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Cleaning Yellowed Linoleum

Q: I have yellow stains on my basically white linoleum floor in my bathroom and kitchen. What if any product do I use?

Tip #1: Trying wetting the floor, sprinkling barkeepers friend (comes in a cleanser can and usually costs $2-3), letting it sit a few minutes and then rubbing with a sponge.

Tip #2: My bathroom floor turned yellow under the rubber backed rugs. Magic Eraser works or scrub it with some bleach and water. Make sure that the rugs are dry and the floor is dry before putting the rug back. Floor waxes turn yellow with time and also from using low pH (acidic) cleaners like vinegar on them. If you wax, use a neutral pH cleaner.

Tip #3: It might not be the actual linoleum that has yellowed it might be the wax. The floor wax yellows with age. If the previous resident just applied new wax on top of the old wax then yellowing can occur. If none of the other suggestions to 'clean' the surface works then I would suggest stripping the floors. Get down on hands and knees and use an ammonia based floor stripper and soak it down. Scrub and then mop everything up. Then again on hands and knees apply a few coats of floor wax. When I was little we had the same linoleum floors for 20 years and they were never yellowed. I think that my Mom stripped and waxed them every year (maybe every other year).

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Rachel Paxton
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