Linoleum and vinyl are two of the most popular flooring surfaces in use today. Why? Well, they’re relatively inexpensive when compared to wool carpet and real wood panels. Not only that, they’re hardwearing and easy to clean. And if all that isn’t impressive enough, they come in an almost unlimited choice of designs and colour combinations.
In most cases, cleaning a stain or spill on a linoleum floor involves a quick wipe with a clean, damp cloth. But what happens when the stain proves a little more stubborn? Grease, for instance, can be very challenging when it finds its way onto lino. Other substances such as ink and paint are also difficult to remove. Thankfully, there’s very little that will ever seriously trouble your linoleum flooring if you have the right tools and cleaning procedures in place.
The faster you act to remove stains, the easier the job becomes. This means it’s a good idea to ensure the tools you need are always close at hand. Stock up on microfibre cloths, sponges and drying cloths. There may be times when you need a little detergent, baking soda or vinegar, so stock up on them too.
The biggest danger to your lino floor’s health is scratching and scraping, so make sure you have the best vacuum cleaner for linoleum. Ideally, it should be a bagless cleaner with a full range of attachments and either a hard floor setting or attachment. You might want a good mop and bucket available too, although more and more people are now using a steam mop for cleaning lino effectively and quickly.
Cleaning linoleum floors with baking soda and vinegar
When a simple wipe with a wet cloth won’t remove the stain or accumulation, it might be time to bring out the big guns. There’s very little in the average home that can’t be cleaned or removed with vinegar or baking soda — or a combination of both. And, thankfully, the process involved is very straightforward.
Saturate the stain with white vinegar, and allow it to sit there for around 30 minutes. After half an hour, the stain should have softened, and much of it will already have been removed. Wipe away the vinegar, and you might find that the stain vanishes before your eyes. If it hasn’t, add some more vinegar, along with a coating of baking soda over the top. You’ll see both substances start to react. Leave it for 10 minutes, and wipe up with a clean, microfibre cloth.
Cleaning linoleum floors with washing-up liquid
If you don’t have vinegar or baking soda available, dishwashing detergent works too, but you might need a little extra elbow grease. Dip a clean microfibre cloth into a solution of hot water and washing-up liquid, and soak the stain through. After 15 minutes, use the scrubbing side of a cleaning sponge to remove any excess, and wipe the area down again with your cloth. At this point, you may need to add extra detergent — particularly if you’re trying to remove grease. Complete the job by polishing the area dry with a new, clean microfibre cloth.
Cleaning linoleum floors with steam
The easiest and fastest way to clean a linoleum floor is with a steam mop or handheld steam cleaner. You don’t need anything other than clean water and a power source. The superheated steam cuts through grease and dirt, but it also disinfects at the same time. And because the optimum amount of water is used, you’re left with a relatively dry and polished surface afterwards.
Linoleum is so popular because it’s affordable, easy to clean and resilient. Act quickly, and removing stains and accumulations of food and dirt from your lino will usually be a painless process.