Proper Care of your Linoleum Floor- Sweeping, Mopping, Drying.
One of the nice things about linoleum is that it's extremely durable.
In fact, it's so durable, it's been used as the floor covering on battleships. Another is that it's renewable. Linoleum is made from linseed oil, wood and cork dust, along with several minerals and other compounds used for the backing. It's hypoallergenic, which makes it a great floor covering choice for people with severe allergies.
Caring for a linoleum floor involves the usual cleaning tools: A broom, a dust pan, a mop, vinegar, warm water and a bucket.
We (Mrs. Clean) are a real house cleaning company, not just a cleaning tips website. Use these tips to keep your linoleum floor clean and you'll have a sparkling clean floor just like to pro's do.
Sweep or Vacuum the Floor:
The first step in linoleum floor care is to sweep or vacuum up all of the dirt, food and everything else that's on the floor. Linoleum doesn't scratch as easily as other floor coverings, but it will scratch if treated poorly.
Sweeping or vacuuming the floor before you mop means the mop water will be less dirty, and you won't be swishing dirty water around on the floor.
Our house cleaners use canister vacuums to get up dirt and debris from hard flooring. It's fast and very efficient. Canister vacuums are used to edge the carpets and vacuum the stairs. The tools that come with it make it easy to vacuum the furniture, room corners and drapes too.
If you are thinking about getting a small vacuum one to help you clean your hard floors, it's not extravagant to have a canister vacuum as well as an upright. A canister vacuum is inexpensive and you can use it everywhere. We use this Sanitaire canister vacuum, and we couldn't do without it.
Mopping the Floor:
We use this machine washable microfiber floor mop. The mop is reusable and is tossed in the washing machine along with our cleaning towels. It needs to air dry so don't toss it in the dryer after washing.
For optimal mopping, use a minimum amount of water. The idea isn't to slosh a bunch of water on the floor. Think of the mop as a damp dishtowel that you used to wipe UP debris from the counter. You are using the damp mop to wipe UP debris on the floor.
Plain, cheap white vinegar will cut through grease and grime better than any commercial cleaner. Plus, it's non-toxic and a natural deodorizer.
Contrary to popular belief, you don't need (and shouldn't use) soap to mop floors. Soap leaves a residue that leaves floors sticky and spotty.
We use vinegar at our cleaning company- not because it's cheap, but because it's the best thing to use, period. I'd loose clients if I didn't use a cleaning product that did a great job.
- Fill a large bucket with warm water. If you have a two-gallon bucket, fill it about 2/3 of the way full. Add about two cups of distilled white vinegar.
- Dip the mop in the bucket and wring well.
- Rinse the mop in the mop bucket each time you make a pass across the floor. It will prevent you from simply pushing dirty water across the floor.
- If your floors are really dirty, empty the bucket and refill with clean warm water and more vinegar to keep the mop clean and pick up the most dirt.
- You don't need to rinse the floor with plain water because vinegar does not leave a residue- That's a bonus.
Drying the Floor:
Here's the secret of a professional house cleaner- Dry the floor. Yes, dry it. The floor still has little bits of dirt and debris that remain, and by drying it you'll wipe up a bunch of it. You'll be surprised at how much dirt is still on the floor.
Drying the floor also stops water spots from forming. The water spots form because of minerals that are naturally present in the water remain on the linoleum after the water evaporates.
Linoleum really doesn't like water being left on it. (No floors do) The floor will last longer if you get all the water up as soon as possible.
You can use a towel and dry it on your hands and knees, or stand on a clean towel and shuffle your feet around the floor.
We use a Sh-mop to dry the floor. It's basically a terrycloth towel at the end of a handle that you can use to dry the floor quickly. The terry cloth comes off the base and you run it through the washer and dryer when it's dirty.
We use it only to dry the floor, but you can use a sh-mop to both mop AND dry the floor. As long as you have enough of the terry cloth towels to put on the sh-mop you're good to go!
Heavy Duty Linoleum Floor Cleaning:
Some linoleum floors have patterns where dirt and grime can accumulate. If the etched detail in your linoleum is looking a little grungy, you may need to get down on your hands and knees with a toothbrush, soft nylon brush or grout brush to scrub. Just don't use anything sharp to get up the dirt. Gentle scrubbing will work just fine.
Start with a clean bucket of water and vinegar and dip the brush into it. Scrub the detailed areas until the dirt is loosened and then wipe with a clean rag. Caring for your linoleum floor will be much more rewarding if you keep the entire floor clean and bright.