How to Remove Sticky Residue from Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl floors are easy to clean. You are allowed to use as much water as you want, albeit after vigorous wringing of the pad or string mop. But moisture doesn’t damage the floor much. You are also allowed to daily or to be more lenient, frequent wet mopping of the floor. And that is so important at present where germs, viruses, and bacteria are turning lethal to the extent of being threatening to life. However, even after you mop daily, you cannot be pitch-perfect in maintenance, right?

Sticky Residue


The floors will have footprints from wet shoes, stains from spilled drinks, lumps of stuck-on filth due to dropped food, the kitchen area will have grime and oily areas, and whatnot. You have cleaned it immediately, of course, but then the substance was so potent that it never got removed with mere mopping. A small amount always stays right there like a sore thumb. Removing these residues, sticky, stubborn ones, are tough and tiresome. So, here we will tell you how to remove sticky residue from vinyl flooring, and to be honest, it’s tedious, but considering the mess and its stickiness, the process is not that difficult to follow.

How to Remove Sticky Residue from Vinyl Flooring

How to Remove Sticky Residue from Vinyl Flooring
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Before we share the step by step guide, let us clarify that the entire vinyl flooring will not have sticky residues. Certain spots will, and you will have to target those spots only, with the cleaning solution or products we are sharing. Use a simple stick mop or spray mop and warm water to clean the rest of the vinyl flooring.

Step #1 – Clean The Dirt Particles

This one is always the first step. Before you go through the sticky mess, you need to remove the loose particles so that, due to moisture, they don’t turn into sticky messes. Start sweeping the vinyl floor and simultaneously check the spots that have sticky residues. Some might be thick, stuck-on easy to mark, some might stop your broom due to the stickiness, and you might miss some because they are too faint and dull. So be careful and note the spots. While brooming, try to rub the sticky dirt with a little force, to break particles loosely stuck on the sticky residue. You can also keep a baking soda can with you and sprinkle a little on the marked spots to find those to clean later easily.

Step #2 – The Holy Grail

After you have removed all the loose particles, even the semi-sticky ones, it is time to use the cleaning solution. Most people use a gallon of warm water, a cup of white vinegar, and a few drops of dishwashing soap, and rub with a toothbrush or nylon-bristled brush and wipe cleans with a microfiber pad. That holy-grail DIY cleaning solution works on most of the sticky residue.

Step #3 – Understanding When To Use Harsh Bleach And Ammonia

We do not suggest bleaching products or ammonia because they are harsh chemicals and could fade or dull even break the surface. You have to be too cautious, as they are dangerous for you and almost fatal to kids and pets. But if the sticky residue is turning too challenging to remove, you will have to use those. No other cleaning agent works as great as bleach or ammonia-based cleaning solution. To keep it safe, use these harsh chemicals on a certain spot in the furthest corner of a room, which is not easily noticeable. If the vinyl doesn’t react to the bleach or ammonia-based products, you can use it, of course, sparingly and the right way.

Step #4 – Diluting The Harsh Chemicals

While using bleach and ammonia-based cleaning solutions, always make sure to wear gloves. Also, dilute the harsh cleaning agents with water. In bleach, the ratio is a gallon of water and a teaspoon of liquid bleach. At best, you can add a tablespoon of bleach. And, when it comes to ammonia-based cleaning solutions, you do not need just water but detergent too. In a gallon of water, you need to mix a tablespoon of ammonia-based liquid and detergent each. Moreover, if you are cleaning the vinyl floor with such harsh chemicals, make sure the kids and pets, even elderly members, are not near the vicinity. Breathing the air will be dangerous for them.

Step #5 – Applying The Cleaning Agent

You will need a soft cloth to use the diluted bleach or ammonia-based liquid. If there are multiple spots with sticky residue, then you will need a few small soft cloths. You are wearing gloves, we assume. Now dip the cloth in the bucket, wet and squeeze it. Keep it a little moist, not too much, with water dripping all over. Now hold the cloth on the sticky residue. Take a plastic wrap, and cover the cloth with it. Stick it with the vinyl floor with duct tape. The plastic wrap will seal the chemical to that particular spot and let the bleach or ammonia work to break the sticky residue into fine particles. Due to the wrap, the harsh chemicals will not spread in the air; neither will let the liquid spread on the clean area around. Keep it like that for a couple of hours, better to keep it overnight as the kids will not roam around the house.

Step  #6 – Removing The Sticky Residue

The next day, remove the duct tapes and wrap and propel the cloth on the stains in a circular motion. You will notice that most of the residue is coming off. To undertake the rest, use a soft but not abrasive scrub pad and scrub the spot gently but continuously till it’s cleaned and free of sticky residue. In most cases, with that level of potent cleaning solution, the sticky residue is bound to be removed. Now, take a sponge, squirt a drop of dishwashing soap on it, rub the spot to clean the sticky residue, and make sure the harsh chemicals are removed thoroughly.

Step #7 – Sweep With Clean Water And Dry the Spot

Now, when the sticky residue is no more stuck on, and you have suds, clean the spot with a clean pad, dipping it in warm water, and squeezing it thoroughly. Do not forget to wear gloves, as you are still working with harsh chemicals. After you have rinsed the spot, dry it with a dry, clean pad. If you want, you can now mop the entire room with warm water and a stick mop.

And, this is how you remove sticky residue from vinyl flooring. No doubt, it is risky. But if used cautiously and done correctly after dilution, there is no better cleaner than these, especially to clean the stubborn, sticky residue.

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