Luxury vinyl plank is a type of vinyl flooring that also comes in tile form. It is very versatile and has grown in popularity in recent years.
It is incredibly durable and is a staple feature of many new build homes. It is waterproof and requires very little maintenance to retain a good condition.
You need to clean the floors daily to ensure there is no dirt build-up which could ultimately cause damage to the flooring.
This does not have to be a deep clean, it can be as simple as running a brush across the flooring. This will move any dust and debris off of the surface and keep your floor looking clean and fresh. You should wipe up any spills immediately to prevent them from staining.
You should use a microfiber mop and a chemical floor cleaner at least once a week. This will remove any dirt that is more ingrained into your flooring and stops it from appearing dirty.
You should not use a traditional mop and bucket to go over your flooring. This is because this method allows a lot of water to seep into your flooring which could warp the vinyl.
The water can also enter the planks through the seams between them, loosening the adhesive and eventually resulting in your flooring coming up.
What should you use to clean your luxury vinyl plank?
When mopping luxury vinyl flooring it is advised to use multiple mops. One should be used for chemicals and cleaning agents.
The second should be used just for plain water to rinse the floor. This means that the chances of soap scum being left on the surface of your flooring are greatly reduced.
The acidity of vinegar may give you some feelings of concern for your vinyl flooring. This is unfounded as apple cider vinegar actually makes for a perfect vinyl cleaner.
The acidity cuts through grime on the flooring without leaving behind residue like commercial cleaning products do.
You should not pour straight vinegar onto your flooring. This can cause the finish to lose its shine, which cannot be reinstated through polishing.
To make a homemade floor cleaning solution, you should combine 1 gallon of water with a cup of apple cider vinegar. To make a solution that will be an effective disinfectant, you should substitute the apple cider vinegar for white vinegar.
Use a damp mop and the vinegar solution to clean your flooring. Rinse the mop regularly with hot water as you go. This will prevent the mop from dragging dirt around the floor.
You can also add a few drops of dish soap to this mixture if your flooring is looking greasy. Wipe once over with a mop using this solution. After this, go back over the flooring with just water and vinegar.
To shine the floors, add a few drops of baby oil to your vinegar-water mixture. You can finish by going over the flooring with this once more.
Dish soap and water
Another highly effective cleaner for your flooring is diluted dish soap. Combine 1 ounce of mild dish soap with 1 gallon of water to create a gentle cleaning solution.
Once you have gone over the entire floor with this solution, mop once more using just water. Dry the flooring off using a clean towel.
This suggestion may seem strange, but it really works! Shampoos are designed to remove chemical and oil build-up from your hair, and they will work in the same way on your flooring.
You should dilute this before applying it to your floor.
How to remove stains
If you notice a stain on your vinyl flooring, there is an easy fix. Simply combine water and baking soda to create a paste and use this to rub the stain. Alternatively, you can use isopropyl alcohol or 3% hydrogen peroxide.
If you spill vinegar, lemon juice, or oil onto your flooring you should clean this up immediately. If these substances are left to sit they can cause discoloration on your flooring. Remove with warm water and dish soap.
Blood, ink, and tomato stains can be removed using a diluted alcohol, such as isopropyl. Allow this to sit on the stain for a few minutes untouched, and then rinse well with clean water.
If you notice marker stains on your flooring, apply some white spirit to a cloth. Rub this onto the pen mark to remove the stain, and then rinse well with water.
If dirt and stains appear to be ingrained in the flooring, you can use a soft-bristled brush to remove them. Scrub gently, moving in circular motions, until the dirt has been lifted.
How to fix scratches on the floor
For small scratches, your first port of call should be to buff it or use a spot repair kit on the affected area. Good liquids to use for buffing are WD-40 lubricant and jojoba oil. Apply these to a towel and rub the scratch until it becomes less obvious.
Alternatively, you could stick a tennis ball on the end of a skewer and rub the scratch with this. Another fix for small scratches is to apply a vinyl floor sealer once the floor is clean. This should hide the mark and hopefully protect your floor against developing any more.
Deeper scratches will often mean that the entire plank needs to be replaced. There is not really a way to mend or patch deep gouges or severe damage without it being obvious.
Tips to protect your flooring
It is recommended to place a doormat near to the entrance of the room with luxury vinyl plank flooring. This will allow any excess dirt to be wiped off instead of being trodden into the flooring, making more work for you when it comes time to clean.
It is recommended that you do not wear high heeled shoes on vinyl flooring. For the same reason, animal claws should be kept trimmed. This will reduce the number of scratches that appear on the floor and keep it looking fresher for longer.
You should never drag heavy items across your flooring. Despite the strength of the vinyl planks, they can still become scratched on the surface. These scratches then allow for dirt and debris to build up and can eventually lead to your floor becoming stained.
If you are planning on placing furniture on top of your vinyl plank flooring, we recommend placing rugs or felt mats underneath. This will cushion the flooring from the pressure points of the furniture and prevents it from becoming dented or worn.
Do not use cleaning solutions containing ammonia, bleach, or anything with a high pH. These substances are all very corrosive and can eat through your flooring in no time.
In a similar vein, you should not use abrasive materials to clean the floor. These include wire wool and scourers. Some chemicals and cleaning products are considered to be abrasive, such as The Pink Stuff. These should also not be used on vinyl flooring.
You should not use hot water or steam cleaners to clean the flooring. This can cause the adhesive layer to melt or dissolve, meaning that the flooring comes up. This damage can be irreversible and so it is better to avoid this where possible.
We do not recommend installing luxury vinyl plank flooring in rooms that receive a lot of direct sunlight. This can cause the floor to discolor over time, meaning the room appears messy.
Do not use wax-based products on the surface of your luxury vinyl plank flooring. It has already got a protective coating layer of polyurethane that creates a shiny finish. If your floor begins to look a little worse for wear, we suggest applying an acrylic finish to add shine and protection.