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How to Remove Scratches from Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl flooring is a popular and affordable option for many homeowners mainly because of its versatility and an unlimited array of colors and designs. But one thing is for sure, if you are careless and drag heavy objects, furniture, or appliances on it, it will get scratched and damaged. If this is the case you are dealing with and want to know how to remove those unwanted and unsightly scratches from vinyl flooring, this is the right place for you. 

In this guide, we will explore a variety of methods and DIYers on how to remove not only small, surface scratches but also deep scratches from vinyl flooring. These methods include using household items like nail polish removers as well as specialized products like scratch removers and touch-up pens. We will also provide tips on how to prevent scratches from occurring in the first place so that you can keep your floor looking great for years to come.

How To Remove Scratches From Vinyl Flooring?

how to remove scratches from vinyl flooring

Before we get started, it’s important to understand the different types of scratches that can occur on vinyl flooring. There are two main types – surface scratches and deep scratches. 

  • Surface scratches are shallow and usually only affect the top layer. These minor scars are easier to get rid of using some DIY hacks. 
  • Deep scratches, on the other hand, can penetrate the protective layer and damage the underlying material. To get rid of these deep scars from the vinyl floor, you will have to resort to more detailed methods, and, sometimes, replacing the damaged part is the only option.

How To Remove Surface Scratches From Vinyl Flooring?

Use the following DIY hacks to get rid of minor scratches: 

Clean The Area

Before starting the scratch removal process, it is highly recommended to clean the affected area thoroughly. This will ensure that the debris and other spills don’t get rubbed into the affected area, causing a mess. 

Use a suitable vacuum cleaner to clean the vinyl floors using a hard floor attachment. It is also recommended to mop the area before removing the scratches.

Use A Stain Pen Or Marker

Minor scratches from the vinyl floor can be removed by using a stain pen or marker. These pens and markers come in different colors, they dry up quickly and can be used for other DIY projects. Use the following steps:

  1. To use this method, simply choose a marker that is a similar color to the vinyl flooring. Golden Oak and Dark Walnut are two colors that will match up with most color combinations. 
  2. Fill the scratch with the pen. 
  3. Use a small amount of pressure to blend it in with the surrounding area. This will help to camouflage the scratch and make it less noticeable.
  4. Take a soft cloth to buff the area. 
  5. Let the area dry.

Use Scratch-Removing Polish

Scratch-removing polish does what its name suggests. This polish not only removes scratches but also makes your floor shine like new. It comes in the form of wax or liquid that fills and conceals the grooves and makes them invisible. 

Use a soft cloth to apply the polish on the marks. Rub the wax to distribute it evenly. 

Remember, wax should only be applied to a smaller area. Waxing a large area or on a high foot traffic zone will cause slipping hazards.

Use Nail Polish Remover

Nail polish remover is a common household commodity that contains acetone. Acetone is a solvent used to dissolve different substances. It can also be used to conceal scratches from hardwood and vinyl floors. Use the following steps:

  1. Dab a soft white cloth with the nail polish remover. 
  2. Rub the cloth gently on the scar. 
  3. Repeat the process if necessary. 
  4. Let the area dry. 

Remember, don’t use a colored cloth as the acetone will cause the color to bleed. This will spread the cloth color onto the surface, causing discoloration.

Use Carpets Or Rugs

One way to deal with minor scratches is to cover them with a carpet or area rug. This is more of a concealing method instead of repairing one. This method should only be used in a low-traffic area. 

How To Remove Deep Scratches From Vinyl Flooring?

To remove deep scratches from vinyl flooring, you will need to resort to more detailed methods. Use the following steps for this purpose:

Step 1: First step here is also to clean and mop the floor thoroughly to make sure that no debris is rubbed into the scratches. Since the scars are profound, the debris will penetrate the vinyl layers if not cleaned before rubbing any repairing agent on the floor. 

Step # 2: The second step is to sand the damaged area. For this purpose, P320 grit sandpaper should be used. The sandpaper should be rubbed along the scratch mark to make it and the surrounding area smooth. 

Step # 3: Once the area is smoothed, use a P500 or P800 grit sandpaper to sand the area in a circular motion. This will blend the affected area with the surrounding area. 

Step # 4: Once the area is completely smoothed and buffed, take a vinyl floor repair kit and apply the matching color on the scratches. A repair kit comes with multiple colored wax sticks. Choose the color that matches your vinyl floor. Apply the wax with the help of the melter. If the scratch is deep, overfill the area and let it dry. 

Step # 5: Since vinyl flooring has different patterns on it, you can use different colors to match the pattern. 

Step # 6: Once the scratched area is filled with the wax and the color pattern matches the surrounding area, take sandpaper to buff the area again. This will remove all the excess wax and will level the floor. The melter usually has a grooved area on its handle that can be used for this purpose. 

Step # 7: Clean and mop the area once the wax is dried up.

What To Do With Irreparable Vinyl Flooring?

If the floor gets excessively damaged to the extent that it can’t be repaired, the only option left is to replace the damaged plank. 

If you have click-and-lock planks installed on your floor, removing a damaged plank is easier. Just unlock the scratched plank and replace it with a new matching one. 

