Cleaning Vinyl

by Emily McBride
(last updated August 9, 2010)

When most people think of vinyl, they think of vinyl records—the old round music discs of the past. However, vinyl is a material used in other areas. You can find vinyl taking the form of kitchen flooring, siding and surfaces in cars, horizontal and vertical blinds, and coating furniture. No matter where you have vinyl, the better you take care of it, the longer it will last. Vinyl is a plastic, and most plastics are not very difficult to clean. In fact, it is often a coating on wallpaper and upholstery because it makes it easier to clean.

  • Cleaning vinyl floors: Vinyl floors are very durable and long lasting. However, they do still need some care. Make sure you sweep them often, so dirt, dust, and other particles don't scratch the surface. You can also use a vacuum, as long as it doesn't have a beater bar. A normal mopping, with warm water and soap, will also help keep your vinyl floor clean. If water is not getting the floor clean, check directions from the manufacturer. You can also find specific vinyl floor cleaners at some supermarkets.
  • Cleaning vinyl in cars: First, vacuum the surfaces. Use a vinyl protectant spray (like Armor All) and a rag to wipe down the vinyl. This will help protect the vinyl from cracking and drying out. The protectant will work best if you let the siding or mats dry in the shade.
  • Cleaning vinyl-coated upholstery: The vinyl covering couches and seats in cars is a porous covering. Because of this, vinyl-coated upholstery is very susceptible to stains. Use mild water, detergent, and a toothbrush to gently scrub the fabric. Some household cleaners can scratch off or dissolve the vinyl. If you have a stain on your vinyl upholstery, use a vinyl upholstery cleaner or shaving cream directly on the spot.
  • Cleaning vinyl records: Vinyl records need to be cleaned carefully because, if they are scratched, they will not be able to play music in the same way. The best way to clean vinyl records is with a record-cleaning pad. You can also use record-cleaning fluid with a carbon-fiber record brush. Follow the instructions that come with these cleaning tools.

The best way to clean vinyl on other surfaces is to follow manufacturing directions. If you take care of your vinyl products, they will look nicer and last longer.

Author Bio

Emily McBride

A senior majoring in English and editing at BYU, Emily hopes to enter the field of professional editing upon graduation. Emily has done humanitarian work in Africa and studied in London. She enjoys blogging, foreign films, and playing the piano. ...

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