Before we even get into how to get the floors clean, we should discuss how not to get them dirty. Preventing scuffs and stains is very important when dealing with any kind of flooring, including vinyl tile. First it is recommended to use door mats or area rugs on entries to prevent carrying in as much dirty as possible into the particular living or commercial area. To prevent scuffs from happening avoid moving furniture without any kind of protection such as vinyl coasters or a plywood board; any helpful tools to prevent the heavy objects to rub on the surface of your floors. Last but not least, remember to pick up any kind of spill as soon as it happens to prevent stains from happening.
After these precautions have been taken into consideration, we can move to natural home-made solutions to clean and polish floors. First make sure to remove any kind of debris, dust or particles before wet-cleaning floor surfaces; vacuum (without a beater bar), sweep or Swiffer your floors. When wet-cleaning consider the least abrasive cleansers first, for this will help keep surfaces from developing a dull surface prematurely.
• Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar: Vinegar is widely known for it’s cleaning properties without any of the abrasion other tough cleaners may cause. Apple Cider Vinegar is disinfectant, plus it’s acidity removes built up dirt without the residue that suds in soaps leave behind. It is natural, so it does not affect the environment the way other cleaners do, and it is pretty affordable. Only one cup of cider vinegar is needed to be mixed with a whole gallon of water! Mop with this solution and rinse the mop in the solution often as not to track dirt back into the floor.
• Baby oil: Baby oil can be added to the vinegar/ water solution to add a little bit of shine. A few drops will suffice.
• Baking Soda: For stubborn stains caused by wine, coffee or other staining agents, make a mix of baking soda and water into a thick paste. Rub the paste on the stained surface until the stain comes out. Rinse and remove all traces of baking soda.
• Mineral Spirits: For impossible stains out the mineral spirits. This solution will remove those man-made staining agents such as ink and paint. Do be careful with it. When applied on the floor the surface looks shinny, but it might strip some luster off your floors. Try to apply only on the stained surface.
• Jojoba oil: After your floor is totally clean, you will most likely notice scuffs. To reduce the appearance of these scuffs you can use jojoba oil. Use some on a towel and rub it on the surface of the floor. When you are happy with the results, remove excess oil with the vinegar/water mix.
• WD-40: This works the same way as the jojoba oil does, but recommended for deeper scuffs.
There are other products in the market that are good for vinyl floors. It is not necessary to stay loyal to your pantry products. However, here are a few things you should avoid when cleaning your vinyl floors:
• Steel wool or any abrasive scrubbers that will scuff the surface of your floor. If you are not sure whether the sponge, you are using is too abrasive, try testing on a very SMALL area that is not very visible, like a place by the wall where you usually place furniture on.
• Detergents or abrasive cleaners will dull the surface of your floor.
• Shine or wax products. These leave residues which are very hard to remove and will later just do exactly the opposite of what they are supposed to do. They will leave a film on your floors and it will not look pretty.
• Ammonia (any cleaners containing ammonia) your floors will be prone to drying and breaking, and you will end up with cracks on your floor.
Last but not least. Eventually your floors will loose their original luster. You and everybody who walks on them will wear the surface inevitably; that is their unfortunate nature. When the time is right, a professional cleaning and resurfacing will be necessary. Here at LCC&FR we can help you restore your residential or commercial floors to their original luster. Read our tile refinishing page by clicking here. For more information, you can reach us at (502)585-2444 or send us an email for a quote.
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