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A Helpful Guide: How to Clean LVP Flooring

June 22, 2022 8 min read

A Helpful Guide: How to Clean LVP Flooring

 

Keeping your house clean is a tough job to tackle. Many homeowners share their space with kids and pets, and that makes it tough to establish a cleaning schedule or guarantee that something will stay clean for days after you wipe it down. There are lots of reasons why people feel that their space is never clean enough, and part of it has to do with the fact that many homeowners have furniture, home decor, appliances and hardware that get dirty easily. 

Floors are especially dirty. They’re a huge part of our homes. And, when combined with other areas known to be the dirtiest in our homes, such as kitchens and bathrooms, it’s easy to see how maintaining a clean floor can feel like a huge undertaking. Thankfully, there’s a solution. Durable and cost efficient Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring, also known as LVP flooring, is the best flooring option for busy households where you just can’t keep up with a high maintenance cleaning schedule. 

Is Vinyl Safe?

Vinyl is a safe material to use for flooring. While many manufacturers used phthalates, a set of chemicals that make plastics stronger, in their vinyl flooring for decades, it’s important to note that virtually no reputable LVP flooring manufacturer uses phthalates these days.

The vinyl flooring of today is made much safer than the vinyl of decades past. That’s part of what makes it so great for today’s homes. These days, most vinyl flooring is made from stone or wood composite. When vinyl flooring is made from a mixture of limestone, PVC and plasticizer, it’s known as SPC flooring. Over half of the floor’s composite is limestone, so the vinyl parts of the product are actually a small percentage. For anyone slightly concerned about the safety of vinyl, knowing that options like SPC flooring exist can go a long way in making them feel more comfortable with adding vinyl flooring to their home. 

What Is LVP Flooring?

As we mentioned above, LVP stands for luxury vinyl plank. Unlike traditional vinyl floors, which are laid down in a sheet and glued to an existing floor or subfloor, LVP looks much more like hardwood floors. These are planks that are cut and installed in a series of interlocking clicks. When installing the perimeter and first/last row pieces, the planks are placed under a baseboard so they can stand in place. The fact that the installation of LVP flooring is so easy is just one of the reasons why it’s a great option for all homeowners! 

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What Are the Other Benefits of LVP Flooring?

While there are so many benefits to LVP flooring that we can’t list them all, here are some of our favorites (and the ones that will probably make the most difference to you):

benefits of vinyl flooring

Cost: LVP flooring is one of the most cost-efficient flooring options out there. For many homeowners, this is a huge factor in choosing the best flooring fit for their home. LVP flooring gives you a great look without all the cost of traditional hardwood. Our FirmFit Flooring is a great choice for all the rooms in your home, without the price tag of other flooring types, such as hardwood, tile or even carpet. Since you’ll save so much on your flooring, you can splurge a little more on the things you really want, such as state of the art appliances in your kitchen or a heated shower tile in your bathroom. 

Moisture resistance: Vinyl flooring is well-known for its moisture resistance. Because drops of water and other liquids don’t have a huge impact on the integrity of the planks, you don’t have to worry about ruining your floors with small spills. Of course, large spills and puddles shouldn’t be left to bleed through the cracks of the vinyl planks, but overall, vinyl flooring stands up against mold, mildew and moisture much more than other flooring types.

Ease of installation: Installing vinyl flooring is much easier than you’d think. Different types of vinyl flooring have different installation methods, but they’re all relatively easy to put down. This is perfect for DIY renovators or homeowners who have some experience with flooring. Because vinyl flooring is so easy to install — whether you lay it down in sheets or click the planks together — you can complete the job in less than a day. No need to wait for anything to cure, set or stain!

Maintenance: Vinyl floors are relatively easy to maintain. Of course, you shouldn’t just leave your floors without cleaning them regularly, but they don’t need nearly as much attention as other flooring types. While hardwood floors require staining and carpet requires regular deep cleans, vinyl can go a bit longer between cleans and is also perfect for when you need to do a quick sweep around the house. Compared to other flooring types, vinyl is the clear winner!

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How to Clean Vinyl Floors

Even though vinyl floors are easy to clean, that doesn’t mean you can avoid cleaning them altogether. Left uncleaned, your floors can become a breeding ground for mold, mildew, dust mites and a slew of other bad bacteria and even harmful germs and viruses. Plus, if you allow guests to wear their shoes in your home, then they will track in all that gross gunk on the bottom of their shoes. Even if you and your family practice the best floor hygiene, there’s always a chance that something harmful will make its way into your space. That’s why it’s so important to know how to clean vinyl floors properly! 

Luckily, cleaning vinyl floors is pretty easy. Here’s everything you need to know about cleaning vinyl floors easily, quickly and successfully. 

How to Clean Vinyl Floors

Step One: Gather Your Materials

You don’t need many materials for cleaning your vinyl floors, but all the tools you do need will make a world of difference. 

