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How to Make Vinyl Plank Floors Shine

Have you ever wondered how to make vinyl plank floors shine? Vinyl plank flooring is an attractive and inexpensive option for people who want style at a reasonable price. It’s so durable. Regular cleaning can help maintain vinyl flooring for many years, even in a busy household. Occasional polishing can also make your vinyl plank floors shine in a pinch.

The best way to make vinyl flooring look new again is to clean it using a product made for the surface or a series of homemade cleaning options, such as apple cider vinegar, baking soda, dishwashing detergent, and water. After the floor is clean, polish the vinyl.

In this article, expect to learn how to shine a vinyl floor and keep it looking its best for years to come. We also add in a few tips on cleaning supplies.

Can You Polish Vinyl Planks Floors?

When your vinyl floor planks begin to lose their shine, you can restore them with polish. First, you must deep clean your floor. Then you can apply a coat or two. The shine lasts for around a year. Regular vacuuming and mopping can help prolong the shine over time.

What Can You Use to Make Vinyl Plank Floors Shiny?

There are many cleaning products and household items you can use to make vinyl plank floors shiny. Some of the most common options that we’ll cover in this article include:

  • Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Baby oil or mineral oil
  • WD-40
  • Jojoba oil
  • Baking soda
  • Rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits
  • Commercial vinyl polishing products

Can I Use Bona on Vinyl Plank Floors?

Bona Cleaner is a hard-surface floor cleaner that’s great for luxury vinyl floors. You can expect the floor to dry quickly after cleaning with Bona, with no unsightly residue left behind. The product is entirely safe for children and pets too.

Does Murphy Oil Soap Make Floors Shine?

Murphy oil comes from 98% natural plant-based materials. The result is incredible on vinyl. If you clean your vinyl with Murphy Oil Soap, you can clean and moisturize without leaving oily film aftermath.

Can You Use Rejuvenate On Vinyl Flooring?

You can also try using Rejuvenate on vinyl. It was created with a neutral pH balance, making it easy on vinyl flooring. Try using Rejuvenate to remove dirt, grime, and any chemical residue that other cleans may leave behind.

Tools Needed to Make Vinyl Plank Floors Shine

Making your vinyl floors shine is easy to DIY. You may not even need to purchase any new cleaning products or polish if your floors don’t have any stubborn stains or scuffs. Here are the tools you need to collect:

  • Clean water
  • Baking soda
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Mineral oil or baby oil
  • Soft-bristled scrub brush
  • A clean sponge or cotton mop

You may also need to collect a few other things if your floors have stains. The right product depends on the stain, however. Some of the most popular options include:

  • WD-40
  • Jojoba oil
  • Baking soda
  • Alcohol
  • Nail polish remover (with acetone)

How to Make Vinyl Plank Floors Shine

Forget the professional cleaning products and tools. All you need to make vinyl flooring shine is the right product for the job and a little elbow grease. To make vinyl plank floors shine the right way, follow the easy directions below.

Step 1: Select Your Polish

There are many options for the cleaning or polishing solution you use. Vinyl is a resilient material, but harsh chemicals can still strip the floor of the protective outer layer. If this occurs, your vinyl flooring becomes prone to damage from stains, scratches, and moisture. The solution you choose is crucial to the longevity of your floor.

If you want to clean and polish vinyl flooring the best way, go with a gentle cleaning solution and method. You can choose from household products or purchase a commercial product for vinyl. However, you may already have things in your pantry that you can use to clean.

For optimal results, check with your flooring manufacturer for advice. Always select your manufacturer’s recommended vinyl shining product, if possible. Using the wrong commercial product may allow a stubborn residue to build up on your floor or scratch the surface. Whatever you do, always make sure the product you use is safe for vinyl.

Step 2: First, Vacuum

The first cleaning step is to remove any debris or dirt from the floor’s surface. Vacuum the area you plan to clean, and put away any lingering household items that may get in the way. Don’t worry about mopping the floor just yet, though.

Step 3: Remove Tired, Old Finish (Optional)

An optional step is to remove the finish on your floor. Please skip it if your vinyl flooring doesn’t have a finish and head straight to cleaning the floor.

If you apply wax or a commercial finish to vinyl planks, you need to strip them before polishing. Select a commercial stripper specifically for vinyl, and follow the directions on the bottle carefully.

