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7 Simple Steps to Shine (Polish) Your Vinyl Floor

With regular vacuuming and mopping, vinyl flooring can maintain its luster even after years of use. If yours is a busy household, the occasional polishing can give your floors sparkle and a new lease of life. Luckily, you can get this job done on your own with just a few readily available supplies.

In this article, I will show you how to shine a vinyl floor. You will also find tips on how to keep your floors in tip-top condition all year round. Keep reading to learn how to polish vinyl floors the right way.

Tools needs to make vinyl plank floors shine

  • Baking soda
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Mineral oil/baby oil
  • WD-40 lubricant
  • Clean water
  • Clean cotton or sponge mops
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Dishwashing soap

Step-by-Step Guide To Shine (Polish) Vinyl

Follow these easy steps to keep your vinyl floors shiny.

Step 1: Choose the right polishing solution

Choose the right polishing solution

Vinyl is resilient, but harsh chemical products can strip your floor of its protective wear layer. Without the wear layer, vinyl is prone to unsightly scratches, stains, and moisture-related damage.

The best way to clean and polish vinyl floors is to use gentle cleaning solutions and methods. You can use household products in your pantry to clean and shine vinyl. Commercial products can also get the job done, but you must choose those specifically for vinyl floors.

I also recommend following your manufacturer’s recommendations for commercial vinyl shinning products. Some products can leave a stubborn residue on the floor, while others can scratch the floor’s surface. So, be sure to choose the right product for shinning vinyl floor.

Step 2: Remove the old finish

Remove the old finish

This step is optional. If you have applied some wax or commercial finish to your vinyl floors, it is best to strip it out before polishing the floors. If this doesn’t apply to you, skip to step 3 and go straight ahead to clean your floors.

If you do need to remove the old finish, first clean the floor. Vacuum or use a dry mop to get rid of surface dirt and debris. There is no need to wet-clean the floors as you will be applying a liquid stripper.

Just like the commercial polishing product, ensure that the stripper you use is specifically recommended for vinyl flooring. Also, be sure to follow the instructions for the best outcome.

Use a dry cotton mop to spread the stripping solution across the floor. Apply a thin but even coat and allow it to sit and absorb into the floor for 5 to 10 minutes. Use a rotary scrubber to lift stubborn stains and clean up the sludge with a damp mop. Rinse the floor and allow it to dry.

Step 3: Clean the vinyl floor

Clean the vinyl floor

The trick to doing a good polishing job is to clean the floors thoroughly before shining them.

Start by removing the surface dirt. Vacuum the floors as usual without the beater bars, which can scratch the surface of the vinyl over time. Be sure to cover every nook and cranny, including along baseboards and corners and underneath furniture.

If you are not dealing with tough stains, plain water, and a mop will get the job done. Instead of soaking your mop with water, you need to get it damp enough for a nice clean. Avoid making your vinyl floors excessively wet, as this can increase the risk of moisture damage.

Use apple cider vinegar for squeaky clean floors. The vinegar’s acidity makes it effective at stripping your floors of dirt and debris without leaving an unsightly residue. Mix one cup of vinegar with about 4 liters of hot water and mop as usual.

For particularly dirty floors, add a few drops of dishwashing soap to the mixture of vinegar and water. Mop a second time with water and vinegar to rinse the floor and get rid of the grime. When doing this second mop, you can add a few drops of baby oil to the water and vinegar mixture to get your vinyl floors to sparkle.

Make scratches on your vinyl floor less visible by rubbing a lubricant such as WD-40 to the area. Remove lubrication residue by mopping the area with a solution of cider vinegar and water.

Food stains on your vinyl floor can be particularly difficult to get rid of. To eradicate these stubborn stains, you will need a soft brush, preferably with nylon bristles and baking soda. Make a paste of baking soda and use the brush to rub on the affected area. Then, mop using a solution of water and vinegar to remove any residue.

