If you’ve recently bought or built a home with vinyl floors, you’ve probably wondered what cleaning products and methods work best on them. Given the popularity of steam mops, you might think they’re the answer to your cleaning needs. After all, steaming is a great way to sanitize while cleaning.
So, can you use a steam mop on vinyl flooring? While steam mops are okay to use on sheet vinyl that was popular in the 1960s, you shouldn’t use them on your luxury vinyl plank flooring. The moisture from the steam can get between the planks and loosen the adhesive.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into why you shouldn’t use a steam mop on vinyl plank flooring and give you some alternative methods for cleaning vinyl flooring. We’ll also tell you how frequently you should clean your vinyl floors to keep them looking their best.
Why Should You Not Use A Steam Mop On Vinyl Plank Flooring?
The number one reason you shouldn’t use a steam mop on vinyl plank flooring is that the heat and moisture from the steam can seep into the cracks between the planks and loosen the adhesive.
Not only that, but the humidity can cause the planks to swell and warp, ruining your beautiful floors. You may be able to mitigate these issues by putting your steam mop on its lowest setting and not leaving it in one place for very long, but we recommend forgoing steaming your vinyl floors altogether just to be safe.
What Is The Best Way To Clean Vinyl Flooring?
Now that you know you can’t steam-clean vinyl flooring, you’re probably wondering what the best cleaning methods are.
We’ve tried all sorts of cleaning methods on all types of flooring, and these methods gave the best results on vinyl plank floors.
1. Vacuum or Swiffer
The most important thing you can do when trying to maintain the beauty of your vinyl plank flooring is to vacuum or Swiffer every day to remove crumbs or dirt particles that could scratch your floors.
If you use a vacuum, make sure you use the “hard floor” setting; otherwise, the beater bar can damage your floors.
You could also use a traditional broom, but you should be sure to choose a broom with soft nylon bristles, as stiffer bristles could leave scratches on the surface of the vinyl planks.
2. Mop With Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the best vinyl plank flooring cleaners because the vinegar’s acidity breaks down dirt and grime without damaging the finish on your floors or leaving a residue behind.
To harness the cleaning power of vinegar, just mix a cup of apple cider vinegar into a gallon of water and use it to mop your floors.
Remember to ring out your mop until it’s only damp, not dripping; too much water can damage vinyl flooring. If you want to disinfect while you clean, you can use white distilled vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar.
3. Jojoba Oil for Scuffs
If you notice scuffs on your vinyl floors, you can use jojoba oil to make them disappear. All you need to do is apply the oil to a cloth and rub it over the scuff until it’s gone.
If you don’t have jojoba oil on hand, you could use WD-40 instead. When you’ve removed the scuff, you can wash the solution off your floor with the same vinegar and water mixture you use to mop your floors.
4. Common Household Solutions for Stains
If your vinyl plank floors have stained areas that mopping alone won’t remove, you can use baking soda, rubbing alcohol, or mineral spirits to remove them.
Let’s take a closer look at how to make the most of each product.
- Baking soda: If you encounter stains from food products like ketchup or grape juice, make a paste of baking soda and water and rub the stain until it’s gone. Be gentle when scrubbing, as too much friction could scratch your floor. When the stain has been removed, wash the remaining baking soda from your floor with your vinegar and water mixture.
- Rubbing alcohol: If you get lipstick, ink, or hair dye on your floor, you can put a little bit of rubbing alcohol on a white rag or paper towel and rub it onto the stain until it’s lifted.
- Mineral spirits: If your children stain your floors with crayons, markers, or paint, you can use some mineral spirits on a white cloth or paper towel to remove the stains.
- Acetone nail polish remover: If you get nail polish on your floor, you can use nail polish remover on a cotton ball to get it off. Make sure you get the kind with acetone, as non-acetone remover won’t do the trick.
How Often Should You Clean Vinyl Flooring?
In order to keep your plank vinyl floors looking like new for decades, we recommend daily vacuuming or Swiffering.
You should also mop your floors a minimum of every other week or weekly if you have pets or kids that make messes. Be sure to clean big messes as they occur to extend the life of your flooring.
What Type Of Mop Is Best For Vinyl Floors?
Most mops are appropriate for cleaning vinyl floors as long as you can wring them out well. Your mop should always be damp rather than wet, as overly wet mops can allow liquid to seep between the planks and damage your floors.
Can You Use A Shark Steam Mop On Vinyl Floors?
No, you can’t use any type of steam mop on vinyl floors without risking damaging them. Don’t worry, though; you can use a string mop, sponge mop, flat mop, or string mop to clean your floors instead.
What Floors Can You Use A Steam Mop On?
Although you can’t use a steam mop on vinyl planks flooring, steaming is an excellent choice for cleaning and sanitizing many other surfaces, including:
- Sealed Tile
- Water-Resistant Laminate
Also, be sure to never put floor cleaner in your steam mop! it’s a bad idea.
Vinyl Floor Cleaning Tips
Vinyl plank flooring is designed to last 10-20 years if properly maintained.
Here are a few tips to keep your floors looking beautiful for decades:
- Place doormats at each entryway to minimize dirt
- Use felt or rubber pads under the feet of your furniture to prevent scratches
- Use furniture sliders when moving furniture to avoid scratching your floor
- Avoid abrasive scrubbers like steel wool
- Don’t use harsh cleaners like ammonia or bleach
- Don’t use soap or detergents that leave residue behind
Luxury vinyl plank flooring became one of the most popular flooring choices starting in the early 2000s and can last for decades if you take care of it properly. You should never use steam mops to clean your vinyl plank flooring.
To keep your vinyl floors looking their best, you should vacuum them daily and clean spills immediately. You should also use a damp mop to clean them at least twice per month.
Although there are many vinyl-friendly commercial cleaners on the market, one of the best products you can use to maintain your floor is apple cider vinegar.
You can avoid untimely damage to your floors by placing a doormat at each entryway, putting felt or rubber pads under the feet of your furniture, and using furniture sliders when rearranging your home to prevent scratches.