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How to Clean Linoleum Floors [5 Tips for Maintaining Linoleum]

Having linoleum floors at home can give a pristine look, but they also have the potential to ruin your home’s appearance if they’re damaged. Improper cleaning can be a likely culprit behind damaged linoleum. What steps do you need to take to avoid this situation?

Preventing the unsightly blemishes from hampering your style requires proper cleaning and maintenance. By investing a little time and money, you can ensure your floor health in the long run.

If you’re trying to figure out how to clean linoleum floors properly, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re going to talk about linoleum floors, their benefits, the tools and supplies needed for their care, and some interesting tips that will help you maintain them.

Linoleum Floors and Their Benefits

Linoleum has been one of the preferred flooring choices for more than 100 years. However, with the emergence of other options like vinyl flooring, its popularity began to decrease in the late 1940s.

Due to their similarities, there was a time when people were confused between vinyl floor and linoleum floor, and used these terms interchangeably. Both these flooring types are, in fact, very different from each other in terms of composition as well as performance.

In recent years, linoleum flooring is making a resurgence due to its long list of desirable qualities. After all, linoleum can easily last for 30 to 40 years with proper cleaning and care.

Benefits of Linoleum Floors

Alongside style and aesthetics, there are some notable benefits of linoleum. These include:


Ceramic and stone tiles can be hard on the joints. Unlike these options, linoleum flooring provides a natural cushion. You can expect enhanced comfort with the linoleum in your home.


It’s a misconception that linoleum isn’t durable. Though it comes with a soft and elastic-like texture, it’s actually more resistant to damage when compared to wooden flooring.

Linoleum can retain its integrity better than other hard floor options, making it less likely to develop blemishes, a stubborn stain, or scratches like a wood floor. As said above, linoleum can survive for decades if maintained properly.


Though some linoleum strips do have synthetic materials added, a majority of options today are plant based. It’s also free of toxic and harmful chemicals and won’t spread volatile organic compounds in the air.

To top it all off, it’s also 100 percent biodegradable, which means it won’t affect the environment.

Easy Maintenance

Linoleum is easy to maintain because of its structure. You can keep it clean by sweeping, vacuuming, and moping.

Unlike wood, there’s no need to invest in high-end products like wax, linseed oil, or a special floor cleaner to keep your floors looking great. Most commonly available cleaners work best!

Water Resistance

Unlike laminate and wooden flooring, linoleum is water resistant under normal circumstances. However, like any substance, damage can occur when exposed to excessive moisture.

What Supplies and Tools are Required for Maintaining Linoleum Flooring?

Maintenance is not at all tricky. However, there are some preferred methods and supplies that you should consider to preserve your floor’s condition. Here’s what we recommend you invest in:

Dusting and Mopping


When broom shopping, consider getting soft nylon bristles or the ones that have microfiber heads. Although linoleum is resilient, you can take care to avoid potential scratches. Hard bristles and straw are not recommended here.

Vacuum Cleaner

You can vacuum linoleum floors, but you’ll need a hard floor vacuum cleaner here. If you try to use the brush rollers, it will likely cause damage as they can be too hard, especially on an old linoleum floor.


Linoleum can be vulnerable to water damage, so avoid a wet mop. It’s best to use a mop bucket to squeeze out excess water so it doesn’t soak your floor. Consider a damp microfiber mop, or a damp cloth to mop to achieve a clean linoleum floor.

Steam Mop

This is another efficient way of removing stubborn dirt and grime from the floor. A steam mop can deep clean linoleum floors with relative ease. However, it’s advisable to check the manufacturer’s specifications to verify whether the product is suitable for your linoleum floor.

Chemical Cleaners

If you’re planning to buy cleaning products from the market, ensure that your chemical cleaners are linoleum friendly. Look for pH balanced products, and be wary of detergents as they are not suitable for linoleum.

You can also choose a homemade cleaning solution for cleaning your linoleum floors if you’d like. It’s best to go with homemade cleaning solutions like baking soda paste and a combination of vinegar, dish soap, and baking soda, or even a combination of baby oil and vinegar.


man and women cleaning floor together

How to Clean Your Linoleum Floor?

The best part of having a linoleum floor is that you have many cleaning methods to choose from. Here are some tips to follow once you’ve organized everything to start cleaning:

Clean Frequently

It’s important to make regular cleaning a part of your routine.

Wipe Daily

Wipe up dirt with a dust mop or a dry microfiber mop – whichever is available, once a day. This will prevent dirt from piling on your floor.

Sweep or Vacuum Once A Week

If your home doesn’t have kids or more people living, you may choose to sweep or vacuum once a week. Don’t forget to clean the out-of-the-way spots as, when ignored, they become major dirt gathering spots. 

Mop Once Every Week

Mopping once a week is key. You can choose any cleaner or even DIY it, but don’t forget to vacuum or sweep before mopping your floor. This will prevent pushing debris around and keep your mop pad clean.

Spot Cleaning

If you see any stubborn stains or debris, create a baking soda paste—you can do this by mixing vinegar and baking soda into a thick paste. Once the paste is ready, apply it only to the spots that have stains. Leave it for 15 minutes, and later rub it off by using a microfiber cloth.

Deep Cleaning

Linoleum flooring generally doesn’t require deep cleaning. You can maintain its cleanliness if you vacuum and mop it once a week. Combining this clean with spot cleaning whenever required will keep your floor in great condition.

You may even consider steam mopping your floor to disinfect, and remove stains or grease from your floor surface. However, it’s important to closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions while cleaning with steam.

Tips to Maintain Your Linoleum Floor

Here are some tips for maintaining your floor for the long term:

Sweep Your Floor Daily

If you have an active family or especially kids at home, it’s advisable to sweep your floor daily. This will prevent the accumulation of dust and at the same time will avoid scratches by debris caught underfoot.

Clean Spills Instantly

If you allow water to seep in, the linoleum will become gradually damaged. Avoid this scenario by cleaning spills immediately. You may soak them up with the help of an absorbent cloth or even use a mop in case of larger water spills.

Avoid Ammonia-based Cleaners

The pH balance of a linoleum floor can be affected due to the use of ammonia-based cleaners. Though they will surely remove dirt, they can also damage the flooring below.

Use Warm or Cold Water

There’s an assumption that it’s best to use hot water to clean your floors, but it is best if you can avoid it for linoleum floors. Hot water has the potential to cause moisture damage to your floor much faster than cooler water.

Don’t Use Latex or Any Other Rubber-backed Rugs

You can choose to add rugs or pads to give an extra layer of protection to your floor. However, make sure to not use latex or any other options that are rubber backed. Over time, these materials will likely stain the floor. It’s best to choose rugs that have natural backings.


installing rug on linoleum floor

Summing It Up

If you know some basic precautions to take and have a basic knowledge of care and maintenance, it’ll be easy for you to maintain your linoleum floors.

It’s best to choose natural, acidic cleaning products. For instance, vinegar-based solutions. This will complement the natural pH of linoleum.

Another thing to take note of is to use these products sparingly. Remember, excessive moisture can damage your floor. Once you’re done with regular floor cleaning, make sure that your floor has dried up completely. Doing so will remove any cleaning product residue as well as excess moisture.

With proper care, linoleum floors can be a beautiful, durable flooring solution for your home. Plus, it’s easy maintenance meaning you can even save money and time while maintaining them.

Do you have linoleum floors at home? What care and precautions do you take to maintain its pristine condition? Share your advice and recommendations with us in the comments.