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How to Clean Vinyl Floors (And What Not to Do!)

Close up of a traditional mop on dark, wood-like looking vinyl flooring

There’s a lot to love about modern vinyl floors. Whether you opt for luxury vinyl tile (LVT) or luxury vinyl planks (LVP), you can count on this long-lasting, realistic-looking, low-maintenance, and often waterproof material to stand the test of time. Even though vinyl flooring is easy to care for, it can still be damaged if not maintained properly.

Arming yourself with the right tools and information can help you protect your investment. Here’s what you need to know about cleaning vinyl flooring in 2024.

The 9 Best Ways to Clean Vinyl Floors

LVT is known to resist scratches and dents, but it’s not completely impenetrable—especially in high-traffic areas like kitchens, living rooms, and entryways. Here are the most effective ways to clean this budget-friendly material, as well as some methods you should avoid.

As one of the best flooring companies in Portland, Floor Factors knows a thing or two about cleaning and maintaining luxury vinyl. Find recommended techniques, expert tips, and best practices below.

Woman is vacuuming her vinyl flooring using a purple handheld vacuum1) Vacuum Before Mopping

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many homeowners forget this crucial step! Always vacuum your floors before mopping to prevent scratches and ensure dirt, hair, crumbs, and other debris are effectively removed.

2) Opt for a Spray Mop

Spray mops are ideal for most hard flooring materials, including vinyl. They’re easy to use: fill the tank with a cleaning solution, pull the trigger on the handle to disperse the spray, and maneuver the head across your floors—no bucket or wringing needed!

3) DIY with Vinegar

Wondering if vinegar damages vinyl? While acidic substances can wear down porous surfaces like granite and hardwood, vinegar is excellent for cleaning LVT. Mix about a cup of distilled white vinegar with a gallon of hot water (or one part vinegar with 16 parts water) and mop away. This homemade solution effectively removes dirt without leaving a soapy residue.

4) Shampoo Sticky Residues

Shampoo can work in a pinch, especially for removing hairspray, spilled soda, fruit juice, and other sticky substances from LVT flooring. Mix one or two squirts of shampoo with a gallon of warm water. Use the mixture to mop or gently scrub the area, then go over it with a clean, slightly damp mop head or cloth.

5) Remove Scuffs with Baking Soda

Box of baking soda and some in a glass bowl for cleaning floorsGot scuffs? Try baking soda. In a small bucket or bowl, combine one part water with three parts baking soda. Apply the paste to the marks and gently scrub with a clean toothbrush, sponge, or textured cloth. Once the scuffs are gone, wipe up any excess paste with a clean, damp rag.

6) Address Tougher Stains with Rubbing Alcohol

For deep-cleaning vinyl floors, rubbing alcohol is your best bet. From lipstick stains and crayon marks to soot streaks and mystery spills, this all-star liquid tackles tough stains effectively. Dab a small amount of undiluted rubbing alcohol onto a paper towel or clean cloth and gently scrub the stain until it lifts..

7) Try WD-40

If baking soda and rubbing alcohol don’t do the trick, try WD-40. The water-displacing spray contains penetrating oils that clean stuck-on residues and stubborn stains like magic.

8) Use a Soft-Bristle Brush

To clean vinyl flooring with ground-in dirt, use a soft brush. Whether you use baking soda, rubbing alcohol, vinegar, or WD-40, the bristles will help you access deep grooves and hard-to-reach crevices.

9) Preserve with Polish

Luxury vinyl never needs to be refinished or waxed, but if the surface loses its initial sheen, spruce it up with a wax-free polish or a sealant formulated specifically for LVT.

Pro Tip: Avoid Drenching Your Floors in Water

While vinyl is usually waterproof, it’s best to avoid drenching the material in water. Excessive moisture can create premature cracks and potentially weaken the adhesive bond.

What Is the Best Cleaner for Vinyl Floors?

The best cleaners for vinyl are easy to find at our Portland store! We carry a variety of cleaning supplies, and our flooring experts can help you choose the best solution for your needs. We often recommend Mannington Rinse-Free Cleaner for Vinyl Floors or Armstrong Once N’ Done No-Rinse Floor Cleaner. Always use a solution formulated for no-wax floors and follow the directions on the container.

High-Quality Flooring Materials & Maintenance Supplies from Our Portland Flooring Store

For over 40 years, Floor Factors has served homeowners as a one-stop-shop renovation destination. In addition to high-quality floor-covering materials, we offer window treatments, cabinets, and countertops.

Our friendly and knowledgeable team is here to assist with design consulting and a variety of residential remodeling services. If you have questions about maintaining your floors, we have answers. Contact us today!