How to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring

When you install new luxury vinyl flooring, you’ll discover a wide range of benefits that include easier care and less maintenance than other types of flooring. However, it’s important to know how to clean vinyl plank flooring to ensure that it lasts as long as possible.

The following step-by-step guide will cover everything you need to know about cleaning your flooring. Use these suggestions to keep your trendy new flooring clean and scratch-free.

Sweep Your Floors Regularly

A man using a microfiber broom after learning how to clean vinyl plank flooring.

When looking for the best way to clean vinyl plank floors, you might immediately think about mopping your floors. While that’s an important care practice, you’ll also need to sweep your new floors on a consistent basis to keep up with dirt and debris — ideally, once a day.

Daily sweeping with a soft-bristled broom will help you get rid of small stones, food scraps, and other items that could scratch the surface of your flooring. Otherwise, such debris could get caught underfoot or trapped under a door, leading to damage.

Pro Tip: Some people recommend using a vacuum on vinyl plank flooring. However, a vacuum’s wheels can leave small scratches in the flooring if you aren’t careful.

Find (or Make) the Right Cleaning Solution 

Plan on mopping your vinyl plank flooring every week. Planning ahead is important since you’ll need to find a cleaning solution that won’t damage your flooring. This is an important aspect to consider as you learn how to clean vinyl plank flooring since the wrong solution can cause stains or erosion.

Most people simply add a couple of drops of liquid dish detergent to a bucket filled with warm water. Alternatively, you can use any pH-neutral cleaning solution. Avoid using waxes, abrasive cleansers, and chemical cleaning agents, as these products can harm your flooring. You’ll want to steer clear of vinegar for the same reason.

Did You Know: Flooring companies and manufacturers sell cleaning solutions specifically formulated for use on vinyl flooring. Contact your flooring distributor to learn about their cleaning products.

Find the Right Mop to Wash Your Vinyl Plank Flooring

As you acquaint yourself with the best practices for how to clean vinyl plank flooring, you’ll also want to consider the type of mop you use. Choosing a mop should involve some thought since you’ll want one that’s comfortable to use and won’t scratch your floors.

To meet both of these conditions, choose your mop based on the following features:

  • Microfiber material to prevent scratches
  • Adjustable handle for comfortable grip
  • Lightweight for maneuverability
  • Reusable pads you can wash between uses

You can find mops that meet these requirements in most department stores. If you have trouble finding the right one, your flooring distributor will likely be able to help when you ask them for the best way to clean vinyl plank floors.

The Best Way to Clean Vinyl Plank Floors with Your New Mop

A woman using a microfiber mop — the best way to clean vinyl plank floors.

As you mop your floor, your goal is to remove bacteria and other unseen hazards as well as visible dust and debris. This will require learning how to clean vinyl plank flooring as efficiently as possible.

The best method is to soak, rinse, and ring out your mop each time you go over roughly five planks. Doing so will help you eliminate dirt and debris rather than simply spreading it around.

Use short back-and-forth strokes, running the mop head along the grain of the planks. Going against the grain can leave streaks and distribute dirt farther over the floor. 

Pro Tip: Scrub a bit harder to remove stains or spills from the floor. As long as you’re using a microfiber mop, it shouldn’t scratch the flooring.

Prepare for Spot Cleaning

Even though you’ll be mopping once a week, you might need to know how to clean vinyl plank flooring on the spot. Keep a bottle filled with your floor cleaner and water — this is the best way to spot-clean vinyl plank floors in an emergency.

This short video provides more tips for taking care of your vinyl plank flooring:

Use a microfiber cloth or soft paper towel to soak up the excess liquid. Then, pour some of your cleaning solution over the area of the spill. Use your microfiber mop to clean the area just as you would if you were mopping the entire floor.

Drying Is the Vital Last Step

Part of learning how to clean vinyl plank flooring is learning how to dry the floors. The manual method is the fastest and best practice for drying your floors. It involves running a clean microfiber cloth over the vinyl plank flooring. Remember to switch to a new cloth after every five planks.

The second best way to clean vinyl plank floors is to allow the floors to air dry. Make sure no standing water is left on the floor, and open your windows to promote faster drying. You can also use a fan to speed things up.

Plan on Replacing Damaged Flooring

Even when you know how to clean vinyl plank flooring like an expert, damage can still occur. For example, accidentally dropping a hard or sharp object could poke holes in the flooring or leave deep scratches in the vinyl. Even furniture can damage your vinyl planks.

You’ll be prepared for these possibilities if you hang onto the leftover planks after the installation is complete. You can use those extra planks to replace damaged segments.

Once you install new planks, make it a point to add a fresh layer of sealant before cleaning the flooring in that area. This will help you keep your vinyl plank flooring looking its best.

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