How to Clean Linoleum Floors

How to Clean Linoleum Floors

Linoleum is a beautiful, long lasting flooring material. Linoleum floors are made by pressing cork, wood fillers, minerals, and dyes and impregnating it linseed oil. The big difference between linoleum floors and vinyl floors is that the color and pattern in linoleum is throughout the entire flooring material. Because the color is so deep in linoleum floors; normal wear, scratches and scuffs are less noticeable. The approach to cleaning linoleum floors is a little different than other flooring materials. Linoleum is a natural product, its care and cleaning should be treated more like wood floor than other floor products. Before you clean a linoleum floor always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Here are four ways to keep your linoleum floors clean and looking great:

Simple vacuuming and cleaning

For easy day to day cleaning, the best way to clean your linoleum floor is to vacuum dirt and clean it with a mop dampened with warm water. Frequent vacuuming and damp mop cleanings will keep dirt and grime from penetrating the flooring. This will keep your linoleum floor looking great.

Light cleaning with vinegar and water

Detergent based cleaning products aren’t recommended for linoleum. These cleaners often don’t rinse clean and their residue becomes a magnet for dirt and grime. If you’ve got some stains and hard to remove grime, try a solution of one cup of vinegar in a gallon of warm water. Mop with the vinegar solution and then rinse with a mop dampened with warm water. As linoleum floors age, they will develop cracks that will hold dirt. The vinegar trick usually gets the dirt out of those crevices.

Stains, scuffs, and marks

With any floor its inevitable that you’ll get a hard to remove stain or scuff. There are some tricks to working with these problem spots. Scrubbing problem areas with a nylon brush dampened with water or the vinegar solution will remove some of these stains. A Magic Eraser or similar product also works well. If the stain is deep, try a little Comet or Bon Ami brand cleansers to lighten the stain. Heel marks and scuffs from shoes can be removed with a little WD-40. Extra care should be taken with using these cleaning tips as it may remove the top finish of the flooring.

Heavy cleaning and stripping

Old linoleum floors require a top finish of floor wax to keep them looking new. Over time, wax buildup and trapped dirt will make your floor look dull and dingy. Stripping and waxing the floor is the only way to bring your linoleum floor back to life. To strip your floor, put one cup of non sudsy ammonia into a gallon of warm water and scrub with a mop and scrub brush. After scrubbing, rinse twice with warm water to wash away any residue. Then apply one or two coats of floor wax according to the manufacturers instructions. Once dry, your floor will look as good as new.

If you have a new linoleum floor, check with the manufacturer for cleaning instructions. New linoleum floors may have a special top coat that eliminates the waxing and cleaning step. For longer life, use their recommended cleaning products to clean your linoleum flooring.

Betsy Cline

Betsy Cline has been a professional house cleaner for 15 years and also a mother of 4 amazing kids (who make lots of messes). She is the founder of How to Clean It and loves to share tips and advice for cleaning up anything life throws at you.

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