyl. 

3. Cleaning up After

Once you have completed the main cleaning operation, ensure to wash off any residue thoroughly with water. Traces of chemicals and detergents can damage the vinyl over time. Finally, run a dry mop over the floor when all the wet cleaning is done.

Wood texture background, seamless oak wood floor
Wood texture background, seamless oak wood floor

Pro Tip: Add a few drops of essential oil like pine oil to the water during the final mop-up to impart a pleasant and fresh fragrance to your floors.

Things to Avoid While Cleaning Vinyl Floors

Here are some things that you should NOT do while cleaning vinyl floors: 

● Do not use a hard-bristled brush. Try to use a brush that is as soft as possible, possibly nylon or even wooden bristles.
● Even with a soft brush, do not scrub too hard. It is better to scrub gently for a longer time.
● Do not try to remove dried substances by prying with a knife. It can cause scratches and worse, can even come off with some of the vinyl material stuck to it.
● Avoid abrasive cleaners. Most regular household cleaners should usually suffice. When in doubt, use vinegar or a commercial cleaner specific to the type of flooring you have.
● Prevent too much water from accumulating on your vinyl flooring. The water will seep into the joints and can soften the glue that sticks the vinyl to the floor. 
● Steer clear of furniture on rollers, because it can cause more damage than furniture without felt tips under the legs.
● Never use acetone to clean your vinyl flooring. Acetone will react with the vinyl and dissolve it.

Clean Vinyl Floors like a Pro

With all this information about how to clean vinyl floors, you should now be in a position to maintain sparkling, clean vinyl floors that will make you proud. Everything is easy with the right type of know-how. When it comes to vinyl floors, you need to follow specific procedures. We have gone into detail to highlight these procedures in a step-by-step manner so that you can keep your floors clean without too much effort.

We hope you have benefitted from this article and that it helps you in creating a clean and fresh atmosphere at your home or office. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please let us know, and we will be glad to get back to you. 

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