How to Clean Vinyl Floors

Vinyl flooring is a tried-and-tested flooring solution approved by homeowners of every kind. After all, it’s affordable, durable and aesthetic. Best of all, vinyl floors work great in almost any application, from kitchens and bathrooms to dining rooms and living rooms.

Plus, your vinyl floor doesn’t require any intricate care like granite, bamboo or even hardwood floors do. But even though vinyl flooring solutions require the least maintenance, that doesn’t mean you can just install them and forget them. There are a few things that you should do regularly to keep your floors looking spick and span. Here’s how to clean your vinyl floor the right way.

The best way to clean vinyl floors

With a few simple tools and a little effort, your vinyl floors will be as good as new. Here are the tools that you’ll need for cleaning vinyl floors:

  • A broom and dustpan or a vacuum
  • A bucket and a soft mop
  • Microfibre cloths for touch stains and scuffs
  • Baking soda, dish soap and vinegar

Step 1: Remove debris

Using your broom or vacuum, remove any dirt, food, trash, etc. from the floor. If you choose to vacuum your vinyl, don’t use the beater bar attachment, as doing so can scratch or damage the vinyl surface.

Step 2: Buff out scuffs, scratches and stains

Wet the microfibre cloth with water, then gently rub any scuffs or scratches. For stubborn stains, combine baking soda and water to make a paste, then spread the paste on the stain. Rub the paste onto the stain, then wipe it away with a clean cloth.

Step 3: Mop and dry

Fill your bucket with a solution of water and vinegar (1 cup of vinegar combined with around 4 litres of water). Add a few drops of dish soap if desired. Dip the head of the mop into the solution, wring out excess liquid and then mop the vinyl.

Tackling tough stains

Food stains like tomato sauce can often be lifted with a simple baking soda paste mixture. But what if your stain just isn’t coming off? Try these tips.

  • Grease, lipstick, crayon or ink stains — Wet a microfibre cloth with rubbing alcohol. Rub the material on the stain in gentle circles, starting from the outside and working your way in to prevent the stain from smearing.
  • Nail polish — Use a small splash of nail polish remover to lift the polish from the floor.
  • Stubborn scuffs — For stubborn shoe or furniture scuff marks, spray the area with a small amount of WD-40. Use a microfibre cloth to buff the scuff out of the floor. Mop with a solution of water and vinegar to remove any remaining WD-40.
  • Dried paint or gum — Using a putty knife, gently pry up or scrape away the gum or paint. Be careful not to be too rough or you may damage the vinyl.

11 extra tips for cleaning vinyl floors

1. Wipe up any spills as soon as they happen. While vinyl doesn’t stain easily, you still don’t want to take any chances!

2. Give your floor a thorough cleaning once a week. Sweep or vacuum up any debris, then mop with a gentle cleaning solution to clean sticky or tacky spots and make your floor look shiny and new.

3. Always dry your vinyl floors after you mop — pools of water can cause warping that will make your vinyl floor unsightly. Excessive warping may even require you to replace your vinyl floors.

4. Never use abrasive tools such as steel wool on your vinyl floor — they may get the stain off, but they’ll also damage the vinyl permanently.

5. Don’t use any polishes or waxes on your floor. Vinyl doesn’t need these, and continuous applications can cause a waxy buildup that can be a trip hazard. Likewise, soapy cleaners are also a no-go — the soapy film these products leave behind attracts and traps more dirt. Use water-based cleaning products or rinse off your floors with a solution of water and vinegar for the best results.

6. Keep doormats in front of any exterior doors, and consider using tasteful rugs throughout your home to help protect your vinyl and keep dust and dirt off the floor.

7. Apple cider vinegar is one of the best cleaning agents for vinyl floors. The acidic vinegar cuts through grime without making the floor slick and slippery. Plus, vinegar is a much more affordable cleaning material than almost any other cleaning agent out there!

8. If your vinyl floor looks dull, add a few drops of baby oil to your vinegar and water solution, then mop as normal. The oil will add some shine to your floor.

9. Protect your vinyl floors by placing furniture pads or feet protectors underneath your tables, chairs and other furniture. This will help prevent scuffs, scratches and indents that might mar the look of your floor. Need to move a heavy furniture item? Put a sheet of plywood or a piece of vinyl underneath the legs before moving to help prevent scratching, scuffing or tearing.

10. Dust and dirt can scratch and damage your floor over the long term, leaving it looking dull and unsightly. To prevent this, go over your floors a few times a week with a dust mop, broom or vacuum.

11. Steer clear of ammonia-based cleaning supplies and bleach. Using these can break down your vinyl floors, causing unsightly cracks, abrasions and discolouration.

Call in the experts for a professional clean

Now that you know how to clean your vinyl floors, we’ll offer one more tip: you don’t have to do it yourself! When your home needs some extra attention, Jim’s Cleaning is ready to help. Whether you’re looking for professional end-of-lease cleaning, car detailing or regular office or home cleaning, we do it all and then some.
If you’re busy but love the look and feel of a clean space, don’t stress — call us at 0800 454 654 or request a quote today and let our friendly professional technicians tackle the job for you.