Cleaning Linoleum Floors

January 31, 2012

Mop on linoleum floorWhen I moved into an older home a year ago, I noticed the old kitchen and entry way floors were dirty. What I didn't know is that dirt was ground into the flooring and no amount of mopping would clean it. I've tried everything and been frustrated and almost given up. Until . . .


I was shampooing my carpets a few weeks ago. I thought maybe the scrubbers on my carpet machine would clean the kitchen floor. It cleaned well enough but I thought it could be better so I grabbed the old standby, baking soda. I sprinkled the soda on the floor and then cleaned it with my Bissell. OMG, finally clean floors! YAY!

I've also found to maintain the cleanliness of the linoleum floors, I use a drop of Dawn dish soap and a half a cup of baking soda in hot mop water and it's clean and beautiful.

By Dana from Katy, TX



May 18, 20151 found this helpful
Top Comment

Please note that baking soda is alkaline, and thus is not recommended for linoleum. In time it will harden and dry the floors which may cause them to crumble.

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More Solutions

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March 25, 2015

By far the most effective thing to do is wet the floor and sprinkle baking soda over it. Wait 15 minutes. Then scrub with a brush and wipe dry. Mop off the residue with water.


17 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

October 30, 2006

Can anyone suggest a solution for cleaning bathroom linoleum? We moved into a rental house that had a leaky toilet (now replaced) and have pee stains all around it. We have tried everything we could think of but the stain has gone into the texture it looks like. Would appreciate any help you can give. Can't afford to replace it at this time.

Thank you so much,
patsAZ from Arizona


By Carol in PA (Guest Post)
October 31, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

Did you know that you can paint linoleum flooring? You may want to consider that option. I guess you'd need to use the paint used to paint porch floors. I dont think there is any way to remove the stain.


Have you thought about covering it with a bathmat?

Best of luck

By carla bledsoe (Guest Post)
November 2, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

If it makes you feel any better the stains are probably not really pee. The reaction of the linoleum to constant water contact most likely discolored it.
This isn't something you'll be able to clean out, but just to rest your mind spray or pour a generous amount of peroxide around the area and let it set a while. It will kill any nasties that might be living there. I love peroxide as a household cleaner, cheap, easy, and readily available.

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April 1, 2016

I live in a very old rental home. It is very worn, especially in looks. I am interested in cleaner, shiny, but not slippery floors. I need it to be easier to keep them clean due to having a bad back. All I have to wash or mop is the kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom.

I'm interested in the simplest, most effective way to do this. I also need to know if I can wash the paneled walls with Murphy's oil soap, spray, and a sponge mop? How and in what way?


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
August 13, 20170 found this helpful

You can use diluted vinegar for the floors. You can use a microfiber cloth and Murphy's oil soap to clean the paneling. Start from the top and work down.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
August 17, 20170 found this helpful

If money isn't an object, then I would use one of the electric steam mops. Prices start around $30.

August 21, 20170 found this helpful

The best way to clean linoleum flooring to use vinegar baking soda and hot water and use your mop of your choice

October 1, 20180 found this helpful

Use Howard Feed-n-Wax. Terrific stuff and it made my 50+ year old wood paneling look like new. Lot of elbow grease, but it was worth it.

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December 4, 2006

I would like to know a natural homemade cleaner or household product that is a neutral cleaner that I can use for my linoleum floor. I want to make sure I'm using something that won't strip the finish. Yet, I don't want to have to use a commercial product with all the harmful chemicals. I read in one place to use club soda, but I don't know if it is neutral

Peggy Rose from Fremont, CA


December 5, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

I only use vinegar and water. I don't even measure it. I fill the sink or bucket half way with water and pour in around a half cup of vinegar. It doesn't smell so good at first but the results are wonderful. I've been cleaning floor like this for over twenty years. I get compliments from family and friends about how clean my floor looks. In between cleaning I use baby wipes for spills. If there is ever a mark,like from shoes I might sprinkle a little bar keeper's friend on a baby wipe. It works every time!


Jennifer CA

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April 30, 2016

The shine and I think the the first layer on my linoleum has been removed due to using a biodegradable floor cleaner with ammonia in it. I want to return the shine and colour. How can I get it back to its original state or near enough to it?

Damaged flooring finish


Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 242 Answers
August 8, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'm sorry this happened..something you could try is a floor wax to put a new finish on that would protect what finish is left. I would also stop using such a harsh cleaner. Ammonia is well known for removing the finish on flooring.


