Linoleum is a kind of flooring that is made from sustainable materials including wood flour, ground cork dust, pine rosin, solidified linseed oil (linoxyn), as well as mineral fillers such as calcium carbonate. Pigments are usually incorporated into the materials as well. Linoleum is very environment friendly. And because it does not have fibers that attract and store dust and dirt, it makes for a good flooring choice if you have family members with asthma or allergies. Linoleum flooring is also very durable and hardwearing, which makes them ideal for areas and in the house that receive the most traffic. But, even though linoleum flooring is very durable, it does not mean that they are indestructible. Linoleum is also prone to moisture and alkalinity. Fading and aging can also occur when linoleum is exposed to direct sunlight. Linoleum flooring is also susceptible to scratching and scuffing. With proper caring and maintenance linoleum flooring can last for years, even decades. Here is how you can keep your linoleum flooring looking new:
Keeping it Clean
Keeping your linoleum flooring clean is important because dirt and other debris can scratch the surface, causing it to lose shine. Dirt and other abrasive clutter can also leave deep gouges on linoleum floor, which not only ruin the look of your flooring, but could start a bigger tear on the linoleum.
Make sure that your linoleum floor is free of abrasive dirt by sweeping or vacuuming it regularly. Make sure your vacuum has a soft bristle attachments. Put doormats at each entrance of your home to lessen the amount of dirt that is being brought into your home. You should also mop your floor on a regular basis using a very mild detergent.
Although linoleum is highly stain-resistant, it is still necessary to wipe spills up immediately. Prolonged exposure to moisture can affect your linoleum flooring’s design and durability. It could also make it loose and become misshapen. Avoid using abrasive scrubs to wipe your linoleum floor. Use a soft rag, mop or paper towels to wipe spills. If this is not enough to remove the spill, mix in a bit of mild detergent with water to create a mild cleaning solution that will clean the spill but won’t harm your floor.
Though mild burns can be buffed away, it is important to protect your linoleum floors from hot objects or anything that could singe it. In case of accidents, buff the surface of your linoleum floor using a soft nylon brush. Rub the brush in circular motions over burns. You can also use this to buff scratches and gouges.
Scuff marks from shoes can ruin the look of your linoleum floor. Remove these ugly, black marks by rubbing a pencil eraser over them until they are completely gone. If the pencil is not enough to remove the dark, scuff marks pour 2 to 3 drops of baby onto them. Let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes to allow the baby oil to penetrate the scuff marks, then use a soft rag to wipe the marks clean.
Furniture pieces and appliances can also damage your linoleum floor. When rearranging or moving big or heavy furniture items, do not drag them across the floor. Instead, carry them with the help of another person. The same goes for heavy appliances like refrigerators. Smaller furniture items like chairs get moved a lot and can scratch the surface of your linoleum floor. Put felt pads on the ‘feet’ or bottom of your chairs to prevent them from scratching or gouging your linoleum floor. Consider putting felt pads on your other furniture items as well.
If you have pets, make sure to trim their nails to prevent them from damaging your linoleum floor. If you have kids, do not let them bring in their bikes, skateboards, rollerblades or other toys and sports gear that can ruin the linoleum.
If you want your linoleum floor to shine, use an emulsion polish or ask your flooring store personnel to recommend a linoleum polish. Emulsion polish gets dull over time from everyday wear and tear. This is why it is necessary to strip and reapply it every once in a while. Or you can apply a new coat of polish following your flooring store personnel’s recommendation.
About the Author: Anne de Leon writes for a flooring store and carpets in Los Angeles.