How to clean vinyl floors – deep clean your kitchen with this safe and simple method

Your vinyl flooring will look as good as new with this gentle cleaning technique

A home gym setup with luxury vinyl flooring
(Image credit: Parador)

Knowing how to clean vinyl floors involves treating them with the right amount of care. They're incredibly easy to clean but are also incredibly delicate, so using gentle cleaning techniques will leave them looking their best. 

All you'll need is something to clear away the dust and dirt, like a gentle brush or your best cordless vacuum, then you can wipe and mop the floor more thoroughly using your own cleaning solutions or dedicated store-bought cleaners.

Read on for our step-by-step guide to keep your vinyl floors in their best condition, and as clean as you've ever seen them.

How to clean vinyl floors, step-by-step

Your vinyl flooring deserves to be looking luxurious and, luckily, all it needs is some soft but thorough care. If you follow these steps regularly, your kitchen flooring will look its best - even if you don't have one of the best steam cleaners yet. 

1. Sweep, brush, vacuum

Open plan kitchen diner with pendant lights and dark units, a large kitchen island and a long wooden table and chairs, set for dinner.

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

Of course, this is something that should be done regularly. But before doing a deeper clean, make sure all the dirt and dust is removed from the floor using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner (if using a vacuum cleaner, make sure to not use the beater bar as it can scratch the vinyl).

2. Wipe away any marks

modern hallway flooring with vinyl

(Image credit: Jan Baldwin)

To remove marks on the floor, dampen a microfiber cloth with warm water and gently wipe them away. 

For tougher stains, 'mix equal parts baking soda with warm water in a bowl or bucket and apply a small amount,' recommends Shari Solomon Cedar, cleaning expert from AK Building Services. Then, gently brush the stains with a soft-bristled brush and wipe clean with a soft cloth.

'Make sure that any leftover soap scum is wiped away thoroughly because otherwise it could develop a ‘film’ and collect more dirt. Always be gentle while scrubbing and avoid using abrasive cleaners or scourers because these could mark the surface,' advises Paul Hambidge, MD of Factory Direct Flooring.

3. Mop the floor

Painted kitchen with dark wood vinyl flooring, blue painted cupboards and kitchen island, dark wood stools, grey marble countertop, white wall tiles

(Image credit: Amtico Flooring)

In a recent experiment, Paul's team at Factory Direct Flooring found that vinyl flooring typically harbors the most bacteria of all floor types in the home. 

'One of the best ways to clean vinyl floors is by mopping with a mild detergent specifically designed for them. Our tests showed cleaning in this way cut bacteria on vinyl by 97%,' he explains. The OdoBan Luxury Vinyl Floor Cleaner at Amazon is a safe bet. It's gentle, water-based, pH neutral, and ready to use.

'While it may be tempting to go overboard with your mopping, the best way to clean vinyl floors is to use water sparingly,' advises Paul. 'An overly wet mop could work its way into the seams of the vinyl and loosen the adhesive, which could cause bumps or curling.'

4. Dry with a towel

Kitchen diner with yellow and white, geometric vinyl flooring, dark wood cupboards and dining table, bench seating with cushions, blue dining chairs, low hanging pendants

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

Vinyl flooring is non-absorbent, so any liquids will sit as puddles on the surface, potentially damaging the floor and its seams. 

'After cleaning, ensure your flooring is completely dry by going over it with a soft towel,' Paul recommends.

And it's as simple as that. Keeping your vinyl flooring clean involves regular maintenance; more than just knowing how often you should vacuum but also regularly wiping away any spills and messes as they happen. Having an essential cleaning toolkit to hand won't hurt, either.

Dan Fauzi
Home Tech Editor

Dan is the Home Tech Editor for Homes & Gardens, covering all things cleaning, smart home, sound and automation across the Solved section. Having worked for Future PLC since July 2023, Dan was previously the Features Editor for Top Ten Reviews and looked after the wide variety of home and outdoor content across the site, but their writing about homes, gardens, tech and products started back in 2021 on brands like BBC Science Focus, YourHomeStyle, Homes & Antiques and Gardens Illustrated.

Dan is based in Bristol, UK with a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Magazine Journalism. Outside of work, you'll find them at gigs and art galleries, cycling somewhere scenic, or cooking up something good in the kitchen.