How to Clean Vinyl Floors

An affordable alternative to hardwood, tile, or stone flooring, vinyl is one of the most popular flooring options on the market today. However, when it comes cleaning vinyl floors many homeowners have no idea where to begin. Your journey to learning how to clean vinyl floors begins here. Below we detail the most important things you need to know about cleaning and maintaining your vinyl floors to keep them looking their best.

How to clean vinyl floors in your home

As with most flooring, regular maintenance is essential in order to keep your vinyl floors in good condition. Fortunately, this maintenance isn’t rocket science and only takes a few easy steps.

1. Use doormats + rugs

The best thing you can do to proactively maintain your vinyl floors is incredibly simple: use doormats and rugs to keep your floors clean. This easy step is key since dirt and other substances that you most likely track in when you enter your home can slowly damage and scratch your floor. By placing door mats at your entryways and rugs in highly trafficked areas of your home, you can easily cut down on what is tracked in as well as on the general wear and tear of your floors. You also may want to consider placing rugs or mats in areas where you spend a lot of time standing, such as in front of your kitchen sink.

2. Sweep up dust and debris on a daily basis

Regularly sweeping up dirt and dust is another important part of maintaining vinyl floors. By cleaning up dirt and dust with a broom or dust mop on a daily basis, you are removing these tiny particles before they can damage your floor, which will greatly extend the life of your vinyl floors.

3. Wipe up spills immediately

Another key to keeping your vinyl floors clean and free of damage is to wipe up any spills immediately to prevent stains. A soft rag and water are all you need. By cleaning up spills as soon as they happen — instead of letting them sit for a long period of time or dry — you will greatly reduce the risk of stains forming on your new floors. Is your household prone to stains, or do you think laminate flooring would be a better option? Learn the difference between vinyl and laminate flooring here.

4. Use furniture protectors

Over time heavy furniture or appliances can cause permanent dents on vinyl floors. To avoid this issue, simply place furniture pads under any heavy pieces in your home.

How to clean your vinyl floors

Now that you know the basics of maintaining vinyl flooring, it is time to move on to the good stuff: how to clean vinyl floors. In this section, we will discuss the best way to clean your floors on a regular basis, deep cleaning techniques for more thorough cleaning, and tips for removing tough stains and scuffs.

Regular cleaning

When it comes to keeping your vinyl flooring clean, you should plan to do a slightly deeper clean about once a week to get up any lingering dirt or dust particles. Before mopping, get up as much grit as possible using a broom, vacuum, or dust mop. Once you have done this, lightly mop your floors using a specialty vinyl floor cleaner or a mixture of apple cider vinegar and hot water. For added shine, add one or two drops of jojoba oil to your water and vinegar mixture.

Deep cleaning

Whether your dog tracked mud all over your living room, your kids got carried away with an art project, or you are just gearing up for a spring cleaning, sometimes a deep cleaning of your vinyl flooring is in order. To thoroughly clean your vinyl floors, you will once again want to start by sweeping or vacuuming up any excess dirt and debris. After this, add some dish soap to your apple cider vinegar and hot water mixture, for some extra cleaning power to remove anything that is deeply embedded in your flooring.

Removing stains and scuffs

If you find that there are certain stains or marks that don’t vanish after a good cleaning, fear not! There are a variety of easy tips and tricks you can use to get out even the toughest stains and scuffs from vinyl floors. Depending on the type of stain or scuff, you might need to replace your flooring.


Believe it or not WD-40 is one of the best ways to remove scuff marks from your vinyl flooring. All you need to do is spray a little bit of the product onto a clean cloth, rub the mark, and voila! If you are looking for a more natural alternative to WD-40, jojoba oil should also do the trick.

Acidic stains

Trying to remove a stain caused by tomato sauce, fruit juice, wine, or another acidic substance? All you need is baking soda. Simply make a paste by combining baking soda and water and rub it on the stain with a soft cloth. The stain should quickly vanish. Then wipe down the area with water, and it should be as good as new.

Ink or makeup stains

Rubbing alcohol is an easy way to quickly remove stains caused by makeup, ink, markers, or art supplies. To remove a pigment-based stain with alcohol, just rub the area with a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol until the stain lifts. You can also use non-acetone nail polish remover to clean up stains from nail polish.

Tough Stains

If you stain or scuff won’t vanish with the above techniques, it may be time to try a soft bristled brush. Just remember to never use a brush with stiff bristles, as these can easily damage vinyl flooring.

When it comes to keeping your vinyl floors looking new, half the battle is preventing damage before it happens by protecting your floors and keeping them free of debris. Aside from preventative maintenance, sticking to a regular cleaning schedule, with an occasional deep cleaning or spot treatment is all you need to extend the life of your vinyl floors.

You might also want to read:

Cleaning Vinyl Plank Flooring »

Cleaning Berber carpet »

Top flooring trends »