How to Clean Vinyl

If you’re cleaning vinyl tiles, dolls or even records – just check out this simple guide on how to clean vinyl floors and other vinyl items.

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Protecting your vinyl products to stop them from getting scratched, and using a gentle product like apple cider vinegar, baby wipes, or Omo laundry detergent to clean surfaces.

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There’s plenty of vinyl in a lot of our homes – from tiles to dolls, or even records. But how do you go about vinyl floor cleaning, etc.? Luckily, as a synthetic plastic, vinyl is fairly hard-wearing, which makes cleaning a breeze. But you need to understand how to minimise damage from using the wrong products – especially on older vinyl which is more susceptible to scratching.

Best Ways to Clean Vinyl

Whatever type of vinyl you have at home, there’s an easy cleaning solution that can minimise the risk of damage. Here’s how to clean the three most common forms of vinyl:

1) How to Clean a Vinyl Doll

If you have a doll – or even a whole collection – you’ll be glad to know it’s simple to keep them clean. In fact, they’re easier to clean than hard plastic or antique dolls, because vinyl can withstand a fair bit of elbow grease without getting damaged.

  • Start by giving the doll a once-over with a baby wipe or wet wipe. The small amount of soap in these wipes helps remove grease and oils.
  • For the hard-to-reach areas on the doll, use a tiny bit of dishwashing soap and a soft-bristled toothbrush, but be careful to avoid any painted areas.
  • If stains are still visible, mix some baking soda with water into a thick paste. The mildly abrasive nature of the baking soda might help lift lingering marks.

2) Cleaning Vinyl Floors and Tiles

The versatility of vinyl flooring has made it a popular household choice. You can achieve the look of a hardwood floor without the cost – or the hassle of cleaning it. Learning to clean vinyl floors is simple, especially since the tiles can handle more water than a real wooden floor. Here’s how to clean vinyl floors:

  • Give the floor a good sweep with a brush to remove and surface dirt or dust which could damage the surface of the plastic.
  • In a bucket, mix 1 part apple cider or white vinegar with 10 parts water, then wash your floor. The vinegar smell will fade as the floor begins to dry.
  • Scratches can be difficult to repair, so it’s important to protect your floor from them. Placing a small door mat at the entrance to the room can help catch dirt before it hits the vinyl.

3) How to Clean Old Vinyl Records

Everyone loves the incredible sound quality that comes from vinyl records, but unfortunately, they’re very prone to scratching – especially the older ones that have been well cared for. You can always apply a few techniques to look after your vinyl records and prevent further damage. Here’s how to clean them safely:

  • Before and after you play your records, run over them with a record cleaning brush with carbon fibre bristles to remove dust, which can cause scratching.
  • Mix water with some rubbing alcohol and 2 drops of laundry detergent, like Omo. Spray it onto the record and wipe with a microfiber cloth.
  • Place your vinyl records back into a plastic sleeve, not a paper one which could eventually scratch the surface. Store them vertically to further decrease the risk of damage.