Cleaning your Linoleum Floors
Tired of looking at your dirty, dingy-looking kitchen floors, but not sure of the proper way to clean linoleum? The first step in preparing to clean linoleum is to find out if indeed your flooring is actually linoleum. Today, several sheet-flooring products are made from vinyl or vinyl blends; but because in the past most sheet-flooring was linoleum. Most people refer to all sheet-flooring as linoleum, however it may not be. Vinyl is made of all synthetic materials while Linoleum is made materials that are natural and these two types of flooring require different types of care. The word itself can be broken down to explain what materials it is made of; the “Lin” in linoleum comes from linseed and the “Oleum” is a Latin word that means oil. Because this product is made largely of linseed oil; it is important to know how to clean linoleum so you don’t ruin the surface.
You want to make sure that you are using products that are intended to be used on genuine linoleum floors. There are a large variety of products on the market today that are perfect to use to clean. Linoleum floors should never be cleaned with strong alkaline cleansing products. Using products with a high alkaline content to clean linoleum can actually remove polish from the flooring, damaging the floor beyond repair.
In preparing to clean linoleum, you will first want to thoroughly sweep and/or vacuum the floor. After sweeping the floor, you will want to prepare by reading and following the instructions on the product you have chosen to use to clean. Linoleum cleaners will have different instructions and dilution requirements. Use the diluted cleaner over your floor working in small areas and then moving on the next. Last step is to use clean water and go over your floor rinsing off the cleaner. Once your floor is allowed to dry, check it to see if it brightened up from cleaning. Even a clean, linoleum can look dull when it needs it needs to be polished. When polishing the clean linoleum floor, you will want to use a high-quality product made especially for this type of flooring because of the porousness of linoleum.
Normally you will using a standard mop to clean linoleum floors, however depending on how deep the groves are in your flooring, you may actually have to use a brush with nylon bristles to remove any dirt from the groves when you clean. Linoleum can be a bit delicate and can scratch easily so you want to be very careful when you are trying to clean linoleum and use gentle pressure and soft bristles – however you also need to be able to get the dirt out of the grooves that might already be etched in your linoleum floor. Knowing the proper way to clean linoleum can help you to preserve the beauty of your linoleum floor for years to come.