Vinyl flooring is one of the most popular residential and commercial floors, but many people don't know how to properly clean them. The biggest mistake you can make with the vinyl floor is not cleaning it enough or using the wrong cleaning products.
You may think that all you need to do is sweep your vinyl tile once a week, but this will only remove surface dirt and dust. It's important to use cleaners that won't damage its finish or leave residue on the floor after they dry. The following guide will help you with everything you need to know about caring for your vinyl floors.
Prep Your Floors Before You Start Cleaning
Start by vacuuming and sweeping your floors before doing anything to pick up as much dirt, dust, and debris as possible. You can use a soft broom or mop to sweep up the loose materials. There are many different approaches you can take when cleaning your vinyl floors.
The first thing to do is not to make a big deal about using cleaners because they may have some serious effects on your floor. Using cleaning products that are not intended for vinyl floors is a common cause of damage to this particular material.
Cleaning your floors with any soap or detergent will leave a residue behind on the surface of your floor. This can prevent it from aging as well as it could and potentially cause staining.
Use a damp toothbrush or a scrub brush to pre-clean those hard-to-reach areas. If the dirt is resistant, use a paste of baking soda and water to scrub the area. Also, grit and dirt can cause scratches on the surface of your vinyl floor and leave it looking dull and damaged.
So, remove the grit daily by using a vacuum or a dust mop. If you decide to vacuum, use a setting that doesn't engage the beater bar, leading to dent vinyl flooring.
Damp Mop Your Vinyl Tile
Vinegar is an ideal product for cleaning vinyl floors because it will not leave any residue behind, which could ultimately damage the components of your floor. You can mix vinegar with water or use straight vinegar depending on what you have available and how tough the job needs to be done.
If you decide to use a vinegar solution, add two or three drops of dish soap to your bucket. After that, use a clean bucket to rinse the mop. This will make it damp but not dripping wet. Once you're done mopping, dump your wash water, rinse and then put fresh water in the bucket before mopping again. This will remove all of the soap mixture and vinegar from your floor to avoid any slippery floors.
Mix Your Cleaning Solution
Fill your cleaning bucket with warm water and add the cleaning solution you've chosen. You can also prepare a vinegar rinse for your mop by putting two or three drops of dish soap into it. If you're working in a kitchen, choose an antibacterial solution such as a degreaser that can cut your cooking messes.
Do not overdose on your solution, as this will add you more work to clean. If you don't have any cleaning solution, you can add vinegar to your bucket of water. Avoid harsh cleaners such as scouring powders and ammonia-based cleaning solutions since they can damage your floors.
If you choose to use a commercial floor cleaner, make sure that it's appropriate for the type of vinyl floor you have. If you do not follow the manufacturer's instructions on usage, your floors will not be clean and healthy.
Clean Spills and Messes as Soon as They Happen
Since vinyl floors are mainly made of plastic, they are likely to absorb stains quickly, and it might be difficult to remove them afterward. If you're dealing with food stains, mix baking soda and water paste to remove discoloration caused by tomato sauce.
After spreading the paste on the stains, use a dry microfiber cloth to remove food stains. Vinyl floors need regular cleaning with a microfiber mop or broom, just like how to clean marble floors or any other floor type.
A vinyl floor is considered dirty if the dirt cannot be removed by sweeping and requires mopping. If you're dealing with lipstick, grease, and ink stains, use a damp microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol to remove stains.
If your floor has been subjected to pet or human urine, the first thing to do is soak up as much of the liquid as you can by using old newspapers and rags. Shoes and furniture can also leave scuff marks on your vinyl tile, so spray the scuff marks with rubbing alcohol and wipe them dry.
If your floor is not dirty but looks dull, try cleaning it with cool water and a few drops of mild dishwashing detergent. Rinse the soapy solution well until all traces have been removed from the floor. A vinyl floor takes up to one week to dry completely, depending on humidity levels.
Deep clean your vinyl floor once a week. Use a microfiber cloth or microfiber mop to do a deep clean. If you're deep cleaning a small area, use a bucket full of warm water and mild soap. After that, use your hand to scrub the area with a damp cloth. Make sure you don't use a steam mop because high heat from steam can warp your vinyl floors.
Rinse Well to Remove all the Soap Residue
Dish soap may work well in cleaning vinyl floors, but soap scums may collect dirt. In that case, stick to damp mopping with water. You can also wash your floor using two mops, one for washing and another for rinsing. But if you choose to use soap, then do not overuse it.
After mopping, if your floor feels sticky, mix plain water with one cup of distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the vinegar onto the floor and wipe it using paper towels. Wipe in a single direction only. This will leave you with a sparkling clean floor with no residue.
Allow Your Floor to Dry
After mopping, remove as much water by blotting the floor with paper towels. Avoid scratching your vinyl surface by using a squeegee to pick up excess water. Do not use dryers or fans to speed up drying because too much heat may damage your flooring.
Use a microfiber mop and not a string mop to wring out water out of your floor. Use clean microfiber towels to thoroughly dry your floor. If you're too lazy to crawl down on your hands and knees to get the job done, don't worry. You can push the towels around on the end of a sponge mop. You should also learn how to clean carpets and rugs and make sure they’re sparkless before returning them to your vinyl floor.
Preserve Your Sheen
No waxing vinyl has a polyurethane coating that maintains its shiny look. Wax doesn't cooperate well with the coating, and this leaves the floor looking dull and dirty. Avoid using products that contain silicone, wax, or petroleum because they can damage your vinyl over time.
If your no-wax floor loses its shine, you can use a sealant made of no-wax flooring to restore it. Ensure your floor is thoroughly clean before applying the sealant.
FAQs on how to clean vinyl floors
Can you clean your vinyl floor using bleach?
Don't use bleach to clean your vinyl floor because it is a harsh cleaner that can damage your vinyl finish. Remember, these are very delicate floors.
How can you clean a dirty vinyl floor?
You can clean your dirty vinyl floors using a gallon of water mixed with a cup of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Make sure to avoid any harsh cleaners that may damage the floors.
Can you use vinegar to clean vinyl floors?
Vinegar is a good cleaning product for floors because it doesn't leave behind a chemical residue like some other cleaners. However, if you have sealed your floor, do not use vinegar because it can damage the sealant.
Final Thought on How to Clean Vinyl Floors
Vinyl floors are very popular choices for homes and are generally cheaper than other floor coverings. They come in a large variety of styles and patterns, so finding something that appeals to you shouldn't be difficult. If you have a vinyl floor installed for your home or business, you need to know how to properly care for it.