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How To Clean Vinyl Floors

Vinyl flooring is a very popular flooring choice. It is sometimes still referred to as linoleum, owning to the days when it was made from linseed oil. Today's resilient flooring is formed from a backing, a vinyl appearance layer and a tough, usually urethane, wear layer.

Manufacturers each have their own recommendations for maintaining the appearance and prolonging the life of their products. If you know the brand of flooring, you should follow their recommendations for care. However, in the absence of that information, the basics are mostly similar.

Start by regularly sweeping the floor of dirt and debris. If you use a vacuum, do not use one with a beater bar as it may damage the floor's surface.

Always wipe up spills promptly. This is especially important near the edges and seams as the liquid may soak through and damage the flooring from beneath, where there is no protective layer.

Use of water or mild cleaners should lift and remove most dirt. You don't need to wax vinyl flooring, it will tend to dull the floor over time. Avoid the use of one-step "mop and polish" products. These products may deposit a layer on top of the floor's surface that actually end up attracting and trapping dirt.

Harsh chemical cleaners and abrasives should not be used on vinyl flooring as it may strip the protective wear layer and reduce the life and appearance of the flooring.

Caution: Do not use ammonia on vinyl floors as it is corrosive to vinyl. Never mix cleaning agents or chemicals, the result can be dangerous or deadly. Before cleaning, always test the agent on an inconspicuous location to determine its suitability and to make certain it does not damage the material. Wear appropriate clothing such as gloves and protective eyewear, and work in a well-ventilated area. Accidental inhalation or ingestion of cleaning agents can be hazardous and even fatal, particularly to pets and children.

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