Vinyl flooring is one of the most popular types of flooring today. It’s easy to install, low maintenance, and affordable. The options for vinyl floors are vast. There are vinyl flooring options for every budget, every type of décor, and every taste.
Although easy to clean, vinyl floors can fade over time. This could lead to yellow marks on the floor. Stains can also be caused by spills, dirt, and grime.
Sometimes, the discoloration is not reversible, but there are six ways you can try to clean it before getting it replaced. Read more to find out how you to clean your discolored vinyl floor.
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What Is Vinyl Flooring Made Of?
Vinyl flooring is a durable, inexpensive, and versatile tile that is also easy to clean. Vinyl flooring is created from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), to which several additives are added to customize the material’s properties, including color, flexibility, hardness, and gloss.
Simple vinyl sheets are the main component of vinyl flooring. The vinyl is suspended in a liquid during production to create a mixture that may be rolled into a thin layer and applied.
From here, the plastisol, or liquid plastic, coat is dried using heat and air, fusing the material to create a strong, long-lasting sheet. These sheets are then cut into square tiles and used to tile household floors.
What Causes Discolored Vinyl Flooring?
Despite the flooring’s protective coating, most people think of stains on vinyl floors as being caused by spilled food or years of filth and grime.
Vinyl flooring can, however, also turn discolored from the bottom up or from underneath. When you pinpoint the exact source of the stain, you will be able to properly address the problem.
Here’s a list of the most frequent causes of vinyl floor discoloration:
When you apply adhesive incorrectly or when you use the wrong adhesive- other than that recommended by the manufacturer to apply the vinyl, there may be some discoloration on the bottom layers. Discoloration may occur permanently as the oils or other chemicals travel through the lowest layers.
Mold and Mildew
Under vinyl floors and baseboards are the best place for mold and mildew since they thrive in moist environments. The vinyl flooring can quickly get stained by mold and mildew, necessitating decontamination and replacement for a mold-free house.
Exposure to Sunlight
The UV rays of sunlight can have a bleaching effect on all types of materials, and vinyl floors are no exception. Avoid direct sunlight on your vinyl tiles to protect their longevity and preserve their original color.
Effect of Chemicals
While the stains will be gone, when you use strong chemicals like bleach to clean the stain marks from the vinyl floor, your vinyl floor will also be at risk.
Although water-resistant, vinyl flooring is not waterproof. So, discolored stains can result from moisture that develops on top of or beneath the tiles. If the tile is exposed to moisture for long periods of time, it might stain.
Liquid spills, such as those from milk, juice, and water, can leave stains on vinyl flooring. Sugary drinks are more difficult to clean up once they’ve dried, and water can discolor if left sitting for too long. Clean up spills as soon as possible.
Many food types can leave behind some prominent stains, especially foods that are known to be highly pigmented and stain-prone. It’s, therefore, important to remove any food spills as quickly as possible to avoid any staining.
Makeup is very pigmented and can leave permanent stains if not cleaned immediately. This is especially true for sticky lipstick stains and concealer.
Crayons and Markers
Like makeup, crayons, and markers can leave stains that are tough to clean. It’s best to clean crayon scuffs and marker stains as quickly as possible.
What Causes Yellow Stains on Vinyl Flooring?
After a few years, a yellow discoloration is to be expected because vinyl flooring fades over time. But if you keep the flooring clean, this shouldn’t be a problem. Here are the key things you should avoid in order to prevent yellow stains:
Each home is susceptible to dirt. Discoloration may result from the dirt and dust that have accumulated on the floor over time. To prevent discoloration in this way, be sure to properly clean your vinyl floors on a regular basis.
Bleach and Harsh Chemicals
Avoid using any harsh chemicals like bleach to remove any stains on your vinyl floors, as bleach itself could lead to discoloration or yellow spots.
Direct bright sunlight striking the floor, excessive sunlight heat, steam cleaners, or the use of hot water for cleaning can discolor or harm vinyl flooring.
Non slip rubber materials on the back rugs can damage the color of the vinyl tile by agitating the floor. The rubber causes a chemical reaction with vinyl which causes a permanent discoloration. If you have yellowing under your rubber backed rugs, there may be nothing you can do.
Vinyl flooring might not be the greatest option for you if your home has large windows or receives a lot of harsh light. It might be best to consider other flooring options that will perform well in these conditions.
How To Clean A Vinyl Floor
Now, let’s learn how to clean discolored vinyl floor. These proven methods will have your floors look brand new and clean in no time.
Baking Soda and Water
You probably already have baking soda in your cabinet, which is a natural vinyl floor cleaner. To use baking soda to clean your floors, follow these simple steps:
- Mix baking soda and water to form a thick paste.
- Rub the paste over stains, especially tough ones, using a soft white microfiber cloth. Rub gently because this could damage your floor. The abrasive nature of baking soda will aid in removing and lifting the stains.