If your vinyl floor is glued down to the surface, removing the damaged part is a bit difficult. You must first mark the area that needs to be replaced. You should leave about 3-4 inches of gap all around the scratched area. This will ensure that the scratches don’t reach the other area while removing the damaged part. 

Once removed, replace it with a new replacement patch. Use an adhesive to glue the patch to the floor. Make sure that the replacement patch is leveled with the surrounding floor to avoid tripping.

Seek Professional Help

If you have no experience or don’t have the required tools for replacing the damaged vinyl floor, it is highly recommended that you seek professional help. 

Why Does Vinyl Flooring Get Scratched?

After diving into the DIY hack pool, you must be aware of the reasons why vinyl flooring gets scratched in the first place. Although vinyl flooring is durable and goes a long way if taken care of properly, the following are some of the main reasons that can cause scratches and, sometimes, irreparable damage to the flooring.

Moving Heavy Objects

Moving heavy objects carelessly around your living area will surely leave your floor full of scratches. Furniture has mostly a wooden base while heavy home appliances have a steel base. Dragging these along the vinyl flooring is the last thing you would want. Even if the appliances have rubber wheels under them, your floor will still get scuffed. 

Even if you don’t drag the furniture around, if you put more weight on it than its capacity, it will surely dent your flooring.

Pointy And Sharp Objects

Toddlers playing with toys in the living room? Great for them for learning new skills, and developing hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and motor skills. But if the toys have pointy or sharp edges, it not only has the potential to rip apart the vinyl flooring but it is also unsafe for the children. 

High and pointy heels can also cause damage to the floor.

Use Of Harsh Cleaning Agents

This fact is true for all types of floors. If you use non-conforming, harsh chemical agents on the floor, it might make it super shiny and beautiful initially. But in the long run, these agents will damage the beauty of the floor and will cause abrasions. 

Some chemical agents might seep through the top protective layer and reach the lower adhesive layer of the flooring. This will loosen up the adhesive layer, eventually damaging the flooring.

Use Of Abrasive Cleaning Tools

If your vinyl floor has got stained or scuffed, it is tempting to use a hard bristle brush or a putty knife to remove those marks. But in pursuit of getting a plain surface back again, these abrasive tools will cause scratches on the floor. You can easily remove scuff marks from vinyl floors using some DIY hacks instead of using abrasive tools and causing permanent damage. 

Poor Installation

Poorly installed vinyl planks will surely get damaged with time. They may not lay flat on the ground causing tripping hazards as well. Planks can become loose, allowing water and other liquid spills to seep through and cause irreparable damage to the adhesives holding the planks. 

Pet Nails

Pets love to scratch surfaces, especially huskies who are bred for a busy living style. These scratches and grooves caused by pet nails will get deeper with time if not taken care of properly. The nails can also pick up dirt and debris from outside that can be deposited into those scratches causing further discoloration of the floor. 

Wear And Tear

Although vinyl planks are durable, they will surely show signs of wear and tear, especially in the high foot traffic area, over time. This may include scuffing, scratching, and fading of color. 

How To Prevent Vinyl Flooring From Scratches?

Following precautionary measures can be taken to prevent your floor from getting damaged: 

Place Door Mats

Small stones and other hard debris can get stuck in the shoe sole and can be transported into the house. This debris can potentially cause scratches and scars on your floors. To prevent this from happening, you should place a rubber mat at the main entrance. Everyone coming from outside should rub their shoes on that mat before entering the house. This will reduce the outside debris in the house. 

Place Rugs

A high foot-traffic area should be carpeted in your house. Although cleaning a carpet or rug can be more time-consuming than a bare floor, it will protect your vinyl floor from unwanted and unsightly marks. 

Stop Dragging The Furniture And Appliances

The most common reason your vinyl floor gets scratched is the furniture or home appliances. Dragging these heavy objects around your house is the last thing you would want. Whether you have vinyl flooring, tile, or hardwood flooring, or even if your floor is carpeted, dragging heavy furniture on it will surely damage any type of flooring.

Furniture and appliances should be properly picked up and placed at their final location gently. Furniture sliders should be used while moving heavy objects. 

Apply Felt Pads Under Furniture And Appliances

Even if you don’t drag your furniture, burdening them more than their capacity will dent your flooring. This can be avoided by placing felt pads under the feet of your furniture and appliances. This will add a protective layer to your flooring. 

Designate A Specific Area For Kids

Toddlers look adorable playing around. But when it comes to their toys, they should be kept in a designated area. This area should be carpeted to avoid any floor damage. Children should not be allowed to play with pointy or sharp toys as this can cause physical damage as well. 

Take Care Of Your Pets

To prevent your pets from digging and scratching your floor, it is important to regularly trim their nails and to provide them with an appropriate scratching post or pad to discourage them from scratching at the floor. 

Avoid Using Harsh Cleaning Agents And Tools

This tip is applicable on all types of floors to keep them from damage. Never use non-conforming and harsh cleaning chemicals. Always read the instructions mentioned on the cleaning product label before using it. 

You should also avoid using abrasive cleaning tools on any type of floor. A metal bristle brush, for example, will scar the floor, whether it is concrete, tile, or any hardwood floor.

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