Can You Use a Steam Mop on Vinyl Plank Flooring – Will It Damage Vinyl

Can You Use a Steam Mop on Vinyl Plank Flooring - Will It Damage Vinyl
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My heart was set on our home when we decided to buy it. Between my family and friends, vinyl flooring seemed to be a preferred option. Additionally, it is reasonably priced, strong, and fashionable. I mean, what’s not to love?

On vinyl plank flooring, the good news is that you can use any kind of mop. On vinyl plank flooring, a steam mop can be used, but only with the lowest heat setting and swift motions.

We’ve got you covered. Whether you need a deep clean or are just looking to keep your home tidy every day, we’ll go over some tips and techniques for keeping your vinyl floors clean in this article.

What is Vinyl Flooring?

Can You Use a Steam Mop on Vinyl Plank Flooring - Will It Damage Vinyl

This is an important question for cleaning vinyl floors. If you haven’t heard of vinyl, which includes vinyl flooring, vinyl records, vinyl clothing, and vinyl gloves, you’ve been living under a rock.

It’s just one of those adaptable materials that manufacturers use for a variety of purposes; flooring is just one of the most popular, and for good reason.

Let’s start with the basics:

Vinyl is not a natural substance; rather, it is a type of plastic created by combining the elements ethylene, which can be found in crude oil, and chlorine, which can be found in salt. Together, they create vinyl, also known as polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

It is incredibly durable, which is obviously what makes it such a fantastic flooring material, and is one of the reasons it is such a widely used product in manufacturing.

Therefore, how is vinyl flooring made?

Essentially by heating vinyl powder and rolling it into flat sheets that are added to a wear layer and film. Machines press these layers with immense heat and pressure before manufacturers add a colored and textured polyurethane layer.

Naturally, there are various kinds of vinyl flooring, so the procedure and degree of protection vary according to the type.

What is the Advantage of Using a Steam Mop on Vinyl Flooring?

A steam mop kills any bacteria on the floor without the use of chemicals by using hot steam, which is especially beneficial if you have a baby who is just learning to crawl.

Vinyl flooring is mostly used in areas that are water prone and have minimal air circulation/ventilation like basements which are mostly used for food storage. Instead of using chemicals that might harm the environment, using a steam mop in places like this is essential.

With less water and detergent used, steam mopping will effectively clean the joints where the planks come together without soaking the floor and will take less time.

It is a time-saving cleaning method because steam mopping typically takes less than 30 seconds to dry. Before steam mopping, sweep the floor or vacuum up larger debris for best results.

Cost-effective steam moping. You won’t need to spend money on additional cleaning supplies since the mop only needs water to function.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Steam Mop

Can You Use a Steam Mop on Vinyl Plank Flooring - Will It Damage Vinyl

Here are six common errors you should never make when using a steam mop because they can end up costing you money in the long run.

1. Plugging in a Steam Mop before Attaching the Mopping Pad.

Steam mop heaters are made to heat up quickly. You won’t be able to repair the mopping pad because the mop’s foot will quickly become too hot.

Handling wet pads and plugged mop can also result in an electric shock.

2. Sitting a Steam Mop on One Area for a Long Duration.

Make sure the steam mop is turned off if you need to pause for a moment. Heat builds up quickly in some mops and you might end up destroying the floor if you let it idle

3. Using a Dirty Moping Pad

Once you’ve noticed that the cloth is dirty, refrain from mopping the entire floor with dirty mopping pads. If you ignore it, the dust will spread throughout the entire space. It’s wise to keep extra mopping pads on hand at all times.

4. Leaving the Dirty Pad on After Use.

Ensure to clean the pad after steam mopping to prevent the stains from sticking on and mold growth due to dampness

5. Using Steam Mops on Laminate Floors.

With continued use, steam or water will rot or grow mold because of the wooden material. In general, stay away from steam cleaning any floor that shouldn’t have water on it. (Read More: 10 Best Mop For Laminate Floors – Best Ways to Clean)

6. Never Put Anything Else in the Water Reservoir Except Water.

With the exception of a few models that have multiple functions, steam mops are typically only intended for use with water. Always make sure to read the user’s manual and make sure you clearly understand the guidelines. (Read More: Mighty Thirsty Mop Reviews 2023 – How Does It Work?)

Vinyl Vs Linoleum Vs Laminate Flooring – What’s the Difference?

With the level of innovation in flooring today, it can be hard to tell the difference between materials, especially since they’re all made to mimic hardwood.

More so because they were previously all sold as sheets that you could easily stick over your flooring (very typical in low-cost apartments).

But today’s vinyl, laminate, and linoleum flooring differ considerably, which affects how you should clean them (and believe us when we say it can be disastrous to use the wrong commercial cleaners on your floors).

So here’s the difference:

Vinyl: the wear layer, the core, the printed vinyl layer, and the backing. Vinyl of the highest caliber has a core that is waterproof and has a thicker wear layer.

The fact that there are various installation methods for vinyl flooring sets it apart from other flooring types. Each piece can be interlocked (also known as floating), loosely laid, or adhered with glue. In comparison to other flooring types, vinyl typically requires less maintenance.

​Linoleum: A lot of people like linoleum for the fact that it’s cheap, easy to install, and lasts a long time. However, it can also be made from materials that are quite eco-friendly, such as linseed oil, cork powder, and wood flour (which is not the same as regular baking flour).

