DOs And DON'Ts Of Linoleum Floor Cleaning

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DOs And DON'Ts Of Linoleum Floor Cleaning

DOs And DON’Ts Of Linoleum Floor Cleaning

With linoleum floors, you have a structure that can last for decades if properly cared for. It has been a flooring choice that has been used since the late 19th century, with a host of benefits ranging from its durability when standing up to normal wear and tear, the affordability of the floors since they are sourced from naturally renewable materials, to the versatility with regards to the different colours and patterns available. Even walking over the floor is much quieter compared to alternatives. Linoleum is made from materials like linseed oil, tree resins, cork dust and even wood floor and mineral pigments, which make it a biodegradable flooring choice. Its mode of construction means the colour runs all through the material – so when there are cuts, scratches and other kinds of minor damage, these can be buffed out, then resealing done without visible changes in the original look. The maintenance is also easy – but care needs to be taken to avoid blunders that could ruin the floor. Here, we’ll go over measures that should be followed in order to protect the installation and prolong its life, while enabling you to enjoy the full value of the features that linoleum floors come with. 

  • DO vacuum sweep or vacuum the floor regularly. The linoleum can easily be scratched by sharp pieces of debris that are on the surface, especially when they get caught underfoot and grinded against the floor. The vacuum here should be in the hard floor setting. Carrying out regular sweeping /vacuuming will protect the installation, and also make subsequent floor cleaning tasks easier. 
  • DON’T use a vacuum with beater bars. Here, that high-speed rotation that is witnessed, coupled with the action of the bristles, abrades the linoleum flooring, resulting in scratches being formed. Stick to vacuum cleaners that have been designed for use on hard floors. Alternatively, you can carry out the dusting using a microfibre mop, whose construction allows it to effectively pick up the dust particles that are on the surface of the floor. 
  • DO carry out the mopping using a pH-neutral cleaner. This should be a floor cleaning product that has been specified to be safe for linoleum installation. While on this, use the cleaning product sparingly. Linoleum floors, like hardwood installations, can be damaged by excess moisture. 

Can vinegar-based cleaners be used? These are okay, but using mildly-acidic cleaners for those tough grime spots should work. Bleach can also be used, but it needs to be properly diluted, and ensure that any residue that remains has been removed using an alternative cleaning agent.

  • DON’T soak the floor. Use a mop that has been wrung out until it’s no longer dripping. Dry up the floor as much as you can after the mopping and rinsing, to leave it as moisture-free as possible. 
  • DO use cool or warm water for the floor cleaning. One common mistake that is usually made, especially when confronted with stubborn dirt and stains, is working with hot water. This, however, results in moisture damage. 
  • DON’T use ammonia-based cleaners for your linoleum floor. While they are effective in removing the dirt, they will react with the linoleum itself and damage the material. This is also why urine accidents should be addressed with utmost urgency, since the strong ammonia content in these stains is a threat to the linoleum.
  • DO get extra protection for the floor with doormats, rugs and felt protector pads for the furniture. The mats and rugs reduce the amount of dirt that gets into the indoor space, which is also handy in making subsequent floor cleaning tasks less taxing. The felt pads of the furniture keep these heavy units from damaging the floor underneath. 

Regarding the rugs, ensure that you avoid latex or rubber-backed options. These can easily cause staining. Here, go for the colourfast rugs that come with natural backings. 

Extra Tips For Taking Care Of Your Linoleum Floor

  • Any round of floor cleaning should be started with sweeping or vacuuming. This gets rid of the loose debris, and also prevents you from winding up with a muddy mess. 
  • If you’re uncertain of the suitability of a new cleaner for the floor, you can always carry out a spot test on an inconspicuous section of the surface first. This will enable you to get an accurate picture of its effect on the structure, before you proceed with the rest of the cleaning. 
  • When it comes to steam cleaners, don’t be quick to use just any equipment. It can easily result in water damage to the installation. Here, confirm from the manufacturer of your specific linoleum brand on whether it can be safely steam cleaned. Remember that using steam cleaners against the guidance of the manufacturer can result in voiding your warranty.
  • Avoid using high-alkalinity strippers on linoleum. They ruin the look of the installation, by causing issues like shrinking, cracking and discolouration. 
  • After the floor cleaning, usually people leave it to air-dry, which is alright. However, you can also take advantage of the high moisture-absorption properties of materials like microfibre cloths or mops to speed up the drying. 
  • Do you have a pet? The sharp claws of cats and dogs are a threat to linoleum. No one wants scratches all over the floor. Here, regularly trimming the claws of your furry friend will be of great help to your floor, reducing the amount of wear that it is exposed to. Due to similar reasons, you should also be careful with the wearing of spiked sporting shoes or sharp-heeled footwear due to the additional strain they put the floor under. 
  • It’s recommended that you polish the floor at least twice a year. This adds extra protection to the installation, and keeps it looking optimal all through. The daily traffic handled by the floor causes it to get dull over time, and this needs more than just the regular floor cleaning to reverse the effects. Polishing comes in here, where one or two coats should suffice, paying particular attention to the manufacturer’s instructions.

DOs And DON’Ts Of Linoleum Floor Cleaning

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