While it is true that vinyl flooring is long-lasting and durable, it is certainly not an indestructible product. Even if it can withstand high foot traffic conditions, it is important to learn how to clean vinyl flooring properly. With proper care and maintenance, you are protecting your floor from all the grit, dents, and scratches that occur over time. Fortunately, maintaining your vinyl flooring is very straightforward because you don’t need to spend long hours to bring it back to life. Let’s rundown some effective tricks and tips to clean vinyl flooring.
Prevent Damage and Dirt
As the cliché goes, “Prevention is better than cure.” And maintaining a floor is no exception to this. The very first step to getting away from the hassle of permanent indentations or extensive scratches is to prevent them, to begin with. Minimize stains, abrasions, and dirt before they even occur. Thus, it is always a good idea to place a good quality area rug or doormat in front of the doorways. With the help of doormats, you are trying to keep out your vinyl flooring’s greatest foes: chemical and dirt. Tracked in dirt and chemicals from the outside can stick to your shoes, then to the floor, which will cause additional cleaning and yellow discoloration on your vinyl flooring.
Another way to prevent dents and scratches is to put protective pads under the feet and legs of hefty furniture. Heavy furniture when moved across the floor can cause tears or scuff marks on your vinyl flooring. If left unattended, scuff marks may lead to permanent indentations.
Do Regular Sweeping
One of the easiest tricks to clean vinyl flooring is by frequently sweeping. If you get the dirt to remove even before it gets ground in, you can assure that your vinyl will stay longer. Get the habit of quickly running your vinyl floor using a soft broom, especially across the kitchen floor, to avoid the build-up of dirt and dust.
Clean by Damp Mopping
Once a week or more often as needed, wipe and clean vinyl flooring using a damp mop or a cloth with a neutral detergent and warm water. Shampoo works on vinyl flooring as well. Combine a squirt of shampoo with one gallon of warm water, then mop the floor and rinse it off using a damp mop. Doing this will remove the dirt, keeping your vinyl flooring in top condition.
Apply Low-Impact Cleaning
You don’t always have to resort to using heavy-duty cleaners in removing all the dirt on your floor. The mildest methods are as effective to clean vinyl flooring. Before the day ends, sweep or vacuum your floor. Wipe the spills immediately to prevent stain formation. A mop with warm water helps clean the dirt that a vacuum or soft broom cannot get. And when all else fails, use a soap. Just make sure to use a soap specifically intended for vinyl flooring.
Use the Right Cleanser
It is important to understand that when you clean vinyl flooring, use only the right cleanser that is designed for vinyl. If you have vinyl flooring made with no-wax vinyl, wash them with a special cleaner made only for no-wax flooring. Make sure to follow the directions on the product container. On the other hand, if you have an older vinyl floor that needs waxing, start by cleaning it with detergent and warm water solution. Dampen a sponge or mop with the mixture, then rub it on the floor to remove the dirt. Keep in mind not to rub off the wax. Once done, rinse it with cool clean water.
Another great cleaner for vinyl flooring is apple cider vinegar. The acidity in apple cider vinegar removes grime and dirt without creating a buildup of wax or soap. Simply combine a cup of cider vinegar with a gallon of hot water. Clean vinyl flooring using a damp mop, then rinse the mop frequently with hot water. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can use white vinegar. Using white vinegar can also disinfect the floor as you clean. And if you want to add shine to the floor, you can add a few drops of baby oil to the water and vinegar solution.
Clean Tough Stains and Scuffs
Removing stubborn scuffs and stains on vinyl flooring is relatively easy. You can treat stains quickly by spot cleaning using a nylon pad and neutral detergent. Make sure to clean vinyl flooring from the outside of the stain, then move towards the center. Don’t forget to rinse and wipe it off with water.
There are other ways to clean tough stains and scuffs. If your vinyl floor has marker or pen stains, you can easily clean it using mineral spirit on a cloth, then rinse it well with water. On the other hand, stains from lemon, vinegar, or oil need to be removed immediately as they can lead to discoloration on the floor. A mixture of neutral detergent and warm water can remove these stains. If your vinyl flooring has rust stains, make sure to use an anti-rust sponge and rinse it off with water.
Soap works well as a vinyl floor cleaner. However, soap scum creates a film that collects dirt and grimes. It is crucial to rinse the vinyl floor thoroughly to prevent soap scums. Also, if the floor does not really need serious cleaning, you may want to refrain from using soap as an initial remedy and stick to damp mopping first.
Preserve its Luster
Most vinyl floors are protected with a polyurethane coating, so it does not need any polishing or waxing anymore. A simple cleaning routine is all that is required to keep it in great shape. Remember that no-wax vinyl flooring means “do not wax” it. This also means that you don’t have to use mop and wax products either. However, if your no-wax vinyl flooring loses its luster, you can preserve its sheen with a sealant or polish designed specifically for the no-wax vinyl floor. Apply one or two layers.
If you have an older vinyl floor that needs waxing, then use wax to restore its luster. Keep in mind to use only what is indicated on the container label.
What Not To Do
There are a few things you need to avoid when you start to clean vinyl flooring. Here are those:
DON’T drench the vinyl flooring. The use of an overly wet mop or excessive water will work its way into seams, cracks, and edges. It will eventually destroy the glue bond on your vinyl flooring.
DON’T use a beater bar attachment when vacuuming a vinyl flooring as it can damage the surface.
DON’T leave any spills on your vinyl flooring to air dry. Wipe up the spills immediately to prevent further damage.
DON’T use highly abrasive steel wool or scrubbers when cleaning your vinyl flooring. Steel wool and scrubbers can only cause scratches on your flooring.
DON’T ever steam clean vinyl flooring, even if it is water-resistant or waterproof.
DON’T apply detergents, “mop and shine” products, or abrasive cleaners on your vinyl flooring. These products leave a film on the floor which can attract dirt. Never use solvent-based polishes or paste wax as well.
DON’T clean vinyl flooring with black soap, abrasive powders, acetone, or oil-based products. These products may leave a film or cause discoloration on the floor.
Keep Your Vinyl Flooring in Great Shape
As long as you follow these useful tricks and tips, you will be on your way to making sure that your vinyl flooring is in great shape. However, if you feel that cleaning your vinyl flooring is no longer helpful, and you have done everything you can to clean it, don’t hesitate to call us today. We can do a no-obligation estimate to determine if your vinyl flooring needs repair or replacement.