How to Clean Vinyl Flooring

Newcomers to vinyl flooring are beside themselves with the ease of upkeep needed to keep their foundations in great shape for the long run. Many people think a special cleaning solution must be needed for this type of foundation; however, they quickly learn the truth, that easy everyday solutions are usually right in their cabinet. It could not be simpler to keep vinyl flooring looking great for years, and that’s one of its most wonderful traits.

Vinyl tile, sheet, or plank flooring is versatile and tough. While there are various types of wear layers on different materials, including shiny, matte, and textured, keeping it pristine is generally the same for each. You can keep that kitchen, bathroom, dining  room, and other space looking tidy and elegant with very little time and expense. Those with large families, small children, pets, and frequent visitor are especially appreciative of these helpful benefits with vinyl flooring.

While we all know that vinyl floors are extremely durable, there are instances when nicks or scratches can occur if certain materials are allowed to build up on the surface. This includes rough dirt, sand, and pebbles. You want to keep these thing swept clean off of your vinyl floors if you see it. Make it a regular habit to sweep or vacuum the floors clean each day in high-traffic areas, and a couple of times a week in other, less busy spots. This way, you can feel assured that rough particles won’t scratch the wear layers of your flooring.

For fine dust, lint, and small particles, you can use a dry mop regularly. Pay special attention to corners and under furniture where it will tend to accumulate. Dry mops and dusters do a good job of picking up the dusty build-up efficiently.

When using a wet mop—which in general is only needed occasionally or if there’s been a spill on the floor—use water alone or with a gentle cleansing agent. You do not need a special ingredient for vinyl floors, and in fact it’s recommended that you stay away from the harsh chemicals in some intense hard-floor cleaning products on the market. Go with either basic surface cleaner, white vinegar, or a  product specifically formulated for vinyl floors. Be sure to sweep, dry-mop, or vacuum before doing any all-over wet mopping.

Things To Avoid When Cleaning Your Vinyl Floor:

  • Robotic Vacuums For Carpeting Only
  • Standard Steam Cleaners
  • Abrasive Scrubbing Sponges
  • Gritty Cleansers
  • Black Soap
  • Oil-Based Cleansers
  • Harsh Chemicals Like Ammonia, Acetone, & Bleach
  • Sharp-Edged Tools
  • Puddles of Water

Deep Cleaning Vinyl

Before the holidays or during annual spring cleaning, you may wish to perform a “deep cleaning” on your vinyl floors. That extra-clean room feels great for the whole family and visitors, too.

Thankfully, even an intensive cleaning on vinyl floors doesn’t take much more effort than a standard clean-up. You won’t have to set aside an entire weekend or even a whole day. A fresh vinyl surface is easily attained by adding a tablespoon of one more ingredient to traditional vinegar cleaning mixtures: basic dish soap. Yes, this simple addition can do wonders. It grabs any missed dust or dirt in crevices and makes a vinyl floor look absolutely pristine & vibrant. Isn’t vinyl great!

Basic Cleaning With Vinegar

Many vinyl flooring connoisseurs firmly believe that cleaning with a do-it-yourself vinegar solution is the very best choice in keeping a vinyl floor looking great for years or decades. It’s easy, extremely affordable, and natural—what could be better. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Fill a clean bucket up to the ¾ mark with warm water.
  2. Pour in 1 cup of white vinegar.
  3. (Optional: Deep Cleans) Add 1 tablespoon of standard dish soap.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Mop the entire surface with the damp, wrung-out mop (avoid producing puddles).

Spot Cleaning Scuff Marks & More

As you gently mop the floor, perhaps you’ll see some scuff marks or stubborn dirt lines in certain spots. These can be briskly removed with WD-40 or a small amount of baking-soda paste on a soft cloth. Just lightly rub the marks and they should wipe away. Neatly rinse off any residue of baking soda as you don’t want to leave any abrasiveness behind.

For specific stain ingredients, keep these proven removal tips in mind:
  • Basic food stains: Use a damp cloth with mild surface cleaner.
  • Oil or citric juice: Wipe up right away with water and dish soap (leaving these substances on vinyl for long periods could discolor the surface wear layer).
  • Tomato-based sauce or blood: Dilute a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol in a small bucket of water and apply to the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse and wipe.
  • Marker or pen ink: If it will not wipe up with basic soap & water, use a small amount of mineral spirits then neatly rinse with water and and cloth.
  • Rust: Use an anti-rust scrubber VERY gently on the spot, being careful not to grind too hard and scratch the surface.
  • Grout marks: If vinyl tile floors include grout lines, use a toothbrush in warm water to gently scrub any buildup of dirt or marks on the grout portions.
Overall, vinyl flooring upkeep really just relies on common sense and simple solutions. Make it a habit to dust-mop corners and sweep or gently vacuum regularly. Depending on how busy your rooms are, you may want to use damp mops on it every week or month, using just water or adding a splash of fresh vinegar. Clearly, any mishaps like beverage splashes and spills can be handled easily with prompt wipe-ups. Whenever you notice a particular area that needs extra attention, use our helpful guide to address stain removal procedures. Full deep cleaning is fun & simple with just a bit of dish soap.

You can see why so many people appreciate the wonderful simplicity of keeping vinyl floors looking incredible for many, many years. It’s a popular flooring choice for many reasons, and easy cleaning is a big one.


When browsing vinyl floor materials, you’ll notice the various forms include vinyl sheet, composition tile, luxury vinyl tile, and luxury vinyl plank. All are excellent options for a number of settings, with some fitting in more keenly in certain rooms than others. Consider and research the benefits of each to determine which material suits your environment best, then move on to the fun part of selecting a design.

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