Your vinyl plank flooring can be your pride and joy. When it’s clean. The problem with hard surface flooring of just about any kind is that it shows up the dirt that’s accumulated on it. Then things don’t look so good. You need to get your hands on the best cleaner for vinyl plank floors, or before long, you might be wishing you’d gone for a carpet instead. Finding the best cleaners for vinyl plank flooring can be challenging.
But don’t despair. There’s a whole world of great vinyl plank cleaning products out there. In fact, the range of cleaning products is really quite enormous. Although vinyl plank has features that set it apart in many ways from other flooring options, there are a great many multi-purpose cleaners that will do the trick on LVP. Add to these the specialist LVP cleaning products, and you’ve got lots of options available.
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- What Makes a Good Cleaner for Vinyl Plank Flooring?
- Best Cleaners for Vinyl Plank Flooring
- 1. Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner – Best Overall
- 2. Lundmark All Surface Cleaner – Best Value
- 3. Bona Pro Series Luxury Vinyl Floor Cleaner – Premium Pick
- 4. Method Hard Floor Cleaner – Most Eco-Friendly
- 5. More Luxury Vinyl Floor Cleaner – US-Made Pick
- 6. Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner – Best For Pet-Owners
- 7. Rejuvenate All Floors Restorer – Recovery Pick
- 8. Naturally It’s Clean Enzyme Floor Cleaner – Kidsafe Pick
- 9. Fairy (AKA Dawn) Dishwashing Liquid – Most Affordable
- 10. Quick Shine Multi-Surface Floor Finish – Best for Polishing
- What to Consider When Choosing Cleaners for Vinyl Plank Flooring
- Alternative Option
- Summing Up
What Makes a Good Cleaner for Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Vinyl plank flooring has a unique construction built around a solid core that delivers enormous strength and stability. It also gives the material waterproofing, which is great news for cleaning possibilities, as you can be quite generous with the water. In fact, water is often all you need to keep your LVP in top condition.
But, when you need to tackle serious stains and dirt, you need a cleaner that won’t be abrasive or damaging in any way to your vinyl wear layer. This is, in many ways, the business end of the flooring, and, as you can’t re-finish vinyl, you don’t want to impair it. So, gentle effectiveness is the order of the day.
Best Cleaners for Vinyl Plank Flooring
- Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner – Best Overall
- Lundmark All Surface Floor Cleaner – Best Value
- Bona Pro Series Luxury Vinyl Floor Cleaner – Premium Pick
- Method Hard Floor Cleaner – Most Eco-Friendly
- More Luxury Vinyl Floor Cleaner – US-Made Pick
- Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner – Best For Pet-Owners
- Rejuvenate All Floors Restorer – Recovery Pick
- Naturally It’s Clean Floor Enzyme Floor Cleaner – Kidsafe Pick
- Fairy (AKA Dawn) Dishwashing Liquid – Most Affordable
- Quick Shine Multi-Surface Floor Finish – Best for Polishing
Here’s a rundown of the cleaning solutions we found best for luxury vinyl floors. Keep reading below for a detailed description of each cleaner and its pros and cons.
1. Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner – Best Overall
Overall, this is our choice for the best cleaner for vinyl plank flooring. It gets to work on a wide variety of flooring materials, ridding them of dust, dirt, and grime and leaving them super clean. It does this while being water-based, plant-based, biodegradable, and without the use of any harmful chemicals, which earned it a Safer Choice recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency. Moreover, it’s not tested on animals and is fragrance-free.
Streak-free, residue-free, and pH neutral – it’s what floors dream of. It’s also reasonably priced, especially if you buy the gallon ready-to-use size or the 8fl oz concentrate (in 4 x 2oz environmentally-friendly pouches).
On Amazon, it scores a healthy 4.7 out of 5, with 106 reviews recorded. Other retailers show similar ratings. On Target, for instance, there’s a 100% recommend-to-others score. Reviews such as this one sum the whole picture up nicely:
The best floor cleaner for LVP. Our builder told us we couldn’t use any floor cleaners on our LVP. … I did some research and found that many others had used the Bona floor cleaner on their LVP with no issues… It’s easy to use, takes off any dirt or drool from our dogs, and doesn’t cause any damage to the LVP.
We have elected to make Bona Hard-Surface our best overall pick because of delighted reviews like this, combined with good value and a sound eco-profile.
2. Lundmark All Surface Cleaner – Best Value
Just because you’ve got a beautiful vinyl floor that you need to clean, it doesn’t always follow that you’ve got a beautifully bulging budget too. Good to know then that there are options available that don’t cost massive amounts. Lundmark All Surface Cleaner is an excellent example. It gets all kinds of floor clean, including, of course, luxury vinyl, and will do so without cleaning out your wallet.
