How To Clean Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) Flooring
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Our experts offer the best methods and products to safely and effectively clean your luxury vinyl plank flooring.
Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring is a popular and durable option, but it must be cleaned properly to prevent unsightly cosmetic or permanent damage. Friends of mine found this out when they used a heavy-duty industrial string mop on their LVP floors. They unknowingly soaked the subfloor underneath, resulting in permanent damage.
I interviewed two professional house cleaning experts — Alessandro Gazzo of Emily’s Maids in Dallas, and Alex Varela, general manager of Dallas Maids of Frisco in Frisco, Texas — to learn the best ways to clean LVP floors.
What is Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring?
Luxury vinyl plank flooring is made of compressed layers of vinyl, typically with wood grain texture that simulates the look of natural hardwood flooring. The multiple layers make LVP more durable and comfortable to walk on than standard vinyl flooring manufactured in large, flexible sheets.
Also, unlike laminate flooring with a wood particle core more susceptible to water damage, the vinyl core of LVP won’t be effected by moisture.
How Is Cleaning LVP Flooring Different From Cleaning Other Flooring?
Cleaning LVP is similar to cleaning other plank flooring options like natural hardwood, engineered hardwood and laminate flooring with seams between the planks. The seams allow standing water to seep through and possibly damage the subfloor below, so it’s essential to use the smallest amount of liquid when mopping.
Also, unlike hard flooring options like stone or tile, LVP and other plank flooring must be vacuumed or swept frequently to prevent dirt and grime from scratching the surface. Because LVP cannot be sanded or refinished like natural hardwood flooring, these scratches are permanent.
Products Needed To Clean Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
According to both experts, you’ll keep your LVP floors looking good and free of dirt and grime with a few basic cleaning items.
- Broom and dustpan: A standard bristle broom is sufficient to sweep and capture loose dirt and debris. This O-Cedar model features an angled head that’s perfect for reaching into corners, and a cleaning comb to pull out dust bunnies and hair.
- Microfiber mop: Gazzo says string mops can apply too much water and recommends microfiber models only. We’ve had great success with this O-Cedar mop. Its bucket wringer lets you regulate the amount of water applied.
- White or apple cider vinegar: Standard strength vinegar provides the acidity needed to remove dirt and grime without leaving a soapy residue behind. Varela recommends apple cider vinegar because it provides the same cleaning properties as white vinegar, plus “a little extra fragrance.”
- pH-neutral floor cleaner: Standard cleaners like dish soap can leave streaks. Varela recommends a pH-neutral option. This Bona floor cleaner is pH neutral and doesn’t contain ammonia that can damage vinyl flooring.
How To Clean Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
According to Varela, LVP flooring is easy to clean. Sweeping and mopping regularly is enough to make your LVP floors last for many years.
- Sweep with a broom to remove loose sand or dirt. This prevents debris from scratching your floors over time and preps the surface for mopping. You can use a vacuum, but make sure it has a “bare floor” setting that won’t scratch or scuff the surface.
- Create a cleaning solution. Varela recommends combining a 1/2-cup each of apple cider vinegar and a pH-neutral floor cleaner in a gallon of warm water.
- Use a microfiber mop with the cleaning solution, and be sure to use only enough liquid to clean the floors without leaving excess behind. Varela adds leaving your windows open can speed up drying. Stand in the furthest corner of the room and work your way forward. Then move slightly to the side and backwards, overlapping the previous path by half. Repeat this over the length of the floor, “This way you will cover the entire surface twice, more than enough to clean your floors properly,” Varela says.
How Often To Clean Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
Your cleaning frequency will of course depend on how much foot traffic, cooking, playing, etc. go on in your home, along with whether or not you have pets. But sweeping LVP flooring often is a must.
Mannington, a popular LVP manufacturer, recommends at least once per week, while Gazzo says “every other day is fine.” According to Gazzo, LVP should also be mopped once a week if you have pets or kids, and at least twice a month if you don’t.