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Keep Your Vinyl Floor In Tip-Top Shape!!

Courtesy Armstrong Flooring

Vinyl flooring is a beautiful, long lasting and durable product that can withstand many years of use... and abuse. But vinyl flooring is not invulnerable and can be permanently damaged if you don't care for it properly! In this article we cover the 1) basics of floor cleaning and maintenance, 2) how to protect your floor from common abuses and 3) removal of common household stains.

Caring For Your Floor... THE BASICS

To keep the lasting shine and fresh feel of your investment for as long as possible, we recommend that you...

DO...

Wipe up spills as soon as possible. Remove dried spills with New Beginning Floor Stripper and Cleaner on a white cloth.

Wash your floor occasionally with Armstrong Once 'n Done Floor Cleaner or an equivalent no-rinse floor cleaner.

Use Armstrong New Beginning  Floor Stripper and Cleaner for heavy duty cleaning.

Use Armstrong Shinekeeper Polish to return your floor's original shine if it begins to dull over time.

DON'T...

Do not use detergents, abrasive cleaners or "mop and shine" products - they may leave a dull film on your floor.

Do not use paste wax or solvent-based polishes.

Do not use a beater bar when vacuuming because it can visibly damage the floor surface.

Do not use highly abrasive scrubbing tools.

Preemptive Protection For Your Floor...

Prevent possible damage to your new floor by following these suggestions...

Vinyl kitchen floorWhen moving appliances or heavy furniture, lay a plywood or hardboard panel on your floor and "walk" the item across it. This protects your floor from scuffing and tears.

Use floor protectors, such as Armstrong Floor Protectors, on furniture to reduce indentation. As a general rule of thumb, the heavier the item, the wider the floor protector needed. Be especially careful with furniture with metal protectors... these can both cause deep indentations and rust stains!

Be careful with rolling casters! They can damage the floor. Therefore, we do not recommend them. If you choose to use them, the double-wheel type are the best option.

Place a walk-off mat at outside entrances to reduce the amount of dirt brought into your home.

We do not recommend the use of rubber or latex-backed mats because the chemical (antioxidant) used to keep the backing from becoming brittle can permanently stain your floor.  This is called "antioxidant staining".

We suggest a non-staining vinyl-backed mat or a woven rug that is colorfast. Most of these products are identified "colorfast" by the manufacturer. All Armstrong floor care products have been specifically developed to care for Armstrong floors. You may purchase Armstrong floor care products at your local flooring retailer.

Immediately After Installation...

For 8 hours after seam application, protect the sealed seams on your flooring. This will ensure the proper seam bond. If your seams are disturbed before they're dry, permanent damage may result.

Maintain room temperature at 65 degrees Fahrenheit for 48 hours after installation is completed. This assures proper curing, setting and bonding of products.

Use a damp sponge, cloth, or mop to wipe off the Armstrong logo and "800" number printed on the face of the floor. To avoid staining, be careful not to wipe across any seams!

The adhesive under your floor needs time to thoroughly dry after installation. Therefore we recommend that you do not scrub or wash your floor for five days.

Stain removal tips for specific problems...

Vinyl flooring, though quite durable, is not immune to staining.  Many types of stains are removable, but some may not be! So, first and foremost... be careful when using staining products around your floor. If spills occur, quick removal can make all the difference in protecting your floor.

NOTE: Some cleaning products, such as mineral spirits, turpentine and alcohol, are flammable and possibly explosive! Always READ and FOLLOW label directions for safe use!

Crayon Marks

Rub the stain with mineral spirits or turpentine on a clean white cloth.  Scrub the area with Armstrong New Beginning® Floor Stripper and Cleaner and a nonabrasive white scrubbing pad, following instructions on the label.

Lipstick Marks

Rub the stain with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) on a clean white cloth. If stain is still visible, rub the stain with mineral spirits* or turpentine on a clean white cloth.
Scrub the area with Armstrong New Beginning® Floor Stripper and Cleaner and a nonabrasive white scrubbing pad, following instructions on the label.

