How to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring: Care & Maintenance Guide

How to Clean Vinyl Plank

Care & Maintenance is key to your Vinyl Plank floors’ lifetime. Having a consistent maintenance routine and the proper protection helps Vinyl Plank flooring last longer and look great. Keep on reading to learn how to clean vinyl plank flooring, which cleaning equipment to use, and how to apply the correct protection methods.

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Table of Contents

    Rules of Cleaning Vinyl Plank Flooring

    1. Regular cleaning should be carried out at least once per week; this includes gentle mopping and sweeping/vacuuming.
    2. Do not use too much water; use a damp mop instead (not dripping with water). Too much water can ruin your vinyl plank floor.
    3. Alternatively, you can use a spray mop. Spray mops dispense a fine mist onto the floor, preventing oversaturation and spillages.
    4. Make sure to use a PH-neutral flooring cleaner. For Vinyl Plank, we recommend Bona Hard Surface Cleaner.
    5. Any spills of acidic liquids such as wine, juice, soft drink, or liquor should be avoided and cleaned immediately.
    6. Make sure you use the correct type of vacuum. Vacuums with beater bars should be avoided. Always check for suitability for vinyl plank floors before using them.

    Mistakes to Avoid when cleaning Vinyl Plank Flooring

    • Don’t use a steam cleaner unless your vinyl plank floor is steam clean approved. Most plank floors can’t handle the high temperature of the steam.
    • Avoid vacuuming too fast. Take it slowly, so the wheels of your vacuum don’t scratch or stain the floor.
    • Don’t use steel wool or scouring pads for cleaning; they will scratch your floor.
    • Avoid using cleaning products containing Wax, Oil, or Polish.
    • Don’t use vacuums with beater bars.
    • Avoid using all-purpose and multi-purpose cleaning solutions. These sometimes actually do more harm than good for your floor.

    How to Protect Vinyl Plank Flooring

    1. Attach Foam Pads under furniture legs; these can be found in most local DIY stores. Alternatively, you can buy them online.
    2. Place area rugs in high-traffic areas. Especially in places where office chairs with casters are used, they are notorious for scratching vinyl plank floors. Read this complex guide to find the best protective mats for hard-surface flooring.
    3. Avoid walking on the floor in shoes. Wear socks instead as they don’t cause wear on the vinyl planks.
    4. Maintain a room temperature between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This prevents moisture problems.
    5. Use doormats at entrances to avoid bringing in the dirt. Large doormats are ideal for families.
    6. If you have a dog, nail trimming will prevent them from scratching the floor. Plus, most dogs like their nails to be trimmed every now and then.

    Which Mop should I use for Vinyl Plank flooring?

    Any flooring mop can do a decent job cleaning your vinyl plank floor. The key here is not to use too much water. 

    Traditional loop-end and cut-end mops and microfibre pad mops are the most commonly used mops for flooring. These require you to dip the mop head into a water bucket, rinse and mop. The problem is that this method can cause unnecessary spillages. 

    If you want to be a pro, spray mops are the best solution to using too much water when cleaning vinyl floors. These mops release a fine mist of cleaning solution onto the floor at the touch of a button. Spray mops don’t require any water buckets, thus eliminating the chance of excessive water usage and spillages.

    Bona is by far the most reputable floor mop brand, known for high-quality mops and cleaning solutions. Here are our top mop recommendations for vinyl plank, laminate, and hardwood floors:

    1. Bona Hard Surface Premium Spray MopBest Spray Mop
    2. O-Cedar ProMist Max Microfibre Spray MopBest Value Spray Mop
    3. Bona Premium Microfibre Mop with Dusting PadBest Dust Mop
    4. iRobot Brava Jet 240High Tech Choice
    Bona Spray Mop
    Bona Hard-Surface Premium Spray Mop – An excellent choice for Vinyl Plank Flooring

    Which Vacuum is Best for Vinyl Plank Floors?

    Vinyl planks require a vacuum that is specified to be suitable for hard-surface flooring. These types of vacuums will not damage the floor, unlike vacuums designed for use on carpets. Especially avoid using vacuums with vibrating beater bars. Multisurface vacuums can be used for several floor types, including vinyl plank, hardwood, and carpet. They usually come with a switch for that.

    There are many vacuums to choose from, here are our top recommendations depending on price and features:

    1. Dyson V15 Cordless Stick VacuumTop Choice
    2. Eureka Cordless Vacuum 180WBest Value
    3. Eufy Robotic VacuumHigh Tech Choice
    4. Eureka 169K Corded VacuumBudget Pick

    What is the best cleaning solution for Vinyl plank flooring?

    Vinyl plank flooring can be cleaned with many different cleaning solutions. Most importantly, make sure you use a PH-neutral cleaner. The cheapest option is to use a small amount of dish soap mixed with water. Dish soap is slightly alkaline, but it becomes a ph-neutral solution if you mix a little bit of it with water. 

    Another affordable cleaning solution for vinyl floors is apple cider vinegar. Use a mixture of 1 cup of vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water. This mixture is an effective weapon against grease. The only downside is the smell of vinegar. However, adding of few drops of essential oils can improve the smell.

