So you have vinyl floors and you’re not certain how to keep them looking new for years to come? Maintenance, maintenance! Keeping them clean through regular cleanings will extend their lives and keep them looking fresh.
1. Start with prevention: Use area rugs and mats in high-traffic areas such as hallways and doors. Use mats both inside and out as an added measure to help keep dirt and grit out to avoid scratches and scuffing. Area rugs in frequently used hallways can also help maintain the floors. Rugs and mats also will help keep out industrial chemicals you’ll pick up on your shoes outside (think asphalt). Over time, certain chemicals can begin to yellow vinyl floors.
2. Sweep or vacuum: Regular and thorough sweeping or vacuuming each week will help keep dirt and grime from scratching or scuffing your vinyl floors, as well as from building up. If possible, clean up dirt as you see it without waiting for your weekly cleaning.
3. After sweeping or vacuuming, damp mopping will help will also help clean your floors. Never use hot water as it isn’t good for vinyl. Use warm water and only use cleaning detergents specially formulated for vinyl floors. Your best bet is to regularly clean only using a warm-water, damp mop. Use detergents only sparingly in order to avoid build up of soap residue which eventually leads to yellowing of vinyl over time. If you do decide to use detergent, be certain to also mop a second time with only water to remove the residue.
4. If you have older vinyl requiring wax, clean first with warm water and detergent with a damp mop only. Use a damp sponge to apply the wax, but do not rub off the wax. Be certain, however, to rinse off the wax even if the directions call to leave it on otherwise you will be building up residue on your vinyl floor.
5. Don’t over-do it with the water. Standing water or drenching your floors can lead to warping, cracking or curling of your vinyl as water can find its way into any seams or cracks and be absorbed by the vinyl. Always use damp-mop only.
6. Most vinyl floors today are no-wax floors, meaning it’s not necessary to wax them. If your floors are old enough to lose their shine, they can be restored with the appropriate polish or sealer made for no-wax vinyl floors. The new sheen should last about a year if you maintain it with a regular, damp, warm-water mopping.
7. Protect your floors like any other flooring material by putting casters or pads on your furniture’s legs.