Popular budget-friendly vinyl flooring is attractive, durable, and comfortable underfoot. It’s water-resistant and holds up well to daily wear and tear, yet it still requires regular care and cleaning to stay in good shape. The best mop for vinyl floors cleans away dust, dirt, grime, and spills while maintaining the protective finish, be it a glossy shine or flat matte.
There are a variety of products available, so use this guide to pick one that suits your cleaning style and learn why the following are among the best mops for vinyl flooring.
- BEST OVERALL: Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop Kit
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Quickie All-Purpose Cotton Wet Mop
- BEST FLAT: Microfiber Wholesale Store 18″ Pro Microfiber Mop
- BEST SPRAY: O-Cedar ProMist MAX Microfiber Spray Mop
- BEST SPIN: O-Cedar EasyWring Microfiber Spin Mop
- BEST SPONGE: Yocada Sponge Mop
- MOST VERSATILE: BISSELL Crosswave All in One Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Mop for Vinyl Floors
Vinyl floors are durable and water resistant, so most mop types will be safe and effective to use on them. However, damp mopping is the best cleaning approach because if sitting water gets into the seams between vinyl planks, it could lead the floor to peel and warp. Also steer clear of hot steam and abrasive brushes and cleaners to avoid damaging adhesives or protective coatings. To choose the ideal mop for your home, consider the mop type, material, wringing mechanism, and handle design.
Residential mops come in a range of types to suit a wide variety of home flooring. The most popular mop types include string, strip, flat, spray, sponge, and steam mops.
- String mops feature the classic design of a mophead of cleaning strings most commonly made of cotton. These mops are popular for their absorbency, affordability, and scrubbing power. However, their high absorbency can make them slow to dry and prone to mildew.
- Strip mops look similar to string mops, except the heads are made of synthetic fabric strips instead of cotton strings. These synthetic fabrics have good cleaning power and typically dry faster and are less prone to mildew and damp smells than string mops.
- Flat mops have a flat head to which a gentle cleaning pad is attached. These mops are lightweight, convenient, and easy to use.
- Spray mops eliminate the need for a bucket or a spray bottle of cleanser because a spray mechanism is built into the handle. Usually mounted on flat mops, these lightweight mops are ideal for everyday cleaning.
- Sponge mops are a sturdy traditional style featuring a sponge head that’s ideal for scrubbing grime and stubborn stains. These mops can offer a deep clean on a variety of sealed hard floors.
- Steam mops use steam to deep clean but are not the best choice for vinyl floors. Steam can damage the adhesive on some vinyl flooring or make its way between seams on poorly installed floors, causing moisture damage.
Mophead material can affect the absorbency, texture, and cleaning power. For vinyl flooring, a gentle mophead is usually best, since overly abrasive brushes or scrubbers can damage the finish. Common mophead materials include cotton, synthetics, microfiber, and sponge.
Classic cotton, often used for traditional string mops, is highly absorbent. The strands can suck up a good deal of water, spills, and dirt from messy floors.
Synthetic materials such as microfiber and nylon are often chosen for both absorbency and gentle scrubbing power. Synthetic mopheads often dry faster than cotton, so they are less prone to mildew and musty smells. Microfiber is a popular option because it’s durable, affordable, and easy to clean.
Sponge mopheads are also highly absorbent, and their texture offers great scrubbing power for dirt and stuck-on messes.
Vinyl flooring should be cleaned with a damp mophead, not a sopping-wet one. Although vinyl itself is waterproof, vinyl flooring is only water resistant. Water damage can occur if moisture makes its way into the seams in between vinyl planks. Therefore, a sturdy wringing mechanism is an important aspect of many mops to prevent oversaturating the floor.
The mop wringing mechanism is generally located on the mop handle or the mop bucket. Handle wringers include levers or twist mechanisms that compress the mophead to squeeze out excess water. Bucket wringers include a wringer that often needs manual pressure to force excess water from the mophead.