Grape Juice/Wine Stains

Scrub the area with Armstrong New Beginning Floor Stripper and Cleaner and a nonabrasive white scrubbing pad, following instructions on the label.

Mercurochrome/Merthiolate Stains           

Scrub the area with Armstrong New Beginning Floor Stripper and Cleaner and a nonabrasive white scrubbing pad, following instructions on the label.

Mustard Stains

Mustard may not be completely removable from vinyl no-wax floors!
Scrub the area with Armstrong New Beginning® Floor Stripper and Cleaner and a nonabrasive white scrubbing pad, following instructions on the label.

Pen Ink Stains

Inks may not be completely removable from vinyl no-wax floors!
Rub the stain with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) on a clean white cloth.
If stain is still visible, rub the stain with mineral spirits or turpentine on a clean white cloth.
Scrub the area with Armstrong New Beginning® Floor Stripper and Cleaner and a non-abrasive white scrubbing pad, following instructions on the label.

Permanent Marker Stains

Permanent marker may not be completely removable from vinyl no-wax floors!
Rub the stain with mineral spirits or turpentine on a clean white cloth.
If stain still shows, very carefully wipe with fingernail polish remover containing acetone on a clean white cloth.
If stain still shows, rub the area with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) on a clean white cloth.
Scrub the area with Armstrong New Beginning® Floor Stripper and Cleaner and a nonabrasive white scrubbing pad, following instructions on the label.

Asphalt Driveway Sealer/Shoe Polish Marks

Asphalt products and shoe polishes may not be completely removable from vinyl no-wax floors!
Rub the stain with mineral spirits or turpentine on a clean white cloth.
If stain still shows, rub the area with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) on a clean white cloth.
Scrub the area with Armstrong New Beginning® Floor Stripper and Cleaner and a nonabrasive white scrubbing pad, following instructions on the label.

Hair Dye Stains

Hair dyes may not be completely removable from vinyl no-wax floors!
Rub the stain with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) on a clean white cloth.
If stain still shows, use mineral spirits or turpentine on a clean white cloth.
If stain still shows, very carefully wipe with fingernail polish remover containing acetone on a clean white cloth.
Scrub the area with Armstrong New Beginnings® Floor Stripper and Cleaner and a non-abrasive white scrubbing pad, following instructions on the label.

Paint/Varnish

If paint stain is wet, wipe up the stain with water on a clean white cloth.
If paint stain is dry, carefully scrape residue with a thin spatula.
If stain still shows, rub the area with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) on a clean white cloth.
If stain still shows, use mineral spirits or turpentine on a clean white cloth.
If stain still shows, very carefully wipe with fingernail polish remover containing acetone (follow use instructions on label) on a clean white cloth.
Scrub the area with Armstrong New Beginning® Floor Stripper and Cleaner and a nonabrasive white scrubbing pad, following instructions on the label.

Nail Polish

Very carefully wipe with fingernail polish remover containing acetone (follow use instructions on label) on a clean white cloth.

Rust Stains

Apply Armstrong New Beginning® Floor Stripper and Cleaner to the stain and let it stand for five minutes. Scrub vigorously with a stiff-bristle brush or nonabrasive white scrubbing pad, wipe, rinse, and let dry. If traces remain, rub with a soft cloth dipped in a solution of oxalic acid and water (1 part acid to 10 parts water).
NOTE: Please follow instructions and cautions on label, as oxalic acid is poisonous.

Cigarette Burns

The procedure depends on the exact construction of your floor. Consult your retailer.

Black Heel Marks

Scrub the area with Armstrong New Beginnings® Floor Stripper and Cleaner and a nonabrasive white scrubbing pad, following instructions on the label.
If stain still shows, rub the area with a non abrasive cleaner.
If stain still shows, rub the area with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) on a clean white cloth.

Our appreciation to ARMSTRONG for allowing us to heavily excerpt their online guide on vinyl floor care for use in this article. If you have specific questions about Armstrong products, from stain removal to installation to product information, please call Armstrong directly at 1-800-233-3823 or visit their website at http://www.armstrong.com .