Vinyl plank flooring has become a very popular choice of flooring throughout many households. A cheaper option than Hardwood flooring, it is also easier to maintain, clean and doesn’t warp over the years. Quicker and easier to install, it can look just as nice as wooden floorboards.
To keep it looking as good as new means giving it a little bit of care and attention. As long as you look after your vinyl flooring, its durability will prove you were right in making this choice for your home. As well as sweeping and vacuuming your floor – with the right equipment of course – a good mopping will help maintain the fresh off the mill look you desire.
It is not as simple as grabbing a mop and bucket and cleaning away. There are a few precautions you need to take to make sure you don’t damage your flooring. If not cleaned properly, you could actually make it dirtier in appearance. As with all products, you should check the manufacturers’ recommendations first. This adds the certainty that your floor is getting the best treatment possible. Here are some generic tips to help you along your way.
Tools for the job
Vinyl plank flooring can be very durable. It can also be very delicate if the wrong equipment is used whilst cleaning it. Many types of vinyl plank flooring these days are ‘no wax’ floors. This means that they already have a shiny, smooth finish so you don’t need to wax them to keep them looking pretty. Therefore, choosing the best mop for vinyl plank floors is a must.
Make sure your mop is nonabrasive and doesn’t have a scrubber attached to it. These styles of mops will remove the aesthetic layer of your flooring and in turn, it will diminish the appearance of the floors finish. In the worst case scenario, an abrasive mop head can leave permanent marks and even cause scratches within the flooring. If you choose to use a string-headed mop, be wary of the plastic parts that join the head to the handle. These are a serial causer of scratches if used without caution.
A microfiber mop can prevent scratches and experts regularly say these are the best mop for vinyl plank floors. A steam mop can be an efficient cleaner but please check with the manufacturer first. On some floors, the steam can penetrate cracks and leave liquid residues behind, underneath the top layers. The steam can also weaken the adhesives used to hold your vinyl flooring together, obviously making your flooring less durable.
Preparation is a very important part of your mopping process. Before you mop your floor, it is imperative that it has been swept, vacuumed or even both if you have the time. There is no point using a super soft mop if the floor you are cleaning is not clear of abrasive dirt beforehand. Any large dirt particles left behind will act as a knife, scratching lines in your floor wherever you swing the mop. Smaller pieces of dirt left behind can cut lines into the top layers allowing liquids to enter and slowly deteriorate the appearance and strength of your flooring.
Once the floor is ready to get the cleaning it deserves, the preparation of your mopping solution is another key point to look at. If you are using a mop and bucket, the water in your bucket needs to be at the correct temperature. Now there is no need to search the first-aid kit for a thermometer, but if the water is too hot it can damage the vinyl plank flooring. Warm or tepid water is what cleans vinyl flooring best without causing any harm or damage in the process. On top of the temperature of your water, the dilution of your cleaning product is important. Weak solutions are advisable when cleaning these types of floors.
As with all chemical cleaning products, checking the label is the first step. Cross-referencing this with your floor manufacturer guidelines is the next stage. There are a lot of products on the market and each one will tell you different measurements. A product like Bona Vinyl Floor Cleaner, which comes ready diluted, is designed for cleaning vinyl plank flooring. Although it can be used with a mop and bucket, Bona Vinyl Floor Cleaner comes in bottles suitable for microfiber spray mops. Designed for vinyl flooring, they prevent excess water being left behind which can seep into the seams and around the edges.
The Cleaning Process
As mentioned above, the longevity of your flooring is aided by not soaking your floor with water whilst cleaning it. Although your flooring is water resistant, over the years, seams can weaken, cracks can open, and gaps may appear around the edges. Should water enter these it will only be detrimental to the stability of your floor. The mopping up of excess water can prevent invisible damage occurring like mold or the separation of the floors layers.
After any soapy cleaning solution is used on your floor, you may notice a residue left behind once the floor has dried. A simple mopping with plain water at the end can eliminate this problem and prevent marks and stains from occurring. Should you acquire any tough, hard to get rid of stains on your floor, try not to frantically scrub them. This can cause more harm than good on occasions.
Depending on the stain, there is normally a household product that can deal with it. From soapy water to Bicarbonate of Soda, many things can give you a quick fix to a stubborn stain. Preventing damage to your floor can be helped by tackling these markings by hand. Find a soft cloth and gently scrub away until the stain begins to lift.
With a little regular care and attention, mopping your floor doesn’t have to be a laboring task. When done well, your floor can keep its new look with the polished shine it had when it left the box.
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