Linoleum is a powerful, low maintenance, resilient flooring material. However, it is not as durable as some similar surface covering options, such as vinyl. Because of this, you have to take a little extra care when cleaning linoleum, avoiding harsh chemical mixes, and taking precautions not to ruin its shine or harm its surface.
Quick Cleaning Linoleum Flooring
- Step One: You first need to remove any loose particles or debris that may be on the surface of the material. This is done by thoroughly sweeping or vacuuming using the “hard floor” setting. As you work, be sure to pay special attention to corners, crevices, and underneath furniture and fixtures.
- Step Two: Fill a bucket with a gallon of hot water, and then mix in about 6 to 8 drops of normal, over-the-counter dish soap. Avoid using anything that is particularly harsh or acidic. Rather, just stick to the same soap that you use on your dishes. This solution should then be stirred slightly.
- Step Three: Dip your mop in the soapy bucket, and then wring it out thoroughly. Linoleum can be susceptible to damage from standing water. As such you want to use as little liquid as possible when cleaning the floor. The strands of the mop should be just barely damp and soapy.
- Step Four: Divide the room up into sections, covering spaces which are roughly 6-foot by 6-foot in size. As you complete each section dip the mop back in the bucket, wring it dry once more, and start over on the next section., Do this until the entire floor is complete.
- Step Five: Once you’re done, dump the bucket of soapy water out, and wash both it and the mop in clean water.
- Step Six: Fill the empty bucket with hot, clean water. Then dip the mop in the bucket, wring it out thoroughly, and mop the entire linoleum floor again. Here you should break the room up into sections as well, covering a roughly 6-foot by 6-foot space before once again dipping the mop, and wringing it dry. The idea is to remove any lingering soap residue which may be residing on the floor.
- Step Seven: Once the floor is washed clean, you need to get rid of any excess moisture that remains behind. Standing water can be very dangerous to a linoleum flooring installation. To do this, take old clothes or towels and pat them down on the floors’ surface. They should be able to absorb any excess moisture rather quickly.
- Deep Cleaning: The above methods can be employed with a scrub brush, in order to get a more thorough, rigorous cleaning.
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Green Cleaning a Linoleum Floor with Vinegar
Commercial detergents are often harsh, abrasive substances which fill the air with foul smells and chemicals. At the same time, the more acidic cleansing agents can actually strip the finish from a linoleum floor. Because of this, many people are turning to natural floor cleaning practices, employing a variety of materials that they often already have in their home.
The most common natural cleaning substance is vinegar. That is because it is inexpensive, widely available, and is able to disinfect your floors without filling your home with nasty chemical smells.
At the same time, its low acidity ensures that the finish will not be worn away from the surface of the linoleum.
You can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, or you can cut it with a water mix. You also have the option of adding a splash of lemon juice to the mix to fill the air with a pleasant citrus smell.
In some cases, vinegar will be combined with baking soda when trying to get a linoleum floor really clean. The baking soda is spread on the surface of the floor dry. Then a mop or scrub brush is dipped in the vinegar or vinegar solution and is swiped across the surface. The disinfecting power of the two substances is combined with the grittiness of the baking soda powder, to create a powerful cleansing mix.
Once you have the floor thoroughly scrubbed, a damp cloth can be used to pad away any loose remaining baking soda particles that are left behind.
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