Tips on Using Ammonia to Clean Vinyl Floors

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Ammonia is a dangerous chemical and can affect breathing. Make sure you have planned for this by opening doors and windows to allow fresh air to enter the area where ammonia is to be used and to allow the vapor to disperse. Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to ammonia, and so should be kept away from the vinyl floor that is to be cleaned. Animals too should be stopped from being in the area, and any whose home is in the area should be moved.

Mixing the Solution

If you are planning to mix the solution yourself, then ensure that you have the right ratios of ammonia, detergent and water. For small stains, you will require 1 tablespoon of ammonia, 1 tablespoon of detergent, and two cups of water. Similar ratios should be used if you are mixing the solution for the entire vinyl floor. Ensure that the detergent is suitable for vinyl floor cleaning, and is nonabrasive.

Applying Ammonia by Hand

If you are cleaning by hand, always wear gloves and if possible use a non-abrasive cloth to clean the vinyl floor. Should your experience eye irritation or breathing problems, immediately stop and walk outside. If the problem persists, contact your doctor. Once the area is cleaned, dispose of any remaining cleaning solution, wash the gloves and cloth, and most importantly, wash your hands.

Applying Ammonia Using a Mop

Ammonia can be applied using a mop, and use this if it at all possible. It is not a nice substance and the more distance you can put between it and yourself the better. Ensure the mop or application device is nonabrasive, as this does not sit well with vinyl flooring.

Ready-mixed Ammonia

Cleaning agents that contain ammonia are available and some are already formulated specifically for vinyl floors. If this is within your budget, and it gets the job done, then using a ready-mixed product is the best option and less fuss. Ready-mixed quantities will be mixed in safe ratios, which eliminates the wrong quantities of the solution from getting added. Always follow manufacturer instructions.


Ensure that surfaces other than the vinyl floor are kept ammonia-free. Should a spill occur, mop up with water immediately.


After you have finished washing the vinyl floor, put away all materials and dispose of the solution safely with no spills. It is a good idea to seal a vinyl floor using a wax-based product after cleaning. This toughens the floor and makes it resistant to damage and to dirt accumulation. Always follow any manufacturer instructions, and be prepared to apply three coats.