Dirt from your shoes can scratch a vinyl floor.

How to Keep Vinyl Flooring Shiny & Free From Scratches

by Chris Anzalone

The unwavering popularity of vinyl flooring should come as no surprise. Its reflective beauty and elegant charm give it the appeal of a natural hardwood or even marble surface, without the hefty price tag. If not properly maintained, your vinyl floors can begin to look dull and may even scratch, but you can prevent these unfortunate occurrences with some very basic ongoing maintenance.

Use Doormats

Your shoes don't just protect your feet. They collect dirt like magnets, and that dirt enters your home and penetrates your flooring. When it comes to vinyl floors, this is a serious problem. Dirt can dull and even scratch the surface while wearing away at the finish, which is why it's so important to have doormats in front of each door. Doormats collect much of the accumulated dirt before it has the chance to ruin your floor. If you want to take things one step further, you might even request that shoes be left outside or in a bin near the door.

Sweep or Vacuum Constantly

Perhaps "constantly" is a bit of an overstatement, but you do want to frequently run a broom over your vinyl flooring to remove the dirt that accumulates. The World Floor Covering Association also recommends periodically mopping your floor with just clean, warm water. Don't drench the mop, but dampen it. Excess water can penetrate the cracks and compromise the glue below the surface. Also, don't clean with harsh chemicals, as they may ruin the vinyl finish.

Use Soaps as a Last Resort

If sweeping and mopping just aren't getting the job done, use a soap that's designated for your type of vinyl flooring. Reader's Digest points out that not all vinyl floors are created equal. If you have a no-wax vinyl surface, you'll need to find a cleaner designated for no-wax floors. Otherwise, you can lightly treat your floor with mild detergents and general vinyl floor cleaners.

Apply a Gentle Touch

When it comes to preventing scratches, there are certain things you should never do. For instance, never use a vacuum with a beater bar, and never use a scrub brush of any kind to remove stains from the floor. Just avoid abrasive cleaning surfaces altogether.

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