A milder general purpose cleaner or even warm water with a little white vinegar is excellent for cleaning floors and is not so hard on them.

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March 10, 2016

I have hard water and it seems to be building up and making my linoleum floor yellow. I can only find things for spot removal. Any advice as how to remove the build up for the entire floor?


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
September 13, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Your linoleum flooring is made from raw materials which include linseed oil. When the oil in the flooring is blocked from the sun it causes yellowing to the floor.


You will need baking soda, water and a soft cloth.

Step 1
Remove your rugs and sweep away all the dirt on the floor.

Step 2
Wet the floor with plain water.

Step 3
Sprinkle baking soda over the yellow areas on the floor and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 4
Use a soft cloth to wipe up the baking soda.

Step 5
This may take several cleaning depending on the yellowing in the floor. Keep repeating these steps until the yellow has disappeared.

Step 6
When cleaning the floor use baking soda in these areas. This will keep the yellow stains from coming back.

Sun is also a good way to remove the yellow stains on your floor and keep them from coming back.

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November 23, 2018

Our linoleum floor in the kitchen was covered with light scratches, and I used whitening toothpaste and a toothbrush to gently sand them away - which worked great - except now there are lighter streaks all over the floor where I scrubbed. Is there any way to even out the light patches with the rest of the floor without sanding the whole thing?


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
November 25, 20180 found this helpful

We had this issue in a townhome I lived in the 1980s, only I used Comet or some other cleanser product and then had to do the entire floor with Comet to get it to even out. I was shocked that we got our security deposit back as to me, even though it was brighter, it was clearly not the original finish to the floor.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
November 25, 20180 found this helpful

I dont think so. You rubbed the color out.

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June 16, 2012

I have flooring in my basement that was installed, I think, in the early 70s. I do not know if it is vinyl or linoleum. It is adhered to concrete in sheets and it has a pebble type design with mostly black, gray, and tan colors. I like the look of it, but have never wet cleaned or shined it. It has light and dark stains on it in various places. How can I figure out if it is vinyl or linoleum? What should I use to clean it? Is there a product I could use to shine it without using the old-fashioned wax or polish?



July 5, 20120 found this helpful

One way to clean stains is by using a shop-vac. No, you cannot just suck out the stain, but you can over and over again wash and rinse the area, and suck out the solution every time.

September 10, 20170 found this helpful

Might be asbestos tiles

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November 15, 2014

I'm pretty sure I have linoleum tiles in my bathroom (though they may be vinyl, not sure how to tell the difference). They're an off white color and probably from about the 70s or 80s. Every time I try to clean or scrub them, they start to turn a blue grey color and no matter what I use (I've tried dish soap and water, vinegar, baking soda and water, Magic Erasers, bleach and water, and a general all purpose cleaner) or how much I scrub it seems to just spread this weird blue grey color around (sometimes it even seems like scrubbing makes it worse/darker).

Does anyone know why this is happening or what to do to clean it up? It's very annoying, it makes the floor look grungy and dirty even though the floor is clean.

By Chris


September 2, 20180 found this helpful

My mom has the exact same problem in her laundry room. We are just going to replace the floor. We can't seem to get the stains out the floor.

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November 17, 2009

I have either a linoleum or vinyl floor. The shine is gone and dirt is embedded in the tile. The only way I can get the floor clean and white is by using a magic eraser and cleaner. Is there anything I can do to bring back the shine?

By theresa from Monroe, MI


November 18, 20090 found this helpful

You could go to a big box store and buy floor polish products made to clean dull vinyl floors. Armstrong is one brand that is applied with a spongemop. Cost is about $12 bucks.

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September 25, 2005

I have dark colored linoleum tiles. Any suggestions for cleaning these that would not cause them to become "unstuck" to the floor would greatly be appreciated.

Michelle from Tennessee


By Linda (Guest Post)
September 27, 20050 found this helpful

Mop with a wrung out mop.

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September 28, 2017

Wet printed or colored paper can transfer its dye to the floor, and be a challenge to remove. This is a page about wet paper stained my linoleum floor.


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

November 17, 2009

I live in an old flat in a large city and would like to know how I can clean the old, fake wood linoleum (roll type) that is on the floors? Anyone have any idea of how to get all the grime off?


September 22, 2009

I am looking for tips on cleaning a dirty linoleum floor that has not been washed properly in a long time.


December 4, 2006

I have linoleum throughout my house (great with my pets!). What is the best way to keep clean/mop, etc. Any tips appreciated!

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