How to Clean Discolored Linoleum Flooring (6 Easy Methods)

how to clean discolored linoleum flooring with mop

Linoleum contains linseed oil as one of its several natural materials; this, however, causes discoloration to your linoleum over time as linseed oil oxidizes and changes its color as it ages. This process is quickened if the floor is covered by rugs or isn’t exposed to enough sunlight.

Fortunately, you do not need to replace your linoleum floor when it starts to turn yellow. Instead, there’s a more straightforward and less expensive way how to clean discolored linoleum flooring, let’s find out.

Read: what causes yellow stain on vinyl flooring?

How to Clean Discolored Linoleum Flooring

Do Proper Research

Before you start dumping products on your floor, start by doing proper research. This you can do by contacting the manufacturer of your linoleum floor to find out products that they recommended using.

A quick, simple internet search can give you all the information you need, but you can contact the manufacturing company directly if you cannot find the information that way.

It is important that you try to stick to only recommended cleaning agents from the manufacturer; this is to avoid potentially damaging your linoleum flooring any further.

Read: How to get rust of linoleum floors

Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

Baking soda and lemon juice are great for the removal of discoloration on linoleum floor. Simply mix baking soda and lemon juice to form a paste, then apply it directly on the discolored spots on your linoleum flooring.

To get the mixture even further into the stain, use a toothbrush to work in the cleaning agents for small spots or opt for a firm bristled brush for larger stains.

Brush the paste into the stain for a couple of minutes; this should eliminate the yellow tint from the linoleum surface. After which, you need to rinse off the baking soda and lemon juice residue thoroughly from the floor and wipe it dry with a clean cloth.


Bleach can be used to get rid of discoloration on linoleum as well; simply mix a solution of bleach and water, then apply to the discolored spots on the linoleum, and allow the solution to sit for at least 45 minutes.

You may need to reapply this mixture if you have stubborn stains; when the stain lifts, sponge and mop up the water and bleach. You can also sprinkle some baking soda over the bleach mixture after applying it on the floor; this will increase the whitening action and also help to lift the stain quicker.

Powder Detergent With Bleach

You can purchase a powdered cleansing agent that contains bleach to get rid of discolored spots on linoleum flooring. To use, it is recommended to start by wetting the stained area of the floor before applying the detergent directly onto the discolored spots.

The detergent should be allowed to sit on the floor for a couple of minutes to enable it to break up the discolored sealant on the floors. After which, you can use a damp sponge to wipe up the cleaning agent from the floor.

Vinegar and Water

Vinegar and water being one of the best methods on how to clean discolored linoleum flooring can be used as a linoleum cleaner, simply apply the mixture directly onto the discolored area of the linoleum and allow it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe up the vinegar.

You can also sprinkle baking soda over the vinegar for particularly persistent stains; it will help to take out the stains on the floors quicker. After which, you should scrub the area with a sponge and rinse thoroughly with water.

Ammonia-Based Floor Cleaner

A floor cleaner that has ammonia as its main ingredient is also great for cleaning discolored linoleum flooring, and simply pour it onto the linoleum floor to lift the discolored floor wax.

Then using a firm sponge or scouring pad, scrub the floor thoroughly before mopping the solution off the floors.

However, after using a cleaner with ammonia on your linoleum floor, you will have to apply a new coating of floor wax to the linoleum, or you can mop the floors using club soda; this is to give the flooring an attractive shine and luster.

Read: Can you use Pine Sol on hardwood floor

How to Prevent Discoloration On Your Linoleum Flooring

Clean your linoleum flooring frequently, use a microfiber mop to get rid of any dust or debris on high-traffic areas of the floor. You should also damp mop the floor using a mixture of white vinegar and a few drops of dish soap per gallon of water weekly. When cleaning your linoleum floor, it is recommended to always use cool or lukewarm water.

If you own houseplants, ensure to place some protection underneath them before placing them on your linoleum flooring.

This is to avoid water stains; you also need to place color fast felt pads under furniture. Avoid latex or rubber-backed pads, as they can stain linoleum.

If you notice any dull spots on the floor, you can apply a few coats of specialty linoleum floor polish according to the manufacturer’s instructions in order to revamp the floor appearance.

Exposing your linoleum flooring to sunlight is also a great way to prevent discoloration on your linoleum floors. By keeping the flooring exposed to a healthy amount of sunlight, you can prevent the linseed oil from oxidizing in the first place.

So, make sure to open up your curtains and shades as frequently as you can, and also remove any rugs or mat from the floor so that your linoleum can receive enough sun rays.

Read: Best floor wax for linoleum floors


This article discusses how to clean discolored linoleum flooring explicitly. Mentioned above are different ways you can restore your floor’s appearance and also ways to prevent the floor from oxidizing, which is the major cause of discoloration on linoleum flooring.

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