Are Cleaning Products Safe for Vinyl Planks? (Dos, Don’ts)

Did you recently get a new vinyl flooring installed of vinyl planks? You can easily ruin the beautiful appearance of your flooring and the hard work that has gone into it. So are cleaning products safe for vinyl planks?

Products with neutral pH cleaning solutions, and mops with microfiber pads are safe for cleaning vinyl plank floors. Using the wrong cleaners and products such as course scrubbing pads with bleach or even wax should be avoided in order to keep your floors from getting sticky and dull.

If you have just moved into a new home, or you have had new flooring installed, the last thing you want to do is ruin it. Vinyl plank flooring requires a special level of care and consideration.

Not taking proper care of your vinyl plank floor, you can be a sure fire way to dull the floor and won’t be looking brand new for long. Worse yet, using the wrong products on newly installed Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring can null the warranty.

We go over safe DIY cleaning solutions for vinyl plank flooring as well as an inexpensive concentrated cleaner that will not leave a sticky residue.

Cleaning Products That Are Safe for Use On Vinyl Planks

A few different inexpensive options on cleaning products that will clean your floor fast.

How to Clean Vinyl Floors with Vinegar

One of the most useful products to use on vinyl plank flooring is apple cider vinegar and water.

What you need:

  • 1 Gallon of Water
  • 1 Cup White Vinegar to disinfect

Mix the two together and use in a spray bottle and sponge for quick clean ups or fill up your spray mop like this one here on Amazon so you are always ready for a quick clean up when needed. This will work to loosen dirt and debris on the floor and leave your floors clean.

Cleaning Vinyl Floors With Dish Soap

For floors that are a little more dirty and higher traffic step up to a string mop and bucket with dawn dish soap and hot water .

What you need:

  • Pail and mop strainer, like this one, filled with hot water
  • A squirt or 2 of Dawn dish soap
  • Lightweight damp string mop

Depending on how dirty your floor was its always good to give your floor one last damp mop with water only to make sure you didn’t leave any soap behind.

NOTE: Vinyl plank floors should be mopped with a damp mop and not soaked or dripping with water.

How to get stains out of Vinyl Plank Flooring

If you need to get rid of any stains on your floor, like wine, grape juice or something else, then baking soda is the product that you should use.

What you need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Water
  • Soft Bristle Brush, on smaller stains an old toothbrush would even work

Mix the baking soda with water until you get a paste like consistency. Rub it into the stain with the soft brush until stain is gone. Wipe the area clean with a damp towel and dry.

Mops Safe For Vinyl Plank Flooring

We go over DIY Vinyl plank flooring cleaner you can make at home but if you are looking for a tried and true cleaner that won’t leave your floors with a sticky residue the Shaw floors hard surface cleaner here on Amazon works great.

[amazon box=”B07FMPT1LG”]

I like to use the Shaw floor cleaner or our simple DIY products mentioned above with the O-Cedar microfiber spray mop. With the built in reservoir and its 2-sided mop head you can use it longer between cleans.

it is always ready for those quick cleanups.

Things to Avoid When Cleaning Vinyl Planks

If you are mopping your floors, you should never use a mop that has a built-in scrub option, as this could scratch the floors especially if hard debris was to get caught in with the bottom.

Don’t Use Ammonia

You should avoid using Ammonia on your vinyl plank floors as this can dull and crack your flooring due to how strong it is.

Do Not Use Wax

Totally avoid the use of any wax or wax base cleaners. Have you every had sticky floors even after they are cleaned? This is what wax will do to your plank flooring.

Once your floor is sticky it will really attract even the smallest dirt particles and make your floor look dirty right away.

Don’t Use Abrasive Style Mops or Brushes

The softer the mop head, the better. The same can be said for any sponges or brushes that you are using or cleaning.

Don’t use anything that is course, rough, or abrasive. Otherwise, you will be doing more harm than good. Steel wool cloths should be avoided at all times.

Pad the Bottom of Legs on Chairs and Furniture

Something else to note is that you should ALWAYS pad the bottom of your furniture or chairs so when people are moving them around on the floor you are less apt to scratching it.

Check out these inexpensive chair and furniture pads. They will save you a lot of grief.

[amazon box=”B01D93Z9ZA”]

Do Not Use Bleach

You should never use cleaners with bleach on the floor, especially if it has a shinier finish. Cleaners, like bleach, will make the surface of the flooring look old and dull.

Do Not Use Steam Mops

Do Not Use Steam Mops Directly on vinyl plank floors. Steam can penetrate through the seams which will eventually end up warping.

It could also ruin the adhesive that is keeping the flooring in place.

Best Methods of Cleaning Vinyl Planks

You should always make an effort to sweep or vacuum the floor on a regular basis, especially if you notice dirt on the floor. You should also dust the room before you tidy the floors.

Another thing that can help with the general ease of cleaning is to get a doormat, as these will help to collect any abrasive materials that might be stuck to your shoes. Rub your feet on the mat before you step onto the floor to ensure that you don’t scratch the flooring with such materials.

Always clean up any spills immediately, as vinyl plank flooring will get damaged due to spills if the spills are not cleaned up quickly. The liquid will end up soaking into the vinyl planks and causing unwanted damage, so try to clean liquid spills as soon as you can.

You can use any of the cleaning products that we have listed above to clean thighs like spills, dirt, and debris. These can all be used without causing any additional damage. Make sure to mop up any spills before you go in with cleaning products.

Another great tip is to use carpet underneath heavy or large furniture and appliances in your home, as these are other things that can cause accidental damage to your flooring. It is easy to scuff, dent, or mark the floor when moving and placing big furniture items, so always do so with care.

Soft bristle brushes are some of the best for cleaning, but anything that is denser than this will not be suitable. Additionally, try to avoid using too much pressure when you scrub the floor, and this could lead to further damage.

For stains that are more stubborn that you can’t remove with ease, baking soda is your best bet. All you need to do is apply it to the stain, and use a damp cloth that has been soaked in warm water to clean the area with the stain. Gently scrub until the stain starts to lift.

Always use clean water when it comes to cleaning your floors. Using clean water on your floors regularly will help to ensure that the flooring lasts for a long time.

If you are mopping your floors, always use two mops heads. One mop head will be for cleaning up the dirt, and the other one will be used for rinsing the floor.


There are plenty of cleaning products that you can use safely on your vinyl plank flooring, but you should always use them with care.

Never use anything that is harsh or abrasive on your flooring as it will cause damage.

As long as you are both gentle and careful when cleaning, you are good to go.

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