Tips to Clean and Maintain Your Vinyl Floors

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Hardwood floors give homes a timeless, cultured feel, but they are also time-consuming and resource-intensive to maintain. They should thus not be chosen lightly, as it takes the right type of home — and homeowner — to maximize their lifespan and keep them protected from everyday elements.

Vinyl floors are a synthetic alternative that have the elegant appearance of traditional hardwood, but are more durable and easier to maintain. There are many advantages to choosing vinyl planking for your flooring, including:

  • There are many styles of vinyl plank flooring to choose from, making them compatible with almost any type of home and decor.
  • Vinyl is quite durable and suitable for families where lots of feet — including those of children and pets — are constantly running through the house.
  • Vinyl floors are waterproof. It won’t warp in rooms where moisture is prevalent, such as the kitchen or bathroom, or during wetter or snow-filled seasons.
  • Vinyl plank flooring is quiet and sound-absorbing. If you install it upstairs, people can walk around without disturbing anyone downstairs.
  • It is easy to clean and maintain.

The material is a great choice for any part of a home, but it’s still important to properly maintain your vinyl floors. They can quickly lose their luster if they’re not cared for, for example. Let’s look at some of the most reliable ways to clean vinyl floors to keep them in top condition.

Routine Maintenance

If you want your vinyl plank floors to look their best and last for a long time, you need to clean them regularly. The more diligent you are about maintaining your floors, the longer they can go without more extensive treatments.

Everyday Cleaning

You don’t need special equipment to keep your vinyl floors clean. What counts is consistency. Floors naturally attract a certain amount of dust and debris, whether tracked in from outdoors, brought in by pets, or created by your families’ food crumbs and spills. 

Here is all you need to do to keep your vinyl floors in the best possible condition.

  • Sweep every day with a broom to keep your floors free of debris.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner. It’s best to use a vacuum cleaner with a bare floor setting. Don’t use a beater bar or any attachments that might scratch the vinyl. 
  • If you want to get the best vacuum cleaner for vinyl floors, some top-rated models include the Ecovacs Deebot N79S and the Bissell Deluxe 1161.
  • Avoid using any type of abrasive material on your vinyl floors, such as steel wool or scouring pads. These may be effective for cleaning up messes, but they will damage the floors over time.

Maintenance Tips for Your Vinyl Floors

You can also keep your floors in great condition by properly maintaining them. Everyday life naturally brings dust and debris into your home, whether tracked in by humans or pets, and you might not think a little dust and tiny dirt particles can damage your floors. The problem is that such particles quickly accumulate, scratch the surface, and cause your vinyl to lose its luster. It’s normal for a certain amount of dust and dirt to circulate around a home, but you can take certain steps to keep it to a minimum.

Woman using a mop with a microfiber pad to clean her vinyl flooring.
  • Use a doormat.
    One of the best ways to keep your floors clean is to avoid tracking dirt from the outside into the house by stopping it at your doorway.
  • Build a mudroom.
    A mudroom area is useful for cleaning up before entering the house, especially when it’s raining or messy. You can towel dogs off in the mudroom to prevent him from bringing mud and dirt into the house, for example, or have your kids dump dirty clothes before heading into your otherwise clean home.
  • Ditch shoes.
    Having a “no shoes in the house” will help keep the floors clean.
  • Clean up spills and crumbs as soon as possible.
    This prevents such substances from seeping into the floors and doing damage.
  • Protect with pads.
    Use felt pads for furniture that you move around your floors. This will prevent scratches. Also avoid chairs and other furniture with rollers as these can damage floors.
  • Be careful when moving.
    When moving large items such as a new refrigerator, desk, or exercise machine through your home, put down plywood or some other type of protection. It only takes a few seconds to do serious damage to flooring.
  • Consider refinishing.
    If your vinyl flooring has been in place for quite a while or it has already been damaged, you should consider having it sanded and refinished by a professional.

Deep Cleaning

While sweeping and vacuuming are fine for everyday maintenance, your floors will also periodically need more extensive treatments. Dust and debris are bound to accumulate over time, for example, so you should be prepared to perform a deep cleaning every so often. 

As with routine cleaning, you don’t need any fancy equipment — just an old-fashioned mop and bucket. In fact, anything more than this will probably do more harm than good. Here are some deep cleaning tips:

  • Don’t use a steam mop or steam cleaning equipment as this could damage the vinyl.
  • Heavy cleaners will be too harsh for your vinyl flooring. You may need to use a no-wax cleaner, depending on the kind of vinyl plank floors you have, so you should be sure to do some research before you start. The flooring manufacturer can provide you with a list of recommended cleaning products.
  • Adding a small amount of vinegar to a cleaning solution will help you get even better results from mopping. The acidic quality makes it an excellent cleaning solution. Dilute it with water so it’s not too strong.
  • You don’t need to mop every day. Weekly is sufficient as long as you sweep and/or vacuum daily.

Contact a Professional

One of the advantages of vinyl plank flooring is that maintenance is fairly simple compared to many other types. It does take consistent attention, however, and might require professional assistance if lack of care gets out of hand. There’s also the possibility that you’ve moved into a new house where the floors have been neglected, but a professional will be able to help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the challenge of keeping up with your vinyl floors, or you think it’s time to have your vinyl floors refinished, contact the professionals at District Floor Depot. Our team will be happy to assist you with a consultation.

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