How to Clean Vinyl Plank Floors

Vinyl flooring is all the rage right now, and it keeps growing in popularity. It’s flexible, easy to maintain, and capable of matching any home decor. However, like most new things, it’s a bit intimidating the first time you deal with it.

While it’s better than natural wood in nearly every way, it still requires some maintenance, and you might not know how to maintain it properly if you’ve lived with wood and carpet your entire life.

That’s what we aim to fix here. We’re going to teach you exactly how to keep your vinyl flooring looking brand new for decades, and we think you’ll be surprised when you see how easy it is to do.

What Is Vinyl Flooring?

In short, vinyl flooring is a relatively cheap alternative to wood and other materials.

It’s easy to produce, easy to install, and easy to maintain for long periods of time. However, it’s a little more complicated than that.

You’ve probably seen a PVC pipe or two during your life. That’s the same material that vinyl is made from.  It’s just chips of PVC plastic that are melted together.

That sounds cheap and tacky, but it’s a very versatile material, and it’s considered a luxury building material by many different people. It can look exactly like wood, and it lasts way longer. The plastic used is waterproof, static-proof, and resistant to warping and cracking.

It also benefits from not needing to be resealed and treated with expensive chemicals like wood flooring does.

With vinyl flooring, you can expect these benefits:

  • Comfortable surface
  • Impervious to water damage
  • A large array of patterns and colors
  • Resistant to warping
  • Resistant to static electricity
  • Cheap installation costs
  • Easy installation and maintenance

How To Maintain It

You can break floor maintenance into two separate categories. The one you’re most frequently going to perform is everyday cleaning maintenance. It’s simple to do with vinyl, and it’ll only take a few minutes out of your day.

You’ll also want to deep clean your flooring every once in a while. This type of maintenance can take a bit longer to do, but it’ll ensure that your flooring lasts for a very long time. You don’t have to do it very often, either.

If you’re a little intimidated by your vinyl flooring, you’ll be happy to know that all of our suggestions are things that you’ve probably been doing since you were a child doing chores for your parents.

Now, we’ll go over the two types of cleaning in detail.

Regular Maintenance

The two ways you can clean your floor on a daily basis shouldn’t be anything new to you. You can sweep it, or you can vacuum it.

Your main goal is to remove dust and dirt from the floor. 

While both of them are unsightly on their own, they also cause quite a bit of damage over time.

This is because dust contains very small and rough particles that scratch your flooring every time you shuffle it around beneath your feet. You won’t notice the damage at first, but over time, you’ll notice visible scratches all over your floor.


Using a broom isn’t complicated, and we’re willing to bet you know the basics of it. It doesn’t really matter what broom or sweeping pattern you use.

You just want to quickly sweep the dust up and move on with your day.

However, we recommend buying one that is comfortable in your hands and capable of sweeping up large amounts of dust quickly. You’ll be using your broom every day, and there’s no point in suffering through having to use a bad broom. Look, we have prepared a list of the best brooms for tile floors.


Vacuums are more expensive than brooms, but they’re a lot more convenient.

The one you have nestled away in your closet will work just fine for cleaning vinyl flooring.

Unlike carpet, vinyl doesn’t have a lot of places where dirt can get trapped. So, it should only take you a minute or two to properly vacuum your vinyl flooring. If you have not purchased a vacuum cleaner, then check our list best electric brooms.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning your vinyl flooring is just as easy as your daily cleaning routine, but it takes a little bit longer to do.

Before you use our tips, you should know that some manufacturers recommend using specific cleaning products on their flooring.

If you can figure out what the manufacturer of your flooring recommends, use that. Your floor will look a lot better.

If you can’t find the manufacturer’s suggested products, or if you simply don’t care about going above and beyond for your flooring, you can simply mop it once a week. 

Mopping is not a difficult task. You just get a mop wet and soapy, and you rub it on the floor. However, there are some things that you should know about mopping vinyl. First, you should always sweep your floor before you mop it. You don’t want to spread dirt around while you’re mopping.

When you have all of the dust off of the floor, you can mop with warm and soapy water.

If that doesn’t do the trick, you can add white vinegar to your mop water, and that’ll give you a little more cleaning power.

Whatever you do, don’t use any bristles or scrubbing pads on your floor. Tile and granite may be able to resist sandpaper-like bristles, but vinyl will get torn up by them. 

While vinyl can handle normal wear and tear from being walked on and everything else you do on it throughout your day, it isn’t very good against abrasive materials. That’s why you have to sweep it everyday, and scrubbing tools are a lot worse than dust and debris.

Bonus Tips

Here are a few tips that you can use to keep your floors from getting destroyed.

1: Always use something soft like a rag when you have to clean up stains or spills. It may be tempting to use something abrasive, but you’ll destroy your flooring.

2: Use furniture pads. The legs of your couch and chairs are hard. They’ll scuff and scratch your flooring when they’re nudged if you don’t use proper furniture pads.

3: Do not haphazardly drop heavy objects on your flooring. Even the best oak flooring can be dented and chipped if you drop a refrigerator or couch on it, and vinyl is more prone to being damaged by impacts like that. 

If you’re moving something heavy, use proper moving techniques and keep your floor safe.

4: You also want to protect the protective layer on top of your vinyl. Unlike other flooring types, vinyl comes with a thick layer that’s designed to take the brunt of the damage you throw at it. However, that layer is hard to replace without replacing the flooring. 

You want to take care of it to keep your vinyl flooring looking clean and shiny for as long as possible.

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There’s a reason vinyl flooring is quickly taking over the flooring industry. It’s just easier to use than traditional materials, and it lasts longer. How many other flooring types do you know of that can remain nearly brand new for decades?

Vinyl is more resilient to normal wear and tear, it’s comfortable, it’s cheap, and it performs a lot better than other inexpensive alternatives to wood such as laminate flooring.

Now that you know how to properly clean and maintain your vinyl flooring, you’ll never have to worry about replacing it or staring at a dulled and unsightly floor. It’ll have the same shine twenty years from now if you keep it up.

Thank you for reading, and we hope this has made your vinyl flooring a little less intimidating

Jeffery Gonzalez

I am a working-from-home dad and have always been interested in finding ways to make my home life easier and more efficient. I started Household Vision as a way to share the tips, tricks, and tools that I have found helpful in my own home. I hope that my readers will find my blog helpful and informative.