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How to Clean
Linoleum Floors

November 8, 2021

Linoleum floors have been around for more than a century and still present a practical and economical flooring choice. While the main selling point of linoleum flooring is its durability, the material also features other desirable qualities. Linoleum is eco-friendly, non-allergenic, resistant to mold and mildew, and it’s a more comfortable surface than tile or hardwood floors. But like carpet, hardwood, and laminate flooring, linoleum requires some maintenance and routine cleaning to keep it looking new.

Learning how to clean linoleum floors isn’t hard, and you can get the job done with linoleum floor cleaners that are safe and as eco-friendly as the flooring. If it’s been a while since you’ve soaped up your linoleum floors, you’ll probably need to do a deep cleaning to get them back in shape. Once your floors are clean again, it’s easy to keep them that way with dusting and damp mopping. From deep cleaning to preventive maintenance, read on to find out how you can keep your linoleum floors looking their best.

How to Deep Clean Linoleum Floors

While the flooring materials are very different, learning how to clean a linoleum floor is similar to learning how to clean hardwood floors. Both types of flooring should be cleaned with mild or natural cleaning ingredients instead of ammonia-based or other commercial floor cleaners. Don’t go overboard with water or floor cleaner either, because too much moisture can cause damage beneath the flooring. Here’s the best way to clean linoleum floors without damaging the finish or the underlayment.

Remove Dust and Dirt

For deep cleaning, prep the linoleum first by vacuuming with your vacuum set on “hard floors” or sweeping thoroughly. Make sure you clean out dirt and dust in the corners and along baseboards and move furniture if you have to clean underneath it.

Dust the Floor With a Microfiber Mop

Even the most thorough vacuuming or sweeping can still leave behind dust and other debris. Take an extra cleaning step to dust your linoleum floor using a microfiber mop to remove potentially damaging particles.

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Mix a Mild Linoleum Floor Cleaner

Mix a gallon of hot water with ten drops of regular dishwashing soap in a bucket. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil like lemongrass or lavender to deodorize your home while you’re mopping. Stir your floor cleaner well and grab your mop.

Mop the Floor

Dampen your mop in the floor cleaner and wring it out as much as you can to prevent excess moisture. Mop about a six by six-foot area at a time, then rinse the mop in the bucket, wring the water out, and move on to the next section. (While you’re at it, why not clean up those baseboards too?)

Rinse the Floor

Rinse your mop and bucket in the sink, and then fill the bucket with clean, hot water. Mop the entire floor again section by section to remove dirt and soapy residue. Make sure you get into corners and along baseboards to prevent buildup.

Dry Your Linoleum Floor

After you damp mop with clean water, it’s important to dry any remaining moisture. While you can use a clean, dry mop to dry your floor, it’s worth the extra effort to use towels to hand dry the floor.

Now that you’ve gotten your linoleum floor squeaky clean let’s keep it that way with some easy routine cleaning and care.

Linoleum Floor Cleaners for Routine Cleaning

To keep your linoleum floors from getting too dirty and avoid frequent deep cleanings, a little routine maintenance goes a long way. Here are a few DIY linoleum cleaners you can make at home for regular floor cleaning:

Keep Your Linoleum Floor Clean With Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is a natural, eco-friendly, all-purpose cleaner that also disinfects—and it’s the main ingredient in our top linoleum floor cleaner recipe. The acid in vinegar cuts through grime, but it’s mild enough that it won’t damage your floor’s surface. Just mix a gallon of hot water and a cup of vinegar in a bucket, wring out your mop and start mopping. There’s no need to rinse because the vinegar will evaporate, but be sure to dry the floor thoroughly.

Remove Stains With Baking Soda

The best linoleum floor cleaner for stains is a baking soda paste. Baking soda is a safe, natural cleaner with a mild abrasive that cuts through buildup and stains. Begin by mixing baking soda with enough water to create a thick paste. Use a damp microfiber cloth to scrub the stain with your baking soda mixture, then rinse and dry. This stain remover works great on scuff marks and most food stains, but if you have a tougher stain like ink, use a small amount to break down the stain before scrubbing it with the baking soda paste.

Bring Back the Shine With Baby Oil

Manufacturers recommend polishing linoleum floors periodically to protect them and bring back the shine. For the best results, first polish your linoleum floor, give it a deep cleaning, and let it dry completely to avoid damage. Next, to make a safe and inexpensive linoleum floor polish, mix a gallon of hot water, five drops of baby oil, and one cup of white vinegar in a bucket. Damp mop the floor and let the solution dry to a shine.

Now that you know how to clean linoleum floors, what’s next? Check out our other field-tested DIY cleaning guides to make your housekeeping chores faster and easier. Whether you tackle the dirty work yourself or invest in one of our popular house cleaning services, The Maids wants your home to be as clean and healthy as it can be. Learn how you can enjoy a cleaner home more often when you get your free online estimate today.

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