Home » How to Remove Stains from Vinyl Flooring? (4 Ways)

How to Remove Stains from Vinyl Flooring? (4 Ways)

Do you have vinyl floors that do a great job of complementing your home? We believe most of us would agree that they provide the spaces they occupy with a fresh and classy look, creating an effortlessly chic environment.

However, after having lived a certain amount of time in your space, you’re bound to cause some degree of staining. It’s alright, having somewhat used floors are a sign of well-loved living space and, in the end, it is inevitable.

But there are things you can do to help prevent this wear, tear, and unwanted discoloration from reaching a stage that would make your once clean floors look unrecognizable.

There are also quite a few clever ways to clean up after your clumsy messes, such as spilling and dropping things (don’t worry, we all do it). We’ve managed to gather some of our favorite tips and tricks on how to remove stains from vinyl flooring!

7 Ways to Remove Stains from Vinyl Flooring

Why are my vinyl floors discolored?

Before we get started, we would like to address the question in everyone’s mind. Why are my vinyl floors discolored? You might feel like you do a good job mopping or vacuuming your floors. The key to keeping stains out of your vinyl flooring is acting fast! Immediately cleaning up stains from liquid spills such as water, milk or other sugary drinks can be very helpful in minimizing the severity of the staining.

Water stains

Although many different types of vinyl floors are resistant to water, they are very rarely fully waterproof. And so in turn, water left for too long on these surfaces can cause discoloration or stains.

Sugary drinks stains

Stains on vinyl floors from drinks containing sugar like sodas and juice can be even more disastrous if left for a long time. The stickiness of dried juice can be a real challenge to scrub out of your vinyl floors, so make sure to act quickly!

Food stains

The same rules about cleaning vinyl floors apply to food. Certain products that are known to cause stains, like tomatoes or strawberries, are especially tricky to remove after being left to dry.

However, if one of these incidents should happen to go unnoticed for a longer period of time, then there are methods to still remove those stubborn stains from your nice vinyl floors!

How do I easily clean my vinyl floors?

To clean vinyl floors it’s important that we use a safe method that’s not going to damage the floors in the process. This is why we would like to suggest that you avoid using cleaners with harsh chemicals, such as bleach. If you are opting to buy a store-bought cleaner, then please make sure it is made specifically to remove stains from vinyl flooring. Ohsospotless recommends the cleaning solutions WD-40 and Rejuvenate Vinyl Floor Cleaner!

1. WD-40 vinyl cleaner

This cleaning solution is great for removing unknown scuff marks on your vinyl flooring. Scuff marks are commonly caused by the rubbing of shoes against the vinyl, and are best cleaned with WD-40 in combination with a soft cloth or sponge.

  • place cleaning solution on a non-harsh cleaning tool, such as a soft sponge or cloth
  • rub gently over any found scuff marks on the vinyl floor in circular motions until they disappear.

2. Rejuvenate Vinyl Floor Cleaner

This product works more as a refresher and can be sprayed all over your vinyl floors to lift any dirt or grime. This product can be especially effective if you haven’t tended to your floors for longer than usual.

  • use a gentle tool such as a microfiber head mop
  • spray across your vinyl floors, clean, and then let it dry!

3. Homemade Cleaning Paste vinyl cleaner

The homemade vinyl floor cleaning paste is our favorite due to its gentleness as a cleaner, but also its effectiveness! Most of us already have the ingredients for this in our pantry at home, so it becomes a quick, price-friendly, and easy alternative!

You can mix and match some of these ingredients depending on what you can find at your house, or what ends up working best for your floors. All these ingredients are natural and safe, so they won’t add any harsh chemicals to your vinyl flooring.

Ingredients to use in homemade cleaning paste

  • lemon
  • baking soda
  • vinegar
  • water

How to use the paste

  • Mix equal parts baking soda + water to a thick consistency. You can replace the water with vinegar, and add some lemon to the mix as well. Remember, the beauty of this hack is that you can mix it to your liking. It also works with baking soda + vinegar or baking soda + lemon juice!
  • Add the mixture onto a cloth and gently rub the stained area of the vinyl floor
  • Use water and a clean cloth or sponge to remove any remains of the paste

4. Dish soap vinyl cleaner

Another popular choice that works well for cleaning various harder stains on your vinyl floor is dish soap! Due to its chemical structure, it makes quick work of breaking down any oil or dirt residue trapped in the stains, and is yet again a gentle alternative as well as a supply that is accessible in all homes so you can make it from scratch!

  • Mix 2 tablespoons of dish soap into a medium-sized bucket of water.
  • Use a gentle cleaning tool, preferably a microfiber head mop to scrub down the area of your vinyl floor that is affected.
  • After you have scrubbed it clean, use plain water to get rid of any soapy residue on your floors.
  • Let them air dry.

Remember, it is important to not leave any dish soap residue on your vinyl floors. This can cause a hardened residue that can appear grayish. Using plain water to rinse thoroughly after you’re done removing any dirt stains using this method is highly recommended.


How do I get rid of stubborn stains on my vinyl floor?

If your vinyl floor stains are of a different degree in strength and stubbornness, having been caused by rougher culprits such as ink or makeup, and you are unable to get them out using any of the previous methods, do not worry! We have yet another trick up our sleeve that might just be the one that works the best for you!

For stains of this strength, we have to opt for stronger chemicals to tackle them. And so we turned to Interiors Place for advice. The secret here is to use yet another supply that most of us might have at home, nail polish remover!

For vinyl floor stains containing stronger bonds such as ink or makeup, it is better to use a nail polish remover containing acetone to gently rub these spots away. If you find yourself lacking acetone in your general house supply, then rubbing alcohol or even regular drinkable alcohol, such as vodka, works as an excellent substitute!

  • If you’re dealing with a fresh stain on your vinyl floor, make sure to use a wet cloth and try to dab out as much as you can before going in with the alcohol.
  • Apply rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad, soft cloth, or paper towel.
  • Gently rub the mark/stain out of the flooring using circular motions.
  • Clean with water and wipe it dry.


Why is using bleach on vinyl floors a big no-no?

Bleach and similar harsh chemicals fall into a very controversial gap when it comes to cleaning,  especially when being used on vinyl flooring. While some people swear by it and wouldn’t use anything else, many others have pointed out that it has the potential to ruin your vinyl floors.

But of course, there is always a middle ground to these statements. The reason we don’t recommend it is because using a harsh chemical like bleach can play a major part in tearing down the protective top layer of your vinyl flooring. In turn, it will make it more susceptible to staining and overall damage. While bleach might work wonders on new vinyl floors that have not had a lot of wear and tear on them, it will have a hand in aging your floor faster. Therefore, we recommend milder chemicals for cleaning stains on your vinyl flooring, so that you get to enjoy clean and strong floors for a long time!


We hope that using some of our suggestions will help in your mission to freshen up your vinyl floors, and hopefully keep them that way! Remember that maintaining clean floors is done best by implementing the following practices;

  • acting quickly if you or anyone else were to have a spilling or dropping accident
  • using cleaning products specifically made for vinyl flooring
  • making sure that you protect your floors from harsh chemicals like bleach
  • opting for less harmful and more gentle ingredients to make your homemade cleaning paste

Please, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions regarding our suggestions for cleaning vinyl floors!

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