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How to Care for Vinyl Plank Flooring

June 23, 2020

Comprehensive Guide to Cleaning and Maintaining Vinyl Tile Flooring

Vinyl plank is rapidly becoming the flooring of choice in many households, thanks to its durability and aesthetic appeal. Renowned for its ability to withstand heavy foot traffic and its long-lasting nature, vinyl flooring remains an excellent option for various areas in the home. However, like any flooring, vinyl requires proper maintenance to retain its pristine condition. By following some simple and cost-effective cleaning methods from the beginning, you can ensure your vinyl floors stay beautiful for years to come.

Preventing Dirt and Stains: The First Line of Defense

The most effective way to keep your vinyl floors clean is to prevent dirt and debris from entering your home in the first place. High-quality doormats placed at entry points such as main entrances and balconies can significantly reduce the amount of dirt that gets tracked inside. This simple step can solve many potential cleaning problems before they even begin.

The Basics of Vinyl Floor Cleaning

Daily and Weekly Cleaning Routine

For routine cleaning, using just water and a mop can work wonders. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
  1. Dry Mop or Vacuum: Begin by using a dry mop or a vacuum with a soft bristle attachment to remove loose dust, dirt, and hair. Pay special attention to areas under furniture and kitchen cabinets where dirt tends to accumulate.
  2. Damp Mop: After dry mopping, proceed with a damp mop. Avoid using excessive water as it can seep into the seams and cause damage. Always ensure the mop is damp rather than soaking wet.

Quick Response to Spills

To prevent staining, it’s crucial to wipe up spills as soon as they occur. Immediate action can stop liquids from penetrating and causing stubborn stains.

Effective Cleaning Solutions for Vinyl Floors

Using Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a fantastic cleaning agent for vinyl floors due to its acidic nature, which helps break down dirt without leaving a soapy residue.
  • Recipe: Mix one part apple cider vinegar with a gallon of warm water.
  • Application: Use a damp mop soaked in this solution. Ensure the mop is wrung out well before use to avoid leaving excess water on the floor.

Enhanced Cleaning for Dirty Floors

If your floor is particularly dirty, add a few drops of dish detergent to the vinegar solution. Mop the floor with this mixture and then follow up with a vinegar and water rinse to remove any soap residue.
  • Optional Shine: For extra shine, add a couple of drops of baby oil to the solution.

Tackling Stubborn Stains

Certain stains require specific treatments. Here are some effective methods:
  • General Stains: For general stains, apply jojoba oil onto a towel and rub the stained area. Clean with the vinegar solution afterward.
  • Juice or Ketchup Stains: Make a paste of baking soda and water, gently rub it onto the stain, then clean the area to remove any baking soda residue.
  • Lipstick, Dye, or Ink Stains: Use rubbing alcohol to remove these stains.
  • Crayon or Paint Marks: Mineral spirits are effective for these types of marks.
  • Nail Polish Stains: Use nail polish remover, but ensure you thoroughly clean the area with plain water and a soft cloth afterward.

General Stain Removal Tips

  • Soft Bristle Brush: Always use a soft bristle brush to avoid scratching the surface.
  • Thorough Cleaning: After treating any stain, it’s crucial to clean the area thoroughly to ensure no cleaning agents remain.

Preventing Scratches and Dents

To prevent scratches or dents, especially when moving furniture, place plywood sheets under the furniture to help move it across the floor smoothly.

Products and Methods to Avoid

When cleaning vinyl floors, certain products and methods can cause more harm than good:
  • Beater Bar Attachment: Avoid using this attachment on your vacuum cleaner as it can damage the floor.
  • Abrasive Scrubbers and High pH Cleaners: These can dull the finish of your vinyl floors.
  • Polishing: Do not polish vinyl floors as it can lead to a slippery surface and damage the floor over time.

Professional Cleaning Services

If your vinyl floors become severely dirty or dull, consider hiring a professional vinyl floor cleaning service. Professionals have the tools and expertise to restore the look of your flooring efficiently. However, with regular and proper care, you can keep your vinyl floors looking their best without the need for professional intervention.


Maintaining vinyl flooring is straightforward with the right approach. By preventing dirt from entering your home, using gentle and effective cleaning solutions, and addressing stains promptly, you can ensure your vinyl floors remain stunning and durable for years. With a little daily care and the occasional deep cleaning, your vinyl floors will continue to enhance the beauty of your home.