How to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl plank is a type of versatile flooring option that is attractive, durable, and requires low maintenance. Over the last couple of years, this type of flooring has gained a significant amount of popularity amongst people who want the look of wooden floors without having to go pay for the price of wood.

Benefits of Vinyl Plank Flooring

Thanks to its durability and the fact that it’s a cheaper alternative, vinyl is a great material for flooring. Another quality that makes it stand out over engineered hardwood floors is that it can be installed in places like kitchens and bathrooms without the floor warping.

Even though these floors are beautiful to look at, they are also incredibly easy to maintain. If you have children and pets in your home making messes every hour, then you need not worry. All you need to do is follow a cleaning schedule that is specifically designed for your vinyl plank flooring.

How to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring

There are so many easy ways of cleaning luxury vinyl plank flooring to keep it looking fresh and clean throughout. While vinyl flooring is easy to maintain, one needs to understand how to properly clean it to preserve their durability.

We have created a guide to help clean vinyl plank flooring to keep it in tip-top shape for many years.

Everyday Cleaning

If you let dirt and dust particles to accumulate on the vinyl flooring, there’s a high likelihood that the finish on the floor will be damaged. These particles, no matter how small you think they are, have sharp edges that can cause serious scuffing over time. They act in the same way sandpaper does as they are tracked around the floor with feet.

Want to keep your floors looking pristine? Then you need to clean the dirt off the floors to prevent it from accumulating. To do that, you will need a broom or vacuum and an ideal cleaner.

Sweeping and vacuuming away the dirt is one of the easiest ways to keep vinyl floors looking their best.

Brooms and Vacuum Cleaners

You need to sweep or vacuum your floors at least daily especially in high traffic areas. Try your best to reach under the furniture, in corners, and along the baseboards to make sure that you get all the dirt. If you skip this part, you’ll have a hard time when you start wet cleaning.

When you’re using such tools regularly, it means that that it has to be really good so you should choose them with caution. Your floors will reward you with long life when you properly care for them

Deep Cleaning

You can’t deep clean your vinyl plank flooring every single day and that okay. However, every once in a while you need to do more than just the basic sweeping. Here’s what to do when you notice that your floor needs a little bit more:

Mops

After you have prepped your floor for wet cleaning, it’s now time to get the mop to finish the job. Ensure that the mop has soft bristles; one with a microfiber mop head is recommended. If it has stiff bristles or a built-in scrub brush, it can easy damage your floor.

You may also use sponge mops that are very gentle on the floor and protect it from unnecessary abrasions. It doesn’t matter what you prefer, as long as the job is done well.

The final step in the cleaning process is to dry the floor using a clean rag or towel. If water is left to stagnate for long, it’ll damage or stain the floor. Make sure that you wring the mop thoroughly to remove any excess water before using it.

Cleaning Solutions

Before you use any products to clean your floors, it’s imperative that you consult about which cleaner is okay to use and which isn’t. Only use products that the manufacturer suggests so that you can get the most out of your floors.

If you aren’t so sure about what to use, stick to the basics. You can never go wrong with warm water to which dish soap has been added and start mopping. Liquid dishwashing soap is great for grimy or extremely dirty floors.

Is it okay to use Vinegar?

While vinegar may cause damage to certain types of flooring and surfaces, it’s quite fortunate that vinyl plank floors cannot be damaged by vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is an excellent vinyl plank floor cleaner since it doesn’t have any harsh chemicals. You may add a bit of vinegar to your soap and water mixture to bring the sparkle back to your floors.

Thanks to its acidity, vinegar does an amazing job at removing grime and dirt without leaving behind any residue and build up like regular soap or wax. However, you shouldn’t use full-strength vinegar to clean vinyl flooring as it dulls the finish and you won’t be able to polish the floor to bring back the shine.

To make a vinegar solution, fill a bucket three-fourths with warm water (about a gallon) and add a cup of water.

If you would like to add a little shine to the floors, add a few drops of baby oil to the water and vinegar mixture.

If you would like to disinfect the floors as you’re cleaning, use white vinegar instead.

Once you’re done cleaning with your preferred cleaning solution, go back over the floors with a clean mop to get all the soap and vinegar from the vinyl plank flooring.

Commercial Cleaners

In most cases, plain water, soap, and vinegar are enough to clean your vinyl floors and maintain their pristine condition. However, your floors need a little bit of extra care every once in a while.

To properly clean the flooring and extend its life, use commercial cleaners that are recommended by the manufacturer and are specially designed for vinyl floors.

Is it okay to use Baking Soda?

Baking soda paste may be used to easily remove stains from vinyl floors. To make a simple baking soda solution, mix water with baking soda and use it to clean the affected area until the stain comes off.

