I am looking for tips on cleaning a dirty linoleum floor that has not been washed properly in a long time. I am doing cleaning for a townhouse complex and am curious if anyone has any ideas for getting trapped on dirt (sitting in the tiny pits in the linoleum) and stains out of the floor. The floor still looks dirty after being washed. There were a few guys living in this place and the dirt was lining the baseboards. I solved the baseboard issue but I would like to get the floor cleaner looking.
Use ammonia and water half in half in squirt bottle and spray, then let sit for a few minutes. This is very strong so be sure to open windows. (08/01/2005)
If you have good ventilation, I would try a strong ammonia solution. Douse the floor liberally and use one of those green scrubber pads. The ammonia should cut through any greasy build up on the floor and the scrubber shouldn't harm the finish. Good luck. (08/01/2005)
I clean houses too, and I would try a scrub brush since the dirt is in the pits of the linoleum. If you can let the floor soak in just about any cleaner, this should work. Depending on the color, I would probably use a bleach water solution. Dish soap is great at lifting dirt. Good luck! (08/02/2005)
By suzi homemaker
Save your back and knees, they have scrubbers on a stick like a mop! I have one, it really scrubs good and gets the dirt out of the pits! The ammonia really works good and so does something like Scrub Bright. Just make sure you don't get something that will scratch the floor. Good luck! (08/04/2005)
Use ice cubes. Rub on the floor and wipe up with a paper towel. It loosens the dirt tremendously and rejuvenates the floor. (08/07/2005)
I've used the Clorox Clean-Up brand cleaner on linoleum flooring before. Spray generously and let sit for no longer than 10-15 minutes before mopping. This usually does the trick for me. Although, in the past, I had a pal who tried the same thing with another brand of cleaner and left it overnight, instead of just a few minutes. By the next morning, she didn't have the problem she first had, but a stain from the cleaner that had dried and nothing that she did or I did, made any difference. She passed on and her house was sold. My guess is the new owners had to put down new flooring in that bathroom. (08/10/2005)
My kitchen floor is huge. Any cleaner applied with a brush gets out the dirt in the tiny pits, but my back won't last with the size of my floor. I haven't seen a mop with a brush that will work yet. Thanks for all the great ideas. (08/13/2005)
I believe you can rent a machine to 'screen' the floor. The pads on the machine are like scotch brite pads. After that some cleaner/sealer/polisher is needed. Buffing is a plus, same machine with different pads. I think multiple coats is the key to long term 'health' for the floor.
Sealing/polishing helps prevent the floor from getting more dirt build up. This doesn't have to be a shiny finish unless you want that. Spot cleaning with the green pads has left the color on my linoleum floor uneven and screening should even this out.
Don't laugh, but the very best linoleum floor stripper is Head and Shoulders shampoo. Use the liquid kind (undiluted), and spread it with a damp sponge mop. Let it sit for several hours and do a spot check to see if the floor is clean. You can use a dish scrubber (one of those green rough cloths, or loopy plastic balls) for tough spots where the film is really thick. If it still isn't clean after a couple of hours, let it sit for another couple of hours or overnight. Then clean up with a wet sponge mop or regular mop. (01/30/2006)
I spray Windex around the areas that have the build up and then wet mop. It is a miracle! (06/02/2006)
Mr. Clean magic erasers get out the dirt from the little dents. Works like magic! (06/27/2007)
Okay, I had a ridiculously bad problem with dirt ground into my linoleum floor. We bought (and returned) a half-dozen floor scrubbers because of sub-standard performance. Thank God something finally worked for me. I used the Armstrong product "New Beginning" and spread it over my trouble areas using those yellow oven cleaning gloves and waited ten minutes. Then I cut a scotch brite pad to fit my random orbital sander, it stuck pretty well to the hook/loop surface. This approach was a God-send! I applied a little elbow grease to the sander/scotch-brite combo and the floor cleaned right up. Who needs those other expensive floor machines! (07/03/2007)
Try using wood polish to return the shine to your floor. (08/12/2007)
I know this sounds a bit weird, but our apartment has linoleum floors that just won't come clean with normal products (even with magic erasers), but 'Invisible Glass' works amazingly!
It's supposed to be an automotive window cleaner, but we use it on our glass tables and our floors. It only needs to 'soak' for 3-5 minutes before you wipe it up with paper towel/mop it. I usually use a paper towel to wipe it up in our high-traffic areas and then mop the entire floor with clean hot water.
It's found in the Automotive section and costs just under $7.00. (05/04/2008)
I have dogs and they continually track dirt in the house and grind it into my linoleum floor. I used Clorox cleanup before, but then I used a steam mop. I would highly recommend using steam to clean linoleum. It is safe and quick. (05/26/2008)
I found it best if you just mix about 1/4 bleach and 3/4 steaming hot water together, and then just use a cheap old sponge mop. I did my mid-sized kitchen in about 15-20 minutes and it looks brand new! (06/18/2008)
Believe it or not, I've discovered that Vim degreaser (it's yellow and comes in a spray bottle) works wonders on a floor for the purpose you're talking about, although I'm not sure about stains.
Just yesterday I tackled a room that had dirt in grooves that didn't come out when I scrubbed. Also there were areas that looked worn, turns out that it was also dirt, sprayed Vim, waited a short while and scrubbed. Sometimes had to put some pressure into it, but now the floor looks like new! Who would have guessed? Anyway, try it. Good luck. (09/09/2008)
I've used SOS pads with 409 as a lubricant, the soap in the SOS pad is too much of a lubricant so I rinse it often. I hope the clear layer can tolerate this, I'm going to try Rainex to improve the shine, Anything better? (10/02/2008)
I moved into a small place about 8 yrs ago and for a long time, could NOT get the floor clean. It was a nightmare. I have been cleaning floors for over 30 yrs. The only thing I could get to work, which was very hard work and had to be done every time it got dirty, was to get on my hands and knees and use a scotch brite and comet cleanser which of course made the floor get dirtier faster, even with wax to seal it.
Then I bought a steam cleaner from HSN, the kind that can clean all sorts of surfaces well, I have this cleaner I mix up myself for grease and whatnot. It's 1/3 Mr. Clean, 1/3 Lysol fresh scent cleaner, and 1/3 water. I spray the floor with this mixture and let set for a minute or 2 and then use the steam cleaner with the floor attachment. I clean with one side of micro fiber pad, with the steam cleaner, then turn the pad over, the plastic attachment swivels, and steam clean it again.
I know this sounds like a production, but it only takes minutes to do the floors and it dries really fast. Then I use another attachment to clean the baseboards and bottoms of the cabinets. Sometimes I use the spray stuff for stubborn stuff, it doesn't take much, this mix cleans well and the steam cleaner is great for so many things. (10/11/2008)
By chris t.
I moved into a studio whose floors were beyond anything I'd seen - we had no idea they were green in color, rather a deep brown. Very poorly maintained. We've been wrestling with them for weeks, though the absolute best thing is a strong (%10) TSP and hot water solution. TSP is made for prepping before painting and cleaning driveways, though doesn't eat away or bleach. If you wet the whole floor with clean solution, wait 30 mins. and then scrub (scrubby on a pole is an ongoing good suggestion), you'll pull dirt out from the lino. We got a squeegee attachment for a wet vac and vacuumed up the muck, which helped a lot. Porous linoleum can absorb a fair bit of dirty water, so repeated washing and sealing is always necessary. Hope that helps somebody. (12/05/2008)
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