how to clean vinyl plank flooring

Best Ways to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring

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?

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.

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Everyday Cleaning:

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 you’re more old school and sweeping is therapeutic, the O-Cedar Floor ‘N More and the OXO Good Grips Sweeper will attract any dust and hair on your floor.

If the hum of a vacuum is music to your ears, the 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.

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Deep Cleaning:

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 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 products your manufacturer suggests to use so you get the most out of your floors.

If nothing specific is mentioned, here’s a safe way to clean and protect your floors:

For weekly 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:

Mops

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.

If you’re in the market for a new mop, check out the Twist and Shout Mop or the O-Cedar EasyWring Mop.

They’re both awesome microfiber mop options for any kind of floor and won’t break the bank, either.

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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 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 top layer of your laminate along with it.

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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 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 floors, be sure to leave a comment below.

Ashley Rose Marino

About Ashley Rose Marino

Ashley is the owner and principal of Ashley Marino Designs in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas and loves anything and everything home related. When not designing interiors, she’s hopping on an airplane across the country and writing about what she knows best. Visit Website.

162 thoughts on “Best Ways to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring”

  1. Avatar

    The glue which seeped out when installing my luxury vinyl plank flooring has left permanent shiny spots on what is a matte finish plank, how do I remove it?

  2. Avatar
    Bobbi Romanowski

    Can the cleaning solution be used to treat scuffed up areas, wet puppy paws and “spot” cleaning? Do you have the ratio of water, to dishwashing soap, to white vinegar, if needed? What temperature should the water be? One major step I learned during this process is to mop in the same direction your planks are installed. I’m using o’cedar, promist max, with the flip option. Great for having a 2-3 step mopping process.

  3. Avatar

    After you use your wood cleaner, go back over it with clear water and a few drops of baby oil then a dry mop to rub in the shine.

    1. Avatar

      Everything I have read, no, it will damage the finish. Simple warm water and Dawn does the trick. Going to try adding a little white vinegar next time.

  4. Avatar

    Problem: my vinyl plank flooring has started to warp at joints: sides and ends!! We’ve been very careful and have followed the cleaning routine that the installers, and flooring company recommended on floor purchase. How do we fix the problem?!?! Thanks for your input.

    Dee

    1. Avatar
      Nancy Anderson

      Isn’t there some type of warranty on the flooring through the manufacturer? If you’ve been caring for it as recommended, there should be some recourse on the problems you are describing.

    2. Avatar

      Contact flooring company. We had to use their installers in order to have valid warranty. From my understanding they should come out to assess the problem and if they can’t fix it they will send a rep from the flooring manufacturer. Apparently there are micro chips in some of the products, for example if glue was used, they are able to detect if the recommended brand was used before warranty is valid. It sounds like the installer didn’t allow for movement of the planks due to humidity, weight and breaks, like the doorways.

    3. Avatar

      Dee, my v did the warping, or the floor mfg called it “cupping” I had mine installed August of 2018 and in May 2019 had to have it replaced. It was a product of Shaw and was bought at Nebraska Furniture. Each of them worked really well with me and it was replaced at no cost to me. I did choose and upgraded plank, but only because I wanted to. Now that cost me $1500.00….

    4. Avatar

      What brand and size like plus plank. Did you leave the recommended hat on all sides of the floor edge for expansion contraction and do you have a vapor barrier what is the moisture reading ? Asking for a floor I stallern

    5. Avatar

      It’s called cupping. My floors started the same after about 7 months and the warranty covered it. It was Shaw flooring but came from Nebraska Furniture. They are the ones who came and inspected the flooring. They are the ones who removed the old and installed new flooring. I did upgrade and spent a little more for a better grade but that was my choice. Didn’t have to.

  5. Avatar

    I’ve found the best mop and product is by Shaw. The product is called Shaw R2X Hard-floor Cleaner. Their mop that comes with the kit is great as well. It comes with a wet and a dry mop head. I refill my solution with their gallon bottle. Trust me. You won’t regret this product. I was not happy with my floors until I tried this product. Now I don’t have to worry about spots and streaking. The scent is also very gentle. It’s just a very clean scent, without being overpowering.

    1. Avatar

      Hi Valerie, is it OK to use wood cleaner on a vinyl floor? My concern is will it dull the vinyl over time?

      Thanks
      Kelle

      1. Avatar

        Hello. I looked up the Shaw R2X cleaner on Amazon and it does clean hardwood, ceramic, and resilient flooring.
        What is resilient flooring?
        Resilient flooring, also called vinyl flooring is a flooring created from carefully selected natural and synthetic materials. Today`s resilient flooring is a highly engineered combination of polymer materials.
        I just had vinyl flooring installed so I am excited to try this out.
        I hope this helps everyone out that had questions.

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