How to Care for and Clean Luxury Vinyl Floors

How to Care for and Clean Luxury Vinyl Floors

The attractiveness and low maintenance of luxury vinyl flooring has propelled it into one of the most sought-after product categories in the flooring market place. Thanks to advancements in technology, Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) and Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT), are manufactured to be more scratch resistant due to its extra-thick top wear layer and lacquer finish. These physical characteristics add enhanced stain and soil protection to ensure easy cleanup in those high traffic areas.

Now, you may be wondering how to best care for your vinyl floors, so they maintain their value, and shine! Let’s move on to discuss some preventative tips and cleaning methods, that requires minimal effort for upkeep.

Since luxury vinyl flooring is waterproof, the most common areas for it are mudrooms, kitchens, bathrooms and basements. These shared spaces can be prone to pet accidents and food spills, but for an easy clean up the solution is simple, as you don’t want to damage that protective wear layer which makes your luxury vinyl floors so durable. Below are frequently asked questions to help you understand how to care for your resilient floors---

Q: Can I use a steam cleaner on luxury vinyl?

A: No. While most is water-resistant or waterproof, direct head and moisture is not a good idea on luxury vinyl. The steam will eventually start to ruin, or scuff, the top protective wear layer damaging your floor.

Q: What’s the best cleaner to use on LVP flooring?

A: There are hundreds of products that will do the trick, but it is recommend that you use a pH neutral formula. Some manufactures, like Shaw, even sell their own cleaning solution. The key is to avoid using too much abrasive cleaner, so you don’t end up with a dull, streaky film that can be a chore to remove. In fact, apple cider vinegar makes an excellent vinyl floor cleaner. The acidity in the vinegar can remove grime and dirt without leaving behind buildup and sticky residue like soap can. Just make sure you don’t use full-strength vinegar, otherwise you run the risk of your vinyl floor losing its shine.

COMMERCIAL CLEANERS: Some commercial cleaners are specially designed for vinyl floors. These include Pine-Sol Multi-Surface Cleaner (view on Amazon), Pledge Multisurface Floor Cleaner (view on Amazon), and Armstrong’s Once ‘n Done Resilient and Ceramic No-Rinse Floor Cleaner (view on Amazon).

Q: What cleaning tools are safe to use on luxury vinyl planks?

A: Vacuum, spray mop, robot mop, dust mop, broom and Swiffer are all suggestions for light-duty cleaning. These preferred cleaning tools are simple to use, but you should always avoid hard bristles and vacuums with a beater bar or rotary brush head. Instead, look for a soft-bristled broom, microfiber mop heads, or a soft roller vacuum that allows you to adjust the height of the brush roll.

PRO TIP: Always vacuum or dry mop the floor to remove surface dirt, dust, and hair before moving on to wet cleaning.

Q: What are preventative measures one should take when caring for vinyl floors?

A: The best way to ensure you have clean vinyl floors is to set up a good defense and avoid roller furniture. Put down a rug or doormat to accommodate heavy foot traffic. Regularly sweep and dust the floors to remove any dirt that may cause abrasions. To prevent dents from appearing, use non-staining felt protectors or add flat nylon floor protectors, to the legs of your furniture. When moving appliances and other heavy, rigid objects, you’ll need to put down something a little sturdier, such as a dolly, to prevent tears and scratches.

Q: How to remove a scratch or scuff on your luxury vinyl floor?

A: If it’s a small mark, some light buffing might make the floor appear clean and shiny. If that doesn’t do the trick, you can also try a spot repair kit to remove the mark. If you have a slightly larger scuff or scratch, consider applying a vinyl floor sealer after you wash your floor to hide the mark. One trick that many people swear by is to spear a tennis ball on the end of a stick and rub it over the scuff to make it disappear. You can also try applying some jojoba oil or WD-40 lubricant on a towel and rubbing it over the scuff until it goes away.
For severe damage, such as a deep scratch, cut, gouge, or dent, you’ll likely need to replace the plank. Likewise, if you have a deep scuff mark because something wore away the protective wear layer — such as the bottom of a chair leg rubbing back and forth over the same spot — it’s usually better to replace the damaged piece.

Q: How to get rid of stains on your luxury vinyl floor?

A: If you have a stain on your vinyl flooring, you can try to gently rub it out using isopropyl alcohol 70% (best for removing lipstick, hair dye, nail polish and ink stains), a water and baking soda paste (best for removing food stains from grape juice, mustard, ketchup, tomato sauce and the like), or mineral spirits (best for removing crayon, paint, grease and marker stains).

PRO TIP: Do not allow excess cleaner to remain on the floor’s surface as this may permanently damage the floor.

As always, you will want to refer to the manufacturer of your flooring to see what they recommend for those more stubborn stains, if it’s not something warm water, a nylon-bristle brush or soft cloth rag, and plain dish soap can remove.

If you use these helpful care and cleaning tips, you’ll know exactly how to treat your vinyl flooring, so it continues to stay looking as good as new!