There are also spin mops, which feature a convenient type of bucket wringer. Most spin mops have string or strip heads and a spinning mechanism in the bucket that quickly spins the mophead, wringing it out. The mechanism is usually controlled by a hand or foot pedal.
Mop handles are usually made of plastic, stainless steel, aluminum, or wood. A sturdy handle will help with deep cleaning because it can take the pressure of hearty scrubbing without bending or breaking. That’s why most quality mops eschew plastic handles in favor of sturdier stainless steel, aluminum, or wood.
Plastic, however, is often used to add an ergonomic handgrip or for buttons, levers, and spray triggers. A handle with ergonomic features will be more comfortable to use. Many mops feature curved handles or soft foam grips for added comfort.
An adjustable handle adds to the ergonomics and comfort of a mop. Stooping over a mop can cause back pain, while a too-long handle can be difficult to control. An adjustable handle can be fixed to suit any user, reducing these concerns.
A height-adjustable handle is a particularly useful feature for multipurpose mops. Some mops include a range of cleaning heads to double as dust mops or dusters. A telescoping handle helps tackle other household jobs, such as dusting the walls or ceiling. Whether for daily mopping or a deep clean, an adjustable handle makes cleaning more comfortable.
A highly maneuverable mop makes it easy to clean every nook and cranny of a room. For a thorough clean, consider a mop that can reach into corners and under furniture.
Lightweight flat mops and spray mops have a thin profile that makes them easy to slide under furniture. Most of these mops have a rotating head to smoothly change direction and swerve around obstacles. String, strip, and spin mops can also easily swipe across smooth vinyl floors. They often have thick fibers that can reach into corners and under cabinets and furniture.
Electric mops are larger, heavier, and can be tough to get into tight spaces. Although electric mops are the least maneuverable option, their extra scrubbing power makes them a competitive pick for very dirty floors.
Multiuse mops, extra mopheads or dust pads, and washable mopheads are common extra features. Some models use disposable mopheads for convenience, but many others have reusable, machine-washable mopheads, a cost-saving and eco-friendly pick.
Some mops can handle other household cleaning tasks, like dusting floors and even walls and ceilings. Microfiber mops are a popular pick for cleaning vinyl and other types of hard flooring. These mops can be used for both dry dusting and wet mopping floors. Combined vacuum and mopping devices offer a two-in-one clean with minimal effort.
Our Top Picks
A good cleaning routine for vinyl floors begins with removing dry debris by sweeping or vacuuming prior to mopping. With regular cleaning, vinyl flooring can be kept in excellent shape for upward of a decade. The best mops for vinyl flooring offer a thorough but gentle clean. They remove dust and dirt without scratching or scuffing the protective finish. These top picks all do a good job of cleaning and are sturdy, comfortable, and easy to use.
The Rubbermaid Reveal Spray Mop features a gentle and wide microfiber pad that is suitable for daily cleaning. For deep-cleaning jobs, a nonscratch scrubber on top of the mophead swipes away stuck-on spills.
To use the spray feature, fill the 22-ounce refillable spray bottle and squeeze the on-demand trigger. The manual trigger controls the amount of cleaning solution distributed. It can help saturate messes or lightly mist sensitive flooring. This simple design means there’s no need to lug around a mop bucket or any extra scrubbers; this all-in-one mop is ready for any job.
The Rubbermaid Reveal mop is safe to use on all sealed floor types, including hardwood and vinyl. The microfiber pads are machine washable up to 100 times to provide an effective clean again and again.
Though it hasn’t any fancy bells and whistles, this affordable traditional cotton string mop is highly absorbent to tackle wet spills and scrub pesky messes. The Quickie All-Purpose Cotton Wet Mop features 100 percent cotton strands attached to a 48-inch durable steel handle.
In addition to absorbent strings, the top of the mop head has a scrubbing sponge to tackle tough greasy or grimy spots. The scrubbing sponge is treated with an antimicrobial agent to keep it hygienic over time. For those looking for a classic cotton mop, this mop from Quickie is a no-frills and cost-friendly option.
