Vinyl floors are an attractive and durable flooring option for many homes. However, over time, scuff marks can appear, causing the floors to look dull and unsightly. These unappealing scars are often caused by shoes, furniture, heavy home appliances, and other objects rubbing against the vinyl surface. Fortunately, there are several simple and effective DIY methods to remove scuff marks from vinyl floors.
Cleaning vinyl floors can be as simple as running a vacuum cleaner or as difficult as getting rid of these stubborn scuff marks. In this guide, we will discuss the causes of these marks, how to remove them, and how to prevent them from appearing in the future.
A scuff mark is an abrasion on a surface caused by friction with another object. Mostly, it is a rubber deposit on the surface caused by dragging shoes, furniture, heavy home appliances, or using the wrong cleaning tools or chemicals on the surface. These marks are often minor and cosmetic, but they can accumulate over time and make the surface look worn and damaged.
What Causes Scuff Marks?
Although vinyl flooring is durable, it can easily get scuffed. These marks are caused by various factors, including:
Furniture is probably the most common cause of scuff marks on your floor. Furniture pieces that are frequently moved around the house like chairs and tables and those that have hard or rough edges will leave severe scuff marks and scratches on your floor if dragged.
Heavy Home Appliances
Dragging heavy home appliances like refrigerators, and washing machines on your vinyl floor can leave scuff marks. The weight of the appliance and the rough edges or protrusions can scratch and scuff the surface. Even if the appliance has rubber wheels, the rubber will get deposited on the surface and leave random black lines.
Another main reason for the vinyl floor getting scuffed is the foot traffic. When people walk around on the vinyl planks, the shoes will leave rubber deposits on the surface.
High heels can also cause significant scuff marks on your floors. The small point of contact between the heel and the floor creates a high-pressure zone, which causes the floor to get scuffed.
Using the wrong cleaning tools or chemicals can have adverse effects on your vinyl floors. Abrasive tools and harsh chemicals can damage the upper protective layer of the vinyl, which makes it vulnerable to these unpleasant marks.
How To Remove Scuff Marks From Vinyl Floors?
Vinyl flooring is made up of multiple layers of synthetic materials. The top layer bears the color and design. While removing scuff marks from your vinyl floors, you should be careful as vigorous rubbing or using harsh chemicals might damage this top layer, ultimately voiding all the finishing.
Black scuff marks are simply rubber or wax deposits on the floor. Usually, these can be removed by producing some friction. This friction can be produced using different household items. If you have got tougher marks all over your floor, you have to opt for more vigorous cleaning methods.
Removing these spots is as easy as getting them. Use the following methods to get rid of them. If one method doesn’t work, try another one. You may also have to use multiple methods.
A simple lead pencil eraser, usually found on the back of a pencil or you can buy a separate one, should do the trick. Get a clean white eraser and rub it along the mark. This will create enough fiction that will loosen up the wax deposit just like erasing lead from a paper. Once the wax is separated from the floor, remove all the residue and clean the floor.
Don’t rub back and forth across the mark as it might spread it instead of removing it. Only use a white eraser because colored ones can leave streaks on your floor.
A pencil eraser is helpful in small areas. If you have multiple big-sized marks, use the following method.
If there are multiple scuff marks on your floor, you will need a magic eraser instead of a small pencil eraser.
A magic eraser is a soft melamine sponge and can safely be used on vinyl floors. It crumbles when rubbed just like a pencil eraser, taking out all the wax and rubber deposited from the floors.
Follow these steps to remove scuff marks using a magic eraser:
- Take a clean magic eraser
- Damp it with clean water
- Rub the sponge along the marks.
- If it gets dirty, change the side to avoid spreading the marks.
- Once marks are removed, clean all the residue and mop the hard floor
If you have a tennis ball at your disposal, you can use it to create the required friction to remove the scuff mark. Just like a pencil eraser or the magic eraser, the tennis ball also needs to be clean. Otherwise, it will create its own mess on the floor.
Simply rub the clean part of the tennis ball on the affected area. If you can’t rub the ball with your hand, make a cut in the ball and insert a stick into it. Now rub the ball using the stick for convenience.
The friction will loosen up the wax layer from the floor. Once removed, clean the area before stepping on it.
If friction doesn’t remove the wax deposit, you have to up the ante by using some household cleaning agents.
Rubbing alcohol is an all-round cleaning agent. It can also remove black marks from your hard floors. Although rubbing alcohol is safe for most floor types, you should first try it on an inconspicuous part of your floor to make sure that it doesn’t cause any damage.
Once satisfied, follow these steps:
- Take a clean white microfiber cloth. Avoid colored cloth as it might bleed and leave its color on your floor.
- Dip one corner of the cloth in the rubbing alcohol.
- Rinse the cloth completely and make it damp and not overly wet.
- Rub the damped part of the cloth on the scuff mark gently.
- Keep an eye on the cloth. If it gets dark, damp another clean part of the cloth in rubbing alcohol and repeat the process. Rubbing a dirty cloth on the area will create a mess.
- Once cleaned, rinse the area and mop the floor to make it shiny.
Another household item that can be used to remove scuff marks from the vinyl floors is baking soda. Follow these steps:
- Make a paste by mixing 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water.
- Apply this paste to the area and leave it for about 10-15 minutes.
- Use a sponge or a soft toothbrush to gently rub the paste into the mark. This will agitate the wax coating on the floor.
- Once the wax loosens up, wash the area with a damp cloth and remove all the paste and the wax residue.
If you have WD-40 in your garage, it can magically wipe out the scuff marks from your floor. Apart from removing tough stains and rust and lubricating metal parts, WD-40 can send a scuff mark to extinction.
Spray a small amount of WD-40 on a clean white microfiber cloth and rub the affected area with it. The chemicals in it will break the bond of the black rubber with the surface. This will break apart the rubber deposit and remove the marks.
Once removed, clean the area with a dry cloth to remove the spray residue, otherwise, the greasy spray will attract dirt and grime.
Non-Stick Cooking Spray
A non-stick spray can also remove scuff marks from vinyl floors.
Just as its name suggests, a non-stick spray keeps things from sticking. You might be using it only in your kitchen, but it can also do wonders outside the kitchen as well including removing black rubber marks from your floors.
Spray a small amount of this spray on a clean cloth and rub the mark. The spray will remove the bond between the wax and the floor. This will loosen up the wax and remove the deposit. Make sure to clean the area properly with a dry cloth after the scuff mark is removed.
How To Prevent Scuff Marks On Vinyl Floors?
Scuff marks can be avoided on your vinyl floors by taking care of some basic things.
- Never drag furniture or heavy appliances across the floor.
- Place rubber mats under furniture or home appliances
- Carpet the area that gets the most foot traffic
- Regular cleaning and mopping will get rid of tiny scuff marks on the vinyl floors
- Removing shoes before stepping onto the vinyl floor is another effective way to prevent scuff marks