To use most stripping solutions, you can spread the solution onto your floor’s surface using a dry (and clean) cotton or sponge mop.

Layer the solution on in a thin, even coat. Leave it for the floor to absorb for around five to 10 minutes, then try removing any stubborn stains with a rotary scrubber. Remove the leftover sludge using a mop, but make sure it’s damp. For the last step, simply rinse with clean water and air dry.

Step 4: Clean Any Surface Dirt

The key to a perfect polishing job is to make sure you deep clean the floors before adding the shine factor. Remove any dirt on the surface using a damp mop. Avoid a soaking water mop, as vinyl floors are highly susceptible to water damage when they get excessively wet.

Step 5: Deep Clean the Floors

To get squeaky clean floors, you have options. Depending on how your floors look, you may need to use:

  • Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Baby oil or mineral oil
  • WD-40
  • Jojoba oil
  • Baking soda
  • Rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits
  • Commercial vinyl polishing products

Apple Cider Vinegar

You may be surprised to learn that the top cleaner for vinyl is apple cider vinegar. Due to the acidity, grime and dirt are easy to remove without leaving behind residue, wax, or soap buildup.

Mix apple cider vinegar with hot water in a mop bucket. The amount may vary, but you can try a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water.

Dampen a mop, using it to clean the floors. Rinse with hot water frequently.

You can also use white vinegar as an alternative for added disinfection.

Dishwashing Soap

If your floor is heavily dirty, drop in a little dishwashing soap into the apple cider and water mixture before you clean. Mop using just apple cider vinegar and water afterward to make sure you remove any soap buildup.

Baby Oil or Mineral Oil

For added shine, try baby or mineral oil. All you need is a few drops of baby oil in the vinegar and water mixture before cleaning. Baby oil is excellent for bringing more shine to vinyl flooring naturally.

WD-40 or Jojoba Oil

If your floors have stubborn scuffs, add some WD-40 or jojoba oil to a towel and use it to rub the area.

The scuffs should disappear in minutes.

Follow by cleaning the area using the water and vinegar solution to remove any traces of lubrication.

Baking Soda

A baking soda paste, made by mixing baking soda with water, is tough on food stains. It can remove common spills from foods like grape juice, ketchup, mustard, and tomato sauce.

Rub the stain gently, and it should disappear. Clean the area after removing the stain.

Alcohol

You can remove many other types of stains with rubbing alcohol and a soft, nylon-bristle brush. This trick even works on lipstick, ink, blood, hair dye, and tomato stains. It is especially great when paired with a common household solvent.

Mineral spirits also work on stains from crayons, markers, pens, and paint.

Commercial vinyl polishing products

If you decide to clean using a commercial vinyl cleaner or polishing product, make 100% sure it’s for vinyl. Always follow the directions on the product’s label for the best results. Some of the most common commercial cleaners for vinyl plank flooring include:

  • Bona
  • Rejuvenate
  • Pine-Sol
  • Pledge
  • Armstrong
  • Murphy Oil Soap
  • Quick Shine
  • Safeguard
  • Holloway House
  • Zep

Whatever you do, always avoid abrasive cleaners, ammonia, or any products that are not made with vinyl surfaces in mind. Each of these cleaners can ruin your flooring over time.

Why Do My Vinyl Floors Look Dull?

Vinyl floors start to look dull over time as dirt and food stains build up on the surface. However, there are many reasons they may appear more dull than usual. You may have used the wrong polish or product on the floor, or perhaps your floor just needs a deep clean.

Some of the most common reasons vinyl floors start to look dull include:

  • Food stains
  • Direct sunlight
  • Dirt
  • Scratches
  • Dragging marks

Can You Make Old Vinyl Plank Floors Shiny Again?

You can revive old vinyl plank floors and help them become shiny again. Follow the steps in this guide, using the right product for your flooring. Watch How to Clean Vinyl Floor Build Up on YouTube for more tips.

Can You Wax Vinyl Flooring?

Does vinyl need wax? Should I wax a vinyl floor? Vinyl flooring comes with a special polyurethane coating when it’s first installed. Over time, this top layer loses its shine. To keep the floor looking clean, it’s important to strip this top layer and clean the floor thoroughly to maintain the shine. However, the protecting layer never needs waxing.

