Can You Use Pine Sol for Vinyl Plank Flooring – Safety + Steps

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Can You Use Pine Sol for Vinyl Plank Flooring - Safety and Steps

Pine-Sol is a popular multi-surface cleaning agent due to its ability to simultaneously get rid of both dirt and germs. It’s also recommended for use on hard, water-resistant surfaces. But, can I use Pine-Sol on vinyl flooring safely?

Mix ¼-cupful of Pine-Sol with a gallon of water, stir the mixture. Dip a wet mop inside the cleaning solution, wring it thoroughly, and run the mop over the vinyl floor. Proper wringing is necessary to avoid saturating the floor with the cleaning solution or leaving the floor sticky.

Here I’ll show you how to effectively clean and sanitize vinyl plank floors using Pine-Sol Multi-Surface Cleaner by sweeping and applying Pine-Sol. We’ve also included a section on alternative cleaning agents that you can use instead of Pine-Sol.

Can you use Pine Sol on Vinyl Plank Flooring?

It’s safe to use Pine-Sol Multi-Surface Cleaner on vinyl floor surfaces, whether it’s Original Pine-Sol or Scented Pine-Sol cleaners. Pine-Sol’s effectiveness as a safe vinyl floor cleaner and disinfectant is due to its formulation.

Can You Use Pine Sol for Vinyl Plank Flooring

It doesn’t contain any carcinogenic ingredients, and only 6.8% of the product formulation is of unknown toxicity. What’s more, these ingredients are readily biodegradable. Here’s a breakdown of some of the key ingredients within this commercial cleaner:

  1. Propylheptyl ethers and Alcohol ethoxylates– these are surfactants that work to cut through oil and grease-based dirt on the vinyl surface.
  2. Glycolic acid– an anti-microbial agent that can get rid of soap scum, mineral scale residue, and faded spots on vinyl floors.

Pine-Sol also doesn’t contain any ammonia that will ruin your vinyl floor surface. Take note, though, that some of the fragrances used in Pine-Sol Multi-Purpose Cleaner are potential allergens. These include limonene and Hexyl Cinnamal. The product can, therefore, trigger skin and eye irritation.

You’ll also want to avoid using Pine-Sol alongside other commercial cleaners or bleach-based cleaners. This is because some of the Pine-Sol ingredients may react with the chemical ingredients in the secondary cleaner, emitting hazardous gases in the process.

How to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring with Pine Sol

Cleaning vinyl plank floors with Pine-Sol will get rid of dirt, grease stains, and bacteria, leaving you with a shiny and healthy floor. To effectively clean up, disinfect, and deodorize vinyl plank flooring using Pine-Sol, follow the procedure below.

How to Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring with Pine Sol

Wear the appropriate Protective Gear

The 2012 OSHA Hazard Communication Standard classifies Pine-Sol Original Multi-Surface Cleaner as a hazardous substance. Still, you’ll want to wear the necessary safety gear to avoid direct contact with this fluid. A pair of hand gloves and long-sleeved overalls will protect you from any potential mild skin irritation caused when Pine-Sol comes into direct contact with your skin.

Meanwhile, if you’re using Pine-Sol alongside other vinyl floor cleaners to get rid of stubborn dirt and grease stains, consider wearing a respirator mask and opening all the windows in the room. This is because the ingredients in the Pine-Sol may react with those of the other cleaners to emit hazardous fumes. These gases can trigger respiratory complications if inhaled.

Sweep the Vinyl Floor

To make cleaning the floor with Pine-Sol easier later on, first get rid of surface dust, dirt, and debris by sweeping. Using a broom, start off from the furthest corner of the room and sweep your way outwards. When done, collect all the dirt and dust using a dustpan and deposit it in the trash can. Another efficient alternative for removing surface dirt is a vacuum cleaner.

Apply Pine-Sol Multi-Surface Cleaner

If your goal is to completely rid your vinyl surface of bacteria and viruses, use Pine-Sol in its concentrated state. Avoid diluting it. This cleaner will kill up to 99.9% of germs on hard, nonporous surfaces such as vinyl floors if used according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

  • To use pine sol, apply it on a dry piece of cloth, then wipe the floor surface with the cloth. Avoid applying the cleaner directly to the floor, as you don’t want to saturate the vinyl surface with the cleaner. While vinyl has good moisture resistance, saturating it with Pine-Sol cleaner may still trigger moisture damage issues as the solution may find its way into the subfloor.

Meanwhile, if your goal is to simply get rid of dirt and restore the shine of your vinyl floor, you can dilute Pine-Sol Multi-Surface cleaner for a more gentle cleaning solution. Doing so also means that you’ll get to use one container of Pine-Sol product for longer. Which makes economic sense, plus the product has a two-year shelf-life.

Simply mix ¼-cupful of Pine-Sol with a gallon of water inside a mop bucket and stir the mixture. Then, dip a wet mop inside the cleaning solution, wring it thoroughly, and run the mop over the vinyl floor. Proper wringing is necessary to avoid saturating the floor with the cleaning solution.

Alternatives to Pine Sol for Vinyl Plank Flooring

In case you don’t fancy using Pine-Sol or are unsure of how safe it is, there are other cleaning solutions that you can use for your vinyl plank flooring. These include both DIY and commercial solutions, as discussed below.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most effective vinyl floor surface cleaners due to its natural acidity. To properly use vinegar on a dirty vinyl floor, mix a cupful of apple cider vinegar with a gallon of warm water inside a mop bucket. Then, dip a damp mop inside the solution and wipe over the dirty vinyl surface.

If your vinyl surface is extremely grimy, consider adding a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent to the homemade cleaning mixture. Meanwhile, adding drops of baby oil to the cleaning solution will leave you with a particularly shiny vinyl floor surface. Remember, too, that white vinegar works just as well as apple cider vinegar. You can also apply vinegar to get rid of mold on your vinyl floor

Baking Soda

Baking soda paste is recommended if you want to clean food stains off your vinyl plank flooring. Simply mix baking soda powder with a little water to form a thick paste. Then, rub the paste on the food stains and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to work out the stains. Finally, wipe off the paste and stain residue using a damp piece of cloth. In addition, you can also mix baking soda and vinegar to kill mold.

Commercial Cleaners

There are other commercial cleaners on the market that work just as effectively as Pine-Sol Multi-Surface Cleaner. These cleaners are specially formulated for LVT/LVP surfaces and will effectively clean, sanitize, and deodorize your vinyl floor.

Examples include Pledge Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner and Armstrong’s Once n’ Done Resilient and Ceramic No-Rinse Floor Cleaner. Always remember to go through the ingredient list of commercial floor cleaners, though, as some of them contain harmful ingredients like ammonia that may cause your vinyl floor to crack.


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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

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