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How to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring Using the Right Tools & Techniques

man wearing blue button up shirt holding four different tile samples of vinyl flooring

What’s not to love about vinyl flooring? It looks gorgeous; it’s versatile, durable, available in virtually any pattern and design to perfectly mimic other materials, and it comes at a reasonable price! Made from PVC and a host of other compounds, vinyl is a popular floor type for both home and commercial use. 

It can be purchased and installed as sheets, tiles, or planks, and unlike many types of flooring, the material is resistant to scratches and water. 

On the whole, these perks make cleaning vinyl flooring an absolute breeze to clean and maintain! With that said, however, there is still a right and wrong way of cleaning the material, and you certainly don’t want to end up doing the latter!

When you know how to clean and care for vinyl plank flooring properly, you can keep the material in pristine condition for years to come! So, without further ado, let’s get right to Maid For You’s cleaning guide for vinyl planks.

Approved Cleaning Tools & Cleaners for Vinyl Plank Flooring

Person cleaning vinyl floor under fabric couch with a spin mop

Owing to their durability and resistance to water, most tools and cleaning solutions are suitable for vinyl flooring. Of course, it pays to know which ones aren’t and (equally important to know) which ones are in order to achieve the best cleaning results. Read on to learn more. 

For Regular Cleaning

In households where the floor is cleaned daily or weekly, there isn’t a need for special cleaning tools or products. Nevertheless, these tips will help get the most out of using regular cleaning tools/cleaners on vinyl plank flooring:

Vacuum Cleaner

Yes, vacuuming vinyl is safe, however, using certain attachments such as a beater bar that is intended for carpets, is not. A regular brush attachment is recommended to effectively pick up fine dust and debris from vinyl planks.

Dust Mops

 Due to its smooth finish, gliding a dust mop over vinyl flooring is quick, convenient, and effective in removing dust and dirt from the surface. It is particularly useful for daily or light cleaning.

Soft Brooms

 Regular brooms with soft bristles and a dustpan are perfect for sweeping vinyl flooring. Steer clear of hard-bristled brooms as they are not effective in gathering surface dirt, and may also leave tiny scratches on the material if too much pressure is applied.

For Deep Cleaning

When it’s time to give your vinyl floor a deeper clean, vacuuming and sweeping will suffice, however, the type of mop and floor cleaner you choose will make all the difference between average cleaning results and a pristine, stain-free vinyl floor. 

Take a look at these recommended cleaning tools and floor cleaning solutions for your vinyl plank flooring:

Spin Mop

 Although vinyl flooring is water-resistant, it is not waterproof; therefore, the use of a spin mop is ideal because it is easy to wring, and comes in a variety of mop head materials. Microfibre and nylon spin mops are highly recommended for cleaning vinyl flooring.

Spray Mop

 With a spray mop, you never have to worry about water or the floor cleaner sitting on the surface because it gets mopped up as soon as you spritz the floor. It is incredibly convenient to use, and great for spot clean stains on vinyl planks.

DIY Vinyl Floor Cleaner

To make a safe, homemade floor cleaning solution for vinyl planks, all you need is diluted vinegar and an essential oil of your choosing. If your floor is grimier than usual, adding a few drops of dishwashing liquid is a great way to cut through stubborn grease and/or stains; however, it is not advisable to clean vinyl flooring with dish detergent regularly as it leaves a residue/buildup on the surface over time.

Commercial Vinyl Cleaner

 There are plenty of commercial products specially made to clean vinyl plank flooring. These are especially useful and effective when deep cleaning vinyl once a month.

Steps to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring

acqua coloured spin mop being used to clean vinyl plank flooring

With the information above in your back pocket, you are now armed with crucial knowledge on what to use and what not to use when cleaning your vinyl flooring. All that’s left to learn is the sequence in which you need to go about cleaning the surface. For that, simply follow the steps below.

Step One: Remove Surface Debris

It is important to clean up debris from vinyl flooring regularly as fine grains of dirt can cause small scratches on the surface when dragged around by foot traffic. Additionally, dusty floor planks make your vinyl look dull and drab. To remove dirt and debris from the surface, you can use any of the approved cleaning tools mentioned earlier, just be sure to do a thorough job as leftover dust or dirt can create a bigger mess on the floor when water is introduced.

Step Two: Pick the Cleaning Solution

For light cleaning, mix 1 cup of apple cider vinegar in 1 gallon of water, and add 5-10 drops of your chosen essential oil (for fragrance); give the solution a vigorous stir before using it. You can also choose a store-bought vinyl floor cleaner for both light and deep cleaning, however, it is important to select a product that is best suited for your finish. For example, if your vinyl has a wax coating, purchase a cleaning product specially formulated for wax finishes. 

Step Three: Mop the Floor

Other than not saturating the material, there are no hard and fast rules when mopping vinyl plank flooring. There are, however, general tips that one should follow in order to achieve the best results. These include discarding the water when it starts to look dirty and replacing it with a fresh batch of your cleaning solution; always begin at a corner that is farthest away from the exit to avoid walking over a freshly mopped or damp part of the floor; and paying extra attention to stains or stubborn marks by applying more elbow grease when needed. 

Step Four: Rinse the Floor

Far too many people skip this step and yet, it is a very important part of cleaning your vinyl flooring. When you leave any type of cleaning solution on a vinyl surface, it tends to create a film over the material that leaves the floor looking dull even after washing it. This can very easily be avoided by simply rinsing the floor with a clean mop dampened with plain water. For added sheen, you can go one step further to buff the vinyl floor by drying it with a clean towel. 

At Maid For You, we don’t believe in basic, average cleaning results when there is always a way to clean better and smarter! Well, the good news is that now you can too, thanks to these awesome cleaning tips and simple steps to clean vinyl plank flooring with the right tools and techniques! 

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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