Clean Your Vinyl Flooring Correctly
Vinyl flooring is incredibly convenient in many ways, so knowing how best to keep it clean is going to help it endure over the years. Here are just some tips on how to clean it correctly, and also how to treat more stubborn stains that may stubbornly resist regular cleaning from time to time.
It sounds too obvious but the fact is, there are little bits of gravel and even chemicals from asphalt that are going to do your vinyl no good. Having a doormat and ensuring that people use it is a useful way of shedding some of this harmful debris. If you can get people to remove shoes entirely, even better.
If you can get a rug that complements your vinyl floor’s color scheme it can preserve the life of your vinyl surface, especially near the sink where foot traffic is significant. It can also absorb any stray droplets of water from the faucet; moisture is not good for this kind of material.
Regular sweeping can remove abrasive and damaging bits of dust and dirt; while not massively problematic they can eventually make your flooring look duller so that the sheen will not be as it once was. Mops can be useful; a dry mop in particular, or a barely dry damp mop. Make sure you leave the windows open afterward, in order to reduce potential dampness and mold. Using a stick vacuum cleaner is worthwhile, especially in and around the crevices of your kitchen island, and underneath its cabinets.
4. Spill kill!
When inevitable spillage occurs, be it from juices, sauces or other foodstuffs, clean it immediately to ensure that you don’t have to use a more abrasive cleaning substance later on, and so as to reduce the contact of chemicals and substances which can actually eat into the vinyl’s material, or at the very least take its sheen away.
Not only delicious in salad dressing but handy as a cleaning solution! Combine one cup of apple cider vinegar with one gallon of hot water, then apply to your vinyl flooring via a damp mop. Despite its taste vinegar is actually the least harsh cleansing agent out there. A drop or two of jojoba can also help make the floor retain its shiny glimmer. Again, ensure windows or a dehumidifier dry out the floor as soon as you’re done.
If you want something tailor-made for vinyl flooring and don’t want to make your own, be careful not to choose one that has been created for older vinyl flooring; this kind of vinyl had a waxed surface which had to be specially preserved. Modern vinyl flooring doesn’t have this so choose accordingly.
7. Important caveats
- Don’t use a steam cleaner on a vinyl floor; steam can permeate the flooring and harm its integrity. The planks will end up getting warped and will lose their flatness and showroom shape. A swifter or microfiber mop are preferable, or a nearly dry damp mop with windows airing the floor or a dehumidifier on in winter months.
- Don’t over-scrub, especially with a coarse brush. Use as soft material as possible, and when tempted to lever off a sticky globule of food, soak it instead and then massage it off with a soft, nearly dry damp cloth.
- Don’t use a cleanser that is not specifically made for vinyl flooring; most general household cleansers possess chemicals that are too harsh for vinyl flooring. Avoid wax polishes with your floor polisher because modern vinyl floors no longer have a waxy finish.
- Don’t soak the floor or leave water standing on it, as you might do with other types of flooring. Use a damp mop or cloth sparingly, otherwise, moisture can get into the grooves and end up harming the underlying glue that keeps the vinyl flooring firmly affixed to the floor beneath.
- Don’t let furniture, such as tables and chairs, scrape hard, scraping legs rake over your precious vinyl. Invest in cheap felt stick-on tabs that can be placed on the ends of chair legs, making them softer. You won’t want to end up scratching and scuffing your beautiful vinyl flooring for the sake of saving a few dollars on these easy stick-on tabs.
Overall, take good care of your vinyl flooring and it will last for years to come. When you do get the odd stain that stubbornly clings on, consider using a bit of dish soap to your homemade cleaning solution, WD-40 for hardcore stains, baking soda paste, or alcohol for ink stains. The golden rule, though, is to avoid too much moisture. The trick with vinyl floor cleaning is to keep as dry a surface as possible, and only allow the mildest of cleansing agents to be applied. Compared with other flooring options vinyl is a great option, so if you abide by a few simple steps it will serve you well.