Today, I’d like to introduce you to a new way to clean your linoleum floors. It doesn’t require any specialized equipment or fancy cleansers; in fact, you probably have most of the ingredients. That’s right—we are going to delve into the world of homemade linoleum cleaning cocktails—solutions that actually work.
The best part: you’ll save heaps of time, and tons of cash.
Before we start, make sure you sweep or vacuum the area for dust and debris (check out our research of the best hard surface vacuum options). You don’t want to start with a muddy mess. Additionally, while the following methods are safe for most floors, it’s best to try any cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area first.
So, if you’re ready, let’s dive into the details.
Dish Soap and Water
The first method is an oldie but goodie. It takes two ingredients and costs a whopping $0.05 per bucket-load. You’ll need:
- Dish soap.
While skeptics might question the effectiveness, seasoned cleaning pros have recommended this method for years. So, if you’re game, grab your mop, favorite blue dish-soap, and bucket.
1. Start by adding 4-6 drops of soap to an empty pail. Then, fill your bucket with warm water. While there are no straightforward guidelines, you’ll probably want to use about 1-1 ½ gallons of water.
2. Dip your mop into the bucket and swirl it around until the solution is mixed. Then wring the mop out until it stops dripping—you don’t want to soak the floors. Run the mop across the linoleum, using even strokes.
2(a). Remember to start at the edges and work backward. Avoid boxing yourself into a corner or walking in the area you just cleaned. Let the solution sit for ten minutes.
3. Then, using clean water, go over the floors one more time. Try to follow the same path, so your not leaving footprints or streaks. Once you’ve rinsed off the residue; allow the floor to air dry.
That’s it, two steps and done. This recipe works well for routine cleaning. However, if your linoleum is stained, you’ll need something tougher.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
There are several variations of this solution. Some call for added ingredients like peroxide or rubbing alcohol. While those may work for spot cleaning, they can leave behind dull spots or cause your linoleum to crack. If the smell of distilled vinegar wrinkles your nose, try using the apple-cider variation.
1. To start, combine 1 2/3 cups baking soda and 2 tablespoons of vinegar with ½ cup of water. Stir the ingredients, making sure all lumps dissolve. Then add the solution to a clean spray bottle.
2. Spray your floor in sections and allow the solution a minute to dissolve any dirt. Use warm water and a damp tile mop to go over the area one more time, working the mixture into any cracks or crevices. Rinse your mop and do a final pass over the floor.
Let the floor dry at least 10 minutes before walking on it. Any leftover odor from the vinegar will dissipate within a half-hour.
Borax and Water
Here’s another two-step concoction that leaves out the vinegar. This time we’re using Borax. Known in cleaning circles as the go-to deodorizer, Borax has been around since 1891.
Use caution when working with this product, as it is harmful when absorbed or ingested. To prevent accidental exposure, be sure to store it away from pets and children. With that in mind, let’s proceed.
1. Mix two tablespoons of Borax powder into a gallon of warm water. Use your mop to stir the mixture, making sure the powder dissolves. Wring the mop out, to prevent flooding your linoleum.
2. Wash your floors as usual, applying gentle pressure to soiled areas. When you’re done, rinse with warm water to prevent streaks.
Castile Soap and Water
Our final contender is vinegar’s toughest competitor—castile soap. It’s odor-free and made from vegetables, but isn’t entirely green. While castile soap is less hazardous than most cleaners, you should be aware of the health warnings.
You can buy castile soap online or at your local big box store. A 32oz bottle will set you back around $15-20, but will last at least 6 months. While there are unscented versions, most have a clean peppermint or citrus smell.
1. If you’ve got your bottle handy, go ahead and pour 2 tablespoons of castile soap into a bucket of hot water. Dip your mop into the bucket and stir slowly to avoid a sudsy mess. Using a well-wrung mop, apply the mixture to your floors.
2. Work the cleaner into the floor and allow time for the soap to penetrate. Once the linoleum is clean, rinse out the bucket and wipe the floor with clean water. Take your time rinsing; castile soap can leave behind a filmy residue.
After two rinses, your floors will sparkle.
To Sum It Up
Cleaning your linoleum floors doesn’t have to cost a bundle. You can achieve surprising results without resorting to harsh chemicals and pricey cleaners. Mix and match the recipes until you discover the perfect solution for your home.
There are several other concoctions online. The possibilities are endless. Just make sure you know what you’re mixing, as some ingredients are toxic when combined.
Do you have a go-to DIY floor cleaner? If so, spread the knowledge by sharing your recipe with the rest of us in the comments below.