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Green Cleaning of Vinyl Floors

Posted: Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Green Cleaning of Vinyl Flooring

Green, the buzzword of the early 21st century and beyond, is a challenge to accomplish in some industries and for some products, but luckily this is not the case with cleaning floors. There are green options for cleaners and cleaning methods for just about any type of floor, but for vinyl, it just doesn't get easier.

Vinyl — not to be confused with linoleum, which is made from natural elements, such as jute, wood flour, linseed oil, and limestone — is a petroleum based product that is synthetic. It's a great choice for areas that see a lot of traffic and moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms.

First and foremost, do your best to keep dirt and debris from coming in at all…use door mats to catch it on their way in. Then just periodic vacuuming or sweeping (depending on your traffic volume and how the space is used) is the next line of defense.

Eventually you'll have to bring out the mop, though, and the best way to clean your vinyl is a simple solution of water and borax or a weak solution using liquid detergent and water. Don't worry about too much water when you mop vinyl, unlike hardwood floors. Vinyl is not porous and will not absorb water.

You can also mix a bit of distilled white vinegar into your wash water to bring out a nice shine. Never scrub or use abrasive cleaners or tools on your vinyl because you can scratch it. If you have a stubborn stain or spot. Just mix up a paste using baking powder and water and rub on the stain, and you should have great results. You can nix scuffs by applying a small amount of jojoba oil on the spot.

Vinyl's typically great at keep its shine and finish, but over time (and over stains, spills, shoes, and drops), the finish will eventually need a facelift. The key in reapplying a wax or polish or coating to your vinyl floor is to make sure it is thoroughly clean.

Any dirt or material that is left on the floor will be forever sealed in a tomb of gloss and can show, so after cleaning the floor, clean it again, and then rub a white cloth over to double-check it's just as clean as it can be. Then use a polish or acrylic coating that is approved for your particular floor. Wax on, wax off, and you're set for several more years with a beautiful floor.