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How to Deep Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring the Easy Way

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If you’ve been procrastinating cleaning your LVP or LVT floors… come sit by me! I’ve got great news! Whether you live in an apartment or own your own home, today I’m going to show you how to deep clean vinyl plank flooring the easy way!

How to Deep Clean Vinyl Plank Flooring the Easy Way

Let me be honest with you.

If you’ve been around My Wee Abode for any amount of time, you know I LOVE DIY projects… however, this is one DIY project I HATE dislike immensely.

Since moving into new(er) My Wee Abode over 1.5 years ago, I’ve struggled with cleaning my LVP flooring.

galley kitchen with luxury vinyl plank floors


For one thing… there is about 700 sf of luxury vinyl plank in my apartment that needs mopping. That’s a lot of scrubbing and cleaning, don’t you think?

galley kitchen with luxury vinyl plank floors
This is only the kitchen! I have a WHOLE apartment of LVP to clean!

Also, there is a lot of furniture to work the mop around, especially in the living room. So, it requires a bit of pulling-and-tugging, over-here-and-over-there. And then back again. Whew!

living room with furniture in white and gray and spring decor

And finally, every time I have cleaned my vinyl floors (and I WON’T be honest with you how many times that has been. Procrastinators unite… tomorrow!), I will spill something and then go to wipe it up and it’s black… like seriously black.

deep clean vinyl plank flooring cloth with black handprint
Keeping it real here!

Wait… what?! What happened to all that back-breaking work I did two days ago?

That black hand print right there is enough to make me throw my hands up in defeat, even before I start mopping… again.

Until now!

Have I got a solution for you (and me) AND our vinyl flooring!

Cleaning your luxury vinyl tile or plank has never been easier, or more affordable! And you probably already have everything you need under your sink or in your utility closet!

What NOT to Use to Clean LVP or LVT Floors

First, let’s just talk about what NOT to use to deep clean luxury vinyl plank or luxury vinyl tile.

  1. DO NOT use a steam mop or steam cleaning machine. Because there are seams between planks and tiles, the forced moisture from the steam cleaners can penetrate the seams and cause warping and adhesive issues. It might not happen one time (ask me how I know this… yep, I did it before I knew it was a no-no), but you might be taking a risk repeatedly using steam on vinyl plank and/or tile.
  2. This may seem like a no brainer, but don’t use steel wool or harsh abrasive cleaners on your vinyl flooring. This can cause scratching and damage to your vinyl flooring.
  3. Don’t use polish on vinyl plank or vinyl tiles with texture. This might be appropriate for some sheet vinyl (remember Linoleum?), but not needed (or wanted) on planks or textures tiles.
  4. Do not use ammonia or ammonia based products. It’s too strong, on many levels.
  5. Do not use rubbing alcohol to remove scuffs or adhesive marks. This can dry out your vinyl flooring with repeated use. Read on for a better option.

The Actual Solution for Deep Cleaning Vinyl Plank Flooring

Seriously, besides hot water, you will actually only need 3-4 items to deep clean your LVP or LVT floors:

deep clean vinyl plank flooring items for cleaning lvp flooring

Items You’ll Need for the Solution

This post may contain affiliate links, at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my complete disclosure.

  • 1 Gallon Hot Water
  • 1 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1-2 Drops Dawn dishwashing liquid

That’s it! Can you believe it? And the combination of hot water, white vinegar, and a couple drops of Dawn dishwashing soap is like liquid gold, but only costs a few pennies!

Natural Alternative for Degreasing

Notice that this deep cleaning formula contains no harsh or harmful products. However, if you want to omit the 1-2 drops of Dawn and go “au naturale”, try adding 1-2 drops of citrus essential oil to the mix!

Just a couple notes.

The Rejuvenate Microfiber Mop is my pick because it’s lightweight, easy to use, and the mop pads work well. Also, the pads are attached with velcro, stay in place, but are still easy to remove and reattach.

Hoover is also my go-to-brand for vacuums. They have never let me down. I’ve been using the brand since I was a girl, and my mom used Hoover since she was a girl, as well. I originally used the Hoover Stick Vacuum, but it’s no longer available. If I needed to by another one, I would def go with the Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Vacuum.

The Quick and Easy Steps for Deep Cleaning LVP Floors

Let’s start with a quick tip, first.

If you are cleaning your bathroom floors, I’ve found mixing the solution in a basin in the tub/shower works best. That way, there’s no need for a towel underneath the basin to catch the splashing or sloshing that might will happen. You can rinse your mop pad in the bathroom sink or tub.

If you have a double sink in your kitchen, fill one side with the solution, and you can rinse your mop on the other side.

