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Flooring Resources

How to Care for Linoleum Floors

From their environmentally-friendly materials to their durability and versatility, linoleum floors have been seeing a recent surge in popularity among homeowners. Much to homeowners’ delight, caring for linoleum floors is usually less work than other kinds of flooring, since they are low-maintenance, easy to clean, and mold- and mildew-resistant. But that does not mean this type of flooring needs no maintenance at all! Learning how to clean linoleum floors and practicing good maintenance habits should lead to a longer lifespan with less wear and tear for years to come.


Table of Contents

How to Clean Linoleum Floors: The Basics

If your home has this type of flooring, it’s important to learn how to clean linoleum floors on a regular basis. Make sure to have the following cleaning essentials at home:

What you’ll need
  • Broom or dust mop
  • Wet Mop
  • Bucket
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Linoleum floor cleaner
  • Vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Lemon juice
  • Baking soda
  • Linoleum floor polish

While you may not use each one of these cleaning items everyday, it’s a good idea to have them handy. We recommend coming up with a weekly, monthly, and seasonal cleaning schedule to best maintain your linoleum floors.

Weekly: Basic Cleaning

On a weekly basis, you should expect to perform a “basic clean” on your linoleum floors. In order to remove dirt—especially in high-traffic areas of the house—and ensure debris does not get stuck in the linoleum, sweep or vacuum at least once per week. You can use a broom, dust mop, vacuum, or a combination of these tools.

As you sweep the floors, be sure to pay special attention to linoleum tile lines. This will help prevent dirt and debris from getting left behind in the cracks. Also, if you have rugs placed on top of your linoleum, regularly pick them up and sweep underneath them as well.

Bi-Weekly: Mopping

Although you will not have to do it as often as you would with other types of floors, one key way to care for linoleum flooring is regular mopping. At least once every two weeks, after sweeping or vacuuming your floors, go over them with a wet mop. Some homeowners will prefer to mop their linoleum floors as often as once per week to keep them even cleaner. However, this is up to the homeowner’s discretion.

  • For the best results, mop linoleum floors with lukewarm water and a cleaner that is specifically made for use on linoleum. Other types of cleaners may be incompatible with linoleum and may actually leave a residue on your floor that attracts dirt.
  • You can also use a DIY linoleum floor cleaner — in a bucket, simply add one gallon of hot water, one cup of vinegar, and a dash of dish soap.
  • As you clean, wring excess water out of your mop since linoleum traps water, which can cause water damage to your floor.
  • To further prevent damage, it’s also important that you immediately dry your floor after mopping by patting the linoleum with a cloth or towel.

Monthly: Deep Cleaning

Even with routine cleaning and maintenance, from time to time you may notice a build-up of dirt and stains. Once a month, schedule a deep cleaning session for your linoleum floors.

  • First, sweep or vacuum the floors as usual, removing any excess dirt and debris.
  • Use a scrubbing brush on tough stains with a mixture of water, vinegar, and lemon juice to remove them without causing damage to the finish.
  • Then, sprinkle baking soda directly on your the linoleum.
  • Finally, mop the floors using a cleaner meant for linoleum. Alternatively, you can use the same DIY solution (mentioned above) that you are using weekly or bi-weekly.

Seasonally: Polishing

The last key step to effectively maintain linoleum flooring is to periodically polish it to keep it looking like brand new. You can polish linoleum flooring once a season or twice annually, depending on your preferences. A local store should carry flooring polish that is compatible with linoleum.

After your routine sweeping, mopping, and drying, apply a coat of polish to small sections of the floor at a time — more than three to four square feet. You can use a wet mop or sponge. After, let it completely dry. Depending on your floor’s manufacturer instructions, a second coat may be needed.

If you need to replace your home’s flooring, Modernize can help you find the right professional. To make your choice easier, be sure to consult our interactive checklist, which will help you evaluate contractors and make the most confident decision.

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