Vinyl flooring is popular amongst homeowners for its long lifespan of 10 to 20 years. It’s also affordable and a great waterproof option for wet areas such as the kitchen and bathroom.
To ensure that your flooring lasts a long time, you need to clean it properly with the right techniques and tools. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to clean your vinyl flooring with actions to avoid and tips for keeping it in pristine condition.
How To Clean Vinyl Flooring: Step-by-step Process
Cleaning vinyl flooring doesn’t require complicated procedures or expensive products. In fact, most of the things you need can already be found in your home or are readily available in stores.
Things you need:
- Soft bristle broom and dustpan or vacuum
- Selleys Concentrated Floor Cleaner or apple cider vinegar and water
- Microfibre cloth
- Baking soda (optional; for tough stains)
- Rubbing alcohol (optional; for tough stains)
- Selleys RP7 (optional; for tough stains)
Step 1: Sweep or vacuum away any dirt or debris
Gently sweep or vacuum away any loose dirt or debris on the floor. This is important as dragging debris along the floor can cause scratches.
If you’re using a vacuum, be sure to check if it has a beater bar. This component may scratch the surface of the vinyl, so it’s best to remove it or switch to a different mode on the vacuum.
Step 2: Prepare a cleaning solution
To prevent damage to your vinyl flooring, prepare a cleaning solution that’s safe for use on such surfaces. One solution you can use is Selleys Concentrated Floor Cleaner.
Selleys Concentrated Floor Cleaner gives your floor the extra care it needs. It cuts through grime and dirt with ease, and heals hairline scratches, giving the surface a refreshed look.
The vinyl-safe liquid wax polymer found in its formula provides an added shine while protecting your floor. Moreover, this pH7-balanced solution is gentle on the surface, so you won’t have to worry about chemical damage.
How to use:
Add 2 capfuls (60ml) of Selleys Concentrated Floor Cleaner to 4 litres of water. You can divide this amount into two for smaller spaces or double up as needed.
Note that this cleaning solution shouldn’t be mixed with other detergents or chemicals!
If you prefer an organic cleaning solution, you can easily make one using apple cider vinegar and water. Mix 1 cup of vinegar with 3.5 litres of water to make your own homemade cleaning solution!
Step 3: Mop the floor
Dip the mop in the cleaning solution and wring it dry. It’s important to avoid using too much water as excess liquid can seep into the vinyl. This may cause the vinyl flooring to loosen and detach from the floor over time.
If your floor still feels sticky after cleaning, mop it again using the same cleaning solution. We recommend mopping the floor section by section to ensure it’s thoroughly cleaned.
Step 4: Spot clean tough stains (optional)
Tough stains found on your vinyl flooring require special treatment to get rid of. Here are some of the most common stains and how you can remove them.
If you notice traces of dried-on food or stubborn food stains, you can try these steps to remove them:
- Make a paste using 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of water.
- Spread the paste sparingly on the stains.
- Gently scrub the floor in circular motions using a microfibre cloth until the stains are gone.
This mildly abrasive action can help to remove stubborn food stains without damaging your vinyl flooring.
Grease or ink stains
Grease or ink stains can spread if they aren’t cleaned properly. To avoid this, follow the steps below:
- Pour just enough rubbing alcohol on a microfibre cloth to dampen it.
- Start at the outer edge of the stain and work inwards to prevent the stain from spreading.
- Check the cloth frequently to see if the area you’re using to scrub is saturated with grease or ink.
- If so, change to a new section of the cloth and continue cleaning until the stain is completely gone.
Shoes and furniture can cause scuff marks on vinyl flooring. To get rid of these marks, spray a tiny amount of Selleys RP7 and gently buff the area with a dry microfibre cloth.
Step 5: Let the floor air dry
Once you’re done cleaning, air dry your floor to avoid water damage. If you have a spare mop, you can also use it to dry the surface.
Use a fan to speed up the drying process!
How To Maintain Your Vinyl Flooring With Light Cleaning
Regular cleaning of your vinyl floor reduces the work you have to do when the time comes for a more thorough cleaning. Here’s how you can go about it!
Sweep or vacuum frequently
Build a habit of frequently sweeping or vacuuming high-traffic areas in your home. It’s best to do this every evening to prevent dirt from accumulating. Additionally, regular sweeping or vacuuming can help to prevent scratches or dents from forming when debris is dragged across the surface.
Wipe spills immediately
To prevent stains from forming on your vinyl floor, it’s essential to wipe up any spills as quickly as possible. This reduces the risk of damaging the vinyl and the need for scrubbing later on.
Things To Avoid When Cleaning Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring is a soft material that can be easily scratched or dented if not handled with care. Because of its material composition, it can be damaged by wax polishes and ammonia-based cleaners. These are some things to take note of when cleaning your vinyl flooring.
Avoid rough cleaning
Applying too much force when cleaning could leave dents or scratch marks on the surface. If you’re vacuuming your vinyl floor, we recommend using the mildest brush setting possible.
Avoid using abrasive cleaning tools and solutions
It can be tempting to use abrasive scrubbers such as steel wool to remove caked-on dirt and debris. However, it’s important to note that these can wear down the polyurethane coating of your vinyl and leave scratches behind. Instead, you may want to opt for soft nylon brushes and sponges.
Floor cleaners that contain abrasive components to help remove stubborn dirt are also unsuitable for vinyl flooring. These cleaning solutions may leave a dull film that cannot be removed easily without damaging the finish.
Avoid wax polishes
A key component of vinyl flooring is its protective polyurethane coating that eliminates the need for waxing. Due to the presence of this top coat, it’s best to avoid solvent-based polishes and wax-based cleaners as they can strip away this coating, leaving the floor dull and prone to dirt accumulation.
Instead, you may want to look for cleaners that are specially formulated for vinyl.
Avoid ammonia-based cleaners
Ammonia-based cleaning products can leave behind a dull residue on the surface. Additionally, the ammonia may react chemically with the vinyl, causing the floor to bubble and crack.
FAQs About How To Clean Vinyl Flooring
Can I steam mop vinyl flooring?
You may want to avoid using steam mops to clean vinyl flooring. The hot steam can penetrate the vinyl’s layers and cause them to separate from each other, bend or warp.
Can I use vinegar and water to clean vinyl flooring?
Yes, you can! Mix 1 cup of apple cider vinegar with 3.5 litres of water to make a mild cleaning solution. This helps to remove most stains from your vinyl flooring and is gentle enough not to damage it.
How often should I clean my vinyl flooring?
For low-traffic areas, it’s best to do light cleaning once a week. A more thorough session can be done once a month to preserve the look of the vinyl.
For high-traffic areas, you’re recommended to do some light cleaning daily and a thorough cleaning every week.