How to Clean Vinyl Floors

Vinyl flooring is one of the most popular and durable floor types around, being both designed to withstand wear and tear and waterproof. Not only is it easy to install, but it’s also easy to maintain and clean!

If you’re not sure how to take care of your vinyl planks or tiles on a daily basis, or need to get rid of some more stubborn stains, read this guide to learn the best ways to clean vinyl flooring.

What is the best thing to clean vinyl floors with?

On a regular basis, you can use normal cleaning tools to do light cleaning for your vinyl floors, such as:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Broom
  • Dust mop
  • Microfiber cloths

However, if you’re looking to do a more thorough clean, there are a number of options:

  • Vinegar and water
  • Dish soap or detergent
  • Store-bought floor cleaner
  • Baking soda and water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • WD-40

To understand the pros and cons of vinyl flooring and how to best maintain it, read our vinyl floor guide.

How to gently clean vinyl floors

Step 1: Sweep or vacuum every day to get rid of surface dirt

It’s good to use low-impact cleaning techniques as a first port of call on a daily basis, and taking care of any spills when they happen.

Using your vacuum, broom, or dust mop, remove dirt to avoid causing scratches on the surface of your vinyl floor. You can also remove scuff marks with a damp microfiber cloth.

Step 2: Use water and a mop when necessary

If your vacuum or broom aren’t doing the trick, you can use a wet mop.

Fill a bucket with warm (but not hot) water, and make sure to wring out your mop well. Use as little water as you can, because excess water can affect the finish of your vinyl or weaken the floor’s adhesive – although special water proof vinyl is more resistant and best-suited for bathrooms and kitchens. For that reason, we recommend only mopping on occasion rather than on a daily basis.

Work your way towards the room entrance or exit and mop as you go. 

Step 3: Dry the floor

To preserve the floor’s finish and prevent any hard water stains, go over your floor with a dry towel after mopping. You can also let the floor air dry.

How to deep clean vinyl floors

For stains that don’t go away with your regular cleaning route, you can use a cleaning solution on your vinyl floor. Gentle cleansers are the best option as they will clean your floors without causing irreversible damage.

Mop your floor with a cleaning solution and water

You can add a homemade or store-bought cleaning solution to your bucket for mopping your vinyl floor, for example:

  • Vinegar: A cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar mixed with a gallon of water is a mild option that cleans thoroughly without affecting the finish of your floor.
  • Dish soap: You can use a few drops of dish soap or degreasing detergent, mixed with water or added to a vinegar and water solution for a deeper clean.
  • Floor cleaner: A specialised cleaner is a good option to preserve the finish of your floors, but check the product label of commercial floor cleansers to make sure they are appropriate for vinyl floors.

Don’t forget to rinse your floor with water after using a cleaning solution.

How to tackle tough stains on vinyl floors

There are a few different products you can use to get rid of tough stains like tomato sauce, grease, and lipstick:

1. Remove food stains with baking soda

If your vinyl floors have discolouration from tomato sauce or red wine, mix two tablespoons of baking soda with two tablespoons of water into a paste. Baking soda is mildly abrasive and is therefore great at getting rid of tougher stains.

Wipe away excess liquid, spread the paste on the stains, and gently rub it in with a microfibre cloth. 

2. Removing grease, makeup, and ink stains with rubbing alcohol

Use a clean microfibre cloth dampened with a bit of rubbing alcohol, starting at the edge of the stain. Prevent smearing by using clean sections of the microfibre cloth as you work your way towards the centre. This will remove the pigment from the stain to make it more easily wiped off, without causing any damage.

3. Removing scuff marks with WD-40

Scuffs from shoes or furniture can be taken care of with a small amount of WD-40 sprayed on directly, then buffed in with a dry microfiber cloth. 

You can also try scrubbing with a soft nylon brush, but avoid steel wool and stiff brushes as they will scratch your vinyl floor.

Rinse and dry your vinyl floor after deep cleaning

If you deep clean your vinyl floor with a cleaning solution, make sure to go over it with a fresh bucket of water and clean mop for rinsing to prevent leaving a sticky film or residue. You can also use a small cloth with a bit of water to wipe off a cleaning product used in a small area. Even if the cleaning product doesn’t require rinsing, this is the best way to preserve the finish. 

When you’re done, use a clean tower to dry your floor or let it air dry.

FAQ

What is the best way to clean vinyl floors?

Vinyl floors are durable and easy to maintain, so regular sweeping or vacuuming is the best way to keep them clean. If you do need to do a more thorough clean, our favourite method is to mop the floor with a vinegar and water solution, and then towel drying for a nice finish.

Will vinegar damage vinyl floors?

No, vinegar will not damage your vinyl floors. You can use either a cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar with a gallon of warm water. This is an effective but non-abrasive disinfectant.

Can I use bleach or ammonia on vinyl floors?

No, do not use bleach or ammonia on vinyl floors. Avoid any abrasive cleanser as they can damage and remove the shine of your floors. 

Can I use a stiff brush or steel wool to clean vinyl floors?

No, avoid using abrasive tools on your vinyl floors as this may damage them.

How do I remove nail-polish from a vinyl floor?

If you’ve spilled nail polish, use an acetone-free nail polish remover with a microfibre cloth. Do not use acetone as this may damage the surface of your floor.

Can I steam mop vinyl flooring?

Do not use a steam mop or hot water on your vinyl flooring. You should avoid using too much heat on your floors, as it can warp vinyl.

We hope this guide helped you make your vinyl flooring as good as new! However, if your floors are starting to look old and need replacing, check out our extensive range of vinyl flooring.

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