Step 4:Prepare the  polishing solution

Prepare the  polishing solution

Now that you have cleaned your floor, it is time to prepare the solution you will use to shine/polish. Some great commercial vinyl polishing products will get you outstanding results. Be sure to follow the preparation and application instructions on these products.

If you prefer homemade solutions for vinyl floor polishing, I recommend using baking soda or vinegar to get the job done. Let’s now take a look at how to shine vinyl flooring using both methods.

Step 5: Shine vinyl floor using baking powder

Shine vinyl floor using baking powder

Follow these easy steps to prepare a baking powder solution for polishing vinyl flooring:

  • Mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda with 3 liters of warm water. Stir the solution thoroughly.
  • Apply the solution to the floor using a damp mop and allow it to sit for up to 10 minutes.
  • Use another damp mop to rinse the baking soda solution off the floor. Rinse the floor a second time if necessary to remove any whitish residue.
  • Allow the floor to dry before using.

Step 6: Polish vinyl floor using vinegar

Polish vinyl floor using vinegar

White vinegar is an excellent floor cleaner, deodorizer, and sanitizer. It will strip off grime and leave your floors shiny. Here’s how to use vinegar to shine your floors.

  • Mix half a cup of white vinegar, a tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap, a tablespoon of mineral oil, and 4 liters of water. Stir thoroughly.
  • Dip a clean mop into the solution to make it damp. Then, apply the solution to the vinyl floor.
  • Use another clean mop or clean your mop and use it to rinse the floor using plain water
  • Allow the floor to dry and bring out its sparkle.

Step 7: Use household alcohol to shine vinyl floors

Use household alcohol to shine vinyl floors

Alcohol effectively cuts through the grime and lifts stubborn stains, leaving your floors looking speak and span. This cleaning solution I am about to show you is especially effective for restoring shine to old vinyl floor. Follow these instructions to make an alcohol-based floor polish:

  • Mix 4 tablespoons of household alcohol with a liter of lukewarm water
  • Place a clean mop in the alcohol and water mixture.
  • Wring out excess water and mop as usual.
  • Allow your floor to dry before using.

That’s it! You can now enjoy clean and brilliant floors. Regular care and maintenance will keep your vinyl looking fresh and shiny for longer. Below, I have included a few tips for caring for your floors to get the most life out of them.

Extended Tips

  • Keep dirt and debris away from the house

Scuffs and scratches will quickly take the shine off your floors. Luckily, most of these are preventable by simply placing doormats and rugs in strategic places such as the front door, mudroom, and high-traffic spots such as the kitchen. This will minimize the debris people bring into the house, keeping your floors scratch-free.

  • Protect your floors against furniture

Moving large items across the floor can strip away the wear layer, leaving the floor looking dull. Each time you move items across the room, place vinyl coasters on the item’s feet to protect your floors from dents and stubborn scuffs.

  • Use the right vacuuming attachment

Your vacuuming routine is a big reason why vinyl flooring may lose its shine. Make sure that you use the right attachment to avoid scratching the floors. I strongly recommend vacuuming without the beater bar; this attachment will strip your vinyl’s shine with time.

Flooring isn’t cheap. If you have invested in luxury vinyl flooring, you want to be very gentle with your care and maintenance routines. When cleaning or shining vinyl flooring, the main things to avoid are tough brushes or steel wool, mop-and-shine products, and detergents. Also, keep your floors free of grainy cleansers, paste wax, solvent polishes, and ammonia-based cleaners or polishes.

Summary: How To Shine (Polish) Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl is low-maintenance flooring, one of the reasons why it is so popular. That said, be mindful of your daily maintenance routine as this will affect the floor’s longevity and luster. Plan to polish your vinyl flooring at least twice a year to restore its shine and radiance. As you can see, you don’t need to be a pro to shine vinyl flooring; with a little elbow grease and the right products, you can breathe new life to dull floors.

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