In a time when Americans are searching for the most effective way to keep their families and themselves safe from the COVID-19 virus, we struggle to find answers to the most basic questions. As flooring professionals, we searched for information that would help our customers feel more safe during the current pandemic. Today, we examine the best method for disinfecting luxury vinyl flooring.
Since the CDC states on their website (as of Aug 7th, 2020) that "it may be possible that a person can get COVID 19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then by touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes" we all information to stop the spread of the virus. One of the largest manufacturers of LVP, Karndean, recommends cleaning their lvp with a ph neutral cleaner, so as to protect the finish on the floor. But a ph neutral cleaner doesn't disinfect a surface, only cleans it. Again the CDC states that the best way to kills germs is by using a disinfectant. The good news here is that just by cleaning surfaces, you are removing harmful germs, thus lowering their number and the risk associated with spreading infections. CDC studies have shown that disinfecting surfaces (flooring) has little to no impact over regular cleaning and maintenance. With that said, we want to stress that disinfectants contain chemicals that are harmful to your floor, and while you can use them to clean the floor, it will damage the finish, permanently. All manufacturers have guidelines to use when cleaning your floor. The best way to clean luxury vinyl, and possibly disinfecting the surface is by using 1 gallon of warm water and 1 cup of white vinegar. This is recommended by Karndean as well where they also that that "routine maintenance with Karndean Clean will safely kill and remove germs from the surface of the floor, effectively killing Coronavirus COVID-19, when used properly. Again, we stress that you should first check with the manufacturer of the flooring before applying anything to the floor. Steam mops should never be used to clean floors. Using microfiber pads are generally more safe for the finish.
So while we don't have a clear cut answer on how to safely disinfect your flooring, we don know that keeping a regular cleaning schedule with water and vinegar, or a manufacturer approves cleaning agent is the best way to disinfect your luxury vinyl plank without permanent damage. It should be noted that cleaning should be done wearing reusable or disposable gloves. After cleaning, you should wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.