Cleaning & Care

The Best Way to Clean Waterproof Flooring

Is there a wrong way to clean LVT or LVP flooring? If your flooring didn’t come with a cleaning guide or you moved into a home with existing watersafe vinyl floors, knowing which cleaner to use to clean with is important.

If you Google “How to clean vinyl floors,” the results are widely varied with a lot of contradictory advice given. It is hard to know which to trust from among the hundreds of articles .

We feel your frustration and want to make it simple for you. Cleaning a floor shouldn’t be complicated but something you can fit into your normal routine.

Our goal is to make owning a watersafe floor as simple as possible, whether sheet vinyl, luxury vinyl tile and luxury vinyl plank. No confusing marketing terms or complicated cleaning guides.

With just a few tools and some good habits, you can easily keep your floors looking like new for years.

Microfiber mop and cleaner
We recommend cleaning your floors with a microfiber mop and an Luxury Vinyl Flooring (LVF) safe cleaner.

What should I use to clean my Luxury Vinyl Floors?

All you need is a broom or vacuum, a microfiber mop kit (with both a dusting and cleaning pad) and a vinyl safe cleaner. We recommend to always use an LVF safe cleaner, like Bona or Real Clean Floors.

Can LVT/LVP floors be cleaned with a Swiffer mop?
Most can be – microfiber mops that don’t have abrasive scrubbing pads can be used on waterproof floors.

Can I use a steam cleaner on my luxury vinyl floor?
Although waterproof floors are highly durable and watersafe, they are not steam proof. In fact, many brands of waterproof floor’s surface finish is highly susceptible to heat which can damage the finish and cause planks to warp.

While some waterproof floors are more resistant to heat, as with Rigid Core SPC floors, it is still a risky move to use a steam cleaner. (*Always consult the flooring manufacturer for exclusions to warranty coverage.) For those really soiled areas, soak the area with cleaner for a few minutes then wipe down with a cleaning towel.

How do I clean a really dirty vinyl floor?
You can deep clean the floors with your LVF approved cleaner or water and dish soap. Let the area soak for a couple minutes and then mop. You may need to mop again to get to those hard-to-clean spots.

Can I use vinegar to clean LVF floors?
We say, never use vinegar to clean vinyl floors, even when diluted. Vinegar, ammonia and other household items like alcohol and bleach can react with the finish surface causing it to weaken and wear down more quickly as well as become dull over time. Most LVF approved cleaners are formulated to be powerful enough to cut through the grime while keeping the floors looking great.

The Best Way to Clean Luxury Vinyl Floors

The Tools You Need:

  • Broom or Vacuum (never use the carpet setting)
  • Microfiber Mop Kit (with both a dusting and cleaning pad)
  • LVF Safe Cleaner – We highly recommend Real Clean Floors and Bona HSF Cleaner
Person sweeping floor
The first step in cleaning your vinyl flooring is to sweep or vacuum up all the debris on your floor.


  • Vacuum or sweep all debris, dust, and dirt.
  • Spray LVF safe cleaner across the floor or directly on microfiber pad and mop
  • Repeat if needed on tough to clean spots

How often do I need to clean?

One reason so many homeowners love waterproof flooring is because of how easy it is to clean and maintain. Our basic rule of thumb: clean as it gets dirty.

For high traffic areas, like your kitchen, living room, hallways, and bathrooms, it’s best to dry mop or vacuum several times a week. Never use the beater bar or carpet setting on your vacuum as this can leave dents and scratches, even on some anti-scratch floors.

Remember: If cleaning the debris on your floor with a vacuum, always turn off the beater bar.

When spills happen, wipe up as soon as possible to avoid hard-to-clean messes later.

Once a week, with a vinyl safe cleaner dampened microfiber mop, clean your floors . Keeping up with this weekly will prevent a build-up of dirt and grime. If you’re cleaning a large area, you may need to rinse out the cleaning pad more than once to extract the accumulated dirt. After cleaning, wash the cleaning pad either by hand or in the washing machine with no fabric softener.

Check your floor regularly to see if there’s a build-up of dirt and grime. If you see more grime, then you may need to address those spots or clean more regularly.

For low traffic areas, like bedrooms or unused rooms, you can clean these areas as needed. Again, wipe up any spills right away and check for any messes that may have occurred.

Keeping up these good cleaning habits will help you to avoid problems with your luxury vinyl floor. It also eliminates any desire to deep clean with a steam mop (which isn’t good for waterproof flooring, as we mentioned earlier).

How do I prevent scratches?

Although many vinyl plank floors are anti-stain and anti-scratch, it’s still important to protect them.

Here’s a few tips to keep your floors scratch-free:

  • Apply felt furniture pads on all of your furniture (even big pieces like couches). We like Real Clean Floor’s Furniture Pads.
  • Place mats inside and outside of your exterior doors to catch dirt and debris.
  • Replace the wheels on your office chairs with ones that are safe for vinyl and wood flooring. This will prevent scratches and help them roll better on your floor.
  • When vacuuming, never use the beater bar or carpet brush setting.

Keeping your Luxury Vinyl Floors clean doesn’t require any special equipment or daily cleaning. Using the right tools and cleaning just as they start to look dirty will keep them looking great for years to come.

Person putting felt pads on a chair
Felt pads are a cheap and effective way to save your floor from scratches.

Looking for a new waterproof floor?

We know how confusing it can be to buy a watersafe floor. What is the difference between LVT, LVP, sheet vinyl, and the other acronyms many companies use? How can I compare seemingly identical products?

Our commitment is to make buying a watersafe floor as clear as possible.

We’ve created a free guide that goes through everything you need to know when buying a waterproof floor. Find out the top 5 things to know before choosing a waterproof floor. We also cover the big question, “What does waterproof mean, exactly?”