Posted on: 28.03.2023 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

Vinyl floors are a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms because they can withstand heavy foot traffic, but that doesn’t mean they are completely stain resistant. The good news is that you can restore your vinyl floor to its original condition with simple household cleaners.

To remove stains from vinyl floors, you need to identify the type of stain present. For example, makeup and ink stains require rubbing alcohol. Dirt-based stains can be dissolved with dish soap. WD-40 can magically erase scratch marks. Baking soda works well against most stains in general.

Now that you know what materials you need, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start cleaning!

Before we start: Always test before cleaning

No matter what stain you have, I highly recommend testing the cleaning solution in a hidden area of your floor before removing the actual stain.

Don’t get me wrong. The cleaning solutions I suggested are not supposed to harm your vinyl floor in a standard way. However, your flooring may be slightly different from mine, so some cleaning solutions may not work as intended.

After applying the solution to a small, hidden area, wait a few minutes before rinsing and/or wiping it off. If you don’t see any discoloration, you can confidently proceed with cleaning the actual stain.

Use baking soda for unidentified stains

If you don’t know what has stained your vinyl floor, you can safely start with baking soda. What makes baking soda efficient for cleaning is that it creates a mildly abrasive paste that removes dirt and dissolves grease stains without damaging the underlying surface.

First, make a 50-50 paste of baking soda and water. Gently rub the paste onto the stained area with a soft cloth, then wipe off the residue with another clean cloth. Repeat the process if necessary.

Use rubbing alcohol for ink & makeup stains

The reason alcohol is effective against ink stains is that they have the same chemical structure. It may not look like it, but you’re actually fighting fire with fire!

Ideally, you should use isopropyl alcohol, such as MG Chemicals Isopropyl Alcohol, or acetone, such as Onyx Professional Acetone Nail Polish Remover, to ensure you’re not adding any additives to the alcohol. But if those are not available, clear alcoholic beverages like vodka are the next best thing.

If the stain is still fresh, blot it first with a clean, dry cloth to remove as much ink as possible. Then, dip a paper towel into the alcohol you prepared and rub it over the stained area. Repeat if necessary.

Use dish soap for old dirt stains

Dish soap can quickly dissolve dirt stains as it dissolves oil or grease that may be holding the dirt particles together.

First, add two tablespoons of dish soap to a bucket of water and stir well until it foams. Next, use an appropriate mop to clean the area. I like the Turbo Microfiber Mop because it comes with scrub pads that can scrape off dirt stains with little to no effort.

After removing the stain, make sure to rinse the floor thoroughly to remove any soap residue. Otherwise, it will harden and form unsightly gray spots.

Add vinegar for added strength

If dish soap doesn’t seem to cut it, you can crank things up a bit by adding a cup of vinegar to the bucket of water.

Vinegar is a strong cleaner as it consists of acetic acid, which can dissolve mineral deposits, dirt, grease, and soot. Not to mention, it can also kill some disease-causing bacteria.

If you can’t tolerate the strong vinegar smell, you can tone it down by adding essential oils or lemon juice. However, do not add more than a few drops as these additives can create new stains when they dry.

Use WD-40 to remove scratches

Most scuff marks can be easily dissolved using WD-40 sprays due to its slippery nature. All you have to do is spray a little WD-40 on the affected area, let it sit for a minute, and then wipe it off with a clean cloth.

After the stain is gone, you may want to scrub the area with soapy water to remove any slippery, oily residue.

Or try using an eraser

If you don’t have WD-40 on hand, try using an eraser to scrape off the stain. If the scratch is still fresh, it can be completely removed by the eraser without the use of cleaning solutions.

Use a professional vinyl cleaner

Although I usually prefer to make DIY cleaning solutions using household materials, that doesn’t always work. If you’re dealing with stubborn stains that have been lingering on your vinyl tiles for a long time, it’s better to use a professionally made cleaner specifically designed for this purpose.

In this case, Rejuvenate Luxury Vinyl Floor Cleaner should be the best choice. It is effective against dirt, grime, oils, and even chemical residues. And the best part is, it leaves no residue behind.

To use it, spray it directly on the stained area and wipe it thoroughly until the stain disappears. Let it dry for ten minutes before walking on it to avoid smearing and streaking.

Finish with a floor polish

If you have successfully removed the stain but the floor doesn’t feel quite right, try using a floor polish like Quick Shine Multi-Surface Vinyl Polish.

This product will even out the vinyl floor by giving it a nice shiny finish. It also acts as a protective layer to prevent future stains from sticking to the surface.

Bonus: Tips to keep vinyl floors looking perfect for years

If you’ve managed to remove the stain from your vinyl floor, you can consider yourself lucky! But as you may already know, stains are not the only things that can ruin vinyl. Below are all the tips I know to ward off all culprits and maximize the lifespan of your flooring.

Act quickly

Accidents happen. Whether it’s your pet, your child, or yourself, someone spills a liquid on the floor from time to time. If you happen to witness the spill, blot the liquid immediately using paper towels.

If you don’t notice the stain, it will penetrate deeper into the floor and become harder to remove in the future.

Use rugs

Areas like the kitchen entrance, hallway, and playroom are usually the most heavily trafficked in your home. That’s why the vinyl tiles installed in these areas tend to stain faster than normal.

Luckily, you can easily solve this problem by placing rugs in these areas.

Stay away from bleach

Bleach is indeed a controversial cleaning agent. Some swear by it, while others say it causes permanent discoloration. Well, you might not believe it, but both parties are actually telling the truth – bleach can be the best cleaning solution you’ll ever use, and it can also ruin your vinyl forever.

The thing that determines how vinyl reacts to bleach is the age of your flooring. You see, as your flooring ages, the topmost layer (called wear layer) that protects the core becomes thinner, making the vinyl print more susceptible to damages.

Unfortunately, this protective layer can wear out faster than average if your vinyl floor is constantly heavily trafficked.

So, since you can’t judge whether the protective layer is intact or not, in my opinion, you should not clean your vinyl floor with bleach. The methods I listed before are equally effective anyway. It’s not worth the risk.

Avoid soaking it with too much water

Although vinyl is waterproof, you should never pour water directly onto it. And if that happens, you should quickly absorb the water with kitchen paper towels. Why’s that? Well, as water spends more time on the vinyl, it can seep through the seams to reach the underlying adhesive layer. When that happens, the vinyl planks gradually start to peel.

You can still wipe vinyl floors with water, but always keep it to a minimum. And for this purpose, you should also use a flat mop instead of a sponge or string model.

Don’t use abrasive cleaners

As I mentioned before, you should clean vinyl with smooth mops or microfiber cloths. Avoid abrasive tools like steel wool and stiff scrub brushes as these tools can wear off the vinyl’s protective layer faster than expected.

Use a doormat

Unfortunately, some people don’t use a doormat with vinyl because they think it’s tough enough to handle dirt and mud. Although that’s technically correct, everyone should use a doormat to keep their flooring intact for as long as possible.

Also, a doormat serves as a gentle reminder for your guests to wipe their shoes before entering, saving you from potential embarrassments.


You can remove stains from vinyl floors using baking soda, rubbing alcohol, dish soap, WD-40, and professional cleaners. As you’ve read, each option works best against a specific stain, but you can still play around and try different combinations.

Happy cleaning!

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