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In 1872, German chemist Eugen Baumann invented vinyl material. It wasn’t until 61 years later that it debuted as a type of flooring at Chicago’s 1933 Century of Progress Exposition. Since then, vinyl flooring has made its way into homes worldwide, boasting many benefits: It’s budget-friendly, durable, easy to maintain, and long-lasting. But even with these characteristics, like any floor, it can get dirty and damaged. Here’s how to safely clean vinyl floors to maintain their appearance and maximize longevity.

Dry Mop and Vacuum

Before using special cleaners and solutions, remove dust, hair, and dirt with a dry mop or vacuum. Ensure you use a soft mop and avoid abrasive bristles, which can damage your vinyl’s surface. If you vacuum, use a mode suitable for hard floors that keeps the beater bar stationary because rotation can create scratches.

Using Floor Cleaners

After you’ve removed the dirt, you can use solutions for a deeper cleanse, like commercial floor cleaners. Make sure you read the label to confirm that it’s appropriate for vinyl flooring and follow the instructions for the best results.

Keep in mind that no matter which cleaner you use, avoid using excessive amounts that result in puddling. This can cause bubbling, corner curling, and floor blemishes if the water seeps through the cracks. Instead, use a lightly dampened cloth or mop. Additionally, don’t use ammonia-based cleaners, bleach, or harsh scrubbers that can cause damage.

Removing Stains

You can use an approved vinyl flooring stain remover for your everyday stains. Use a soft cloth to apply the solution to the area and rub gently in circular motions until the spot lifts. Apply more and repeat the process if necessary. Don’t forget to remove excess residue with a clean damp cloth for a better finish.

For tougher stains like lipstick, paint, or ink, rub alcohol on the spot with a soft-bristle toothbrush. You can use standard nail polish remover with the same brush if you have nail polish marks.

Getting Rid of Scuffs

Many minor scuffs, like shoe marks, can be easily buffed away with a melamine sponge. Spray a vinyl-safe lubricant on a towel or directly apply it to the affected area and rub the mark out with a bit of elbow grease. 

Prevention and Maintenance Tips

Routine maintenance and preventative measures can make cleaning vinyl easier. Here are some things you can do to protect your floors:

  • Clean up spills immediately.
  • Use floor protectors under appliances and furniture.
  • Lay rugs in areas of heavy foot traffic.
  • Put mats in front of exterior doors.
  • Avoid dragging heavy items across the floor. If you can’t lift them, lay down sheets of plywood along your push route.
  • Never use wax. To keep vinyl shiny, add baby oil to your cleaning solution. Be careful not to make the planks slippery by using too much.

Now that you know how to clean vinyl floors, you can put these tips to the test the next time your home needs tender loving care. If you’re considering installing new flooring or need some maintenance advice, Rome Flooring is here to help. Contact us today to talk to our experts.