Home Vinyl Flooring How Do I Clean Mold On Vinyl Flooring?

How Do I Clean Mold On Vinyl Flooring?

by Bob and Betsy
Published: Updated: 20 comments 6 minutes read

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. We have compiled more information for you to help to decide what’s best for you. Cheers! Bob & Betsy

What is Mold?

First, let’s discuss what mold is and what you can expect. Mold is a natural part of the environment and grows in areas with water or moisture. Mold can travel through the air via spores. Mold growing inside the home can cause health issues, like allergic reactions and asthma, but most can be remedied without issue. It is important to follow the steps below to remove mold from your home if you notice it.

Mold loves materials in your home, like drywall, ceiling tiles, caulking, wallpaper, furniture etc. and can grow in many places. For most indoor mold cases, the EPA does not recommend testing it.

Fix the Underlying Problem & Reduce Humidity

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.

We see this often with leaky doors, much like Pete’s problem. There could also be leaks from windows, roofs, pipes, and appliances. It is important to find the root cause of any water damage and fix it as soon as possible.

Commonly in basements and bathrooms, you will also want to check the moisture level in your space. The indoor humidity should be below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity. You may need to add a dehumidifier or venting if you have consistent mold issues.

Cleaning Most Mold on Vinyl Flooring Cases

If your mold problem is an area less than 10 square feet, you should be able to handle the mold issue yourself. If it is a larger area, we recommend contacting a mold remediation company.

To clean most mold cases, there are 3 common cleaning solutions:

  • Bleach & Water: use a diluted solution of no more than 1 cup of household bleach (5-6% sodium hypochlorite) mixed in with 1 gallon of water. Do not mix with any other cleaners. Please use protective gear and ventilate the area. Spray on and wait for 60 minutes, then scrub.
  • Vinegar: this is a natural solution that provides an acidic environment, helping to kill the mold. Spray on and wait for about 60 minutes, then scrub.
  • Detergent: The EPA recommends a mixture of household detergent and water to address mold.

You will want to use a mask to prevent you from breathing in any spores. 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.

For More Serious Mold Cases

For more serious mold cases, you may need to do full remediation, than just surface cleaning. A mold professional may be an option here. Before anything, you must stop the source of water. 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, such as drywall. Dangerous mold can and will cause sicknesses, including vomiting, nausea, and breathing-related problems. Don’t take any chances on your health. Cutting out the mold in the subfloor 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 molds.

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

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Brenda June 9, 2023 - 3:04 am

I had a burst pipe under my kitchen sink, it has now been fixed but slowly I have noticed large water stains all over my kitchen vynal wood effect it sometimes looks really noticeable. Do I need it replacing ?Look forward to your reply. Brenda.

Rachel Vahcic June 9, 2023 - 9:53 am

Thanks for your question, Brenda. If the water issue is very noticeable, it may be ideal to replace some of the kitchen flooring. It is possible there is water trapped under the floor which can lead to moisture spreading which you would want to avoid!

Samuel January 26, 2023 - 8:37 pm

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

Rachel Vahcic February 2, 2023 - 11:35 am

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!

Judith hughes June 3, 2021 - 11:41 am

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.

Vanessa June 25, 2021 - 3:54 pm

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.

Patric James February 9, 2021 - 11:59 pm

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?

Vanessa February 12, 2021 - 8:41 am

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.

Valerie J Wilson December 28, 2020 - 10:54 am

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.

Vanessa December 29, 2020 - 10:20 am

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.

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