Cleaning Products to Avoid

Using harsh, corrosive, and abrasive cleaning products and tools damage the vinyl plank flooring. To keep the floor looking as good as new, you should avoid any high-pH detergents, bleach, ammonia or ammonia-based cleaning products.

No matter how dirty your vinyl flooring is, never use any of the cleaning products we mentioned no matter how dirty the floor may be. These are too harsh and will break down your flooring leading to cracks.

Scratches and Scuffs

Do you have any stubborn scuffs that can’t seem to get out? We’ll teach you a couple of easy ways to return your floors to their original glory.

The best way to prevent scratches and scuffs is by making sure that the abrasions don’t occur in the first place. You can prevent damage by getting a good-quality doormat or carpet for the doorway and sweeping the floor every day.  Another way to protect your floors from scuff marks and tears is to use a sheet of plywood or paneling every time you need to move furniture across the floor. You may also need to use vinyl coasters under the legs of furniture to protect the flooring against permanent indentations.

If you notice any scratch or scuff on your floor, do not worry – there are several ways in which you can remove it:

If it’s small, some light buffing will do the trick. Try using a spot repair kit to remove the mark. If the scratch is larger, consider applying a vinyl floor sealer to hide the scratch. Alternatively, you can apply some WD-40 lubricant on a towel and rub it over the scratch until it goes away.

For a more serious scratch, dent, cut, or gorge, you will have to replace the plank. This also applies if the scuff is due to wearing away of the protective layer, due to back and forth rubbing.

Try using WD-40 for stubborn scuffs that won’t come off with regular cleaning. Afterwards, wipe the area with soapy water to be sure that none of it is left on the floor. Jojoba oil, just like WD-40, is a more natural alternative that may also be used to remove scuffs.

Cleaning Stains on Vinyl Plank Flooring

Don’t ever let a stain on your vinyl flooring bring you down. There are some hacks that can help you remove pesky stains from your floor.

Food stains such as those caused by ketchup, mustard, tomato sauce, or juices, make a baking soda paste and gently rub it over the surface until the stain goes away. Once you’re done, clean the floor to completely remove the baking soda.

For other stains like lipstick, dyes, or ink stains on the vinyl flooring, try rubbing it using isopropyl alcohol or 3% hydrogen peroxide. Then use a soft bristle brush to help remove the stains. Use mineral spirits, also known as white spirits to remove stains like crayon, paint, and marker stains. Use a nail polish that contains acetone to remove nail polish stains. Use an anti-rust sponge to clean rust; don’t scrub the area roughly.

Wherever possible, clean the spills as soon as they happen to prevent staining.

Maintaining your Vinyl Plank Flooring

Maintaining your floors basically requires you to keep away any materials that may scratch it off the floor at all times.

Here are the dos and don’ts:

Dos

  • Sweep and vacuum regularly, especially before wet cleaning
  • Use furniture pads at all times
  • Use doormats at entranceways
  • Use brush with soft bristles to clean the floor
  • Keep hot items like heaters, ashes, or coals from vinyl flooring
  • Use plywood whenever you need to move heavy items across the floor

Don’ts

  • Don’t use abrasive or corrosive cleaning products
  • Don’t scrub off stains using steel wool or sharp objects, they’ll remove the top layer of the laminate
  • Don’t drag large items across the room
  • Avoid furniture that has rollers unless you plan on placing them on a rug
  • Never use ammonia or bleach to clean the floor
  • Try not to use a lot of water or leave it to sit for long

Is it okay to wax your floor?

All you need to do to maintain the floors’ high shine is to wash them following the instructions we gave above.

You shouldn’t wax old vinyl plank flooring hoping that they’ll get their luster back. Instead of shining your floor, wax leaves a thin film that builds up and causes the floor to look anything but sparkling. Floor waxes are made from carnauba wax which makes it a solid substance. The wax also requires a special buffing tool to apply it to the floor.

Vinyl plank flooring doesn’t require the application of any type of wax. However, if you really need to, there is a special type of wax specially formulated for vinyl floors that you can use. Make sure that you follow the instructions carefully.

You may also use an acrylic finish which is a liquid-based substance that is applied using a mop and bucket. Although it’s not a requirement, it is recommended on areas where scuffing or scratching is likely to occur. It provides a protective barrier on the floor when applied correctly and, therefore, adds to the longevity of the floor.

Conclusion

Vinyl plank flooring is low maintenance, durable, and long-lasting but that doesn’t mean that it’s indestructible. Improper cleaning of the floor makes it lose its appeal quickly especially in a home with high traffic. Fortunately, cleaning vinyl flooring is fairly easy and inexpensive and it will keep the floors looking beautiful for years to come.

Take proper care of your floor and you’ll maintain its eye-catching appearance and keep the floor as flawless as if it’s new. Keep all the cleaning tips we gave you in mind and be sure to follow them every time you clean your vinyl flooring.

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