How To Clean Discolored Linoleum | 4 Quick Methods

Mix a handful of baking soda with lemon juice. Apply the formed paste onto the discolored areas. Use a toothbrush to apply it to smaller parts. Leave for at least 30 minutes. Rinse exhaustively with water and dry with a cloth or towel.

My linoleum floor was easily one of the best parts of my home interior. It perfectly accentuates my white color furniture, and it always gets a compliment from my visitors. But recently, I sighted what looked like yellow grime right in the center of my living room. I cleaned it with regular soap and water, but it didn’t disappear. 

It appears that my linoleum is now discolored. So, I started looking for a lasting solution on how to clean my discolored linoleum. Here are four methods I found were effective in my case, with two alternatives if, by chance, these methods didn’t work for you. I am sure they would be useful to you as well.

How To Clean Discolored Linoleum

Method 1: Baking soda and lemon juice 

You will need baking soda, a bottle of lemon juice, a soft-bristled brush or scrub pada cloth or paper towel, and a mop for this method.

Step 1. Mix baking soda and lemon juice

Mix two spoonfuls of baking soda and two or three caps of your lemon juice bottle. This quantity can be more depending on the size of the discolored area you want to cover. 

Step 2. Stir thoroughly to make a paste

How To Clean Discolored Linoleum with baking soda and lemon juice

Stir with a spoon. Add more lemon juice if you have to, but ensure the paste isn’t overly watery.

Step 3. Apply the paste to the discolored areas

Clean the affected area of your floor with a clean damp cloth. Now pour the paste onto the surface. 

Step 4. Scrub with a scrub pad or soft-bristled brush

Use a scrub pad to spread the paste evenly. Start scrubbing the affected areas to work in paste into the linoleum floor. Do this for the next 10-15 minutes. 

Step 5. Allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes

Leave the floor for the reaction to be completed. Ensure there is no leg traffic around that part of your floor. 

Step 6. Wash off the paste with water. 

Rinse the floor with enough water. Clean off the water with a mop. Use a damp cloth or paper towel to remove excess water.

Step 7. Allow it to dry naturally

Open your curtains for natural air or sunlight to dry the floor. 

Method 2: Bleach plus water Combo

How To Clean Discolored Linoleum with bleach and water

The method requires a bottle or sachet of chlorine bleach, a hand glove, cloth or paper towel, a scrub pad, and a mop. 

Step 1. Mix bleach and water 

Mix bleach and water in a container. Ensure the water is more so that it dilutes the bleach. Consider mixing ¾ of the bleach bottle with a gallon of water.

Step 2. Pour on affected areas.

Gently pour on the affected area. Control the flow with a clean cloth to not spill to unaffected areas. 

Step 3. Spread with a scrub pad

Use a scrub pad to move this solution to every part of your discolored floor.

Step 4. Allow it to sit for 45 minutes. 

Allow the reaction to have its course. Reduce leg movement around the floor during this time. 

Step 5. Rinse with water 

Wash off the solution with water. Remove excess water with a clean cloth or paper towels. If you still notice discoloration in some areas, reapply the bleach and water solution.

Step 6. Allow it to dry 

After washing, expose the area to air or mild sunlight. You may need to open your windows, and curtains for this purpose. 

Method 3: Powder Detergent plus bleach

use bleach and water to clean Discolored Linoleum

You will need a sachet of powder detergent, a bottle or sachet of chlorine bleach, a hand glove, a soft-bristled brush, a mop, and a cloth.

Step 1. Mix detergent and bleach

Mix two or three spoonfuls of detergent with two to three caps of bleach. Stir to mix evenly. 

Step 2. Apply the mixture

Pour the mixture onto the discolored areas. Control the flow with a brush or cloth. 

Step 3. Spread and scrub with a soft-bristled brush 

Use your soft-bristled brush to take the mixture to every part of the affected area. Start brushing vigorously for about 10-15 minutes. Spread the lather to other areas and brush as well. 

Step 4. Allow it to sit 

Allow the entire thing to sit for about 30-45 minutes. 

Step 5. Wash thoroughly with water 

Clean the lather with enough water. Repeat the process one more time to cover any area that still has lather. 

Step 6. Mop excess water or cloth 

Take out the surface water with a mop or clean cloth. 

Step 7. Allow it to dry 

Open your windows and curtains for natural ventilation.  

Method 4: Vinegar and water 

You will need a bottle of white vinegar and a mop. 

Step 1. Prepare the floor

Clear out any dirt or debris on the surface of your linoleum floor. You can skip this part if your floor is cleaned already.

Step 2. Mix white vinegar with water 

Get a bucket where you will mix ½ of the vinegar content with a gallon of water. 

Step 3. Apply it to the discolored parts 

Use a mop to soak the solution and allow it to drip on the discolored areas. 

Step 4. Allow it to sit for at least 20 minutes 

Leave the wet surface at this time frame. Use a cloth or mop to prevent the solution from spreading to other parts of your floor. And if it does, clean it off. 

Step 5. Add baking soda 

For additional support, you may sprinkle some baking soda on the surface of the discolored areas. Do this immediately after you apply the solution. 

Step 6. Wash with clean water

Use a mop to remove the solution. Rinse the surface with clean water—mop excess water from the surface.

Step 7. Allow it to dry

Expose the floor to mild sunlight or open the curtains and windows for cool air to dry it. 

Method 5: Exposing to sunlight 

Your linoleum contains linseed oil which oxidizes in the absence of light. The oxidation is what produces the discoloration you are seeing. 

Step 1. Clear out the area

Clear out anything blocking that part of your floor from direct contact with the sun’s rays. 

Step 2. Expose your linoleum to mild sun rays. 

Ensure you don’t do this while the sun is at its hottest. Mild exposure to sun rays can revert the discoloration and redeem the shine of your linoleum floor. Note that intense sunlight exposure may be counterproductive if not watched. 

Method 6: Using Linoleum cleaners

For this method, I recommend you buy any of these two effective and safe floor cleaners suitable for cleaning linoleum floors- Bona Hard-surface Spray Linoleum Cleaner or Murphy’s Oil Soap Wood Polish Linoleum cleaner.  

Step 1. Spray the linoleum cleaner 

Since this is a spray cleaner, it is usable without mixing it with water. Simply spray it on the discolored areas.

Step 2. Wipe it off using a microfiber spray mop. 

For the oil soap, you may need to clean it with a little water to avoid residue. 

Step 3. Repeat the process every two days

This method may take time to yield results, but eventually, the discoloration will disappear. 

How to prevent discoloration of your linoleum

prevent discoloration of your linoleum 
  • Use expert-recommended linoleum cleaners. 
  • Avoid using rubber-backed and latex-backed rugs: These rugs prevent light and air from reaching the floor beneath them. Use a felt-padded rug instead. 
  • Don’t put off cleaning spills and stains. 
  • Stick to your cleaning schedule: Clean regularly with a linoleum cleaner or white vinegar and lukewarm water. 
  • Give your floor some light: Ensure adequate light and ventilation for your floor. 
  • Do a thorough cleaning of your subfloor before installing a new linoleum floor. 

FAQs About Cleaning Discolored Linoleum 

Can waxing cover up the discoloration?

No. Waxing your Linoleum will only improve the luster and not eliminate the discoloration. You may consider waxing after removing the discoloration. 

Can I mix cleaning agents for a more effective result?

No. Do not mix cleaning agents. It’s not safe for your health as you may be triggering a chemical reaction that could release bad air into your home.

How often should I clean my linoleum floor?

Two days a week is fine. Cleaning your linoleum every day will mean more water comes in contact with your floor.

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