Broom with dustpan: A broom with a dustpan is the first tool you’ll need to clean vinyl floors. While it might seem old-fashioned, this is the best way to ensure that you sweep up all the hair, dust and any other debris (like cat litter, etc.) off the floors before putting any other cleaning solutions down. 

Steam mop, or traditional mop with warm, soapy water: Steam mops are great because they don’t require you to wring them out or mix your dirty rag with your clean water. However, steam mops can be expensive, so a traditional mop with warm, soapy water can do the job, too. It’s also nice to have the traditional items on hand in the event that your more expensive tech breaks down. When in doubt, trust the mop bucket!

2-in-1 sweeper: For those who live in small spaces or are on a budget, then a 2-in-1 sweeper is ideal. It typically involves removable pads for dry sweeping and wet mopping. This is great for couples without kids, or even a single homeowner! A 2-in-1 sweeper is less maintenance than a traditional mop and broom, too. You don’t have to worry about it getting dirty because the parts that come in contact with your floors will get disposed of after use! 

Multi-purpose cleaner and paper towels: You can’t go wrong with multi-purpose cleaners and paper towels! This is essential for cleaning certain areas of your flooring.

Hand vacuum: Did you know that you can use a vacuum even on non-carpeted floors? That’s right — a hand vac is a great tool for cleaning your vinyl floors.

Step Two: Prepare Your Floors

You’ll want to prepare your floors before sweeping, mopping or both. Put away all pet and child toys, and make sure there’s nothing random lying around on your floors. This is a good time to wash any rugs or blankets you might have laid down on your floors, too! Preparing your floors will go a long way in ensuring that you can easily clean your vinyl floors without ruining any toys or other furnishings in your home.

Step Three: Wipe Your Baseboards

If you were wondering where the multi-purpose cleaner and paper towels came into play, this is it! Your baseboards are a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, and they’re the perfect location to collect dust and dirt. Pet hair can also collect on your baseboards in a way that makes them look much dirtier than they are. Do yourself a favor and wipe all the baseboards down with a multi-purpose cleaner and some paper towels! It’s one of the first steps to sparkling floors.

sweeping floor

Step Four: Sweep Your Floors

Either using your 2-in-1 sweeper or a traditional broom and dustpan, sweep your floors. This allows you to pick up any hair, crumbs, cat litter (if you have cats) or any other dust and debris that might be hiding out on your floors. While sweeping is labor-intensive, you’ll thank yourself much later when mopping is easy and you don’t drag unnecessary debris across your floors. If you don’t want to use a dustpan, make sure you sweep all the debris into multiple medium-sized piles in the center of the room.

Step Five: Vacuum Your Floors

Either using a stand vacuum or a hand vacuum, pick up all the dust, debris, etc. in piles. If you don’t have a broom, you should use your vacuum as your broom and instead use it to pick up all the hair, dust and debris. The optimal choice is to do both, but many homeowners will choose to do one or the other.

Step Six: Mop Your Floors

Using your steam mop or your traditional mop setup, go ahead and mop your floors after vacuuming and sweeping them. No need to use harsh chemicals here. Warm, soapy water or even a distilled water/vinegar mix will do the trick. What’s important here is that you aren’t afraid to use a little elbow grease. While soap and vinegar are known to break down dried up materials — like drinks, soap scum or other stains — a little elbow grease can go a long way in making your floors shine. 

A word of caution, though — don’t mix vinegar and soap if you’re making your own homemade cleaning supplies! Many people don’t realize that using both together actually cancels each other out. That’s right — when you mix vinegar and soap together, you actually make the solution ineffective. Since vinegar is an acid and soap is a base, the two ingredients combined neutralize each other. Instead, focus on using one or the other. Everyone likes to clean differently, so once you find the solution and products that work for you, stick with them! 

Step Seven: Wait for Your Floors to Dry

Your floors might take a few minutes to dry before you can start putting things back down on them. If you notice that your floors aren’t drying up quickly, consider putting out some box fans to help dry up the floors. This way, you don’t have to wait very long before putting any toys, blankets or furniture back down that would otherwise hinder the floors from drying.

Other Tips for Cleaning Vinyl Floors

Cleaning vinyl floors doesn’t take much effort, but there are some other tips for cleaning them that will make your life easier. 

Break the steps up over time. Instead of doing all the steps at once, consider spacing them out between days. This is great for busy families. On Monday, sweep and vacuum. On Tuesday, mop. On Friday, do both. Coming up with a schedule that breaks the steps up over time is also a great way to get the kids involved! They can each have a chore assigned so that the process is completed faster.

Go reusable. There are plenty of products out there that you can use that are reusable. Simply wash the pads in the washer or dryer with your towels. Just another way you can go green when cleaning your home!

Don’t stress about it. Life is crazy, hectic and often unpredictable. If you aren’t able to clean your vinyl floors one week, don’t stress about it. Take a deep breath, and do a quick sweep when you have a free moment.

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Image Credits

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