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Cleaning Resilient or LVT Flooring

 Cleaning Resilient or LVT Flooring
Cleaning resilient or luxury vinyl tile (LVT) follows many of the same steps as cleaning carpet.  Shaw Industries recommends a 4 step plan to clean resilient flooring in a commercial setting.  The 4 steps are Prevention, Daily Cleaning, Spots and Spills, and Deep Cleaning.
Preventing soil from entering the facility is a key to the ease of cleaning your LVT flooring.  Prevention comes with keeping the sidewalks outside of the facility clean and to provide adequate walk off matting to trap soil before entering the facility.  The length of the walk off matting should be at least 12 feet.  This length will provide enough matting to trap soil from shoes.  85% of the soil from shoe soles can be removed with an adequate length of walk off matting.  Use industrial strength furniture protection on the bottom of the furniture legs to prevent scratches.  Always protect the floor when moving furniture.  Never drag furniture across the floor as this will cause deep scratches. 
Daily Cleaning
Your LVT flooring should be dust mopped daily to remove any remaining soil from the floor.  Dry mop pads are preferred but sweeping with a broom or hard surface vacuum will also do the job.  Depending on traffic load, your LVT should be wet mopped daily.  Spray mist a neutral cleaner, such as Shaw’s R2X Hard Surface Cleaner, and mop using a micro fiber mop pad.  If using a cotton mop and bucket, be sure to use two buckets.  One bucket with the cleaner mixed with water and one bucket for rinsing the mop.  By using two buckets, you are will not spread dirty water on your flooring which will create a haze on the floor.  Be sure to not over saturate the floor with liquid or water and be sure to rinse the floor with water after wet cleaning.  Always post “wet floor” signs for safety precaution.  To decrease drying time, use fans or air movers to dry the floor.
Spots, Spills and Scuffs
The best way to prevent spills from staining the floor is to remove the spots and spills as quickly as possible.  Wipe the spill and rinse with water so the sticky residue of the spill is not left behind.  Shoe scuffs can be visible on your LVT flooring, depending on the color of the floor.  It is best to remove shoe scuffs daily.  To remove scuff marks, a tennis ball on the end of a broom handle can remove black marks from shoes.  Another way to remove scuffs is to dampen a magic eraser and rub the scuff marks to remove them.  If grease or oil gets on the surface of the floor, use isopropyl rubbing alcohol or odorless mineral spirits and towel to remove grease spots. 
Deep Cleaning
Periodically, your floor will to be deep cleaned.  There are two ways to deep clean your LVT flooring, using an auto scrubber or buffing machine. 
Always dry mop the floor before deep cleaning to remove any loose soil that is present.
Auto Scrubber- An auto scrubber will have an application spray nozzle for the cleaner, brushes for agitation, and extraction to remove the cleaner and soil from the floor.  Use a neutral pH cleaner in the tank and apply to floor, the brush agitation will loosen the soil from the floor and the extraction will remove the residue from the floor.  By using an auto scrubber, the floor dries quickly and will restore the original look of the flooring. 
Buffing Machine
Only use a low rpm (175 rpm) buffing machine and only a white or red buffing pad.  Darker pads are too aggressive and will damage the wear layer on the floor.  Spray mist the neutral cleaner on the floor and buff the floor.  After buffing, always rinse the floor with water to remove any remaining residue from the flooring surface. 
Remember to post “wet floor” signs after deep cleaning to prevent safety hazards.