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Do's and Dont's for Cleaning Vinyl Floors

Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2011

Do’s and Don’ts for Cleaning Vinyl FloorsVinyl is a terrific floor covering. Its lower cost, its durability, and its ease of maintenance make it a very popular choice for kitchens, bathrooms, and any place in a home or office that might see a nice bit of traffic or spills. Though vinyl is super-durable, it's not invincible. It can be scratched or ripped, and it can absorb stains if they're not cleaned properly. There's a lot you can do to protect your floor, and there are some great tips for cleaning that will keep your vinyl shining.

First, a couple of things you don't want to use to clean vinyl flooring: you want to avoid cleaning products that are solvent-based. One of the greatest benefits of vinyl is the glow, but the wrong cleaning agents can dull that shine until you end up looking at almost a matte finish. So really, if you can use just warm water, that's the simplest, healthiest, and greenest way to mop your floor, but if you feel you need to have use a cleaning agent, then simple dishwashing detergent (Ivory is a great choice) mixed in with the mop water is the way to go. Just like with about any floor that doesn't have a drain in the middle, you don't want to flood the floor with mop water. You can add a touch of vinegar to the rinse water, which will also boost the shine.

And if we're talking technique, you want to avoid scouring or roughly scrubbing a vinyl floor to avoid scratching the finish or worse. If you come across a stain or scuff you can't seem to remove, use a paste of baking soda and water. Let the mixture rest on the stain for a few minutes and then gently rub. It should come up. If you get those black scuff marks from heels of shoes, you can actually spray a little bit of WD-40 on the mark, and almost miraculously the mark disappears; you just might have to rub lightly with a towel. This will cause the floor to be a bit slick, though, so be sure and clean the spot afterward with a little dishwashing detergent and rinse.

One last note: be careful what kind of floor mat you use (which is always a good idea). Some rubber-backed mats can react with the vinyl and cause stains that won't come out.