Vinyl plank is one of the most popular types of flooring for its durability, simple yet attractive appearance, and affordability. Like most floor types, however, vinyl plank flooring needs to be cleaned regularly to maintain its good looks.
Vinyl plank flooring can be subject to scratches from furniture, dirt, and overexposure to foot traffic if the surface isn’t maintained properly. Even exposure to dirt and debris can wear down the quality of the floor.
If you’ve got vinyl plank flooring that is looking a bit worse for wear, we’ve got you covered. Here is our guide on how to clean vinyl plank flooring!
Remove Debris Regularly
The key to cleaning vinyl plank flooring is to remove debris (such as dirt, dust, hair, food, and anything else that appears on the floor) before you properly clean the surface.
This is because a mop won’t pick debris up, allowing stuff to scratch the floor or become embedded between the planks.
Vinyl plank flooring comes with a protective layer, much like with laminate flooring, so it’s really easy to remove the debris. It’s worth removing debris and dust regularly to maintain the shiny appearance of the flooring.
The best way to remove debris from vinyl flooring (and thereby prep the surface for cleaning) is either with a dustpan and brush, broom, vacuum cleaner, or with a dry mop.
Dustpan and brush
A dustpan and brush or a broom are great for getting rid of large pieces of debris, such as food or broken glass. However, the dense bristles aren’t designed to pick up smaller particles like flour, dust, and anything with a powder-like consistency.
While a vacuum cleaner isn’t suitable for sucking up all large pieces of debris, it is brilliant for removing small particles at a faster rate than with a dustpan and brush.
You can use vacuum cleaners for vinyl plank flooring, but only if the vacuum is suitable for cleaning hard floors.
Vacuums for carpets have a rotating hard brush that picks up hair from rugs and carpets with ease – but this rigid bar can scratch vinyl plank flooring. Instead, opt for a lightweight vacuum that has felt or rubber wheels to prevent scratches.
Alternatively, if you have both carpet and vinyl plank flooring, use an upright vacuum that is fitted with a hard floor setting that automatically moves the rotating brush out of the way.
The best way to easily clean your vinyl plank floor is with a dry mop. Dry microfiber mops are soft and highly adaptable, with the ability to reach debris in small corners and hard-to-reach places, such as underneath furniture.
The soft texture also doesn’t pose the risk of scratching the floor, unlike a vacuum cleaner.
The most effective way to clean flooring with a dry mop is with an S-shaped motion, as this will work to collect as much debris as possible. Once the debris has been collected, simply shake the removable dry mop head into the trash or wash it in the washing machine.
Vinyl Plank Flooring And Water
Here’s where it gets tricky. While you might assume that vinyl plank flooring can be cleaned with water from a wet mop, you might want to think again. Vinyl plank works similarly to laminate flooring, wherein too much exposure to water can be highly damaging.
Vinyl flooring is technically waterproof thanks to its protective layer. However, too much water can still seep through the planks, which can linger between the cracks and crevices and even the hard-to-reach corners.
When the water isn’t properly removed or prevented, it can eventually cause mold and damp problems.
Not only this, but too much water on vinyl plank flooring can result in discoloration, warping, and bubbling. For the sake of your floor’s appearance and quality, refrain from using too much water.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t use any water at all. Vinyl plank flooring, after all, is waterproof, so you can afford to use a small amount of water to clean grime and stains to leave the floor shining like new.
Microfiber flip mops are arguably the best option for vinyl flooring. These mops come with a reusable cleaning pad that is designed to hold a minimal amount of water – just enough to clean the floor, but not enough to soak it entirely.
Some microfiber flip mops come with an attached sprayer, which sprays the immediate area with a mixture of water and cleaning solution before you mop away. These are highly beneficial for vinyl plank flooring.
Vinyl plank flooring is durable, but this doesn’t mean you should use harsh chemicals like bleach to clean it. Most of the time, you can simply use a diluted mixture of dish soap and water to leave a nice shine without ruining the texture or color of the floor.
Everyone has different opinions about using a steam mop on vinyl plank flooring. Some argue that steam mops provide too much exposure to water, which can then linger between the planks and ruin the flooring.
While steam mops produce steam, which isn’t the same as heavy amounts of water, this exposure to moisture can have the same long-lasting effects as using a really wet mop.
However, others argue that steam mops actually use far less water than traditional mops, and sometimes even microfiber mops. The steam doesn’t linger for too long on the vinyl and dries within minutes, ensuring a super clean finish.
If you want to use a steam mop on vinyl flooring, make sure to check the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations. Don’t use the steam mop too often, and only use it on the hot setting, as this will encourage the steam to evaporate faster.
Turns out cleaning vinyl plank flooring is pretty straightforward. The key is to commit to regular sweeping, vacuuming, or dry mopping to clear the floor from debris and dust.
If you need to use water, make sure only to use a small amount to prevent it from damaging the floor. Happy cleaning!