How to Shine Vinyl Plank Flooring: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Do you remember how your vinyl floors looked when you first installed them? There’s nothing quite like new, pristine, shiny new flooring. Over time, however, lustre and shine gives way to dullness, scuffs, and scratches due to regular wear and tear.

If you’re wondering whether your vinyl plank flooring  can be restored to their original glory, the answer is yes, and I’ll guide on you how to do that below.  Get ready to transform your floors and impress your guests with their newfound brilliance!

Key Takeaways

  • Use a gentle cleaning solution like a vinegar and water solution with baby oil, to restore shine.
  • Clean vinyl plank flooring with soft bristle brooms, microfiber mops, or vacuums designed for hardwood floors to prevent damage.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals, abrasive cleaners, and wax-based products that can harm the protective coating and lead to dullness.
  • Refrain from over-wetting or pouring water on the floor to prevent moisture damage.

Essential Tools and Products for Shining Vinyl Plank Flooring

Achieving a shiny and clean vinyl plank flooring doesn’t require professional experience or expensive tools. With the right cleaning solution and proper tools, anyone can make their vinyl plank flooring look clean and polished. 

To get started, you’ll need:

  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Microfiber mop
  • Non-abrasive floor cleaner
  • White vinegar or Apple cider vinegar
  • Baby oil or jojoba oil

Make sure your products and tools are specifically designed for vinyl flooring to prevent any damage to your floors.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Solution

Selecting a gentle cleaning solution specifically designed for vinyl plank flooring maintains the integrity and shine of your floors. Harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners can damage the protective coating on your vinyl tile, leading to dullness and discoloration. To avoid this, opt for a mild or natural shining solution, such as a vinegar and water solution.

If using commercial cleaners, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent leaving a persistent residue on the floor or damaging the floor’s surface.

Selecting the Proper Cleaning Tools

Using the right cleaning tools is equally important in preserving the appearance of your vinyl plank flooring. For optimal results, use a soft bristle broom, a microfiber mop, or a vacuum cleaner specifically designed for hardwood floors. Avoid using commercial cleaners that aren’t designed for vinyl floors, as well as steam cleaners or string mops. Use light strokes when cleaning and avoid scrubbing too vigorously.

Step-by-Step Process to Make Your Vinyl Plank Floors Shine

Now that you have the essential tools and products, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making your vinyl plank floors shine.

Step 1: Remove Surface Dirt and Debris

The first step to achieving lustrous vinyl flooring is to remove dirt and debris from the floor. Regular vacuuming or sweeping with a soft bristle broom can help eliminate surface dirt and debris. 

Step 2: Mop with a Homemade Cleaning Solution

Once you have removed surface dirt and debris, it’s time to mop your vinyl plank flooring. Create a homemade cleaning solution as follows:

  • Mix one cup of apple cider vinegar with a gallon of hot water. You can also use white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar as a disinfectant.
  • For floors that are especially dirty, add a couple drops of detergent. 
  • Add a few drops of baby oil or jojoba oil.

The acid from the apple cider vinegar will help to restore the shine of your floors by removing any old, cloudy finish that may dull their appearance, while the oil will leave a nice, shiny finish on your floors. 

If you add detergent to your mixture, mop the floor with the soapy solution first, then mop again with a vinegar and water solution only. 

Using a pH-neutral commercial cleaner

You may also choose to use a commercial cleaning solution rather than making your own at home. Here are a few of my favorites:

Mopping the floor correctly

Be sure that your mop isn’t dripping wet, as too much water pooling can be damaging to the glue or adhesive, causing your vinyl planks to separate. Be sure not to pour water directly onto the floor, and mop in the direction the planks are laid. 

Step 4: Use baking soda or Goo-Gone for stubborn stains

If you’re still finding that your floors look cloudy or there are residual stains, mix baking soda with water to form a thick paste, then use a microfiber cloth dipped in the paste to scrub at th stain. Goo-Gone is also an option for stubborn spots.

Step 5: Buff the Floor for Extra Shine

Lastly, buff the floor with a soft microfibre cloth or buffer to achieve a high-gloss finish on your vinyl plank flooring. Paul McCrae, renovations contractor of over 12 years, recommends using a regular wet Swiffer on vinyl floors to restore their shine.

