Cleaning Vinyl Floor Tile

Vinyl flooring

To the untrained eye, vinyl floor tile can look like stone, ceramic or wood.

The beauty of cleaning vinyl floor tile is that it is much easier. Plus, it’s amazingly durable and much less expensive than real stone, ceramic or wood. Some vinyl tiles can be installed with grout, others don’t have to be.

Sweep Floor Regularly:
Vinyl floor tiles should be swept regularly to remove food, dust and everything that gets tracked in from outside.

Small, gritty dirt can scratch the tiles if it gets caught and dragged across the floor on a shoe or furniture foot.

If you have a floor attachment for your vacuum, you can vacuum the tiles instead of sweeping them.

Wash with Warm Water:
Most of the time, you shouldn’t need to use anything but warm water when cleaning vinyl floor tile. Simply fill a bucket with warm water and use a damp mop to remove dirt that wasn’t picked up with the broom or vacuum.

Make sure the mop is damp and not wet. If you see water on the floor, you’re using too much.

Regular Cleaning:
Vinegar is the preferred cleaner for vinyl floors. You shouldn’t use soap or detergent on the floors unless you have grease or oils that need to be stripped from the floor. Use a mixture of 1 cup white vinegar to 1 gallon warm water. Vinegar will also disinfect, deodorize and sanitize the floor.

If you have pets or small children, you may want to consider cleaning the floor with vinegar on a regular basis.

Heavy Duty Cleaning:
If the floor is exceptionally dirty – a food spill has taken place, mud has been tracked in, etc. – add a teaspoon or two of a neutral pH cleaner to a bucket of warm water.

A neutral pH cleaner won’t strip the finish off the floor. If the finish is stripped, the floor will appear dull and the deeper layers will be unprotected from spills and stains.

Removing Dirt from Pattern Crevices:
This is the difficult part of cleaning vinyl floor tile.

If you sweep and mop your vinyl tiles regularly, you should be able to keep at least some of the dirt out of the crevices. But over time, it’s impossible to keep it all out.

To get the tile crevices clean you’ll need:

A bucket with a 1:1 warm water and vinegar mixture
A toothbrush
A clean rag
Knee pads
Start in one corner of the room and work your way through all of the tiles one by one. Dip the toothbrush in the bucket and scrub in all of the crevices.

Dip the rag in the bucket to wipe the area you’ve scrubbed with the toothbrush. If you have sensitive knees, wear knee pads (available at any hardware or sporting goods store). Be patient and work hard. Sometimes cleaning vinyl floor tile isn’t easy, but the floor will look great when you’re done.

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