How to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl plank flooring is an affordable and low-maintenance alternative to traditional hardwood floors. However, despite being easy to maintain, it is important to keep a few things in mind when caring for your vinyl plank flooring. Below is a guide on how to clean vinyl plank flooring to keep it in tip-top shape for years to come.

Regular cleaning

One of the easiest ways to keep your vinyl plank flooring looking its best is to regularly sweep and vacuum away dust and debris. Although these tiny particles may not seem like a big deal, if left on your floors they can slowly wear down and damage the finish of your floors. It doesn’t have to be a deep clean, but a quick sweep or vacuum at the end of every day–especially in highly trafficked areas of your home–will extend the life of your vinyl plank flooring. No matter what method of cleaning, learning how to clean vinal plank flooring means learning how to clean on a regular basis.

Deep cleaning

If you are like most of us, you probably aren’t planning on deep cleaning your new vinyl plank flooring on a daily basis — and that is totally fine! When it does come time for more than just a quick sweep, here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure you don’t damage your flooring.

Vacuum (of dry mop) first

Before launching into wet mopping or using water to deep clean your vinyl flooring, it is important to vacuum or dry mop up any debris or dirt on the floor, making sure not to forget corners, baseboards, and areas covered by furniture.

Choose your mop with caution

Once you have prepared your vinyl plank flooring for a deeper clean, it is time to get out your mop! When choosing a mop to use on vinyl, it is important to ensure it does not have stiff bristles, wires, or a built-in scrub brush, which can easily damage your flooring. Instead, stick to a mop with a microfiber mop head or sponge mops which will gently clean your floors without damaging your finish.

Stick to the basics: soap + water or vinegar

Now that you have your mop ready, it is time to figure out what products will work best to deep clean your floors. The good news is, that when it comes to cleaning vinyl, you can stick to the basics, using plain dish soap mixed with warm water.

However, if you feel that your floor needs a little bit of extra TLC you can also use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar which will help get rid of any excess dirt that may be hanging around. The best part of using vinegar to clean your vinyl plank flooring is that, in addition to being powerful cleaning agents, they also don’t leave build up or residue. To incorporate vinegar into your cleaning, simply combine one cup of your preferred vinegar with one gallon of warm-to-hot water. For extra shine, try adding just a few drops of baby oil into the mix.

Specialty cleaners

In most cases, basic soap, water, and vinegar are all you keep your vinyl plank flooring in pristine condition, however, it is always good to double check your manufacturer’s guidelines to see if they recommend any sort of specialty vinyl floor cleaner that may extend the life of your flooring even longer.

Spot treating

Have stubborn stain or scuff you simply can’t seem to get out? Fear not! There are a variety of easy tricks for removing stains from vinyl plank floors, returning them to their original glory. Here are a few easy (and affordable) ways to get rid of those spots that won’t budge.


Yup – you heard us right. In addition to fixing squeaky bike chains, this multi-use oil is also amazing at removing deep scuff marks that won’t come up with regular cleaning. To remove marks with WD-40 simply rub the damaged area until the scuff is removed. Afterwards, wipe the spot down with soapy water to ensure no product is left on the surface. If you are looking for a natural alternative, you can also use jojoba oil for similar scuff-removing power.

Baking soda

A simple baking soda paste can be used to easily remove surface stains from vinyl plank flooring. To eliminate stains with this method simply mix water and baking soda and treat the affected area until the stain has vanished.

Cleaning products to avoid using on vinyl plank flooring

To understand how to clean vinyl plank flooring, it is important to remember that less is usually more since using harsh and abrasive cleaning product and tools can easily cause damage. To keep your floors looking new, be sure to avoid using the following tools and cleaning products during routine and deep cleanings.

Paste wax polish

Instead of shining your floor, these products will leave a thin film on your floor that will build up and cause them to look anything but sparkling clean.

Wired brush scrubbing pads

When battling a tough stain these scouring pads may seem like a clever solution, but they actually can cause serious damage to vinyl flooring.

Ammonia-based cleaning products

Never use ammonia or ammonia-based products to clean your vinyl plank flooring — no matter how dirty they may be. These harsh products will break down your flooring which can lead to cracks.

So there you have it. Caring for vinyl plank flooring comes down to a regular cleaning schedule, using gentle cleaning products and tools, and spot treating as needed. By sticking to these simple rules you can guarantee your floors look as good as new long after your first stain or spill.

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