Linoleum Floor Cleaning Guide
Linoleum Floor Cleaning Methods
Linoleum floors can easily be cleaned with plain warm water. This method is preferred because many detergents tend to leave a residue on the linoleum surface, which acts like a magnet for dirt. However for thorough cleaning, liquid dish soaps can be employed which can be rinsed quite easily. The grooves present in some linoleum floors should only be scrubbed using a brush with nylon bristles. Bristles of other materials can produce scratches on the linoleum surface.
Another method of cleaning a linoleum floor is to pour straight ammonia on the floor and spread it using a dish towel. The straight ammonia is allowed to set for about at least 15 minutes and at the most 30 minutes. A nylon brush is used to scrub the area. Only a small area and not the entire floor should be treated at a time. The ammonia is mopped with a terry towel which is slightly damp. In order to remove the ammonia completely, the water used to rinse the floor should contain vinegar, in a proportion of half cup for every gallon of plain water.
A linoleum floor can be waxed in order to prevent it from yellowing. Commercial products that claim to perform both waxing and cleaning usually don’t perform any of the functions as effectively as separate products. A linoleum floor can easily be cleaned with a commercial all-purpose cleaner. The cleaner is used after it has been dissolved in warm water. There are a large number of commercial cleaning products available in the market, some of which are designed particularly for cleaning linoleum floors. Examples of these are Armstrong Genuine Floor Cleaner, which has glycol ether as the basic ingredient.
Quarter cup of this product is dissolved in one gallon of cold water. For regular cleaning, a lightly damped mop is used. For heavy cleaning, a wet mop is used to scrub the floor followed by damp mopping.
Stain and Odor Removal on Linoleum Floors
In order to remove heel marks from a linoleum floor, a towel sprayed with a little amount of WD40 is gently rubbed against the marks causing them to fade away without having to scrub. The scuffmarks can be effectively removed with an ordinary pencil eraser. A more efficient method is the application of a few drops of baby oil. Yet another method of removing scuff marks is to rub them with steel wool type 000 damped with floor wax in liquid form.
The wax is then wiped off using a piece of damp cloth. The baby oil is allowed to set for about 5 minutes and is then wiped off completely. Spilled water must be wiped off completely to avoid permanent stains. Most of the permanent stains can be removed by scrubbing with a nylon brush followed by cleaning and polishing. Mold and mildew are removed by a solution of vinegar in water.
In order to eliminate pet odors, enzyme cleaners should be applied to the linoleum floor. Commercial names of enzyme cleaners are F.O.N and Natural Magic.
Linoleum Floor Cleaning
Heavy duty cleaning of linoleum floors include a number of steps, first of which is to vacuum the dust thoroughly using a canister vacuum. A wax stripper and a brush are then used to remove the floor wax. Equal volumes of edible white vinegar and plain water are mixed in equal volumes. Warm water is arranged in a bucket. The solution is sprayed on the floor using a spray bottle. Finally the floor is mopped with the warm water. Vinegar acts as a disinfectant and removes organic growths. It does not leave any residue, film or spots. It frees the linoleum floor from unpleasant odors.
A shine mop is applied to dry the linoleum floor. It also serves to locate and eliminate any remaining dirt. A shine mop essentially consists of a white towel fitted over a mop head rectangular in shape. It can rotate at an angle of 360 degrees to ensure proper cleaning. It also carries a scrub pad made of cotton or nylon. Hence it perform both the drying and scrubbing operation for a linoleum floor. Air drying can also be opted for instead of using a shine mop.
Treating Yellowed Linoleum Flooring
In order to treat a yellowed floor, a solution of chlorine bleach in cold water is applied on it. One volume of bleach is added to three volumes of water. The solution is allowed to stay on the floor for about 30 to 45 minutes. If the stain seems to lighten, the process is repeated. If it does not seem to work, the floor is covered with the solution once again, and a substance called scouring powder, which contains chlorine bleach, is sprinkled on it.
The floor is then scrubbed and rinsed thoroughly with cold water. The floor is then washed with a solution containing equal volumes of vinegar and water in order to neutralize the bleach. The entire process may need to be repeated multiple times to bring about a notable change.
Precautionary Measures When Cleaning Linoleum Floors
Strong alkalis and chemicals with high pH should ordinarily be avoided owing to the fact that they cause yellowing of the floor. Water having extremely high temperature should not be used because it can cause damage to the linoleum floor. Before applying bleach, it must first be applied on a relatively small portion of the floor to see whether it suits the floor or not. If any negative result is observed, the product should be rejected.
Those products should be preferred as cleaners, which are designed in particular for linoleum floors. Solvent-based cleaners should be avoided because of the fact that they tend to soften and hence damage the linoleum floor. The floor should not be scrubbed too vigorously. Rough scrubbing pads should not be used. Care must be taken while cleaning that the floor is not flooded with water. After cleaning, the floor should be allowed to dry completely and any remaining water spots should be dried manually. Cleaning products should be mixed and applied only as instructed on the label. Cleaning solution should be changed when it gets dirty.
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