Removing stubborn scuff marks from vinyl floors

How to Remove Stubborn Scuff Marks from Vinyl Floors

The vinyl flooring market is constantly expanding and is expected to grow to over twice its 2016 size by 2023. Why?

More and more homeowners are choosing vinyl flooring for their home because it looks good and is easy to maintain!

On any given day, you can take a plain old mop to your vinyl floor and leave it looking shiny and fresh. However, every once in awhile, you'll find a scuff mark or two that won't come off with the help of a mop, alone.

How can you remove scuff marks from your otherwise spotless vinyl flooring? Read on for a few simple DIY methods that are guaranteed to work!

The Eraser Method

When it comes to removing scuff marks, the trick is to create some friction. You see, scuff marks aren't comprised of dirt or grime. A lot of times, scuff marks are small deposits of rubber from the soles of our shoes!

One easy way to create the friction you need to remove a scuff mark from your vinyl floor involves a regular eraser. That's right, you can remove scuff marks with the eraser on the end of a pencil! All you need to do is take a (preferably clean) eraser and apply some pressure to the scuff mark the way that you would a pencil mark you wanted to remove from paper.

Alternative: The Tennis Ball Method

If you don't have an eraser around the house or bending that low to the ground is uncomfortable, there is an alternative method for creating friction. All you need is a tennis ball, a broom handle, and an Exacto knife.

First, cut an X shape into one side of the tennis ball. Use this hole to attach the tennis ball to the end of your broom. Then, use the tennis ball-broom contraption to scrub at the scuff mark and lift it from the floor.

The Rubbing Alcohol Method

Sometimes, you may encounter stubborn scuff marks that can't be removed with dry friction, alone. If that's the case, you can use a cleaning solution that's a much more gentle alternative to bleach.

Dab a clean white rag in some rubbing alcohol and go over the scuff a few times. You can also hold the damp rag over the scuff for about 30 seconds to help the scuff break up and dissolve. Repeat this process until the scuff is gone.

(Important reminder: rubbing alcohol is safe on its own but can become volatile when mixed with other substances. Make sure to avoid mixing rubbing alcohol with bleach or using rubbing alcohol near an open flame.)

Alternative: The Hairspray Method

Perhaps you don't have any rubbing alcohol in your cupboards but you do have hairspray. That will do the trick as well! Hairspray has an alcohol content of about 50-60%, making it a feasible cleaning alternative for scuffs.

If you do use hairspray, make sure to wet another clean rag with plain water and wipe down the area. As you know, hairspray is sticky, so you'll want to remove any sticky residue.

The Baking Soda Method

Baking soda is one of our all-time favorite household staples. Why? Baking soda can break down just about anything, from mold to grease to, you guessed it, scuff marks!

To use baking soda to remove scuff marks from vinyl flooring, you're going to want to create a paste. In a small bowl or container, mix three parts baking soda with one part water. If you only have one scuff mark to tackle, you can make a small batch by mixing three tablespoons of baking soda with one tablespoon of water.

To use your baking soda paste to remove a scuff, you're going to want to pair it with something abrasive. A toothbrush or rough sponge will do the trick. Dip your cleaning tool into the baking soda paste and apply it to the scuff mark using enough pressure to lift the scuff mark away from the floor.

When you're done, use a damp rag to remove any excess baking soda paste from the floor.

Alternative: The Magic Eraser Method

Another favorite staple of ours is the magic eraser. If you don't like using harsh chemicals but don't have baking soda on hand, a magic eraser will cut it!

Moisten your magic eraser and ring out any excess water. Then, scrub the scuff mark from the floor. As long as the magic eraser was clean to begin with, it shouldn't leave behind any unsightly residue on the floor.

Should You Use Soap to Remove Scuff Marks on Vinyl Floors?

Some flooring materials can be cleaned using things like dish soap. Can you use dish soap or another gentle cleanser on your vinyl flooring?

Using dish soap to remove a scuff mark from your vinyl floor might be effective, but it isn't necessary. Any of the above methods will treat the scuff mark just fine.

Plus, when you use soap on vinyl floors, it can leave behind a residue that looks streaky. Plus, that residue can trap dirt over time, making your floors dirtier than they were to begin with!

Learn More About Your Vinyl Floors

Vinyl floors are appealing to homeowners because they're durable, attractive, and easy to maintain. Even if you have to remove a scuff mark or two, you'll find that you can do so with ease.

Are you debating replacing your floors with luxury vinyl, laminate, carpet, or hardwood? Do you have more questions about vinyl flooring and how to maintain it? Contact us to get a free flooring estimate and let us know if there are any questions you have that we can help answer!