How to Clean Linoleum Floors
Linoleum has come a long way when it was first introduced as a flooring option in the mid-1800s. Today, it is available in a wide range of colors and styles—and it remains a popular flooring choice due to its low cost and high durability. Specifically, linoleum flooring is made up of oxidized linseed oil, which is then mixed with other ingredients (like cork or wood flour) and made into sheets or tiles for easy installation.
Homeowners enjoy that linoleum sheets can be cut with scissors, making it simple to custom-fit around fixtures, such as built-in cabinets and vanities. As with any type of flooring, however, linoleum does require some basic care and maintenance. One of the best things you can do to keep your home’s linoleum flooring looking its best is to clean it regularly.
The Importance of Cleaning Your Linoleum Floors
Cleaning your linoleum floors is important not just for aesthetic reasons, but for sanitary reasons as well. Linoleum tends to be used most in areas of the home that receive high foot traffic, such as in entryways. When you think about all the dirt and other debris brought in on your shoes when you enter your home, it’s easy to see why keeping your linoleum clean is so important.
Due to its water-resistant properties, linoleum is also used regularly in kitchens and bathrooms. These are also a couple of areas of the home where spills and other messes are most likely to occur. With regular cleaning, you can keep your floors sanitary and reduce your likelihood of coming into contact with bacteria.
Cleaning your linoleum floors regularly can also help them last longer without needing to be repaired or replaced. Without proper cleaning, dirt and other debris can cause your flooring to peel or bubble up over time; this is especially common around baseboards and cabinets, where debris or moisture can seep underneath the edges and weaken the adhesive that was used during installation.
How Often Should You Clean Linoleum Floors?
Ideally, you should be sweeping your linoleum floors daily to remove debris and dust. However, the true frequency with which you should sweep your floors will vary depending on how much foot traffic they see. Deep cleaning of your linoleum floors should also be done occasionally ( again, frequency varying based on foot traffic). In general, aiming to deep-clean your linoleum floors about once every few months is a good idea.
You can also watch out for signs that your floors are in need of cleaning, such as discoloration/staining and build-up of debris or dust.
How to Clean Your Linoleum Floors
For daily cleaning, a quick sweep of your linoleum floors with a broom will get the job done. Some prefer to use a microfiber broom to protect their flooring from scratches or other damage. If you have a vacuum with an attachment for hard floors, this can also be a great way to remove debris from your linoleum floors on a daily basis.
On a weekly basis, you may also wish to mop your floors with a solution of warm water, vinegar, and gentle dish soap; this is a great way to disinfect your floors, especially in high-traffic areas. Just be sure to always allow your floors to dry completely before using them.
When it comes time to deep-clean your linoleum flooring, however, you’ll need to set aside a bit more time. You’ll also need to have some basic supplies on-hand, such as:
- a vacuum cleaner ( ideally one with a hand-vacuum attachment)
- a microfiber mop and soft-bristled brush
- a bucket
- hot water
- dish soap
- baking soda
- clean towels
Start With a Thorough Vacuuming
Begin by vacuuming any loose debris off your linoleum floors. This will make it easier to mop and disinfect them without spreading around debris that could leave scratches. A hand vacuum with a nozzle attachment can be especially useful here, especially when removing debris from around baseboards/trim and other fixtures.
Create Your Deep-Cleaning Solution
Next, it’s time to get ready to mop your floors with a deep-cleaning solution that will not only sanitize them, but remove stubborn stains and debris. To create this solution, you’ll need to combine a gallon of warm water with a cup of vinegar and a few drops of your favorite dish soap. Before you move onto the next step, sprinkle some baking soda across your floors for an added cleaning boost.
Mop and Scrub Away Stubborn Stains
Using a microfiber mop to protect your floors from scratches, mop your floors using the cleaning solution you just created. As you mop, make note of areas that have caked-on debris or stains. You can go back with a brush and scrub away these stains manually as needed.
Give it Another Once Over
After you’ve mopped and scrubbed your linoleum floors using your cleaning solution, it’s a good idea to go back over with just warm water to rinse it away. This will help to avoid residue or film that could otherwise dull the appearance of your floors after it dries.
Dry Your Floors With a Towel
If you’re mopping an area of your home with low foot traffic (such as a guest bathroom), you may be able to get away with simply letting your floors air dry. However, if you need to use your floors soon after cleaning them, it’s best to dry them yourself using a few clean towels. Above all else, you’ll want to make sure you don’t leave any standing water on your linoleum floors; while this material is resistant to water, large amounts of water could cause seepage underneath the floor tiles that could break down the adhesive and result in bubbling or peeling.
Time to Hire a Professional?
Cleaning your linoleum floors isn’t difficult, but it can be a hefty time commitment—especially if you have a lot of square footage to work with. This is where it may be sensible to hire a professional cleaning service, which can handle not just cleaning your floors, but other surfaces in your home as well.
At Maid Sailors, floor cleaning is just one of the many, many professional cleaning services we have to offer. We can also handle everything from deep-cleaning and eco-friendly cleaning to move-in/move-out cleaning services. Ultimately, our goal is to help you come home to the clean house you deserve without having to lift a finger. Meanwhile, hiring a professional to handle your cleaning frees up valuable time that you can spend doing things you enjoy.