"Vinyl plank flooring" refers to synthetic vinyl flooring printed in a wood grain pattern and sold in 4-inch-wide strips, like standard wood flooring, rather than 12-inch squares. It's an inexpensive, moderately durable choice for areas such as kitchens and bathrooms that come into contact with water on a regular basis. Proper care is necessary to maintain the integrity of the vinyl surface. Steam is a safe, environmentally-friendly option for disinfecting vinyl flooring; no cleaning products are necessary because the heat and water lift even stubborn substances.
Spills leave a sticky layer of grime on vinyl flooring. A steam cleaner removes the layer without harming the vinyl surface. Wipe spills with plain, hot water and a non-abrasive sponge or scrubbing pad, then rinse thoroughly. Steam clean stubborn substances for complete removal. Prep the area before steam cleaning with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water if discoloration occurs.
Vinyl doesn't absorb most substances, but can become stained if exposed to inks or dyes for an extended period. Steam lifts most stains from undamaged vinyl, and is the easiest way to remove grime from textured or pitted vinyl. Add 1/2 cup white vinegar to the water reservoir to remove touch stains and deodorize the vinyl. Sweep debris and clean stains caused by or exacerbated by scratches by hand before applying steam.
Steam loosens dirt and stains on vinyl flooring, and is safe as long as there are no tears or open seams. Moisture applied to damaged areas leads to mold and further damage, and is not recommended. Steam works so well that you can replace all chemical cleansers and disinfectants with a compact, easy-to-use model.
Abrasive cleansers are not suitable for vinyl flooring; they strip the floor surface, allowing dirt and grime easy access to subsequent layers. Always verify manufacturer's instructions for your vinyl before using any cleaning product, and never use a mop-and-shine product not recommended for vinyl. Use a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water on vinyl plank flooring to clean, disinfect and restore shine. Sweep, dust mop or vacuum daily to keep grit from scratching the vinyl.