How to Clean Linoleum Floors

Traditional kitchen with linoleum floors, farmhouse sink and wood dining tableWelcome to our page on how to clean linoleum floors. One of the most practical choices for flooring traditionally has been linoleum. This kind of flooring material is durable and non-allergic. It provides a gentle surface when walked on, and because of its antibacterial quality, it can resist mildew and mold. If there is proper maintenance regarding its cleaning, linoleum can last up to thirty to forty years, even if placed on the high-traffic areas at home.

To maintain your linoleum floors and keep them in good shape it is important that you do not use materials that could damage them. Below are the steps and tools necessary to clean linoleum depending on how dirty or old the flooring currently is. (See our article on how to remove linoleum floors here)[toc]

Things you will need for a quick linoleum flooring cleaning:

– Mop – a cloth or sponge can be used
– Bucket
– Vacuum cleaner
– Hot water
– Old towels
– Dish soap that is mild
– Rubber gloves which are optional

List of the steps for a fast linoleum clean-up:

1. Clean the area by vacuuming the floor. You must make sure that you will include the parts where the dust gather like the corners as well as those under the appliances and cabinets.

2. Fill up the bucket with hot water and then pour about six to seven drops of the dish soap.

3. Dip the mop into the water mixture and make sure to properly wring so that excess water can be prevented to go to the floor. It can be an advantage if you make use of a self-wringing sponge or cloth.

4. It is important that you work on one section of the floor at a time. You can do the rinsing of the mop in the water mixture and wringing all over again for each section until the whole area of the floor has been finished mopping.

5. Pour out the water mixture from the bucket and then pour in hot water until the bucket is full.

6. In the clean hot water, put in the mop and do a thorough wringing.

7. Do all over again the repetitive rinsing and mopping using the clean and hot water. Be sure to work per section of the floor.

8. Make use of the old towels in drying the floors. The linoleum has grooves which can absorb liquid that is why it is important to dry it thoroughly.

Checkered linoleum floor in kitchen
Attribution #1

For good maintenance, the floor must undergo deep scrubbing at least once or even twice annually. This is most important to be done if there are deep grooves.

In order to do a deep clean-up of linoleum floor, you will need to prepare the following materials:

– Mop – cloth or sponge may be used as an alternative
– Bucket
– Scrub brush which its bristle is made of nylon
– Vacuum cleaner
– Mild dish soap
– Hot water
– Towels – old ones can be used
– Rubber gloves – this can be optional

How to clean linoleum flooring when doing a deep cleaning:

1. Clean the floor using the vacuum cleaner and make sure to include the areas under the refrigerator or other appliances, cabinets, and corners where the dust gather.

2. In a bucket that is filled with hot water, pour approximately six to seven drops of the dish soap to make a mixture.

3. Dip the scrub brush into the water mixture and then scrub the floor in. Make sure to do a circular motion when clean the floor.
Repeatedly dip the scrub in the water mixture as needed and continue to scrub the floor until the whole floor area is clean.

4. After the floor has been finished with scrubbing, pour out the water from the bucket and then replace it with clean hot water.

5. Continue to rinse the floor with repetitive cleansing and use the towels for drying the cleaned floor.

How to Clean Old Linoleum Floors

Kitchen with black and white checkered linoleum floor
Attribution #2

The quality of the linoleum as it ages may not stay the same including its shine and appearance. Several years may pass and the shine of the linoleum may fade due to wearing or improper cleaning. When this happens, you may need to do some finishing touches in order to restore the quality of the linoleum.

Linoleum can be susceptible to moisture, especially in places where water tends to splash or spills occur such as the bathroom or kitchen. In addition, linoleum can become dented by furniture legs and even high heels in high traffic areas such as the kitchen or dining area. If the damage is too severe and you wish to remove the linoleum altogether, visit this page for additional kitchen flooring ideas.

Below are the essential things that you may need for the restoration of old linoleum floors:

– Hot water
– Bucket
– Mop
– Old towels
– Ammonia
– Floor wax – make sure that it is made of good quality
– Clean cloth or soft rags
– Rubber gloves – this is not optional but rather recommended

In doing the restoration of the finish of the floor, follow the steps below:

1. Apply the ammonia directly to floor in a large area by using the mop. Be sure that you will be doing this according to the sections of the floor. Be cautious in using the ammonia because it is a dangerous substance. Ammonia must never be combined with other cleaners.

2. Let it settle for a couple of minutes.

3. Utilize the nylon scrub brush in scrubbing the floor. See to it that you scrub the whole floor area with ammonia.

4. Following the scrubbing, get the residue with a use of a mop that has been dipped in a bucket filled with hot water.

5. Use the towels in wiping to dry the floor.

6. Apply floor wax on the floor. Be sure that you will follow the instructions as directed. Usually, the liquid floor wax are being spread evenly using the cloth or rag. The first coating of the floor wax is being dried completely before it is being following with the second coating. Good quality liquid floor wax which is suitable for linoleum floor can be obtained at janitorial supply stores.

7. Do not wash the floor unless 24 hour has passed.

For general cleaning, lukewarm or cool water can be used with a mop. If there may be stains or spills, it is important that you clean the area right away with cool water and then dry it with towel before people will walk through it. It is essential to have proper maintenance in order for the linoleum to serve several years.

You can put doormats at the entrance so that footwear soles can be cleaned prior to stepping into the linoleum. Protection can be done with regards to making sure they have protection underneath to prevent damage from water. It is also vital that any plants be moved from time to time so the linoleum can be exposed to light to prevent the flooring from becoming yellowish.

[expand title=”Show Image Sources” swaptitle=”Hide Image Sources”]
(1) JonGoldberg from Flickr (Creative Commons License)
(2) JonGoldberg from Flickr (Creative Commons License)[/expand]

We hope this article on how to clean linoleum floors has been helpful to you. If you would like to see more DIY tips and information about popular types of flooring for a remodel check out this page.

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