Now… here are the quick and easy steps!

luxury vinyl plank floors being vacuumed with cordless vacuum
  • First and foremost, give your floors a good vacuuming. This is where the Hoover ONEPWR comes in handy. I use my stick vacuum ALL the time. It works great for quick carpet vacuums, too. Use the rolling brush option, and vacuum both with the grain and against the grain of your luxury vinyl plank or tile (See Photos above).
deep clean vinyl plank flooring steps for cleaning
Those cabinets are in line for a painting! My landlord said YES!
  • Fill your basin or sink with the deep cleaning solution (1 gallon water, 1 cup white vinegar, and 1-2 drops of Dawn) (Photo 1). Soak your mop with the solution, squeeze out the mop pad, and mop your plank floor going WITH the grain (Photo 2). Mopping small areas at a time works best, and keeps the mop cleaner.
  • Rinse your mop head in hot or warm water (Photo 3), and then soak in the cleaning solution again, squeeze out, and mop the same area a second time (Photo 4). Heavy traffic areas may take a third mopping, but most areas only take two rounds.
  • Rinse the mop head again, and repeat on the next area.
hand on yellow cloth drying LVP
  • To help speed-up the drying process, take a clean and dry micro-fiber cloth and quickly swipe it across the wet area.

Stubborn Spot Cleaning

Have stubborn scuffs or adhesive that needs to be cleaned on your vinyl flooring?
Remove those stains using a bit of Goo-gone or even olive oil
and a micro-fiber cloth.
Baking soda can be used, as well, for a gentle and natural abrasive.
Wipe away the residue with your ‘magic deep cleaning solution’!

That’s it! Easy-peasy, right?

deep clean vinyl plank flooring clean white cloth on floor

Here’s the REAL test. Wiping with a disinfectant cloth! No more handprint!

Keep Your Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring Clean

And, I’ll let you on a secret that’s really not-so-secret.

galley kitchen with luxury vinyl plank floors
Even though you can’t SEE the difference on my greige floors,
my feet can FEEL the difference! 😉

One way to stay on top of keeping your (and my) home clean… After deep cleaning vinyl plank floors, you can keep them sparkling with the same solution once-a-week, or even every-other-week. One “round” of washing should be sufficient, and this type of maintenance will keep the need for deep cleanings fewer and farther between.

Heck, deep cleaning your LVP flooring might even be a thing of the past!

signature updated 2022

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  1. Your floor cleaning is spot on and no harmful chemicals involved equals a win/win. I won’t be cleaning for a few weeks as I am just out of hospital from pneumonia not fun.

    1. Oh, Fernie… I’m so glad you are home and on the mend! That is crazy! I recently thought about you, so I’m glad you commented today. I agree that there are not ‘real’ harmful chemicals in this solution, although those that want to stay away from any synthetic products might argue about the 1-2 drops of Dawn. LOL!

  2. Great recommendation for cleaning vinyl flooring. We just got it in our kitchen and we’ve been looking for tips to keep it looking new. Can’t wait to try this combination. Thanks for the tip Julie!

    1. It’s so easy, Melan… I couldn’t believe how well it worked! And I think it would be great at church, too! (Well, for as long as we are there. But, we’ll need to do it at the new location, too!) It will work on any hard floor surface, I would think. Love you!

  3. How I envy you that flooring! You method sounds great! I have ancient wall to wall and worn linoleum—and very unlevel floors. I would love to move out for a week (somewhere warm and exotic!!!) and come home to find the whole house done with new flooring. I can dream!

    1. I know how you feel, Kathy. You know I feel the same way about my cabinets! I’ll be praying you get some new flooring… and a vacation! Hugs, and I love reading your comments!

  4. Great method and nice recommendation for the mop too! My LVP floors are in the basement, which is mostly storage at this point, so I don’t even want to think about how long it has been since they were cleaned… but I often recommend them for vacation homes and for new retirement housing, so this is great intel! Thanks, Julie!

    1. Oh, I hope this is helpful to your clients, Janet. Today, they were steam cleaning the vinyl in the halls and lobbies and I just cringed. At least *I* don’t have to replace them!

  5. I have a similar 3 step cleaning process similar to yours but I add using the heavy duty Swiffer dusting mop before I mop and in between. The Swiffer gets the fine dirt and dust out and the floors are cleaner. Using the microfiber towel to partially dry also takes up dirty water. You can attach to a Swiffer mop so don’t have to bend over.

  6. Could cold water work just as well? We have a mechanic shop and as odd as it sounds, we do not have hot water. Due to this being a mechanic shop, our floors stay in a constant icky state and I am wanting to try to fix that.

    1. Hi, Jessica… are you talking about vinyl floors in the shop, or in the office area? I worked for over 20 years in a machine shop as the administrator… so I get the floors being yucky. You could always try using cold water. It couldn’t hurt! Not sure if the vinegar would cut the grease, but, again, you can try!

      1. The office floor. But the mechanics are in and out of the office tracking whatever car gunk they have stepped on. Just trying to find thr best solution to clean up the floor. It has years of build up from the previous owners too.

        1. Yeah… You can try it. But we have actually used Zep products from Home Depot for stripping and refinishing the office floors. Then, I would just continue to use some degreasing floor solution to keep it up.

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