Keeping Vinyl Floors Clean

Vinyl flooring is a great option for kitchens and bathrooms because it's durable, attractive and easy to clean. The last item is a key feature in any surface used in kitchens and bathrooms, the two rooms in your house where bacteria, fungus and mold are most likely to be found.1

While it's not hard to clean your vinyl floors, they can be damaged if not cared for properly.

Consider these tips to keep your floors looking great while protecting your family against the germs that come from dirty shoes, pets' feet, spilled beverages, dropped food and other things likely to enable the growth of bacteria and fungus on your floors.

Keep dirt at bay

Dirt and stones on the bottom of your shoes and your pets' paws can scratch and abrade the surface of vinyl floors. Use doormats to catch a lot of the dirt before it enters the house, and sweep or vacuum daily to collect the dirt that does get in before it can scratch or damage the sheen of your floor.

Use the right tools

If you're not careful, the tools you choose for cleaning could damage your floor. If you sweep, use a soft broom. If you vacuum, make sure to turn the beater brush off. Mop with a damp – not dripping wet – mop, because too much water can seep beneath the vinyl and damage the glue that holds the vinyl down.2

Clear spills quickly

Related to the last tip, make sure to quickly dry any water or other liquid that spills onto the floor from sinks, bathtubs, showers or spills before it can stain the surface or damage the glue. A paste of baking soda and water, gently rubbed onto the floor, can remove many stains on vinyl floors.3 Other ways to remove stains include rubbing alcohol for lipstick, hair dye and ink; mineral spirits for crayon, paint and colored markers; shampoo for hair spray; and nail polish remover with acetone for nail polish.

Use mild cleaners

Avoid harsh chemicals when you clean your vinyl floor. Instead, mop with a mixture of one cup of cider vinegar and a gallon of warm water. If you want to disinfect, swap a cup of white vinegar for the cider vinegar. If your floors are extremely dirty, add a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap to the mopping water, then mop a second time with plain, warm water or a fresh mix of cider vinegar and warm water to remove soap residue that can make your floor look cloudy.

Never use ammonia-based cleaning solutions, as they can break down and crack vinyl. Mop-and-shine type cleaners may leave a cloudy film on the surface. If you'd prefer not to use vinegar or plain water, use a product specially made for vinyl flooring.

Regular cleaning using these tips should keep your vinyl clean and protected for many years. For more durable, 24/7 protection against germs, when it's time to replace your flooring consider switching to one with antimicrobial technology infused into the vinyl. Antimicrobials inhibit the growth of microbes in between regular cleanings, leading to a safer, cleaner home for you and your family.

Sources:

  1. NSF International. Germiest Items in the Home. http://www.nsf.org/consumer-re...
  2. Reader's Digest. 11 Tips for Cleaning Vinyl Floors. http://www.rd.http://www.rd.com/home/cleanin.../home/cleanin...
  3. BobVila.com. How To Clean Vinyl Flooring. http://www.bobvila.com/article...