I have had vinyl plank flooring in every home we’ve ever had. It’s my favorite flooring, and we’ve tried it all! In our first house, we had peel and stick vinyl flooring. In our second house, we had glue down vinyl plank flooring. And, in our third house, we have floating vinyl plank flooring!
I feel like I can basically call myself an expert at this point. I’ve written a lot of blog posts over the years waxing poetic about my love for vinyl plank floors and how easy they are to clean and maintain.
if you want the Cliff’s Notes version, click here for a rundown of the various floors we’ve tried and the pros and cons of each. If you want a deep dive, wait for the end of this post. I’ll link all of the posts I’ve ever written on our vinyl plank floors!
I recently realized, though, that I’ve never really done a rundown of how to clean vinyl plank flooring. Every time I share a cleaning time lapse over on Instagram stories, I get asked about our mop and our vacuum. And, I’m constantly getting questions about how we keep our floors looking clean. So, it’s clearly a topic of interest!
This post is going to be the definitive guide to how to clean vinyl plank flooring. I’ll share everything you need to know about how to keep them clean. I’ll also share the tools I reach for when I clean vinyl floors in my house.
Quick Tips for Cleaning LVP
Take Care of Spills Quickly!
Just like any floor, you don’t want to allow spills to sit on your LVP! Here are a few highlights for dealing with stains and spills:
- You can use a mixture of baking soda and water for most stains. Rub it on, allow it to sit, and then buff it out.
- Use rubbing alcohol for things like lipstick, hair dye, or ink from pens.
- You can use mineral spirits for the really tricky stains, like crayons, paint, or marker.
- If you get nail polish on the floor, you can use a nail polish remover with acetone to get it up!
How to Deal With Scuffs
If you have any extra stubborn scuffs or scratches that your mop won’t get up, you can use hardware lubricant or jojoba oil to remove it. Just buff with a brush or towel, then use a mix of white vinegar and water to remove the residue.
Vinyl Friendly Cleaners
When you’re choosing a cleaner for your home, make sure you avoid harsh chemicals and look for cleaners that are safe for luxury vinyl floors. A really safe way to clean your floors is with a gallon of warm water mixed with apple cider vinegar or white vinegar. You can even add a few drops of baby oil for some extra shine!
I use a floor cleaner from the store that’s marked as safe for luxury vinyl plank flooring (this one). Mostly because I’m lazy and don’t want to mix up my own soap and water solution every time I clean! But, if you like to go the homemade route, it’s simple enough!
How to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring: The Complete Guide
First of all, I’ll note that how you clean your vinyl plank floors will depend slightly on what kind of flooring you have. Our floors are from Armstrong – the exact ones aren’t available anymore, but this one is really similar.
Before you start making a plan for keeping your vinyl plank floors clean, make sure you know what type of floor you have and what’s safe to use on it!
The Best Vacuum for Vinyl Plank Floors
Obviously, vinyl plank flooring doesn’t require any sort of special vacuum – any vacuum that you use on your carpets or on any other flooring in your house will also work just fine for dirt and dust on your vinyl plank floors. I will note, though, you shouldn’t use the beater bar on your vacuum (the part that rotates to get debris loose from carpet) – it can eventually scratch or break down the wear layer on your vinyl!
I’ve tried a lot of vacuums over the years, but since we moved into this house I have been using a Shark Rocket cordless vacuum. I really truly love it – it holds a great charge, it works really well, and it’s nice and lightweight.
I’m able to vacuum my entire house super thoroughly (both upstairs and downstairs), plus the entire downstairs one more time on a single charge. I keep the charging cord in our junk drawer, and I just set it on the island for a few hours when it needs to charge.
This vacuum also separates to become a handheld vacuum, which is a feature I love.
The Best Mop for Vinyl Plank Floors
Here’s where I’m gonna get really passionate about cleaning vinyl plank floors. Y’all, I have opinions on mops. Strong ones.
You see, I can’t stand Swiffers. Or really, any manual mop. I’ve tried several different ones, and it all comes down to the same thing: I don’t feel like I can get my floors fully clean without some sort of motor power from the mop! They just can’t handle the spills stains, and scuffs quite like a motorized mop can.
In my first two houses, I used this Bissell steam mop, and when I tell you I loved this thing… I can’t emphasize it enough. It got my floors so dang clean without any extra chemicals or cleaners (just hot water!), and I had a relationship with it that bordered on inappropriate. I used to talk about it all the dang time to anyone who would listen, because it was basically my best friend.
But then, we moved into this house and one of the first things we learned was that our floating vinyl plank floors can’t handle a steam mop. So, I did some research and landed on the Bissell Spinwave. It’s a spinning mop that can spray cleaner as you work, and it’s done a really nice job of replacing the steam mop as my favorite cleaning tool!
This guy gets my floors cleaner than anything else I’ve tried so far (other than my beloved steam mop), and I don’t see myself ever needing to replace it with anything else. It means I don’t have to scrub or do any rinsing to get the grime off my floor, and the pads are washable, so it doesn’t feel like a waste.
Here’s the cleaning solution that I pair with my mop!
What About Automatic Cleaning Tools?
I am also a huge fan of automated cleaning tools. Because, who isn’t?! So, in addition to my mop and vacuum, let’s talk about the robot friends I have that help me out.
When it comes to vacuuming, I also have a Shark Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum that I’m passionately in love with. It’s a little more expensive than most robot vacuums, because of the self-empty feature. And honestly? That’s the feature I love most. I’m bad about remembering to empty the canister out. So, having it head to the dock each night and empty itself out is huge. I only have to empty the large canister on the dock once every two weeks or so, which is so much more manageable for me.
I have our Shark robot vacuum set to run every evening at 8:00 PM. It’s always staggering how much it’s able to pick up. I love how clean my floors feel when I wake up and it has run! With this running, I’m able to only manually vacuum once per week. Before? I was vacuuming almost every day because I hate dirty floors.
So, What’s Your Schedule?
Here’s what my cleaning routine generally looks like for my floors:
- Every day, the Shark robot runs at 8:00 PM. We have the kids pick up all of their stuff downstairs before bed, so the floors are clear. It only cleans the living room, dining room, kitchen, and entry. We’ve got a baby gate in front of our bedroom door, so it can’t get in there.
- On Fridays, I have a deep cleaning day. This is when I clean the floors manually! I vacuum everywhere (including our bedroom) with my Shark Rocket. Afterwards, I mop with the Spinwave!
- Eventually, I’d love to set up my Bissell Mop Robot to mop mid-week, maybe on Tuesdays. That would be a really nice addition to the routine, and help things feel great in-between deep cleans.
And that’s how I keep my vinyl plank flooring clean! It’s honestly a really simple system, and it works really well for us.
Any more questions about the best way to clean vinyl floors? Let me know in the comments!
Vinyl Plank Floors
- Here’s a review from the first time we tried vinyl plank floors.
- This post has all the details on how to install peel & stick vinyl plank.
- Here’s a post all about how we felt about the flooring after 2 years.
- In our second house, we tried something new. Here’s a review on that flooring.
- And this post showcases all three flooring options, with details on each.