- Baking soda residue should be removed by wiping it with a different, clean microfiber cloth.
Lemon and Baking Soda
Lemon juice contains citric acid, a non-toxic antiseptic and antibacterial agent found in many industrial products. Urine, water stains, discoloration, and tea or coffee stains are all effectively removed by it.
- Simply combine two parts lemon juice with one part baking soda.
- Sprinkle baking soda over the stained vinyl flooring after allowing it to dissolve and become paste-like.
- Before wiping up the pate with a towel or damp microfiber cloth, let it sit there for around 15 minutes.
If the aforementioned techniques fail to get rid of yellow stains on your vinyl flooring, consider using rubbing alcohol.
This technique has the major benefit of leaving no residue, which allows your vinyl flooring to dry quickly after treatment. It does not require rinsing to avoid film formation, unlike other cleaners.
Rubbing alcohol works especially well on greasy and oily stains and can be used to remove ink and makeup stains.
- Before you start, ensure the surface has been cleared of dirt and other debris.
- Now, apply some rubbing alcohol (99% or 70% isopropyl alcohol) to the stained area.
- To make the stains fade, rub a towel against the spot in a circular motion.
- Add more rubbing alcohol to the area and continue rubbing if you don’t see a significant change in color.
- Use a dry cloth or mop to pat the flooring dry.
Dish Soap And Apple Cider Vinegar
Though a mixture of water and dish soap can work wonders on its own, something a little stronger might be needed for more stubborn stains. In these cases, you can try using a mixture of dish soap and apple cider vinegar for deep cleaning.
Apple cider vinegar is a gentle floor cleaner that will not only clean discolored vinyl floors but also remove vinyl flooring discoloration for good.
To clean stubborn stains on your
- Add one cup of apple cider vinegar to a gallon of water.
- Add one tablespoon of dish soap to the mixture to lift the dirt.
- Use a mop to apply the cleaning solution to the floor and wipe it clean.
- If the stains still persist, you can use a soft, bristled brush to gently scrub the floor clean.
- After that, thoroughly dry the floor.
Scuff marks can be easily removed using WD-40. Before applying the product to the entire stain, first, conduct a test by applying it to a small area of the stain and see how it reacts.
If it doesn’t cause damage and the stain is lifted, then proceed with the following steps.
- Add some WD-40 to the stain using a soft clean cloth.
- Gently rub the marks with the clean damp cloth in circular motions until you see them dissipate.
- If the scratch marks are not removed with this method, you can try using some of the other methods. If that does not work, it might be a permanent stain.
Specialty Vinyl Floor Cleaner
We suggest Rejuvenate Vinyl Floor Cleaner if you’d prefer to use a product made exclusively for vinyl floors. The dirt, grime, and stains from harsh chemicals are removed with this non-toxic cleanser.
Simply spray the product onto the floors, sweep the floors, and dry them. It’s as easy as that!
How to Care for Vinyl Flooring
To properly take care of your vinyl flooring, you can do the following:
- Ensure that the floor is properly installed with an added moisture barrier to limit the amount of moisture.
- Don’t use abrasives.
- After installing new vinyl flooring, we advise cleaning the floor to get rid of any loose dirt or debris that might have been generated during that process.
- To get rid of loose dirt, sweep, or vacuum the floor regularly. Use only vacuums without a beater bar, or switch the beater bar off.
- Don’t mop often. Vinyl floors, although water-resistant, are not waterproof. You want to avoid adding unnecessary moisture to the vinyl planks to avoid any damage brought on by moisture. Only mop when it’s necessary, and then dry the floors properly after you mop.
- Don’t use a steam mop or warm water to get rid of the floor’s stained appearance.
- Preserve the finish by only using cleaners that are specifically designed to clean vinyl floors. We recommend the Rejuvenate Vinyl Floor Cleaner.
- Clean up spills immediately.
- Test any new cleaning agent on an inconspicuous area of the stain.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals to clean the vinyl. This includes bleach or any cleaner with an ammonia base. Rather use a mild cleaning solution.
- Take care not to leave the floor out in the sun for too long. During the hours of maximum sunlight, close the draperies or blinds. Thermal degradation can occur to flooring that is exposed to a lot of heat and light.
- Use Rugs in high-traffic areas.
- Use non-staining mats instead of rubber ones, which can cause the floor to become discolored or yellow.
- Move your furniture and rugs frequently, especially if it is in a room that gets a lot of sunshine. This will ensure that no uneven discoloration takes place. Furniture that is moved frequently should have felt pads underneath to protect the flooring.
- To prevent long-term floor indentation, heavy furniture and appliances should stand atop non-staining large surface floor protectors.
Although vinyl flooring is not expensive, it’s still important to take care of it. This will ensure that you preserve the longevity of your floors. We hope this article has proven helpful with all the information that you need to properly care for and clean your vinyl floors.
If you apply the tip and tricks that we’ve shared, your floors will look fresh and clean for years to come.
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