The waxes and solvent-based polishes that are common to use on other flooring types can damage the topcoat on vinyl plank floors. The result may make your floor look dull.

Best Vinyl-Safe Cleaning Solutions

If you’re looking for a premade and vinyl-approved cleaning solution, you may be able to cut down on the time you spend cleaning. Here are our top picks for the best vinyl floor cleaners on the market today.

Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner

A leading cleaning product for vinyl flooring, Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner is a water-based cleaning formula that is residue-free. When you clean with Bona, you can expect the floors to dry quickly and sparkle afterward. You can use it on multiple hard surfaces, like vinyl, linoleum, laminate, stone, sealed marble, terrazzo, and no-wax sealed ceramic tile.

The best part is that it’s also safe for people, pets, and the planet, meeting the EPA’s standards. The neutral pH balance and unscented features make it a Safer Choice Certified product. Clean with Bona, and you’ll notice streak and residue-free results each time.

Armstrong Once’ N Done No-Rinse Cleaner

Armstrong Once’ N Done No-Rinse Cleaner is a wonderful product for cleaning vinyl flooring.

The gentle cleanser can cut through grime and grease. It’s an easy-to-use cleaning solution. Plus, the product comes in a durable concentrate that’s long-lasting and affordable.

However, even though the product says you don’t need to rinse with water after using it, it’s recommended to give the floors at least a quick rinse.

It may leave a layer of soap scum that could reduce the shine. That said, most people say it leaves nothing noticeable behind.

How Can You Keep Vinyl Floors Shiny?

You can keep vinyl floors shiny year-round with regular cleaning. Make sure to vacuum and mop the area daily or at least weekly, and repeat the deep cleaning process every year or so for the best results. Here are a few other ways to keep vinyl flooring in top condition.

Keep the Dirt Out

To further prevent debris and dirt from your floors, utilize floor mats. Rugs and doormats are especially essential. Place them in strategic locations, like the mudroom, front door, and any high-traffic areas like the kitchen.

You can also avoid wearing shoes inside to keep the floors from getting scratched or bringing dirt in from outside. Try wearing slippers indoors to protect your flooring.

Protect Floors From Furniture

Scuffs and scratches can quickly remove the shine from your floors. Avoid sliding substantial items across the floor, which can strip the top layer and leave your flooring dull in appearance. Try using vinyl coasters, furniture padding, or other means of protection to move a heavy item across the floor.

Utilize the Appropriate Vacuum Attachment

Did you know that your vacuum or cleaning routine could be the reason that your vinyl floors lost their shine? If you want to maintain your floors effectively, make sure to use the correct vacuum attachment for the job. Doing so helps you avoid scratches. Also, avoid a vacuum beater bar. The attachment can strip vinyl’s shine over time.

Avoid Using Abrasive Chemicals or Tools

Gentle care is the easiest way to maintain beautiful flooring. Avoid using abrasive tools or chemicals as you’re cleaning or shining vinyl floors, including:

  • Tough brushes
  • Steel wool
  • Paste wax
  • Solvent polishes
  • Harsh detergents
  • Grainy cleansers
  • Mop-and-shine products
  • Ammonia-based products

Ammonia and other harsh cleaning solutions have toxins that can cause irritation and burns, according to the New York Department of Health. So using apple cider vinegar or another cleaning solution is also a much safer choice.

Try a Urethane Coating

Urethane coatings are fantastic alternatives to wax and are entirely safe for vinyl floors. The benefit to going this route is that the coating lasts ten times longer than polish and requires minimal maintenance from you.

To apply a urethane coating at home, you buff the top layer of vinyl to remove any remaining wax and help the materials adhere better. Mix urethane with water, following the instructions on the label, and stir to combine. Apply the urethane using a paint roller for an even coat. Leave it to dry for at least 24 hours.

Summary

Vinyl plank flooring is a low-maintenance, durable, and popular choice. Daily maintenance can keep your floors looking like new for years to come. Deep clean and polish vinyl a minimum of twice per year to keep it looking fresh. And if you notice a difference in the luster or shine, you don’t have to hire a pro. Just polish your floor to spruce it up.

Did you enjoy learning how to make vinyl flooring shine? Let us know in the comments and share this article with your friends.