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Vinyl Flooring Care Essentials: A Homeowner’s Cheat Sheet

Luxury vinyl flooring offers a classy, durable, and less expensive alternative to real hardwood. But just because it’s easier on the wallet doesn’t mean it can’t be costly if it isn’t taken care of.

Mistreating vinyl flooring can lead to unnecessary damage and wear. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with this at-a-glance guide to keeping your vinyl floors fantastic for years to come.

vinyl floor care cheat sheet


Your vinyl floor care arsenal

Taking care of vinyl flooring is essential to maintain its appearance and durability over time. Here’s a detailed list of the best cleaning products and tools to get the job done right. You don’t need every single item on this list, but we’re just covering all bases here:

  • Broom or Dust Mop: A soft-bristle broom or microfiber dust mop is essential for regular dry sweeping to remove dirt, dust, and debris. This prevents scratches and keeps the surface clean.
  • Vacuum Cleaner: Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to effectively remove dirt and debris from vinyl flooring. Make sure the vacuum does not have a beater bar, as it can damage the vinyl.
  • Microfiber Mop: A microfiber mop is great for wet cleaning vinyl floors. It effectively captures dirt and requires minimal water, reducing the risk of moisture damage.
  • pH-Neutral Floor Cleaner: Choose a pH-neutral vinyl floor cleaner specifically designed for vinyl floors. Avoid harsh chemicals, as they can damage the surface. Dilute the cleaner as directed on the label.
  • Soft Cloth or Terry Cloth Towels: For spot cleaning and wiping up spills, keep soft cloths or terry cloth towels on hand. Avoid abrasive materials that can scratch the surface.
  • White Vinegar: White vinegar diluted with water (1:10 ratio) can be used as a natural and gentle vinyl floor cleaner. Ensure it’s well-diluted to prevent any damage.
  • Soft Bristle Brush or Scrubber: Use a soft bristle brush or scrubber for stubborn stains or grime. Avoid abrasive brushes that can scratch the vinyl.
  • Felt Pads or Furniture Glides: Attach felt pads or furniture glides to the bottom of furniture legs to prevent scratches and scuffs when moving furniture.
  • Doormats and Rugs: Place doormats at entry points to trap dirt and moisture before it reaches the vinyl floor. Area rugs can also provide protection in high-traffic areas.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda can help remove stains and odors from vinyl floors. Make a paste with water and gently rub it on the stain, then rinse with water.
  • pH-Neutral Floor Polish (Optional): For added shine and protection, consider using a vinyl floor polish as recommended by the manufacturer. Make sure it’s compatible with your specific type of vinyl flooring.
  • Maintenance Manual: Always refer to the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations and guidelines for your specific vinyl flooring type.
  • Soft Rubber Broom or Squeegee: Use a soft rubber broom or squeegee to remove excess water after wet cleaning to prevent water damage and streaks.
  • Quick-Dry Towels: Keep quick-dry towels handy to wipe up spills promptly, preventing water from seeping into the seams or edges of the vinyl.

Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance, as different vinyl flooring products may have specific care requirements.

Regular cleaning and protection measures will help extend the lifespan and maintain the appearance of your vinyl flooring.

How to keep vinyl floors looking and feeling their best

To keep your vinyl flooring looking its best and prolong its lifespan, follow these detailed care instructions:

1. Regular Cleaning:

  • Sweep or Vacuum: Use a soft-bristle broom, a dust mop, or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to remove loose dirt and debris. Regularly sweeping or vacuuming prevents dirt from scratching the surface.
  • Damp Mop: For routine cleaning, mix a solution of warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap or a manufacturer-recommended vinyl floor cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the vinyl.
  • Mop the Floor: Dampen a mop or microfiber cloth with the cleaning solution. Wring it out well so it’s not overly wet. Mop the floor in sections, and rinse the mop or cloth frequently to avoid spreading dirt. Make sure not to leave excess water on the floor, as it can seep into seams and damage the adhesive.

2. Deep Cleaning:

  • Stubborn Stains: For stubborn stains like ink, wine, or grease, use a specialized vinyl floor stain remover or a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol. Apply the solution to a cloth, rub gently, and rinse thoroughly.
  • White Vinegar Solution: If your vinyl floor lacks its shine, you can use a mixture of one cup of white vinegar in a gallon of water. Vinegar helps to remove soap residue and restore shine. Be sure to rinse with clean water afterward.
  • Steam Cleaning: Some vinyl flooring types are suitable for steam cleaning. Check with the manufacturer’s guidelines before using a steam cleaner. If safe, use a low-pressure steam cleaner to deep clean and sanitize the floor.

3. Preventive Measures:

  • Furniture Pads: Place felt or rubber pads under heavy furniture legs to prevent them from scratching or denting the vinyl.
  • Mats and Rugs: Use mats or rugs at entryways to trap dirt and moisture, preventing them from being tracked onto the vinyl floor.
  • Avoid High Heels: High heels can dent vinyl flooring. Encourage family and guests to remove or avoid wearing high heels indoors.
  • Protect from Direct Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause vinyl to fade or discolor. Use curtains, blinds, or UV-blocking window film to protect your flooring.
  • Use Coasters: Use coasters or placemats under containers with cold or hot items to prevent scorching or moisture damage.

4. Maintenance Tips:

  • Inspect for Damage: Regularly inspect your vinyl flooring for any signs of damage or wear, such as tears, scratches, or loose seams. Repair any issues promptly to prevent further damage.
  • Reapply Floor Finish: Depending on the type of vinyl flooring you have, you may need to periodically apply a vinyl floor finish or polish to maintain its shine and protect the surface.
  • Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance, as they may vary depending on the specific type of vinyl flooring you have.

