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Modern vinyl panels in the living room

How To Clean Vinyl Floors

by | Jan 5, 2023 | Cleaning Tips

Vinyl floors aren’t just great for a retro aesthetic – it’s a hard-wearing floor material that can lend a classy look to any room. Whether you’re using it to mimic stone or you want a funky pattern, vinyl is flexible enough to feature any appearance.

To clean vinyl floors, start by sweeping or vacuuming the surface. Once a week, you can mop using warm water and dish soap. To deep clean vinyl floors, add a cup of vinegar – either white or apple cider vinegar. For tough stains, use a baking soda paste or rubbing alcohol.

A clean floor helps make a clean room, so don’t neglect your vinyl just because it’s durable. Here’s how to clean vinyl floors, from daily maintenance to deep cleaning.



What is Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl is a synthetic material made of plastic that’s used in many things, including walls and floors. It’s durable, affordable, and easy to install. People tend to confuse vinyl floors with linoleum and laminate – linoleum is wood and cork, while laminate is paper and melamine.

Luxury vinyl and no-wax flooring are becoming increasingly popular since they are versatile and waterproof. They can also come in different designs that mimic stone or wood.


A young male golden retriever is resting on vinyl panels in the rays sun under the large terrace window in the living room.


How Often to Clean Vinyl Floors

IMMEDIATELY: Deal with any stains and spills.

DAILY: Sweep or vacuum a vinyl floor in high-traffic areas to prevent scratches and scuff marks. You can also use a dust mop.

WEEKLY: Mop the floor.



Cleaning Vinyl Tile Floors

There are different methods for cleaning vinyl flooring. Which you use depends on whether the floor simply needs light maintenance or needs a more thorough cleaning for stains.

If you use a house cleaning service, you can instruct them on your preferred cleaning solution – or simply let them know your vinyl floor needs cleaning.



Before cleaning vinyl floors

A sweeping brush with artificial bristles and a dustpan against the background of the vinyl floor covering in the kitchen close up during cleaning.

Start by using a broom, dust mop, or vacuum to remove dust and dirt from the surface. For vacuuming, choose a setting that does not engage the beater bar.



How to clean vinyl floors using soapy water

Fill a bucket with a few litres of warm water then add a few drops of dish soap. For the kitchen floor, use a detergent that contains a degreaser.

Dip a mop into the cleaning mixture and wring out the wetness – you want a damp, not wet mop. Start in the corner furthest from the room entrance and work your way back so that you have a way out.

Rinse and wring the mop frequently to remove the dirt that has transferred from the floor.

Once you’re finished, rinse the floor (either with plain water or a mixture of water and a cup of vinegar). Then let the room air dry – or switch on a fan to speed up the process.



How to clean vinyl floors using apple cider vinegar

Cleaning vinyl brown floor with a round mop.

Mix a cup of apple cider vinegar per 3 litres of water, then dampen the mop using the solution. Apply to the floor, rinsing the mop in clean water as you go.



How to clean vinyl floors using baking soda

Baking soda is a great vinyl floor cleaner, especially for food stains. Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of water to make a paste.

Apply the paste to the stain and gently scrub with a microfiber cloth. Rinse with a damp cloth afterwards.



How to clean vinyl floors using rubbing alcohol

Use alcohol for tough stains from lipstick, grease, or ink. Dip a microfiber cloth in some alcohol and gently rub the stain, working from the outside in.

Move to a fresh section of cloth frequently to avoid smearing.



How to Deep Clean Vinyl Floors

For deep cleaning, mix a cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar with 3 litres of hot water, and add a few drops of dish soap.

Dip a mop into the cleaning solution and wring it out so it’s only damp. Avoid using a soaking wet mop even if vinyl is waterproof, since older vinyl floor materials have a fabric backing.

Mop the floor using the cleaning mixture, then let it air dry afterwards.



Vinyl Floor Cleaning FAQ

Vinyl Plank Flooring in an empty room

Vinyl has been around as a floor material since the 1930s, but you may still have questions about cleaning it. Here are answers to common questions about cleaning a vinyl floor.


What is no-wax vinyl?

This is a new form of vinyl flooring that has a coating of acrylic or urethane applied. This means it does not need buffing or waxing to retain its glossy appearance.


Can you put heavy furniture on vinyl floors?

Yes – but you’ll need floor protectors on the furniture legs to prevent scuffs and dents on the surface.


Can you use steel wool when cleaning vinyl floors?

Never use steel wool or a stiff-bristled brush when cleaning vinyl flooring. These will scratch the finish and ruin the appearance of the tiles or planks. If you absolutely must scrub off stains, use a soft nylon brush.


How to clean vinyl plank flooring?

Top view over wood planks vinyl flooring with set of mopping cleaning items on copy space

Plank flooring is just another form of vinyl floor, so you clean it the same way as other forms. Vacuum or sweep daily, and mop with soapy water once a week.


Can you clean vinyl flooring with vinegar and baking soda?

If your floors are sticky with residue, you can use diluted white vinegar as a vinyl floor cleaner. Add a cup of vinegar to 1–2 litres of water and use it to rinse the surface after cleaning.

Meanwhile, baking soda is great in a paste to remove food stains.


Can you clean vinyl floors with WD-40?

Use WD-40 to remove scuff marks from vinyl. Spray a tiny amount, then buff the area using a dry microfiber cloth.


What should you not use to clean vinyl floors?

When it comes to cleaning products for vinyl floors, avoid any abrasive cleaners since these could scratch the surface. The exception is baking soda paste, as it’s only mildly abrasive and doesn’t risk scuff marks.

Harsh cleaners may also damage the surface, so the most you’ll need is rubbing alcohol to clean stains from grease or makeup. More often, you’ll only have to clean floors using plain water with a gentle detergent.


Can you steam clean vinyl floors?

Nope, nope, nope! If you’re looking into how to clean vinyl floors and you feel tempted to use a steam cleaner, don’t. The steam can penetrate the layers of vinyl, loosening the glue and causing the panels to warp.


About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.


About Author

Sophie Franklin

Sophie is the subject matter expert within Maid2Match. Most importantly though she is our biggest fan girl and generous in sharing what she knows.