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How Do I Clean Mold On Vinyl Flooring?

Dear Bob and Betsy,
Our french doors have been leaking. I noticed this dark stain under the vinyl floor. I’m thinking it’s mold. How do I clean mold on vinyl flooring and will I have to replace the flooring?
– Pete H.

Dear Pete,

Yikes! Mold is never a word you want to see in your home. While mold in your home is not always a death sentence, you should be cautious when dealing with mold on vinyl flooring or any flooring.

Get A Mold Test

In order to find out what type of mold you are dealing with, you should really get the mold tested. This can be done either by purchasing an mold kit from the store, or calling in a professional. Some mold can be simply cleaned with a bleach and water mixture, but other molds need to be cut out and the home’s air scrubbed. Know what you’re dealing with before you start trying to clean up.

Home Mold Test Kit (Photo Credit: Stage My Own Home)
Home Mold Test Kit (Photo Credit: Stage My Own Home)

Fix the Underlying Problem

Although vinyl floors are resistant to moisture, mold and mildew can grow if there is standing water around the edges, grooves or under the floor. If you notice standing water, it is important to fix the cause of the standing water before trying to repair or clean your floors.

For Harmless Mold Cases

If your kit comes back with a harmless, common mold, you can simply clean it up with a bleach and water mixture. Allow the area to air dry completely with the use of fans or an air purifier. Clean off the affected vinyl flooring in the same manner, allow to dry, and then reinstall.

Mold On Window (Photo Credit: Ask Meta Filter)
Mold On Window (Photo Credit: Ask Meta Filter)

For More Serious Mold Cases

However, it is a more harmful mold such as black mold, simply using bleach WILL NOT kill it. These molds can appear to be killed by using a bleach and water mixture. However, the only true way to get rid of mold is to cut it out.

Before anything, you must stop the leak. Fix this first or there will be more issues with mold and damage in the future. You then must rip out whatever has mold on it and replace it. Dangerous mold can and will cause sicknesses, including vomiting, nausea, and breathing related problems. Dont’ take any chances on your health. Cutting out the mold in the sub-floor and replacing the flooring is the best way to completely remove the mold from your home. You should then rent an air scrubber for the room to remove any mold spores. Retest the room or home to make sure you have removed all of the mold.

Mold Under Flooring (Photo Credit: Den Garden)
Mold Under Flooring (Photo Credit: Den Garden)

If you have any more questions or concerns, you should leave a comment below and we will help in any way we can!

More Vinyl Flooring Tips:


  1. Thanks for you question, Samuel. We are sorry to hear about your experience, we can imagine how that may be frustrating for you. This sounds like there may be an underlying issue beneath the floating flooring that was installed. Ideally, the floating flooring would need to be removed so the floor underneath can be properly cleaned and aired out. This will likely need to be done by the property manager, but for the time being you can try to use a pH neutral cleaner with warm water and mop using this mixture multiple times. We hope that this issue can be resolved for you!

  2. Hi and thanks for your help my name is Samuel and my wife and I have been renting a house for close to 10 years now. We have been trying to get our landlord to fix the leak in the basement for going on 5 years now, with no luck. We can’t afford to move and my wife is getting ready to have surgery in a week. I’ve reached out to the health department they have fined the property owner. So he finally sent someone who claims to be a expert at mold removal. Well after the first visit I have my doubts about them being expert. They came in spraying the basement with a hydrogen peroxide mixer that did not kill anything but my eyes and nose they didn’t even cover the vents or doors nothing not to mention that they living room floor has vinyl hardwood floors that when installed the contractor did not put anything under the it just laid it right on top of the original hardwood from the early 1900’s. You can see light from the basement through the living room. Now I am worried about my wife and her health especially now with her surgery next week. So I am about to clean the floor with bleach and vinegar then cover the floor with plastic and then rugs. I forgot to mention we have a little ferret I’m concerned about as well. Could you please advise me on what you think I should do. Thanks again Samuel

  3. Hi Judith, It is likely that the spots that you are seeing are mold. In most cases, the main way to get rid of mold on flooring is to remove it or cut it out. We would recommend having a company come in and test for the mold. Home owners insurance should help with that and the purchase of new replacement material.

