Vinyl floors have an undeniable aesthetic appeal, and people who install them in their houses are often careful about the overall appearance of the space. That is why they would want to know if they can use steam mops on vinyl floors without damaging the floor.
You cannot use a standard steam mop on vinyl floors as the heat from a steam mop is too intense. This can cause damage to the vinyl planks and melt the glue with which the flooring is attached.
That is why it is advisable to avoid using steam mops regularly when cleaning your vinyl floors. The rest of this article helps you understand the best practices for cleaning and maintaining your vinyl floors, including the five mistakes to avoid if you have this kind of floor and the right way to clean them on occasion.
What Are the Risks of Using a Steam Mop on Vinyl Floors?
Steam mops use heat and moisture to sanitize the floor, which leads to a greater risk of damage to the vinyl floor. While most vinyl floors are water-resistant, the glue with which they are attached responds poorly to heat as it melts it and bends the tiles.
Moreover, the moisture that penetrates the pores of the floor can damage its structure, and if the moisture is absorbed by the floor deeply, it could produce an unpleasant odor in your house and cause allergies. Therefore, you should make sure the steam mop you are using is vinyl-friendly and must use it with great care.
Steam Mop Alternatives
Even though steam mops are not ideal for cleaning vinyl floors, you can use other methods to clean the flooring safely. For instance, you can use low-impact cleaning methods like hand-held dry-mopping, soft-towel wiping, and mopping with a neutral cleaning solution.
Moreover, you can rely on shallow rinsing to get the benefits of cleaning with water without drenching the vinyl. When it comes to cleaners, it is very important that you use the no-wax variety so that there is no residue left gathering dust on the vinyl.
While you clean your vinyl flooring, it is also important to make sure it does not get dirty. It is especially hard to clean if the vinyl catches skidmarks. Make sure no one runs across the floor with the wrong kind of shoes.
Don’t allow heavy furniture to be dragged across the surface, either. The streak marks will not be fixed by low-impact cleaning techniques that work well with such floors. As long as you mop the flooring with the right solution at least once a week, you will not need heavy-duty cleaning or high-intensity sanitizing equipment for your floor.
Best Cleaning Solutions for Vinyl Floors
To make sure your vinyl floor does not lose its shine, make sure you invest in the right cleaning solution. The following products are the best ‘no wax’ cleaning solutions that do not attract dust or leave behind damaging residue.
- Rejuvenate All Floors Restorer – polishes and restores your vinyl floor. It fills the scratches on the vinyl’s surface and does not require sanding. Even if you do not plan to use it regularly, having a container of floor restorer is highly recommended.
- Rejuvenate High-Performance Floor Cleaner – made specifically for vinyl and is not chemically toxic to the material. It is recommended for regular light cleaning of the floor that is most commonly used in your house.
- Trewax Neutral Floor Cleaner – a great ‘no wax’ cleaning solution. It is neutral and comes without the risks associated with regular floor detergents. The shine of your vinyl floors is safe with Trewax.
- Better Life Floor Cleaner – truly unique in that it is naturally ‘dirt destroying.’ It is ideal for stains and dirty areas. You can just spill the cleaner, and it does not even require you to rinse afterward. If you have pets who drag dirt and mud onto your vinyl floor, you should invest in a pack of Better Life floor cleaner.
Common Mistakes People Make When Mopping Vinyl Floors
People invest in vinyl floors because of their aesthetic appeal and cost-effectiveness, which gives the place an attractive look on a budget. However, vinyl floors are likely to be damaged sooner if not mopped properly. Avoid the following mistakes:
- People commonly use detergents and ‘mop & shine’ products to clean floors, which proves to be a big blunder in the case of vinyl floors. Instead of the sparkle you need, it can dull the sparkling effect of your floor. Commonly used cleaning solutions and detergents may not be suitable for vinyl floors. So, choose the cleaning detergent with great attention as ammonia-based cleaning solutions can crack the floor’s surface.
- Avoid using steam mop machines with harsh scrubs or even bristled brooms as it will delaminate the surface of the floor, taking the shine away. Also, avoid beater-bar attachments while vacuuming vinyl floors.
- House cleaners commonly use steam mops to clean vinyl floors. Steam mops are not recommended for vinyl floors as they produce heat and moisture, damaging the floor to the core. Avoid using them as much as you can.
Best Way to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring
Vinyl floors are inexpensive and give a good impression of the place but are vulnerable to dents and scratches. Therefore, vinyl floors demand a different cleaning method than usual practices to avoid scratches and appear more beautiful. Dirt and chemicals are the biggest enemies of this kind of floor and must be removed with great care.
As vinyl plank flooring is most vulnerable to damage by heat and moisture, you need to seriously consider the kind of cleaning method you will adopt to maintain the floor’s attractiveness and durability for a longer period.
- Using dry mops is preferable to wet mops so that the joints do not absorb moisture. If water penetrates the surface, it can lose the glue and ultimately bend or curl the surface. If you are using a wet mop, don’t use it with soap as it can leave the layer on the floor that collects dirt and can ultimately make the surface look dull.
- You have to be selective while choosing a cleaning solution. The vinyl floor should be cleaned with the cleaners made for no-wax floors. If the floor is too old, mix the cleaning solution with water. Then proceed to dampen the mop into the mixture to loosen the dirt off the floor.
- Alternatively, you can make a homemade cleaning solution. Apple cider vinegar can make a cleaning solution that best suits vinyl floors. It removes dirt and does not leave residue behind, as in the case of using soap. To increase the floor’s shine, you can also add a few drops of baby oil to the solution.
- You can use white vinegar if you want to disinfect and sanitize the floor. You can use two mops at a time, one to wash and the second to rinse the floor. If you want to enhance the floor’s sparkle, you can lightly wipe the acrylic finish of the floor, but don’t rub.
How Often Should You Clean Vinyl Floors?
Using a dry mop covered with microfiber cloth or towel daily keeps the dirt away from the floor and does not harm it. But the mopping frequency depends on how frequently the area is used and how much the floor demands mopping. The kitchen, bathrooms, and lounge are commonly used places in the house, so they need regular mopping.
As compared to kitchens and bathrooms, guest rooms are not frequently used, so mopping them weekly or even monthly seems to be enough. If you have pets like dogs or cats in your house, mop the floor frequently to get rid of muddy paw prints. On the whole, clean your floor lightly but regularly so that less effort is required, and you can also make the environment of your house hygienic and appealing.
Vinyl flooring, like laminate, does not respond well to high-powered steam mops. It requires greater attention and gentler treatment. You should clean the floor regularly with a dry mop to avoid scratches.
The easiest way of mopping the vinyl floor is to use a gallon of hot water with a cup of vinegar and a few drops of baby oil. Tougher stains can be removed with the help of alcohol. Ultimately, if you take care of your vinyl flooring with regular cleaning, you will not need to use intense devices like steam mops.