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Cleaning and maintenance guide for vinyl floors

by Ofentse Sefolo
Cleaning and maintenance guide for vinyl floors

When it comes to cleaning and maintaining the high-end finish of one’s vinyl or luxury vinyl flooring, the tips below from the South African Wood, Laminate and Flooring Association (SAWLFA) are essential components of a professional cleaning regime and should be adhered to where possible.

VINYL CLEANING TIPS:
• Wipe up any spills immediately with an absorbent cloth or towel.
• Regularly remove dust with a broom or vacuum cleaner.
• Periodically use specially formulated cleaner/restorer to maintain the lustre and allergy free surface of your floor. Ensure that the cloth or mop is only SLIGHTLY DAMP or use a dry mop and spray the cleaner onto the mop or wipe the floor with a well wrung, damp or moist cloth.
• DO NOT wash the floor with a soaking mop or cloth because excessive water may damage the floor.
• Special laminate flooring mops are available from most reputable flooring suppliers.
• DO NOT sand, varnish, polish or wax the floor as these treatments will adversely affect the floor.
• DO NOT use any abrasive cleaners.
• DO NOT clean grooves with a pointed metal object.
• DO NOT place pot plant drip trays directly onto the floor surface. Always lift these by at least 50mm to allow airflow under the pot plant.

MAINTENANCE:
1. Long-term wear and tear are caused by dirt trodden onto the floor from the outside. Walked-in dirt such as gravel and sand act like sandpaper and can cause unpleasant scratches. To prevent this, we suggest you place large doormats at all entrances.
2. It is also recommended that felt pads are fitted under the feet of tables, chairs and cupboards. This makes them easier to move around and prevents scratching.
3. Also equip castors or rollers on office chairs, filing trolleys and mobile containers with soft treads and replace any existing old, hard or sharp-edged castors. These castors are recognisable by their two-tone construction.
4. Place drip trays under all plants.
5. Direct sunlight may cause fading of your floor, so ensure that all doors and windows have UV filters, blinds or net curtains.

Photo credit – Bob Vila

TREATMENT OF STUBBORN STAINS

STAIN TYPE
Fruit, berries, milk, beer, wine, tea, lemonade, urine, blood, chocolate, grease, cooking oil, rubber smears, shoe heel scuffs, dirt from the street, coloured pencils and oil crayons
TO REMOVE
• Wipe off immediately with an absorbent cloth. If dried, use a suitable laminate cleaner and dry wipe afterwards.

STAIN TYPE
Nail polish, shoe cream, varnish, lubricating oil, tar, felt tip pens, ink, mascara, lipstick and carbon paper.
TO REMOVE
• Wipe off with cloth soaked in a solvent, e.g. acetone, concentrated vinegar or laminate stain remover. Use sparingly in each case and only in the area of the stain. Dry wipe afterwards.
• Test a small area first to avoid damage, i.e. discoloration of the lacquered surface.
• Ammonia-based cleaners and detergents should not be used as these can damage or discolour the sealant surface.

For more floor cleaning tips and advice, please visit: www.sawlfa.co.za.

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