How to Clean Vinyl Floors with Vinegar?


Vinyl floors look pretty amazing and enhance the aesthetics of your house but they are a pain to clean, especially if you have tough stains on them. And, if your mother is likely buying those high chemical floor cleaners to clean the vinyl floors, they are likely already setting themselves up for risk of harmful fumes and discolored floors.

If there’s one thing every homeowner enquires about is the way to get their vinyl flooring cleaned without the use of these chemical ingredients. For the individuals who don’t mind doing a little DIY for their cleaning chores, vinegar works like magic for your vinyl floors. They are ideal for cleaning the dirt and also getting rid of any permanent smell that you have been trying to get rid of.

However, not every person knows how to use vinegar to clean dirty and stuffy floors. If you are one of them, we are pretty sure this article will answer every query that you likely have in your mind.

Why is Vinegar Ideal for Cleaning Vinyl Floors?

If you have never used vinegar for cleaning your vinyl floors before, it is pretty common for a question to pop into your head. Why use vinegar? Well, not only is it a natural ingredient, it is ideal for vinyl floors because it doesn’t leave any kind of discoloration like the other chemical-infused floor cleaners.

Vinegar contains acetic acid, with a pH of 2.4, making it a pretty strong acid for cleaning the vinyl floors. The reason why they work for vinyl floors is because of this acidic property that seamlessly cuts and eats through the germs and dirt present on the floor.

The acidic property of vinegar is also ideal for breaking down tough stains and the sticky mess that you often leave behind on the floor. If you want the best results using vinegar, you must use white vinegar, which has amazing results in cleaning your vinyl floor and getting rid of any stench too.

While vinegar is too strong and porous for other types of surfaces like granite and woods, it is ideal for vinyl surfaces. Keep in mind that to get this done you’ll need a mop that’s suitable for cleaning vinyl floors. In case you don’t have one make sure to read our review of the best mops for vinyl floors.

Steps involved in Cleaning Vinyl Floors Using Vinegar

Cleaning vinyl floors using vinegar is a pretty simple task and involved prep and proper application for the perfect results. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Start with the floor

Before cleaning your floor with vinegar, you must tend to the floor first and clean the dirt and dust off of it. This is an important step and not something that you can skip out on, especially if you want to leave your floor spotless.

Sweeping or vacuum works pretty fine to get rid of the dirt altogether. Since vinyl has a soft surface, applying the vinegar directly might end up making the dirt stick onto the floor more. So, mop or dust it before you clean it.

  • Prepare the vinegar solution

Remember that using white vinegar will add a very pungent smell to the floors, which means that you can start with something a little less strong, something like apple cider vinegar because those tend to have better cleaning results with a subtle smell on the floor. Apple cider vinegar also gets rid of the rough odor.

As for preparing the solution, you can mix one gallon of hot water with one cup of vinegar. 

  • Cleaning the floor

Once the solution is ready, you can dip a clean mop in the solution and wring out the excess water from it. You can then use the wet mop to move it on the floor in to and fro motion. This will break down the rough stain and the stinky smell that you have been complaining about all this while.

If there are stains on the floor that isn’t going out even after applying the vinegar solution, you should use some sort of dish soap and rub it against the stain to get rid of the stain in a matter of seconds. 

However, once you are done cleaning the floor with the vinegar solution, make sure that you wash the floor with normal warm water to get rid of any stains and dirt that are accumulated on the top layer of the vinyl floor.

What to Get Rid of Tough Stains?

You must stay patient with the process. If the general vinegar-water solution isn’t working on the tough stains, you can use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar mixture and rub it on the stain on the floor to get rid of the stain and the dirt on the floor. 

Once the stain has lightened up well, you can use the standard vinegar-water solution to wipe down the excess baking soda left on the floor.

Is it Necessary to Dilute Vinegar?

Putting vinegar directly on the vinyl floor can result in discoloration and even affect the texture of the floor. Also, applying vinegar directly on the floor can create toxic fumes that can irritate your breathing.

If you are working with vinegar for the first time and you have sensitive skin, you must wear gloves during the cleaning process.

Also, make sure that you wring out the excess water from the mop before you end up using it for cleaning the vinyl floors, especially since the vinegar solution makes the floor a lot slippery than you’d expect.


1. Will vinegar damage vinyl floors?

Not necessarily. Just ensure that you use the right proportion of vinegar to clean your floors instead of using undiluted solutions.

2. What type of vinegar works best for vinyl floors?

Any type of vinegar works amazingly for vinyl floors. The only thing that you need to know is the fact that white vinegar has a very pungent smell to it as compared to apple cider vinegar. So, use the option that you deem the best for your needs.

3. How can one clean baking soda and vinegar mixture off vinyl floors?

If you are using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar for cleaning the tough stains, you must use plain water to clean the white residue off of the floor.


If you are done using harsh chemicals for your vinyl floors, vinegar is hands down the best alternative for your needs. They are very neutral on the floor and aren’t abrasive at all, which means that you wouldn’t have to worry about damaging the floor’s quality. Also, make sure that you always wear gloves while cleaning the floors, especially if you don’t want the same to affect your skin.

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