by Amy Gordon
(last updated April 29, 2011)
To get the best results when cleaning a vinyl floor, mop using a mild detergent and let it soak in for a while before you mop it up. If the edges of your flooring are not sealed, try to keep any soaking water away from there as it could get under the vinyl and cause a dampness problem. Dampness beneath your vinyl flooring could also cause mold and mildew growth and even warping of your floor.
Since vinyl floors are prone to having food stick to them, you'll want to use a mop that has a scrubbing surface as well as a wiping surface, but you'll want to avoid using abrasives. Abrasives can scratch the surface of your vinyl flooring and leave permanent dullness behind. Also, if you plan on moving any appliances, you'll need to lay down another layer of vinyl to protect your flooring from your appliance's feet. Refrigerator feet especially can warp vinyl as they move over it. Another easy trick for protecting your vinyl is to attach carpet squares to the bottom of your appliance. Carpet slides easily over vinyl and will also cushion some of the weight of the appliance. Use carpet squares only when moving your appliance, since they may be a fire hazard or collect mildew if left under an appliance.
To have a little fun while cleaning up, use a detergent mild enough to touch skin and tell your kids to get their swimsuits on. When you're mopping, your floor literally becomes a Slip'n'Slide. Your kids can slide across your kitchen on old towels, thus both scrubbing the floor and having tons of fun. Again, you will want to make sure that the edges of your flooring are sealed. If they aren't, you can also try lining the edges of your vinyl flooring with extra towels. Make sure to have your children rinse off after sliding around on the soapy floor, so their skin won't be irritated by your mopping detergent.
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