Laminate: contains a backing layer, a fiberboard core, a print layer to simulate wood and stone, and a wear layer to protect it. The distinctive feature of laminate is that it is frequently installed over already-installed flooring.

All of them are excellent flooring options, but vinyl is frequently a wise decision for resistance to liquids. Not to mention that compared to some of your other options, it requires a little less maintenance.

What Do I Need to Know About My Type of Flooring?

Can You Use a Steam Mop on Vinyl Plank Flooring - Will It Damage Vinyl

One of the most affordable flooring options available is vinyl (especially if you’re handy and can install it yourself).

But there are a few different types of vinyl flooring that make a difference in their ability to last and stand up to years of wear and cleaning.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

Vinyl planks are often called “luxury vinyl flooring” because they more closely resemble wood, are more durable, and often contain a waterproof core (so, it’s easier to clean vinyl planks) and a thicker wear layer.

These planks also tend to be quieter and more sound absorbing than other types of vinyl.

Vinyl Tile Flooring

Vinyl tile usually comes in squares that resemble ceramic tile (typically 9 or 12 inch squares). It is considerably more affordable than the majority of tile flooring and extremely simple to install.

Sheet Vinyl Flooring

Sheet vinyl is of course, vinyl that comes in a sheet of around 6 to 12 feet wide. This is more of a conventional vinyl. And it is typically what you’ll find in apartment buildings because they’re easy to install and they can be water resistant.

No-wax Vinyl Flooring

Most vinyl is “no wax,” which might seem strange because it appears a bit shiny. It’s usually the lightest type of vinyl, and the thinnest type, which means it really shouldn’t be used in areas of high-traffic or with a lot of exposure to dirt and grime.

How to Deep Clean Vinyl Floors

How do you clean dirty vinyl floors, then?

How simple it is to keep a vinyl floor clean will surprise you. Typically, a hot water damp mop or a straightforward dust mop will do the trick.

However, some places—like under the furniture or behind the refrigerator—that you probably don’t clean frequently will likely collect more dirt than others.

Maybe you’re entering a new home that’s been on the market for a bit (rare today, but okay) and there’s some leftover grime and dirt from the previous owner.

Or perhaps your children simply have a habit of spilling their food and beverages. Additionally, there are cats who like to eat wherever they please (including carrying their food around the house).

In any case, there is a way to thoroughly clean them. Let’s look at the use cases for more context, but there are actually a few.

How to Remove Stubborn Scuffs

You’re in luck if all it is is a scuff that needs to be removed (which won’t happen very often because most vinyl doesn’t scuff easily).

You can simply use a melamine to buff out a scuff, or a paste made from baking soda and plain water to use as an exfoliant. Vinyl floor scuffs can be removed with even a soft substance like a few drops of baby oil.

How to Remove Ink, Lipstick, and Hair Dye Stains

Any floor can be a nightmare if ink, lipstick, or hair dye are spilled on it, but vinyl floors are generally less problematic.

Use isopropyl alcohol (or rubbing alcohol) to remove stains from vinyl that are liquid or paste-like.

It is a fairly easy process. Just spray the isopropyl alcohol onto the stubborn stain, and wipe. However, it should come up (results may vary depending on the type of vinyl). It might take a few tries, and it might need to sit on the surface for a while to really soak in.

How to Remove Crayon, Paint, and Marker Stains

So, paint and marker are actually pretty easy to remove from vinyl. Vinyl flooring’s wear layer is strong and unlikely to be damaged by things like crayon, marker, or even paint.

To remove it, you can use just use a semi-dull putty knife. Less chance of gouging the planks or removing some of the wear layer if the spatula is dull or made of plastic. (and please be safe with even semi-dull items!)

If there is a large area that needs to be cleaned, you can simply spray on something like a goo remover, let it sit for a few minutes, and then wipe it off with a damp sponge.

How to Remove Food Stains (likely from the Infamous Ketchup Or Tomato Sauce)

Food stains, especially runny ones like ketchup, like to accumulate in cracks. Due to their high acidity, they have the potential to eat through vinyl’s protective wear layers even if they don’t run into the cracks.

Of course, preventing food from falling is the best thing you can do. The next best thing is to clean it up right away if you can’t.

Because it is concealed behind the toilet (how did that get there? ), if you don’t see it for a while, it may be hard to find.??!!!) then you can use a hardwood and tile cleaning solution that you’d typically use on real tile or hardwood.

This is fine for vinyl because it’s still a delicate yet potent chemical that will get rid of dirt and stains.

After mopping, spraying the cleaner on the surface and spreading it with a microfiber mophead is the best way to apply it. It will facilitate the cleaner’s entry into the vinyl’s deeper grooves. But keep in mind to read and adhere to the particular guidelines for the cleaner you are using.


Steer clear of using a steam mop on laminate flooring. Your laminate will be harmed by the mop’s released moisture. Once the floor begins to swell or buckle, it will be irreparably damaged. A dump cloth is a better option for this kind of floor, in my opinion.

A steam mop is best for cleaning vinyl flooring. It is safe to use, but exercise caution when using excessive heat. Vinyl flooring can withstand moisture better than laminate flooring, but you should always proceed with caution.

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