A wide 18-inch mophead means this microfiber flat mop can cover a larger flooring area with each swipe. Three mopping pads are included in this set: one dust mop pad with dust-trapping microfiber loops and two wet mopping pads with absorbent foam cores. Each is made from soft microfiber and is safe to use on all hard flooring, including vinyl.
The durable stainless steel handle and 360-degree swivel head help this mop power through large cleaning jobs. The handle is adjustable from 42 inches to 70 inches to suit all user heights. After mopping, the reusable microfiber pads can be machine washed for a good deep clean.
Using a dirty mop can spread germs and grime rather than clean the floor. The O-Cedar ProMist Max mop features a dual-sided microfiber mop pad. When one side is dirty, just swing the mophead by its 180-degree swivel to the other side for a new cleaning surface. This convenient design offers double the cleaning surface in one mop pad. When the pad gets too dirty, toss it in the washing machine for a deep clean.
To punch up cleaning power, the refillable bottle and spray feature can mist water or a vinyl cleaner of choice. The spray feature doesn’t need batteries and is controllable by a simple handle trigger.
With a hands-free, foot-controlled wringer, the O-Cedar EasyWring mop set makes it easy to wring out wet mops. The bucket features a spinning wringer mechanism controlled by a foot pedal. Just place the mop in the ringer and step on the pedal a few times to control the dryness of the mop. A splash guard around the wringer keeps water droplets from escaping the bucket.
Included in the set is a microfiber strip mop with a fluffy, machine-washable mophead. Instead of a round mophead, this model boasts a triangular shape that allows it to reach into snug corners. The pivoting head has a slim profile to clean around and under furniture.
For excellent scrubbing power, reach for this handy mop. Its absorbent sponge mophead has a honeycomb texture to deep-clean floors. There’s also an attached scrubbing brush for stubborn stains and messes as well as a squeegee that can help contain and clear away liquid spills.
The handle includes a lever wringer to squeeze excess water from the sponge head. The handle is height adjustable from 42.5 inches to 52 inches with a twist of the pole lock.
Vacuuming or sweeping is typically done prior to mopping to clear floors of dry debris that could scratch while mopping. With the Bissell Crosswave, vacuuming and mopping can be done with the same machine to simplify and speed through floor cleaning.
The multisurface, electric cleaner features a vacuum to pick up dust and dry debris. To mop, use the on-demand sprayer to distribute the cleaning solution. The dual-action microfiber and nylon brush roll picks up dust and hair when dry and helps to scrub floors when wet. Any excess liquid is then sucked back up into the vacuum while mopping. Dirty water is separated into a second tank to ensure that only clean water is sprayed for mopping. This handy mop-and-vacuum combo is safe to use on vinyl flooring, other sealed flooring, and even area rugs.
FAQs About Mops for Vinyl Floors
With the right cleaning tools, cleaning and maintaining vinyl flooring is easy. A quality mop can keep vinyl spotless and shining clean. If you’re still considering the best mop for your vinyl floors, read on for some commonly asked questions and answers.
Q. Are steam mops safe for vinyl floors?
It is best to err on the side of caution and avoid using steam mops on vinyl floors. The high heat and moisture can cause damage if seams or adhesives are breached.
Q. What is the best mop to use on vinyl floors?
Since durable vinyl can handle a wide range of mops, the best mop will depend on your personal preference. Flat mops and spray mops are popular because they are lightweight and easy to use. String mops and sponge mops are super absorbent and excellent for scrubbing. Or for the easiest clean, reach for an electric mop that will do most of the work for you.
Q. What is the best way to clean vinyl plank flooring?
To clean vinyl flooring, first make sure to sweep or vacuum any dry dust, dirt, and debris. Next, use a gentle mop with your floor cleaner of choice, working your way from one end of the room to the other in steady sweeping motions.