Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring features the easy care and cleaning of sheet vinyl but in a more durable and comfortable underfoot format. Both types of flooring are made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride).
Sheet vinyl is produced as a thin, flexible roll or tile with a clear protective coating over the design layer. Luxury vinyl has more and thicker layers, including the clear top-coat layer, design layer with the printed image, a cushion layer of foam, a fiberglass backing layer, and a rigid PVC backing layer to add strength and rigidity. The luxury vinyl, both planks (LVP) and tiles (LVT), are installed with a click and lock system similar to laminate flooring.
How Often to Clean Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
To keep LVP or LVT floors in high-traffic areas of a home looking their best, they should be dry mopped or vacuumed daily to remove grit that can cause scratches. Spills should be wiped up immediately to prevent stains that may be more difficult to remove later. The floors should be thoroughly cleaned at least weekly.
Equipment / Tools
- Wet mop
- Dust mop, vacuum, or broom
- Bucket or sink
- Microfiber cleaning cloth
- Liquid dishwashing soap
- Warm water
- Distilled white vinegar
- Commercial vinyl cleaner (optional)
- WD-40 (optional)
- Rubbing alcohol (optional)
- Baking soda (optional)
Remove Loose Dirt
Grit and dirt can scratch LVP flooring. In high traffic areas, daily sweeping, dust mopping, or vacuuming will help protect the finish. If using a vacuum, disengage the beater bar or choose a model without a beater bar to prevent unnecessary damage to the floor.
Choose a Cleaning Solution
Several commercial cleaning solutions work well for cleaning LVP and LVT flooring. However, before using a commercial floor cleaner, read the label for product ingredients and whether it is safe for LVP flooring. Products that contain ammonia can damage vinyl surfaces. Mop and shine products can leave a film on the floor that attracts more soil.
If desired, you can easily create a cleaning solution with products you have on hand that will clean LVP flooring without causing non-reversible damage.
Mix a Cleaning Solution
Fill a mop bucket or deep sink with warm water and add a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap. For kitchen floors, choose a liquid soap like Dawn that includes a degreaser to cut through cooking messes. Do not over-pour, because too many suds makes more work for you and because too much soap can leave a film that attracts dust and dirt.
For floors in bedrooms or living areas, a mixture of one cup of distilled white vinegar per gallon of warm water will leave floors clean and shiny.
Mop Away the Soil
Dip a mop into the cleaning solution and wring out most of the moisture. Or, use a system like the Libman Tornado Spin Mop System that removes excess moisture without wringing. The mop should not be dripping, just damp. Start at one corner of the room, leaving yourself an exit point. Rinse and wring your mop frequently as dirt is transferred from the floor to the mop.
Unless you have used too much soap, no rinsing is needed. However, if the floor feels sticky, do a quick rinse with a water/distilled white vinegar solution to leave floors squeaky-clean. Allow the floors to air dry.
While vinyl flooring is water-resistant, excess water can cause LVP and LVT flooring to buckle if it seeps into the seams, and mold can form between the LVP and subflooring.
Remove Tough Stains
Food Stains: To remove dried-on food or discoloration caused by tomato sauce or red wine, mix a paste of baking soda and water (two tablespoons of baking soda and one teaspoon of water). Spread the paste on the stains and then use a microfiber cloth to gently scrub away the food without dulling the surface of the vinyl.
Lipstick, Grease, or Ink Stains: Dampen a microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol. Start at the outer edge and work toward the center of the stain to prevent the stain from growing larger. Keep moving to a clean section of the cloth as the stain is transferred to prevent smearing.
Scuffs: Shoes and furniture can leave scuff marks on LVP flooring. Spray the scuff mark with a tiny amount of WD-40 and buff the area with a dry microfiber cloth.
Tips to Help LVP Flooring Last Longer
- Place a doormat or throw rug at every entrance to catch grit and dirt that can damage floors.
- Prevent dents from heavy furniture by outfitting tables and chair legs with felt-backed floor protectors.
- Remove rolling casters from furniture or use a protective mat to prevent scratching.
- Never use harsh or abrasive cleaners, steel wool, or a stiff-bristled brush to scrub LVP flooring.
- Do not apply liquid or paste wax to LVP or LVT flooring.