It’s a pH-neutral, rinse-free formula that comes in a concentrated form and gets the job done without leaving a dull film. Environmentally it scores highly too, using minimal packaging because of high levels of concentration and no air within the bottle. It also helps that it’s US-made (Lundmark’s a family firm operating out of Batavia, Il), which cuts the air miles a little.
Review-wise, it scores a solid, if unremarkable, 3.7 out of 5 on Amazon, although a single score of 1 skews things somewhat, given the small total number of reviews. 64% of reviewers give it 4 or 5 out of 5, which is a favorable set of scores. You can get better, sure, but you’ll have to pay more. This is a decent product though, and it’s reassuring to know, however, that if times are tight, you don’t need it to show on your floor.
3. Bona Pro Series Luxury Vinyl Floor Cleaner – Premium Pick
This is our choice for Premium Pick. It’s more expensive than most, but its top-class performance on luxury vinyl makes it worth the outlay. It’s the best cleaner for vinyl plank floors that we’ve seen.
There’s not much we can really say about it apart from telling you it’s an extremely effective cleaner for use on LVT and LVP, and those who buy it are thrilled with it. That’s why it gets a 4.7 out of 5 on Amazon. Reviews like this are commonplace:
Finally found the perfect solution for my LVT’s. No streaks at all.
It manages to give a professional-level performance while remaining fairly gentle, being water-based and pH neutral. Fast-drying and residue-free, this is the cleaner you want to use when you want to give luxury vinyl the luxury treatment. It’s the top end. The cream of the mop crop. The Cadillac of cleaners.
It’s also available in a handy 32oz spray and a gallon refill, and comes ready diluted. Definitely one of the best cleaners for vinyl floors on the market.
4. Method Hard Floor Cleaner – Most Eco-Friendly
Conscientious cleaning power from a company with a serious environmental agenda. Does it get your luxury vinyl clean though? Yes, it does and has been adopted by a huge amount of very pleased customers (4.7 out of 5 on Amazon, after over 10000 reviews).
Unlike a lot of cleaners, Method uses the squirt and mop rather than the spray and mop or mop and bucket routine. Method reckons this is more economical and results in less cleaner being used for the same cleaning effect. In any case, what does strike you when seeing it is the distinctive bottle shape and the range of interesting fragrances. Here’s an example: Spearmint and Sage. Here’s another: Ginger Yuzu. We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with citrus and pine, but it’s nice to treat your nose to something a little different.
As far as their environmental chops are concerned, Method’s on another level from most of the competition. Not only are the ingredients plant-based and totally hazard-free, but the packaging is also 100% recycled plastic. There’s no animal testing, and most Method cleaners are manufactured in a LEED platinum-certified (ultra environmentally-friendly) factory in Chicago, Il.
All Method cleaning products are vegan and gluten-free for those planning on eating them (note – only joking). Ginger Yuzu tart, anyone?
5. More Luxury Vinyl Floor Cleaner – US-Made Pick
Another pH-neutral belter that will really get your vinyl floor looking tiptop, and US-made, which is always good, right? This is the kind of gentle but effective cleaner that can be used every day without leaving any residue and without having a dulling effect on the floor over time. Unscented, so nobody will have any issue with its aroma, and plant-based, so the planet can’t complain either.
It comes in a quart of concentrate, which is enough when diluted to clean approx 80,000 SFT of flooring, which is getting on for two football fields. Feeling tired? Well, the good news is that More doesn’t need to be rinsed, so at least you don’t have to go over those gridirons more than once. You can also get it in a ready-concentrated 1-gallon size for those who want to clean in a hurry.
The company’s based in Hayward, CA, and was put together by two flooring professionals with over 20 years in the industry, who spotted a gap in the market for a high-performance cleaning product that was safer and easier to use than what was already on the market.
6. Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner – Best For Pet-Owners
Sometimes the best cleaners for vinyl plank flooring are based primarily on natural products. This one’s a great example. By harnessing the power of vinegar to break down dirt and grease, the people at Aunt Fannie’s have delivered the perfect cleaner for those with pets. After all, paws and pads are often not the toughest and can suffer from exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals.
Aunt Fannie’s Floor Cleaner is free from all the usual chemical culprits and is totally hypoallergenic. It really does just rely on vinegar to get your floor clean. Hang on; you’re probably thinking, I don’t want my house to stink of vinegar, thank you very much indeed. You can stow your worries away as Aunt Fannie’s comes in a range of three great-smelling options: lavender, eucalyptus, and lemon, the scents of which are derived from essential oils.
It comes in a 32 fl oz concentrate; to use, dilute 2 fl oz into 1 gallon of water. You’ll get a streak-free result, with no need to rinse. This is a popular product, scoring 4.4 out of 5 on Amazon from a total rating pool of 12,034.