    If you want to go professional with it, you should use a solution specifically designed for vinyl flooring. These solutions will not leave streaks and make your floor look better for longer. 

    Here are our top recommended choices for vinyl plank cleaning solutions:

    1. Bona-Hard Surface Floor CleanerTop Choice
    2. Rejuvenate Luxury Vinyl Plank CleanerSecond Best
    3. Better Life Floor Cleaner Natural Choice
    Bona Hard Surface Floor Cleaner

    How to Remove Stains from Vinyl Plank Flooring

    Removing stains from vinyl plank flooring can often be a challenging task. There are many causes of staining on vinyl plank flooring. Here’s a list of the common causes:

    • Spilling acidic liquids such as oil paint, bleach, and wine.
    • Kids draw on the floor with crayons or marker pens.
    • Building materials such as wall mud or cement.
    • Dragging around heavy furniture.
    • Using office chairs with casters.
    • Dragging dirt around the floor.
    • Walking around the floor in shoes.

    There are various methods of removing stains from flooring without damaging the floor. Some of these may not work. Some will. It all depends on what caused the staining. Here are the best methods to remove stains from LVP:

    1. Clean with Water and Baking Soda.
    2. Clean with Rubbing Alcohol or White Spirit (works very well on oil paint).
    3. If the first two methods don’t work, you can try using a Bleach and warm water mixture, although be wary because bleach can cause staining itself.
    4. If most methods don’t work, you can use a Furniture Repair Kit to mask the stains and use a Rejuvenation Solution after.

    Some stains simply cannot be removed from vinyl floors. The key is to prevent them from happening in the first place.

    How to Fix Scratches in Vinyl Plank Flooring

    Vinyl Plank scratches are usually caused by the dragging of heavy furniture, dog nails, casters, or dragging around dirt. If your vinyl plank floors are showing scratches. There are several ways you can try to mask them.

    1. Try Using Rejuvenate All Floors Restorer to polish the floors and hide the scratches.
    2. Try using small amounts of oily liquids such as elbow grease or baby oil.
    3. Clear wax can be used to fill in deep scratches. However, this requires buffing and polishing after.

    Unfortunately, some scratches are tough to mask, and your floor will never look new again. Most importantly, follow the lists of rules included in this guide to prevent scratches from happening.

    Final Words

    Care and Maintenance is a crucial factor that determines the look and lifetime of your vinyl plank floors. High-quality vinyl plank floors can last at least ten years or more with the proper measures. Cleaning and caring for your floor should not be overlooked. If you invested money into the floor, why neglect it?

    We hope that our guide has taught you how to clean vinyl plank flooring properly, and that you will apply our rules and methods to your routine. 

    If you would like to add some of your own floor cleaning tips to this guide or simply share your thoughts on the matter, leave a comment in the comment section at the bottom of the page.


    Can you use a Steam Mop on Vinyl Plank Flooring?

    Using steam mops for vinyl plank floors is not recommended. The high temperature of the steam can damage the wear layer and melt the glue used to manufacture the vinyl plank melt. You should only use a steam mop on steam mop-approved vinyl plank products. Some flooring brands do offer these.

    Is Baking Soda Safe for Vinyl Plank Flooring?

    Numerous sources state that baking soda mixed with water is safe to use on vinyl plank floors. Especially effective against stains and scuffs when mixed with warm water into a paste. Create a paste by mixing two parts baking soda with one part water. However, baking soda should only be used as a stain remover, not as a daily cleaning solution.

    Can I Use Vinegar to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring?

    Apple cider vinegar is considered safe to use on clean vinyl plank flooring. Use a mixture of 1 cup of vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water. This mixture is an effective weapon against grease. The only downside is the smell of vinegar. However, adding of few drops of essential oils can improve the smell.

    How do you shine Luxury Vinyl Flooring?

    You can make a dull vinyl plank shinier by adding a few drops of baby oil to your cleaning mixture. However, we recommend using Rejuvenate All Floors Restorer and Polish for a better effect.

    Can you use Murphy’s Oil Soap on Vinyl Plank Flooring?

    Murphy’s oil soap can be safely used on vinyl plank floors as it is derived from 98% natural ingredients. 

    How can I make my Vinyl Plank Floors Smell Better?

    To add a wonderful smell to your home, you can add essential oils to your floor cleaning mixture. Use a few drops of your favorite essential oils. There are over 90 natural essential oil scents; choose from Lemon, Tea Tree, Lavender, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, and more. 

    How do you remove Black Mold from Vinyl Plank Flooring?

    Removing black mold from vinyl floors is a challenging task. A mixture of bleach and water can sometimes work. If that doesn’t work, it is best to remove the floor, dry out the subfloor, eliminate the cause of the molding and install a new floor.

    Can you use Dish Soap on Vinyl Plank Flooring?

    Dish soap is safe to use on vinyl plank flooring, it is PH-Neutral when mixed with water therefore it will not hurt the floor. To make a cleaning solution fill a bucket with warm water and add a squeeze of dish soap. Mix in a few drops of essential oils to improve the smell.

    Need an Installation Quote?

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