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How to Clean Vinyl Floors & What to Avoid?

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The cleaning products and cleaning methods that you use on your tiled floors should be different, than what you use on your hardwood floors, and different than what you use to clean vinyl floors. This is because different floor materials have different reactions to different chemicals and materials.

How to Clean Vinyl Floors

How should you clean your vinyl floors? 

When cleaning your vinyl floors, it is important to be sure that the cleaning substance you are using is vinyl-safe. After making a homemade mixture of apple cider vinegar and water, use a damp mop to run this mixture over your dry-swept area of flooring. 

While Vinyl flooring is known for its resilience and easy care, it is possible to permanently damage it! Make sure you do your research and don’t just try any old cleaning practices.

There are only a few really important things to remember before you start cleaning your vinyl floors, read this article and you will be an expert on all things vinyl floor! 

How to Clean Vinyl Floors 

The first step in cleaning vinyl floors should be a first step in cleaning any kind of flooring.

Dry Clean your Vinyl floors

Before wet clean, we always need to dry clean our vinyl floors. You want to get all the dry dirt and dust off of them before you take your mop.

Dry Clean dust mop your Vinyl floors

Take a dust mop and remove any debris. If you’re using a vacuum, don’t use one with a beater bar or power rotary brush head. These can really damage the vinyl.

You want to be sure to dry clean first because you don’t want to spread the debris around with a mop.

Wet clean your floors

Vinyl floors are waterproof so we don’t need to be extra cautious about spilling to much water bon them . At the same time you still need to wring your mop well. In Worst case, Excess water can seep into the fibres and cause damage to the floors internally.

As far as cleaning solution…

You can either choose to make homemade sollution or buy one of well know Cleaning brands for reasonable price.

Homemade cleaning solution for Vinyl floors

The best homemade solution to clean your vinyl floor is made by mixing apple cider vinegar (white vinegar is a good substitute if that is all you have) with warm water.

How to Clean Vinyl Floors & What to Avoid?

If you’re looking to create a bit more of a shine after you clean, try adding a bit of baby oil to your homemade cleaning solution, this will give the floor a nice, shiny finish! 

Best Vinyl Floor Cleaners We Recommend 

If making your own mixture doesn’t seem like it’s in your comfort zone or you’ve tried it and it hasn’t had the effects you were expecting, there are many great vinyl floor cleaners that you can purchase that may do the job a bit better than your homemade mixture can.

Just make sure it is pH-neutral and always read producer’s instructions, where vinyl should be mentioned.

Here are our favorites that you can easily find on Amazon. 

1. Rejuvenate Luxury Vinyl Flooring Cleaner

Rejuvenate is a great brand when it comes to vinyl floor cleaning. This product of theirs is called “Rejuvenate High Performance Luxury Vinyl Tile Plank Floor Cleaner”.

It is a pH neutral solution that will leave your vinyl floors looking brand new, without leaving and streaks or damage from moisture. This particular cleaner has amazing reviews and you should definitely consider to give it a try.

2. Bona hard surface floor cleaner

This is another well known and one of best selling cleaning brands in USA. Bona hard surface floor Cleaner is great for cleaning your vinyl floors. It won’t leave any streaks, dries really fast, and is safe for all people and pets.

3. Zep neutral pH Floor Cleaner

Lastly, we recommend this cleaner. The Zep Neutral pH Floor Cleaner Concentrate is amazing at cleaning your vinyl floors. You add a bit to water, and then mop the mixture over the area you are cleaning. It maintains the polish of the floor without stripping any protective coating.

No matter which of the above choices you make, your floors with be perfectly safe, and left with a clean, glossy look. 

What Causes Vinyl Discoloration?

Many people choose vinyl flooring for their home because it is affordable, durable, and has the look of a classic hardwood floor.

Vinyl floors are durable but as we said before, they are not invincible. They are water-resistant, but not waterproof. Excess moisture from underneath or on top can cause discoloration stains.

If you spill a dark liquid such as wine or a dark juice or soda, that can also cause a discoloration stain. Luckily, for most of these there is a fix.

Related blog post: What happens if vinyl flooring gets wet?

How to make home vinyl discoloration fixer?

To fix discoloration on vinyl floors, you can create a simple solution at home by mixing baking soda and water together to create a paste.

You can use this with a soft-bristled brush to erase the stain. If you’re dealing with scuffs in addition to the stains, try using a bit of WD-40 oil with that soft bristled brush and they’ll come right out.

What to Avoid with Vinyl Floors 

Two main things to avoid with vinyl floors:

  1. Always avoid ammonia-based products as well as abrasive cleaners – It is so important to only use products that are vinyl floor safe. This includes any products you get from the store that specifically say so, or homemade products that contain vinegar, water or baking soda.
  2. Never use a rubber pad – use only felt pads. Rubber is potentially damaging to vinyl floors because of the way it reacts with the chemicals found in vinyl. Heat from sunlight or from foot traffic can cause a ration between the rubber in the rug pad and the chemicals in the vinyl that could leave permanent stains on your flooring. There is no way to get these stains out, and you will have to replace that section of flooring. Many cheap rug pads are made with a plastic called PVC, these can adhere to the floors and react with the vinyl to actually affect the air in your home. 

Can you use a swiffer on vinyl plank flooring? 

Yes! Swiffer Wet Jet can be used on your vinyl plank flooring, but be careful not to use the abrasive scrub on the other side. The Swiffer Wet Jet was actually designed to be used on vinyl floors, so you can’t get much better than that! 

Extensive article on this subject : Can you use swiffer on vinyl plank flooring?

Will bleach hurt vinyl floors?

There are mixed reviews on whether or not you can use bleach to clean vinyl plank flooring. Some say yes, if you dilute it enough, but we definitely do not recommend it. Bleach is a harsh chemical, like ammonia-based cleaners, bleach can damage the vinyl floors and can cause cracking or even shedding on your vinyl floors. You don’t want bleach or ammonia-caused staining and damage because unfortunately, they are impossible to reverse. You will have to replace the damaged planks with new flooring. Always use neutral p-H cleaners on your vinyl flooring.