  4. Hi I had a new vinyl flooring flitted less than a month. My fault I did not tighten the hosepipe on the washing machine so needless today I had a leek and it has gone under the flooring. I noticed black marks scattered on the flooring. So I bought a dehumidifier to dry out I lifted the flooring half way to where glue was applied anyway after a week of drying out I have placed the flooring back but having tried bleach and water and no nonsense mold and mildew remover from screw fix i’m having problems getting rid of the black spots what else can I try any suggestions please thank you.

  5. Hi Patric. If you have a landlord, contact them due to it being their property. They will need to pull the vinyl floor up and let it dry uninstalled.

  6. I’ve just had a part of the vinyl plank flooring and shag rug thats in the basement drenched in water because of backed up water coming from the city sewer line. This incident happened this evening. When I step on the vinyl floor, a little water comes out in between the planks. The whole vinyl flooring in the basement isn’t affected, just a small area. I have fans blowing now. What can I do to prevent mold from forming? Would I need to have the landlord remove the flooring?

  7. Unfortunately there is no easy way to remove mold yourself. We recommend getting a mold test first to make sure what you are seeing is actually mold. Using a bleach solution does not solve the problem sadly. Typically a professional mold removal team needs to be called to actually cut out the subfloor that is affected by the mold.

  8. I know there is mold under the vinyl flooring around the toilette. Today I saw where the mold has reached the bathtub maybe a foot away. We live in a trailer that is owned by our son in law . I do not know what kind of mold it is. If it is black mold, will all of the subflooring need to be removed? That might mean removing the tub, etc because of the small space. He wants to wait until it gets a little warmer to do the work because of the cold and needing to go under the trailer possibly. Is there anything that will kill the black mold without having to remove it all the subflooring? He is a do it yourself person. He is not likely to test to see which type of mold it is. He will believe if the mold is gone, everything is fine. Does black mold simply stay black if you spray it with bleach? Also, if we raise the vinyl near the tube, will that mold be the same as what is by the toilette? If it isn’t black mold, I don’t mind waiting for the repair.

  9. Thanks Nathan!

  10. Hi there. Many thanks 🙂 Excellent article

  11. Hi John, thanks for reaching out. It is hard to say without seeing it, but if there was moisture between the ceramic tile and vinyl, it is possible. I would recommend having a representative from Mannington or a professional inspector come out to determine what it may be.

  12. Hi, I am a flooring contractor & recently inspected a kitchen with a Mannington seamless vinyl floor installed about 9 months ago. Grey spots about the size of a quarter appeared on the top of the vinyl. Upon further inspection there were more grey markings that seemed to follow the patterns of the ceramic tile under the new floor. I tried cleaning the markings with acetone and other cleaners at my disposal that are used in the flooring industry, nothing worked, the spots were under the wear layer. I lifted a section of the floor some of the spots matched the pattern of the ceramic tile under the floor. The floor is a tape down installation. I scrubbed those grey spots with a white cloth and the stains wouldn’t budge. The Mannington rep said it must be mold. Could they be from mold!

  13. Hey Brian. This is one of those issues I would definitely recommend going right to the manufacturer for any questions such as that. In most cases though the flooring needs to be removed and the subfloor dried off completely before putting the floor back down.

  14. My sink in the basement overflowed on to the ground I just install life proof vinyl flooring and water got underneath it and when i walk on it water seeps up from the cracks. will it dry eventually and will mold grow underneath my flooring?
    thank you

  15. Hey Tracy, thank you for reaching out. Unfortunately I am not sure on if that would be the proper way to clean up mold. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  16. Hello,

    So like a lot of people have said already “they have mold under their vinyl or linoleum ” I to have this problem.
    My question is can you pour a water and bleach mixture on the floor let it stand for 2 hours or so and then can you
    Put laminate click lock planks.

  17. Hi Chris, if this is a rental property, we could recommend contacting your landlord to fix the mold issues coming from the subfloor. Mold can be dangerous to your health, and it would be best to fix the moisture issue before it gets worse. If the mold is coming below the flooring, you will need to remove the linoleum and fix the mold on the subfloor.

  18. The stain i believe is mold directly in front of my shower, seems to be coming from under the linoleum, cleaning the surface does nothing. This is a rental, so i cant just pull up the floor to clean under it. any suggestions?

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