7. Rejuvenate All Floors Restorer – Recovery Pick
This one might be a little more pricey than most, but it really does the trick, banishing pretty much all stains with relative ease. It’s also not just a cleaner – it’s designed to give your floor a fresher, newer look, much like a facelift except cheaper and not likely to leave your grandchildren asking who you are. Also, much like a facelift, it’s capable of dealing with the odd wrinkle – it can fill in shallow scratches and leave a damaged surface looking a little less lived-on.
It will also remove old wax and strip away dulled residue from the previous cleaning with other products. This effect lasts for months, according to the manufacturer.
You can use it with a mop or spray and wipe it for smaller floors, and it dries in as little as 10 minutes. US-made, this polymer-based cleaner will protect floors against future stains and UV damage and is suitable for all hard flooring materials.
8. Naturally It’s Clean Enzyme Floor Cleaner – Kidsafe Pick
Some floor cleaners do the job but leave the area a Hazchem zone, so much so that you’re tempted to wrap your kids in all-over protective gear before letting them loose in the area. Thankfully, the days are long gone when such chemicals were habitually deployed in the American home’s ongoing war against grime, but it’s still all too possible for cleaning products to have ingredients in them that we’d rather not have released into our homes.
How nice then to have a fabulously benign but effective cleaner in the shape of Naturally It’s Clean’s offering, which works through plant-based enzyme action. No questionable chemicals feature in its composition, which means it’s free of parabens, artificial dyes, alcohol, ammonia, sulfates, phosphates, petroleum, and sodium laurel sulfate. It’s gently fragranced with orange essential oils.
How does it work? It’s a process that mirrors what happens in nature. Basically, the enzymes within it break down stains and dirt into their component elements, making them easier to remove. Best of all, they even carry on working between cleans. The cleaner leaves no streaks or residues and doesn’t need to be rinsed off.
It comes in a recyclable 24 fl oz bottle, which, when diluted, makes 24 gallons of joyously gentle and neatly natural kid-friendly cleaning power.
9. Fairy (AKA Dawn) Dishwashing Liquid – Most Affordable
What do you do if you need to give your vinyl plank floor a sprucing up, but you don’t have any cleaner in the cupboard? As we’ve seen, you don’t necessarily need a specialist vinyl floor cleaner, but you do need a hard floor cleaner that’s vinyl-compatible. When you haven’t got this, what do you do?
What you don’t do is use any old floor cleaner in the hope that it’ll be ok with your luxury vinyl. The risk of damaging that lovely flooring of yours is too high to take a chance on.
What you do is reach for a dishwashing soap that you can use on vinyl. And one of these, in fact, one of the doyennes of the dishwashing world, is Fairy. You can use a solution for this stuff but make it a weak one. A mere tablespoonful in a quart of warm water will be enough to give your floor a decent going over.
Then go over it afterward with water to give it a rinse. This ensures there’ll be no Jackass-type acrobatic slip-ups on your lightly lubricated flooring.
Fairy is a global market leader, starting out as a GB brand but now owned by the good old US Procter and Gamble. This is a massive company that has taken some significant steps down the sustainability path, staying well within biodegradability regs, and has set itself some serious goals to reach by 2030. It’s fairly gentle and won’t cause irritation to bare feet or paws.
So, although Fairy Liquid’s not absolutely ideal for cleaning luxury vinyl, it won’t do any harm, and it’s certainly a great interim quick clean option between regular deeper cleans.
10. Quick Shine Multi-Surface Floor Finish – Best for Polishing
This stuff is for when you really want people to know just how clean your floor is. After all, sometimes you want a little shine down there. Quick Shine’s a good choice – it leaves a protective layer of polish without any harmful chemicals (it’s part of the EPA Safer Choice scheme). Fragrance-free – it’s all about the looks. It even goes some way toward filling in minor scratches because of the protective layer it administers to the floor.
Made in the USA by Holloway House, a family-owned company, Quick Shine’s Floor Finish will certainly give your floor the wow factor. However, do note that your floor needs to be reasonably clean in the first place. In other words, you need to sweep and perhaps use another product down there first before bringing on Quick Shine for the grand finale. It’s like applying wax polish to your car. You wouldn’t normally do that without soaping it down first. OK, it takes a little longer, but the finished effect can be awesome.
Talking of taking longer, it can take up to 24 hours to dry enough to withstand heavy traffic, so it needs to be applied a little ahead of your big soiree. But boy, your guests are going to love it.