Regular cleaning and preventive measures are key to maintaining your floor’s look and feel (almost) indefinitely.

What to avoid when caring for your vinyl floors

Vinyl flooring is durable and relatively low-maintenance, but there are certain things you should avoid to ensure its longevity and appearance. Here’s a detailed list of what to avoid when caring for vinyl flooring:

scratched vinyl floor repair

All patched up! A deep scratch in vinyl flooring looks like it was never there thanks to Fibrenew.

  • Abrasive Cleaners: Avoid using abrasive cleaners, scouring pads, steel wool, or abrasive brushes on vinyl flooring, as they can scratch the surface and dull the finish.
  • Harsh Chemicals: Do not use harsh chemicals like bleach, ammonia, or solvent-based cleaners on vinyl flooring, as they can damage the surface, cause discoloration, or strip away the protective finish.
  • Wax and Wax-Based Products: Do not apply wax or wax-based floor polishes to vinyl flooring. Modern vinyl flooring is usually designed to be low-maintenance and doesn’t require waxing. Wax buildup can create a sticky residue that attracts dirt and makes the floor slippery.
  • Steam Cleaners: Avoid using steam cleaners or excessive moisture when cleaning vinyl flooring, as prolonged exposure to moisture can cause the edges to lift or adhesive to weaken. Always mop up spills promptly to prevent water from seeping between the seams.
  • High Heels and Sharp Objects: Discourage walking on vinyl flooring with high heels, sports cleats, or shoes with sharp objects like rocks embedded in the soles, as they can cause dents, scratches, or punctures in the surface.
  • Heavy Furniture Without Protection: When moving heavy furniture or appliances, avoid dragging them directly across the vinyl flooring. Use furniture pads or sliders to prevent scuffs and scratches. Additionally, consider using furniture coasters or protective caps on chair and table legs to distribute weight evenly and avoid indentations.
  • Direct Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause vinyl flooring to fade over time. Use blinds or curtains to reduce UV exposure or consider using window film to block harmful UV rays.

And that’s a wrap!

Caring for vinyl flooring isn’t rocket science, it just needs some regular TLC and mindfulness around maintaining it. In the event you do need some actual repair work done, don’t listen to anyone that says “vinyl flooring cannot be fixed.”

That’s an amateur thing to say. And Fibrenew wholeheartedly guarantees you that your vinyl flooring can, in fact, be restored—very affordably, too.

Fibrenew can restore and protect any of your vinyl products—bar none

All of your vinyl, plastic and leather needs can be covered by your friendly neighborhood Fibrenew professional. Take a quick scroll through our photos and you’re bound to come across plenty of vinyl floor repair magic.

Also, if you’re keen on learning how to do such repairs yourself, maybe a Fibrenew franchise is worth considering? Get in touch and let’s start the conversation today.



Vinyl floor care FAQ

How do I clean my vinyl floor on a daily basis?

Daily cleaning of vinyl floors can be done with a soft broom, a dust mop, or a vacuum with a “hard floor” setting to remove surface dirt and grit that can scratch the floor’s surface.

Can I use a steam mop on my vinyl flooring?

It is generally not recommended to use a steam mop on vinyl flooring as the intense heat can cause warping, peeling, or damage to the adhesive.

Are there any specific cleaning solutions I should use on vinyl floors?

You can use a mild detergent diluted in water or a cleaner specifically designed for vinyl floors. Avoid using abrasive cleaners, “mop and shine” products, or solvent-based polishes, as these can damage the flooring.

How can I remove scuff marks from my vinyl floor?

Scuff marks can often be removed by rubbing them gently with a melamine foam sponge (e.g., Magic Eraser) or with a soft cloth dampened with isopropyl alcohol or a small amount of WD-40. Always rinse with water after using chemicals on your vinyl floor.

Is it okay to use a wax on my vinyl floor?

No-wax vinyl flooring should never be waxed. However, if you have an older floor that requires waxing, use the type and amount of wax recommended by the floor manufacturer.

What should I do to protect my vinyl flooring from scratches and dents?

Place protective pads under furniture legs, avoid dragging furniture across the floor, and use doormats to catch dirt at entryways. Consider using area rugs in high-traffic areas, but avoid rubber-backed or latex-backed mats as they can stain or damage the flooring.

How can I prevent my vinyl floor from yellowing or fading?

Protect your floors from direct sunlight with curtains or blinds, as prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause discoloration. Clean spills immediately to prevent stains, and avoid using rubber mats or rugs as they can cause yellowing.

Can I use a buffer or polisher on my vinyl floor?

Most residential vinyl floors do not require buffing or polishing. If you feel your floor needs an extra shine, use a polish or sealant made for vinyl flooring, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

What is the best way to clean a heavily soiled vinyl floor?

For heavy soil, use a non-abrasive cleaner suitable for vinyl floors. Apply the cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes (but don’t let it dry), then scrub gently with a soft-bristled brush before rinsing with clean water.

How often should I deep clean my vinyl floor?

Deep cleaning frequency depends on the level of traffic and dirt your floor is exposed to. Typically, deep cleaning once every couple of months is sufficient, but in high-traffic areas, you might need to deep clean more frequently.

Is it safe to use a wet mop on vinyl flooring?

Yes, but it’s important not to soak the floor. Excessive water can seep into seams and edges, causing glue to weaken and the edges of the vinyl to curl.

How can I repair scratches or small cuts in my vinyl flooring?

Minor scratches can be camouflaged with a seam sealer or a vinyl floor repair kit. For larger cuts, you may need to replace the damaged plank or tile, or consult a flooring professional.

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Meet the author

Paul Gingras

Support Director

I’m thrilled to lead an enthusiastic support team that works hard every day to ensure our franchise partners experience success and satisfaction while growing their business.

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