How to Clean Vinyl Flooring in Steps

Vinyl sheet flooring is a popular method of floor covering, both in domestic homes and commercial properties. It’s cost-effective, easy to install, and provides a trustworthy non-slip surface. Sheet Vinyl is specifically designed for high-traffic areas, such as schools, hospitals, commercial kitchens, and more. But with many feet come many marks and you’ll need to know how to clean your new vinyl flooring!

Of course, with all that foot traffic comes dirt, grime, and other stains that need to be removed to prevent them from becoming a slip hazard. In this article, we’ll look at the best ways to clean sheet vinyl floors without leaving scuff marks and scratches in the process. We’ll cover the do’s and don’ts of maintaining your flooring, cleaning products to avoid and more!

For information on maintaining vinyl flooring in your home or place of work, we’ve written a restoration guide to vinyl flooring for you to view. But here, we’ve laid out everything you’ll need to know to keep them looking sharper for longer.

Easy Tips for Cleaning Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl floors are designed to be low-maintenance. Being non-porous, sheet vinyl is waterproof, making it great at repelling a range of things that would usually damage wooden floors or carpeting. Indeed, most spills and splashes onto vinyl can be wiped away immediately with a simple microfibre cloth or a few sheets of kitchen roll.

Not everything is so easy to clean off your vinyl floors, though. Sometimes you have to put in a bit of elbow grease to remove stains from the vinyl. Ground-in dirt may leave you with no option but to try deep-cleaning your sheet vinyl floors instead.

Fortunately, all these problems can be easily resolved with the following hints and tips:

Which Cleaning Products Are Safe to Use With Vinyl?

While there are plenty of commercial vinyl floor cleaner products available to buy in stores, you can often get just as good an effect with a homemade cleaner. A simple vinegar and water solution helps remove the most common stains from your vinyl flooring, without the risk of causing damage.

While this mixture of clean water and apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar) is non-toxic and highly effective, some people don’t like the smell it gives off. An alternative is to swap the vinegar for freshly squeezed lemon juice. It has the same effect with a fresher scent.

Products to Avoid When Cleaning Vinyl Floors

Some cleaning products are just not suitable for cleaning vinyl floors. It’s not that they aren’t effective cleaning solutions for any other kind of surface; they are simply well-known for damaging vinyl flooring sheets. These are some of the items you should avoid at all costs:

Ammonia-based products: these include several types of household bleach and other disinfectants. Ammonia reacts badly with vinyl, causing the top layer to harden and crack. Not only is this unsightly, but it also stops the vinyl from being water-resistant.

Abrasive cleaning tools: everything from beater bars on a vacuum cleaner to scrubbing brushes, scouring pads, and steel wool can cause damage if used on a vinyl floor tile. There are certain cleaning products that clean through abrasion, which should also be avoided.

Steam cleaners: while vinyl flooring can resist the water left behind by a steam cleaner, the heat itself can cause serious damage. It causes the adhesive to melt and the vinyl flooring to curl back on itself. The heat can also cause the vinyl to become brittle and crack.


Once you’ve got the right tools for the job, there are a few steps to getting your vinyl flooring spic and span. Follow our guide for the best results:

  1. When using any cleaning product for the first time, test it first to see how your vinyl flooring reacts. Before installation, save yourself a spare slither of the sheet, so you can use it for testing purposes.
  2. Another thing to be wary of is that even non-slip surfaces like vinyl flooring can become slip hazards when wet. If you’re cleaning at home, be sure to let any other family members or housemates know that the floor is wet. If cleaning is being done at work, the appropriate ‘Wet Floor’ signs should be erected.
  3. Before you even get started with cleaning solutions, you’ll need to sweep your floor. Once you’ve swept away any loose dust or dirt, you can give the floor a light mopping with no detergent in the water. This is a simple surface wash to remove the lighter dirt from the floor, giving you a great base from which to start your deep cleaning.
  4. Once you are satisfied, empty and refill your mop bucket, adding a little detergent to the water or the vinegar and water solution mentioned above. If you’ve been looking after your floor properly, a light detergent and a bit of effort with the mop should be enough to remove any markings from the floor.
  5. Every now and then, you will have deep stains on your vinyl flooring that even your trusted vinegar and water solution won’t shift. You don’t want to wreck the vinyl by scrubbing at it or risk using bleach, so what’s our answer? Nail polish remover. Specifically, the acetone in everyday nail polish remover does an incredible job of removing stains from vinyl without damaging the integrity of the flooring. While it is effective, you can’t just apply and remove it with a mop. You’ll need to tackle the stain a bit at a time. Soak a cotton wool pad with nail polish remover and use it to gently rub away at the stain. It may take some time, but the results will be worth it.


The easiest way to keep vinyl flooring clean is to adopt a regular maintenance regime. Light cleaning on a frequent basis will often forgo the need to deep clean your floors, as dirt and grime won’t get a chance to stick around.

Here are some useful DOs and DON’Ts for you to consider:

DO clean up spills immediately: standing water is not just a slip hazard on vinyl floors; it can also lead to stains that are hard to get out. A quick wipe-up with a microfiber cloth or a damp mop frequently resolves the issue.

DON’T use cleaning products that can damage vinyl: bleach and other ammonia-based cleaners will damage your floor over time, while abrasive cleaners can cause scuff marks and other surface damage even while you’re using them.

DO protect your vinyl flooring: invest in foot pads for your furniture to prevent them from leaving dents in your vinyl floor. Place a mat at the entrance to the room for people to wipe their feet on, to avoid tracking in dirt and grime.

DON’T use the wrong tools for cleaning your floor: the beater bar on your vacuum cleaner can leave scratches on your vinyl, as can abrasive tools such as steel wool, scouring pads, and scrubbing brushes. Use a soft cloth for cleaning and a soft broom for sweeping.

DO polish your vinyl flooring regularly: polishing your floor gives it a pleasant sheen and keeps it looking like new. Be sure to choose a product that is properly formulated for use with vinyl flooring.

DON’T abuse your floor: there are plenty of small precautions you can take to limit the risk of rips and tears. Don’t wear high heels on vinyl floors, for instance, and get your pets’ nails clipped on a regular basis.

DO keep your flooring dry: we’ve discussed this earlier when talking about spillages, but vinyl floors are only non-slip while they remain dry. A damp vinyl floor is a major slip hazard.

DON’T expose your floor to direct sunlight: vinyl tends to fade when left in the sun for too long. Ultraviolet rays leach the colour out of your tiles, leaving them looking drab and washed out. Make sure to shade large rooms with curtains or blinds on particularly sunny days.

We hope this guide on how to clean sheet vinyl flooring answers all your burning questions, and if we’ve missed anything get in touch today and we’ll be happy to help! When buying vinyl flooring from AFloor, you can expect a durable and long-lasting flooring solution.

For more tips on how to install vinyl flooring follow our step-by-step guide, or if you want to know how you can keep your vinyl flooring looking its best for longer take a look at our restoration guide for vinyl flooring. Use these tips above to ensure years of productive use from your new flooring. For more details, check our online store.