What to Consider When Choosing Cleaners for Vinyl Plank Flooring
Luxury vinyl tends to be very easy to care for. However, when you’re going to the trouble of cleaning your floor, you want a product that’s going to work as hard as you. If, after all that sweeping and mopping, you’ve got a streak-filled, dull floor that’s still stained, then you’ll feel it really wasn’t worth the effort. So, whenever you’re choosing a floor cleaner, you’re going to want effectiveness, so you’re sure of getting the best cleaning solution for vinyl flooring.
Do check first that the cleaner is suitable for luxury vinyl use. Once you’ve done this, buy the smallest spray it comes in to start with. You’re going to want to try it out before you invest in a Land of the Giants drum of it. If it doesn’t satisfy you, you can try another one until you get one that suits you.
Unless your pockets are groaning with cash that you just can’t wait to get rid of, you’ll want a cost-effective product, so look for something in the region of $0.20 to $0.40 per fl oz, and you’ll be sure of something that’s not unreasonably priced.
Safe For Children and Pets
Floor cleaning products can be a little scary. It’s not so long ago we were using full-on chemicals like chlorine in the cocktails we were putting down on our floors and then inviting children and pets to roam freely among the swirling VOCs. Shudder.
Happily, there have been enormous steps forward in cleaning technology that has no need now for abrasive and caustic chemical composition. Some cleaning products are safer and gentler than others. If in doubt, look for a sign that the manufacturer has prioritized child and pet friendliness – if it has, it should include it in its list of features.
On a related note, there’s been a colossal amount of damage done to the planet by the use of household chemicals, both in terms of their manufacture and their disposal into the biosphere. Over the course of the last 20 years or so, companies have been getting their eco-acts together, using more natural ingredients and producing end results that are way less harmful to the planet. A great bonus of this is that what’s less harmful to the planet tends to be less harmful to people too.
You can be sure that you’re buying an eco-safe product by looking out for the EPA’s Safer Choice label. It takes into account a number of factors in awarding the badge, so you can pick one of these products with a degree of confidence that you and your floor are part of the eco-solution, not the eco-problem.
We’ve become accustomed to seeking out reviews of products that we’re unfamiliar with, and this is certainly a valid way forward as long as retailers make efforts to identify and eradicate fake positives. Thankfully, most of the major retailers do try to achieve this, so an element of credibility is maintained.
It’s worth checking around the net to see what other sites say. Not just the retailers but home improvement and household maintenance discussion sites can throw up very useful opinions. You might want to ask your friends too, face to face, or put it out there on Facebook. Makes a change from people posting cat clips.
If you’d like to try making your own cleaner, you might be surprised by how well apple cider vinegar works on luxury vinyl. Mix a cup of it into a gallon of warm water, and apply it with a mop along the length of the planks.
The acidic compounds in the vinegar break down dirt where it’s built up, but they’re not present in strong enough concentration (once you’ve diluted) to do any harm to the floor. You’re left with a slight shine (add a few drops of baby oil if you really want to shine it up) and no residue. No suds either. OK, there might be a slight whiff of vinegar left in the air, but this won’t last. You can always do an Aunt Fannie and add a few drops of essential oil to the cleaning solution.
Stubborn stains can be tackled very effectively with a baking soda paste applied with a soft brush. Just don’t scrub too hard. Then mop over to remove all traces of baking soda.
Admittedly, although often effective, homemade cleaning products aren’t for everyone. They do rely on certain ingredients that many households just don’t boast about, and they ask for a certain amount of prep time. Sometimes, you just want to squeeze, mop and go. This is why there’ll always be a market for ready-made cleaning products.
When looking at the best cleaners for vinyl plank flooring, we took into account all sorts of features that go toward making the ideal cleaner. The overall winner was, therefore, the product that scored highly on all our criteria, and Bona Hard Surface Floor Cleaner did just that. It delivers amazing results on LVP at a price that’s not at all bad. The fact that you can use it on other hard surfaces too, meaning it’s a very useful addition to your cupboard’s cleaning cadre.
Thanks very much for reading, and we hope we’ve given you some handy pointers on the best luxury vinyl cleaning products currently available. If you come across any other great candidates, please feel free to suggest them below in the comments section. Right, we’re off to clean some floors.
What are the harmful ingredients that cleaning products should be free from?
Floor cleaning products should ideally be free from parabens, phthalates, ammonia, sulfates, artificial dyes and fragrances, phosphates, alcohol, and petroleum.
Is it best to buy concentrated or diluted cleaner?
Both versions have their advantages. Concentrated takes up less room in your kitchen cupboard and has a smaller carbon footprint as it’s lighter to transport. Diluted is ready for use straight away, which means it’s better in an emergency.
Does luxury vinyl need specialist cleaning?
LVP responds very well just to cleaning with water. When this isn’t enough, there are specific luxury vinyl cleaners you can use. In addition, you can use certain all-purpose cleaning products on it, but they must include luxury vinyl on their suitability lists.