How to Clean Vinyl Plank Floors

Get streak-free floors in a few simple steps—no special cleaning products required.


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Vinyl plank floors are increasing in popularity thanks to the variety of designs, underfoot feel, durability, and ease of cleaning. Often called luxury vinyl plank or tile (LVP or LVT), the flooring is thicker than the familiar sheet vinyl. The planks have five layers—the clear top coat, design layer with the printed image, cushion layer of foam, fiberglass backing layer, and rigid PVC backing layer to add strength and rigidity—and are installed with a click-and-lock system.

Fortunately, cleaning these floors is simple, especially if you wipe up spills immediately and dry mop often to remove grit that can scratch the surface. No special floor cleaners are needed for your weekly cleaning.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Wet mop
  • Dust mop, vacuum, or broom
  • Bucket or sink
  • Microfiber cloth


  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • WD-40 (optional)
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol (optional)


How to Clean Vinyl Plank Floors

  1. Get Rid of Grit

    Grit from shoes can scratch vinyl plank flooring. Frequent dust mopping, vacuuming, or sweeping will protect the finish, especially in high-traffic areas. Always remove the grit and dirt first before wet mopping so you aren't just pushing it around.

  2. Mix a Mopping Solution

    If you're cleaning a kitchen floor or a heavily-soiled area, fill a mop bucket or deep sink with warm water and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid that contains a degreaser. Use only one-half teaspoon or less to prevent leaving a soapy film on the floor that can attract dirt.

    If you're cleaning floors in bedrooms—or somewhere less prone to spills—all you need is a mixture of one cup of distilled white vinegar per gallon of warm water to leave floors clean and shiny.

  3. Prepare Your Mop

    Wet a mop with the cleaning solution and wring out most of the moisture. The mop should just be damp, not dripping.

    Excess water can seep into the seams and cause vinyl plank flooring to buckle, or it can cause mold to form between the vinyl flooring and subflooring.

  4. Mop Away Dirt

    Start at one corner of the room, leaving yourself an exit point so you won't have to walk on the wet floor. 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 solution of water and distilled white vinegar to leave floors squeaky-clean.

  5. Tackle Tough Stains

    Some messes require a little more effort.

    • Scuffs: Spray a scuff mark from shoes, toys, or furniture with a tiny amount of WD-40 and buff the area with a dry microfiber cloth.
    • Food Stains: Foods like tomato sauce or red wine can leave discoloration on vinyl plank flooring. To remove those stains or any dried-on food, mix a paste of two tablespoons of baking soda and one teaspoon of water. Spread the paste on the stains and then use a damp microfiber cloth to gently scrub away the stain.
    • Complex stains: If the floors are stained with ink or greasy residue, dampen a microfiber cloth with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Start at the outer edge and work toward the center of the stain to prevent it from growing larger. Keep moving to a clean section of the cloth as the stain is transferred to prevent smearing.
  6. Allow Floor to Air Dry

    Allow your floors to air dry before walking on them, and then enjoy your streak-free flooring as you wish.

Tips to Keep Vinyl Plank Flooring Looking Great

  • Never use ammonia (including commercial floor cleaners that contain ammonia), steel wool, or abrasive powders to clean vinyl plank floors. These products are too harsh and will dull the finish.
  • Do not apply wax to vinyl plank flooring. This can eat away at the pre-existing coating or create a slippery mess.
  • Prevent dents from furniture by using felt-backed pads under furniture legs.
  • Place doormats at inside and outside entrances to trap dirt and grit and keep it from tracking onto your floors,
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