Linoleum is a type of resilient floor covering material similar to vinyl flooring. Linoleum flooring has become very popular because it is durable, easy to install and simple to clean. Unfortunately, stains don’t come off easily. If you want to try removing them yourself, check out our guide below.
What are stains?
“Stains” refers to anything that makes your floor look dirty – whether it’s dirt, grease or even mud. The key thing to remember is that the stain should never affect the integrity of the surface itself. If you damage the surface underneath, you’ll have a big problem on your hands.
So how do you remove stains from linoleum? There are several methods depending on what kind of stain you’re dealing with.
How to get stains out of linoleum flooring?
Here are some common stains on linoleum floors and their solutions:
If you find greasy marks on your linoleum floor, the first step is usually to blot up as much as possible using paper towels or rags. Then use an all-purpose cleaner like Simple Green to remove the rest. You can also use white vinegar to soak up the oil before applying the cleaner. Use a linoleum floor mop for best results.
To remove a muddy streak on your linoleum, simply apply a little bit of soap to the spot and then scrub it away. Use only enough soap to make the area slightly damp. This will help loosen the soil so that you can lift it up. Use a clean cloth to wipe the area dry.
Dirt stains often require more than just cleaning. Try soaking the affected area in warm clean water for about 15 minutes. After this time, rub the area gently with a soft cloth. Don’t use too much pressure or else you could scratch the floor. Rinse the area thoroughly afterwards. For stubborn stains, you might need to repeat these steps until they disappear.
This one is tricky. Blood doesn’t always leave a permanent mark on linoleum. It depends on how long the blood was present and how hard the floor was walked upon. To remove blood stains, use a mixture of baking soda and household ammonia. Mix equal parts of each and sprinkle the mixture over the stained area. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Scrub the area with a scrub brush or sponge. Repeat if necessary. Yellow stains may be removed by using rubbing alcohol.
If you have water-based stains like tea, coffee or wine, they can be removed easily by soaking the area in warm water with salt for about 10 minutes. This will help loosen up the stain, so it can be lifted off the surface. Then use a soft cloth to wipe away the excess liquid and dirt.
Why the stains won’t go away?
There are many reasons why stains won’t go away. Some of them include:
1) The original color of the floor may have been different from the new finish. When you buy a new carpet or linoleum, you’re actually buying the color plus a protective coating. The coatings are designed to resist stains and scratches. However, sometimes the stain comes through even though the floor looks great. If this happens, try washing the area again with warm water and detergent. A mild dishwashing soap should work fine.
2) Sometimes the stain is caused by something other than what we thought. For example, you may have spilled red wine on your floor and didn’t realize it. If this happens, clean the area immediately with hot water and detergent. Let the area dry completely after the cleaning.
3) Other times, you may have cleaned the area properly, but the stain has come back because the product used wasn’t strong enough. In this case, you’ll want to use a stronger cleaner.
4) Finally, some tough stains just never seem to go away no matter what you do. These are called “permanent” stains. They can happen even if you’ve tried everything.Permanent stains tend to occur due to a chemical reaction between the material and the stain itself. If you’re dealing with a permanent stain, you’ll probably need to replace the flooring entirely.
To learn more about removing stains from linoleum, check out our Ground in Dirt Stain Removal Guide.
What else do I need to know about cleaning stains on linoleum floors?
In addition to the above information, there are several things that you should consider before starting any cleaning project:
1) Be careful not to scratch the floor. Use a scrubbing pad instead of a brush to avoid scratching the floor.
2) Don’t mix too much cleaning solution. Too much moisture can cause the floor to buckle.
3) Clean only once a week. If you clean every day, you might remove all the protective film that’s built up over time. That could leave the floor unprotected against future spills.
4) Never use ammonia or bleach on linoleum. Ammonia can weaken the adhesive that holds the tiles together. Bleach will eat right into the vinyl.
5) Avoid harsh chemicals. You don’t want to damage the finished look of the floor.
6) Test the cleaning products on a small section of the floor first. This way, you’ll be able to see how the product reacts to the floor.
7) Always wear rubber gloves when applying cleaning solutions. Rubber gloves help prevent skin irritation.
8) Wipe the floor with a rag soaked in warm water until the liquid runs clear. Then rinse the entire floor thoroughly with plain water.
9) After rinsing, let the floor air-dry for at least 24 hours.
10) Once the floor dries, apply a quality sealer. Sealing helps protect the floor from further staining.
11) If possible, wait a few weeks before wearing shoes on the newly sealed floor. Shoes can pick up dirt and dust and transfer them to the floor.
12) Store shoes outside whenever possible.
13) Vacuum regularly to keep your floor looking its best.
The best advice for keeping linoleum floors looking their best is regular maintenance. Regular vacuuming, wiping down surfaces, and sealing the floor are essential steps to take. However, stains can still occur despite these precautions. It’s important to remember that stains aren’t necessarily bad; they simply require proper care to ensure that they don’t become permanent.