How to Remove Stains From Vinyl Floors Without Damage

Stains on vinyl flooring can be a huge eyesore, but with the right ingredients, you can whip up a cleaner to make pesky marks disappear.

Updated January 18, 2024
Vinyl Flooring

Get ready to tackle those tough stains on your vinyl floors, from sneaky scuff marks to pesky food spills! Vinyl might be the stylish chameleon of flooring, but it sure knows how to attract a variety of stubborn stains. Learn how to banish these blemishes and keep your vinyl floors looking as dazzling as the day they were laid down.

General Stain Removal for Vinyl Floors

As a general recommendation, if specific manufacturer's instructions are unavailable, clean soiled spots on vinyl floors with the mildest substances first and work up from there.


  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Ammonia
  • Soft-bristled nylon brush
  • Soft cloth


  1. Mix one part dishwashing liquid with 10 parts water.
  2. Apply the solution to the spot and rub with a sponge.
  3. Dry thoroughly.
  4. If the stain remains, mix one tablespoon of ammonia with one quart of warm water.
  5. Pour a small amount of the ammonia mixture onto the spot and leave it undisturbed for 10 minutes.
  6. Gently agitate the ammonia with a soft-bristled brush.
  7. Rinse well with water and dry.
  8. If the stain remains, increase the ratio of ammonia to water by half and repeat.

Remove Scuff Marks From Vinyl Floors

Black heel and furniture scuff marks are two of the most common stains that mar vinyl floors. They typically resist most normal cleaning solutions, but they can come out with the right product.


  • Denatured alcohol or lighter fluid
  • Soft cloth
  • Water


  1. Soak a soft cloth in denatured alcohol or lighter fluid.
  2. Rub the cloth onto the scuff mark, pressing down firmly into the floor.
  3. Rinse with clean water and dry.

Remove Food Stains From Vinyl Floors

Foods like fruit juice, wine, or tomato sauce can often leave stubborn stains on a vinyl floor that are difficult to remove. If you're patient, however, you can get them up with very little effort and just a little time.


  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Cloth or rag


  1. Mix together one part bleach to four parts water.
  2. Soak a rag or cloth in the solution and place the soaked cloth on top of the stain.
  3. Leave the cloth in place undisturbed for one hour to let the bleach soak into the stain and lighten it.
  4. Rinse the stain well with water and dry.

Do not use bleach on rust stains, as this may cause the stain to oxidize and discolor the floor. 

Quick Tip

Never use undiluted bleach on the floor, as this could discolor the vinyl as well. 

Tips for Removing Stains From Vinyl Floors

Vinyl is extremely easy to keep clean; just damp mopping with a vinyl cleaner and warm water is generally all that is required to maintain it. To help remove stubborn stains, follow these tips to ensure success.

Test the Cleaners or Chemicals

Test all cleaners or chemicals in an inconspicuous area like a closet to ensure that the cleaner will not discolor or harm the floor.

Use White Cloth Only

Use white cloths to avoid color bleeding when the cloth comes into contact with the cleaning solution.

Don't Forget to Ventilate the Area

Ventilate the area well, and keep any rags soaked in alcohol or lighter fluid away from pilot lights or open flames when cleaning the floor.

Don't Use Abrasive Cleaners

Avoid abrasive cleaners, as these can strip the finish off the vinyl and leave a permanent mark.

Related: How to Safely Remove Rust Stains From Vinyl Flooring

Wipe Up Spills Quickly

Wipe up spills and clean stains as soon as you notice them to avoid having them set in deeper.

Treat Your Floors Right

With proper care and cleaning, a vinyl floor can last for decades. Remove even the most stubborn stains from your vinyl as soon as you notice them to help keep your floor in the best possible condition.

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How to Remove Stains From Vinyl Floors Without Damage