Linoleum flooring maintenance is almost the same as that of hardwood floors. In short, basic wood floor care tips are applicable for linoleum too. After all, both these flooring materials are based on natural sources. Simple floor care tricks include keeping door mats at the entrances, not wearing shoes inside the home and vacuuming before mopping. The desirable features of linoleum tile flooring are toughness, high durability and resistance to bacterial growth and stains.
How to Care for Linoleum Floors?
Linoleum is marketed as an easy to maintain flooring material. But, the con side is, it is very sensitive to accumulated moisture and harsh chemicals. Follow the manufacturer's instructions about caring for linoleum floor, keeping a special note about avoiding acidic and alkaline products. These cleansers may cause fading and pitting of the floor surface, which you won't like at any cost. Presented below are some useful tips for linoleum floor care.
Having explained that linoleum gets damaged with accumulated water, dry cleaning is suggested for regular floor maintenance. You can either sweep linoleum floors or vacuum clean them at regular intervals. More the traffic, the frequency of dry cleaning should be more. This is just to ensure that dust and dirt particles are removed before they get deposited on the floor seams and surface.
Damp Mopping of the Floor
In case, linoleum floors do not look streak-free shine after vacuuming, you need to put in a little more effort on the cleaning part. Dampen a soft cloth with warm water and mop it. If you are mopping linoleum floors after a long time, consider using a small quantity of regular detergent or ½ cup vinegar in one gallon of cleaning water. Make sure that the floor is not wet, and it dries out soon.
Wiping Spills Immediately
The most important part about linoleum floor care is not allowing water to stand on the flooring material for an extended period. Yes, linoleum tile is extremely prone to moisture damages. It absorbs water very quickly, which may bring about loosening of the tiles. So, don't delay in soaking up coffee spills or other accidental liquid spills with an absorbent towel.
Removing Old Stains
Coming to cleaning linoleum stains, you can use a paste of baking soda and water. Make a thick mixture of the same ingredients, and rub it over the marks with a dry cloth, until they are removed completely. Other stain removers are toothpaste, white vinegar and nail paint remover. Before using nail paint remover, conduct a spot test to check its safety on the floor.
Stripping Linoleum Floor
Stripping of the linoleum tiles is usually done two times in a year, or whenever the linoleum floor fails to shine even after cleaning. The procedure refers to removal of the old polish with the help of a specially formulated stripping product. Vacuum clean the flooring first, and apply the solution to a 4 feet area. Wait for some time (say 5-10 minutes) and scrub the floor with a scrubbing brush. Then, clean the old polish and solution with a wet vacuum. Likewise, you can strip the remaining area.
Polishing Linoleum Floor
Before this step, you are expected to strip and prepare the flooring properly. The stripped floor will appear dull and faded. To restore its natural gloss, apply 2-3 coats of a superior quality polish. In case you are not ready for polishing, consider adding a few drops of baby oil in lukewarm water, and use it for damp mopping. Doing so will add a natural shine to linoleum flooring.
Dealing with Linoleum Bubbles
Bubbles under linoleum and vinyl flooring are a common indication of accumulated moist air or moisture underneath the floors. On the brighter side, linoleum floor bubbles can be fixed without replacing the tiles completely. All you need to do is, lift the tiles (where bubbles are present) and allow the moisture to dry out completely. Then, apply a waterproof epoxy glue and lay the floor tiles.
With the above linoleum floor care info, I hope you will have an easy time in making your floor gleam like a brand new one. For noticeable gouges, you can fix them temporarily with a repair kit. But, they may be visible upon close examination. So, the best bet is to take help from a professional for cutting and replacing tiles in the particular area.