You’ve just been handed the keys to your first real home (complete with vinyl plank throughout, of course). There’s nothing in the world that could dull your sparkle right now.
Little did you know when you bought the house that not properly taking care of your shiny new vinyl plank floors could easily dull their sparkle.
If you’re feeling a sense of panic sit in, don’t worry. Vinyl plank flooring is actually one of the lowest maintenance flooring types you can install in your home.
With some daily love and care, your shine can be easily be upkept by following a few guidelines unique to your new flooring type.
Before we get to tips and tricks on the best ways to clean, let’s learn a bit about your brand new floors:
- What is vinyl plank?
- Everyday Cleaning
- Deep Cleaning
- Other Do’s and Don’ts
- Are You Up for the Challenge?
What is vinyl plank?
Vinyl plank is a super versatile flooring option that has surged in popularity over the last few years. The durability of vinyl compared to classic wood has made this flooring newcomer a staple in new home construction and renovations.
Nowadays, vinyl plank is a great choice to install in rooms such as bedrooms or living rooms (AKA rooms where you would traditionally find solid wood floors). The real beauty of vinyl is that you can also install it in places like kitchens and bathrooms where you can’t install wood without having warping.
The best part about vinyl plank is that it’s incredibly easy to maintain, even if you have kids and pets making messes every hour on the hour.
You’ll want to follow a few steps to make sure your floors are properly taken care of:
Your first step? Getting an adorable door mat welcoming all of your visitors to your rad new home.
The next steps? Keeping up a consistent cleaning schedule that’s specifically designed for your vinyl plank.
If you leave dust and debris on your floor, you run the risk of seriously damaging and scuffing the finish on it. You may be wondering: how does this damage happen from just a little bit of dirt on the ground?
Small specks of dirt actually have sharp edges that can damage your floor over time. Fine particles of grime can act just like sandpaper and slowly remove the finish from the floor as you track it around your home with your feet or shoes.
If you want to avoid having to live with less than perfect floors, there’s a ridiculously easy way to avoid excess dirt to keep them looking pristine.
What you’ll need to clean your vinyl plank daily are two things that you probably already have lying around your home. A simple broom or vacuum will do just the trick.
If you’re looking for something specifically designed for laminate floors, here are our recommendations for products that you’ll be eager to break out:
Brooms and Vacuums
As far as brooms and vacuums go, you should be using one daily to upkeep your vinyl plank. When you’re using a product that often, it needs to be good.
If the hum of a vacuum is music to your ears, the Dyson Animal 2 or Shark Navigator will do the job nicely. Pro-tip: invest in a quality vacuum built for dealing with pet hair if you have dogs or cats – you won’t regret it.
No matter which you prefer, as long as you have a daily routine and you stick to it, your floors will thank you by dazzling visitors as soon as they walk through your door.
If your floors need a little bit more TLC than your daily routine, once you finish sweeping and vacuuming up dust, you can get out your trusty tile mop and bucket to finish the job.
Before doing anything to your floors other than vacuuming and sweeping, it’s a safe bet to go and consult your trusty friend Google for floor specifics. You’ll be able to look up exactly what cleaning products your manufacturer suggests to use so you get the most out of your vinyl plank floors.
First, a note on Steam Cleaning: AVOID steam cleaning vinyl plank flooring. Your LVP is built tough, and while the PVC material is waterproof – it’s not meant to withstand steam. Instead, simply stick with a mop or swiffer (as discussed below).
If nothing specific is mentioned, here’s a safe way to clean and protect your floors:
For weekly vinyl floor cleanings, all you need to do is add a bit of warm water and plain ol’ dish soap to a bucket and mop away. For those days where your floor needs just a little more of a pick me up, add a bit of white vinegar to your soap and water solution to get that sparkle back.
After mopping with your desired mix, be sure to go back over your floors with a clean wet mop to get all of the extra soap and vinegar goodness off of your planks.
Since you probably ditched your old mop in the move, here are some tips on choosing a mop to use on your vinyl plank floors:
When buying a mop to use on your vinyl plank, it’s imperative that you choose an option that doesn’t include a built in scrub brush option.
Remember what we mentioned about dry dirt destroying finishes like sandpaper on the floor? Adding a wet scrub brush into the mix is like taking a jackhammer to your varnish.
You’ll want to choose an option that ideally has a microfiber mop head to protect your floors from any unnecessary abrasions.
They’re both awesome microfiber mop options for any kind of floor and won’t break the bank, either.
Many people have written to FloorCritics asking if their Swiffer can be used on their vinyl plank floors. YES, Swiffer WetJets can be used. Just be sure to avoid flipping the mop over to use the abrasive scrubber.
Other Do’s and Don’ts:
Though these tips aren’t specifically related to cleaning, they’re vital to increasing the longevity of your floors. You’ll want to keep these 3 do’s and don’ts in mind when living with luxury vinyl plank:
Do keep your furniture on felt pads to avoid scratches if they’re moved across the floor.
Don’t buy furniture with rollers because these will scratch your floor (unless the furniture is on an extra large area rug of some sort).
Do put down plywood when you need to roll large items into your home, like a new couch or fridge. Don’t assume that your floors can handle the impact of large items being dragged across the floor because spoiler alert: they can’t.
Do use a soft cloth or a nylon bristle brush to get stuck on stains off of your floors. Don’t use a knife or an abrasive cleaner to scrub away any stains because you’ll end up scrubbing away the laminate top of your vinyl plank along with it.
Are You Up for the Challenge?
As long as you keep our tips for cleaning in mind, you’ll be on your way to keeping your brand new home as flawless as it is now.
Remember to keep up a daily (let’s be real – weekly) sweeping or vacuuming routine to keep those small but sharp dust particles off of your varnish. Also be sure to break out your trusty microfiber mop at least weekly to do a deep cleaning.
After reading about how easy it is to take care of, aren’t you relieved that you have vinyl plank? I can assure you that not even the largest of dirt particles can steal your sparkle now.
If you have vinyl plank in your home and would like to share some tips on how you care for your LVP floors, be sure to leave a comment below.