How to Clean Vinyl Floors

Remove dirt, scuffs and stains from vinyl floors with these easy cleaning and maintenance tips from DIY experts.

towels in washing machine cloths

towels in washing machine cloths

towels in washing machine cloths indoor bathroom

Vinyl flooring can stand up to a lot abuse, even in high-traffic areas of a house, but it still needs care and cleaning to keep it looking its best. Here’s how to clean vinyl floors.

Wipe up spills as soon as they happen with plain water. This helps prevent stains. You’ll need to clean your floor more thoroughly about once a week. First, vacuum or dry mop the floor to remove dust, hair and dirt. Then you’re ready to move on to a wet mop and a cleaning solution. There are commercial vinyl floor cleaners available, but you can make a simple, effective cleaner for vinyl floors by mixing apple cider vinegar with water. The vinegar’s acidity removes dirt without leaving a soapy film. Mix one cup of cider vinegar with a gallon of hot water. Use a damp mop to apply to the floor, rinsing the mop frequently with clean, hot water from another bucket or your sink. For extra cleaning power, add a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap to the water and vinegar mixture. Mop first with the soap mixture and then mop a second time with the water and vinegar mixture. 

Here are tips on how to clean a vinyl floor that’s really dirty. You can remove stains from acidic substances like fruit juice, ketchup, tomato sauce or wine with a paste of baking soda and water. Rub it on the floor with a soft towel until the stain lifts. Clean the baking soda off the floor with a vinegar and water solution.

For tough stains from lipstick, crayons, paint or ink, apply rubbing alcohol to the spot and scrub with a soft-bristle brush. Don’t use steel wool or more abrasive brushes because they can scratch the floor. For nail polish stains, use nail polish remover. 

For scuffs, spray WD-40 on a towel and use it to rub the scuffed area until the marks go away. Clean with the vinegar and water solution to get the WD-40 off the floor.

Another tip on how to clean floors: Don’t use paste wax polishes on your vinyl floor. They’ll leave a film on the floor that will build up over time. There’s a cheap and easy way to add shine to your floor: Put a few drops of baby oil into that vinegar and water cleaning solution we told you about earlier. 

Don’t forget preventative care when considering how to clean vinyl flooring. Dirt and dust harm the finish of any floor, so keep doormats in front of exterior doors to keep dirt out of the house. 

Knowing how to clean vinyl flooring will keep it looking lovely and make it last for years.

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