More often than not, homeowners tend to clean their floors in the most basic way they know. But each floor covering—given that they come in different materials—requires a careful and specific cleaning method, particularly if you wish to retain its original look.
Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVP), for example, require a non-abrasive cleaning method. However, this does not mean LVP isn’t easy to clean. It is, in fact, one of the lowest maintenance flooring materials available on the market today.
Now, the question is: what is the proper way to clean LVP flooring?
What Is Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Also known as Luxury Vinyl Plank/Tile, Vinyl Plank Flooring is a new type of floor covering that has increased rigidity and density and offers a wide array of stylish and aesthetically pleasing designs.
LVP was introduced only a few years ago but has already earned a positive reputation among residential and commercial space owners; mainly due to its level of durability compared to classic flooring materials. But aside from that, it was also praised for how easy-to-clean—as well as maintain—it is.
How to Properly Clean LVP Flooring
Many might not know this, but there are proper ways to clean vinyl plank flooring. And these methods do not only make the removal of dirt and stains easier and quicker but also prevent fading and discoloration.
That being said, below are the cleaning supplies you will need:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Piece of cloth (regular or microfiber)
- A bucket filled with water
- Brush with a soft-bristle
Use the Right Cleaning Methods
Method 1: Via Soft Scrubbing
Stubborn stains that are discovered a few days or weeks after the fact are one of the most frustrating – and common – flooring problems. These stains are naturally difficult to remove, and most of the time prompt homeowners to resort to using abrasive cleaning products that could cause discoloration.
As a solution, professional cleaners recommend using a scrub with soft nylon bristles. It is best to partner it with a baking soda mixture (homemade) to completely loosen up the dirt. Baking soda is a natural cleaning agent too; hence, it is gentle and won’t harm your vinyl’s original color.
However, if baking soda won’t work, you can use isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Make sure to scrub the floor gently when using either of the two.
Method 2: Via Dry Mop or Vacuum
Keeping your floor clean at all times is a must. And to do so without damaging your vinyl flooring’s appearance (color, for example), experts recommend using a dry mop or a vacuum to clean vinyl flooring everyday or every other day.
These methods completely scoop up dust, soft dirt, and other tiny debris. Vacuum and dry mop are perfect too for quick floor cleaning.
Method 3: Via Wet Mop
This could be a hard pill to swallow for homeowners—and even commercial space owners—but cleaning your floor everyday or every other day via a vacuum is not enough. This is particularly true for folks with, say, kids or pets. Or a space with heavy foot traffic.
That being said, the best way to have your vinyl floors cleaned completely is via a wet mop dipped in homemade white or apple cider vinegar mixture. Simply wet the mop using the above-mentioned mixture and gently wipe it on the floor.
Mopping your floor using said mixture is a great way to remove grime as well as old, stubborn stains. But the nice part about it is that it will not leave a streak of soapy mess, like a detergent might. The mixture isn’t abrasive, either. Unlike bleach which may cause fading over time, the apple-cider vinegar mix should leave your floors the same color they came.
How Many Times Should You Clean?
A clean floor, especially for a household with kids or pets, is important to maintain. So you should, as much as possible, keep your floor clean at all times. Stains like spilt food or drink, for example, should be cleaned immediately. You should use a dry mop or a vacuum every day too as tiny debris, dust, and grime can damage your vinyl flooring too—especially if left unattended.
For deep cleaning, however, experts recommend doing it twice (or three times, if needed) a month.
The Do’s and Don’ts
There are things you should and should not do when it comes to keeping your vinyl floors clean. Here are a few tips for you:
- Immediately clean spills. Food and drink spills with high pH concentrations such as lemon juice and vinegar can result in discoloration. It would be difficult to remove too if left unattended.
To avoid it, immediately clean spilled substances on your floor. Simply wipe them off using a clean cloth damped in water or a non-abrasive cleaning solution.
- Use felt pads for your furniture. Heavy furniture—whether made of wood, plastic, or ceramic—often leaves marks and scratches on the floor. To protect your LVP from being scuffed, place a felt pad or sole covering on each foot of your furniture, especially tables and chairs.
When moving them, always lift instead of sliding them, as this can also cause scratches.
- Properly remove rust. You are probably not aware of this, but vinyl flooring can also fall prey to rust if not properly maintained. Vinyl planks’ makeup contains artificial materials, making them vulnerable to rust.
That said, you should treat rust immediately when it starts to appear. Simply use a regular (or a microfiber, if you have one) cloth, dip it in water and apply a small amount of baking soda paste before you wipe it on the affected area.
- Avoid using highly abrasive cleaning products. Cleaning materials can scuff your vinyl flooring too! To avoid it, it is best to use non-abrasive cleaning tools like steel wool and brush with hard bristles.
That said, use cleaning tools that are soft such as a mop or a brush with soft bristles.
- Do not use solvent-based polishes. A misconception that many have is that vinyl flooring needs to be polished to keep their shine. But that’s not true! And it might only make things worse.
Vinyl planks are covered with a special polyurethane coating that protects the board and keeps their shine. Hence, solvent-based polishes and wax are unnecessary.
While LVP flooring is one of the easiest types of flooring to maintain today, it still requires some extra care and a careful cleaning approach. This is especially true if you wish to keep your floors looking new for a long time. Or if you have kids or pets.
Overall, properly cleaning your floor does not only make the task easy and fast but can also help you save money in the long run.