Tips for Maintaining the Shine of Your Vinyl Plank Flooring

In this section, I’ll provide tips for regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent scratches and scuffs, and spot cleaning stains and spills to keep your vinyl floors clean and shiny.

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Regular cleaning and maintenance keeps your vinyl floors looking their best and prevents the accumulation of dirt and grime that can lead to damage. Sweep or vacuum your floors regularly without the beater bars, as these can cause scratches to the vinyl surface over time.

Wipe up spills promptly and mop with either water or a mild cleaning solution composed of equal parts vinegar and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the finish of your vinyl plank flooring.

Preventing Scratches and Scuffs

Scratches and scuffs can mar the appearance of your vinyl plank flooring, so it’s important to take steps to prevent them. Use furniture protectors, doormats, and floor rugs to shield your floors from dirt and debris. Heavy duty felt protectors should be used for furniture, and cleaners with bleach should be avoided.

Spot Cleaning Stains and Spills

Accidents happen, and sometimes spills or stains can occur on your vinyl plank flooring. To avoid long-term damage to your floor’s finish, spot clean stains and spills promptly. Use a damp cloth and a mild detergent or a pH-neutral cleaner to clean the affected area.

For stubborn food stains, use a paste of baking soda and gently scrub the area with a soft brush with nylon bristles before mopping with a solution of water and vinegar to remove any residue.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Vinyl Plank Flooring

To keep your vinyl plank flooring looking its best, avoid these common mistakes that can lead to damage and dullness. 

Using Harsh Chemicals or Abrasive Cleaners

Using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, such as ammonia or solvent-based polishes on your vinyl plank flooring as they can damage its protective coating, resulting in dullness and discoloration. 

If you accidentally use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, rinse the floor with clean water and dry it completely to minimize the damage.

Using wax-based products

Vinyl floors don’t need to be waxed, so make sure any product you use doesn’t contain a wax base. Wax can’t adhere to the surface of vinyl, and you’ll end up with a bigger mess than when you started.

Over-Wetting the Floor

Excessive moisture on your vinyl plank flooring can cause swelling and warping, leading to permanent damage. To prevent over-wetting the floor, use a damp mop with a vinyl-safe floor cleaner instead of dousing the floor with water.

Avoid using steam cleaners or soaking the floor, as this can introduce excessive moisture and damage your vinyl plank flooring.

Neglecting Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping your vinyl plank flooring looking its best and preventing the buildup of dirt and grime. Neglecting regular maintenance can lead to an accumulation of dirt and debris, which can cause damage to your floors. To avoid this, be sure to consistently clean and maintain your floors using gentle, non-abrasive cleaners and tools.

Shiny Vinyl Plank Flooring

In conclusion, shining your vinyl plank flooring doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By using the recommended tools and products, following our step-by-step process, and maintaining your floors with regular cleaning and care, you can effortlessly restore your vinyl plank floors’ shine and beauty. Don’t let dull floors hold you back – take action today and let your floors sparkle!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you clean and polish vinyl plank flooring?

  1. Mix a solution of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar and hot water, and add a few drops of dishwashing soap for extra cleaning power.
  2. Wet-mop the floor in the direction of the planks and use a soft nylon brush and baking soda paste to tackle tougher stains.
  3. Buff the floors

What is the best cleaning solution for vinyl plank flooring?

For the best results, combine apple cider vinegar and hot water to clean your vinyl plank flooring.

How can I prevent scratches and scuffs on my vinyl plank flooring?

To protect your vinyl plank flooring from scratches and scuffs, use furniture protectors, doormats, and floor rugs, and avoid using the beater bar on your vacuum cleaner.

How often should I clean and maintain my vinyl plank flooring?

Maintain your vinyl plank flooring regularly by sweeping or vacuuming and mopping with a gentle cleaner to keep it looking its best.

Can I use a steam cleaner on my vinyl plank flooring?

It is not recommended to use a steam cleaner on vinyl plank flooring, as it can introduce excessive moisture which could damage the floor.

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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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