cleaning linoleum floors

Vinyl floors are often called "linoleum," but they are two different materials.

Vinyl is synthetic. Linoleum, a blend of natural products such as linseed oil, limestone, resins, and wood powder, is more like a wood floor than vinyl.

Linoleum is very durable, burn-resistant, and allergen-free. It's more durable than vinyl and not as prone to indentations.

And it's available in many patterns and colors, making it a good choice for family rooms or playrooms.

Now that you know the linoleum basics, here's the routine for cleaning linoleum floors safely. 

Cleaning Linoleum Floors

Keeping linoleum really clean requires little more than regular damp mopping (use very little water, which can make the surface brittle) or dry dust-mopping to rid the surface of grit and dust before it is ground in.

Each week, deep-clean with a neutral-pH cleaner, such as a little dishwashing detergent dissolved in lukewarm water. 

Here's the optimal routine for cleaning linoleum floors:

  • Sweep or vacuum linoleum floors regularly.
  • Damp-mop with cool water and a mild dishwashing detergent for daily cleaning. Apply a capful of baby oil to the mop to make no-wax floors shiny. (To save time, I sometimes pour the solution into a spray bottle, squirt just the areas that need cleaning, and then damp-mop.)
  • If the floor is excessively dirty, use the cleaning agent the manufacturer recommends.
  • Keep water away from seams and edges to prevent loosening.
  • Allow the floor to air-dry before walking on it.
To keep linoleum floors shiny and lustrous, each year apply a wax such as carnauba paste wax to seal ad protect the surface.

Areas that get heavy use should be stripped and rewaxed as needed. For heavy-wear areas, you may need to wax once a month. 

Linoleum Floor Cleaning Don'ts:

  • Hot water
  • Strong soaps
  • Solvents
  • Anything abrasive.

› Cleaning Linoleum Floors