What Causes Yellow Stains On Vinyl Flooring? (Find Out)

what causes yellow stains on vinyl flooring

Vinyl flooring is known for its high moisture and stain resistance; this is why most people opt for it as a kitchen or bathroom flooring. Vinyl flooring is not only highly durable; it is also affordable to install.

However, all is not glitter and gold with vinyl flooring; after a while, you may begin to notice some discolored or yellow spots on the floor or yellow stain on floor around toilet, this vinyl flooring yellow discoloration is caused by a couple of reasons.

Thankfully when this occurs, it can be fixed. If you want to know what causes yellow stains on vinyl flooring and how to remove these stains, they we’ve got you covered.

Read: How to protect vinyl floor from chair legs

What Causes Yellow Stains On Vinyl Flooring

Your vinyl flooring can become discolored due to poor maintenance or exposure to direct sunlight. Here are what causes yellow stains on vinyl flooring:


The main culprit of yellow stains on vinyl tile is years of use. But you can prevent this with a few precautions and regular maintenance.

Adhesives Residue

Adhesive is required in the installation of vinyl tiles. This, however, can discolor your floor when the adhesive seeps through and creates a stain on the upper surface of the tile. 

Read: How to remove adhesive from floor

Liquid spills

Any unattended liquid spills can become settled on the vinyl floor. This causes discoloration on the floor, especially if you spilled juice and milk. Yellow stain on floor around toilet occurs mostly due to water spills on the floor so it is best to attend to water spill before they become settled.


Vinyl flooring is known to be water-resistant, but the thinner sheets are not waterproof. Therefore, if water is left to sit on the floor for too long, it can stain the material. 

Read: How to waterproof hardwood floor


Makeup spills should also be cleaned up immediately it occurs as most makeup products contain pigments that can leave stubborn stains on the floor. 

Food stains: solid food spills can also stain your vinyl floors, especially if they have darker colors. So every food spills should be cleaned up as soon as possible. 


Vinyl floor isn’t heat resistant, so using a steam cleaner to clean the floor surface can cause yellow stains and discoloration.

Read: Easy homemade vinyl floor cleaner


Not exposing your vinyl flooring to adequate sunlight can cause yellow discoloration. So ensure to open your windows to allow direct sunlight into your home.


Walking over your vinyl floor with shoes can introduce dirt onto the floor. Gravel and dirt can irritate the floor surface and cause discoloration over time.


Placing a rubber backed rug or mat over your vinyl floor can also cause discoloration. So ensure to keep rubber mats or rugs off your vinyl flooring.

Harsh chemicals

Avoid bleaching agents or harsh chemicals as they can cause discoloration on your vinyl flooring.

How to Remove Yellow Stains From Vinyl Flooring

Dish Soap and Apple Cider Vinegar

Combining these ingredients will form a potent mixture that can be used to remove white residue yellow stains from vinyl flooring. Dis soap and apple cider vinegar has been long known to remove white residue on vinyl floor.

Simply mix together half a cup of apple cider vinegar with half a gallon of water. Add a few drops of dish soap and stir the mixture till it starts forming bubbles. 

Using this mixture, mop the entire floor. It is recommended that you use a mop with nylon brush bristles so you can achieve an efficient cleanup. 

After mopping, allow the vinyl tile to dry completely before returning the furniture to the floor. 

You can also make use of only white vinegar; simply mix one cup of white or cider vinegar with a gallon of water. Then mop the entire floor with this solution. 

Using just vinegar means you do not need to rinse the floor afterwards as vinegar do not leave behind streaks or suds, but it may not be powerful enough to lift the stain.

When using only vinegar, you can add a few drops of any essential oil if the smell is too bothersome.

Read: Easy homemade floor cleaner with olive oil

Lemon Juice and Baking Soda

This is also an easily sourced DIY Cleaning method, as you probably already have the ingredients in your pantry. Lemon and baking soda both have color lightening properties, so combining them creates a mixture that can be used to remove yellow stains on vinyl flooring.

Mix a quarter cup of lemon juice to ⅛ cup of baking soda tills it forms a paste. Apply this paste onto the affected area and allow it to sit for up to 15 minutes.

Wipe off the residue from the floor using a damp towel, and the stain should be lifted. This mixture is most effective for fresh stains and may not be able to lift old and settled messes.

Rubbing Alcohol

If you have makeup and ink stains on your vinyl flooring, you can use rubbing alcohol to remove them. Rubbing alcohol can be used to remove stains that have become deeply settled into the floor as well.

Simply pour some rubbing alcohol into a cup or a bowl, dip a clean cloth in and place the cloth on the stain, then rub the area gently. 

Keep in mind that rubbing alcohol is flammable, so avoid using it on floors close to a source of fire, such as the kitchen or the fireplace. It is also recommended that you wear protective gloves to avoid contact with the skin.

Mineral Spirits

To use mineral spirit, you will need a spray gun to spray the product on the affected areas. After which, you need to scrub the floor until the yellow stain disappears.

For stubborn stains, you may need to rub for a long time, so ensure to change the cloth frequently and rub until the yellow disappears. The stain should be lifted onto the cloth, and the floor should regain its original color.

Afterwards, use a wet microfibre cloth to wipe the floor and ensure adequate ventilation till the smell of mineral spirits dissipates.

Bleach and Water

Bleach can be used to remove yellow stains on vinyl tiles; simply mix one part bleach and three parts of water in a bucket; the quantity needed depends on the size of the stain.

With a soft microfibre cloth dampened with the bleach mixture, scrub the affected area. Continue adding more bleach and scrub till the stain disappears.

Then rinse out the area and completely dry out any moisture left on the floor.

Can you bleach vinyl floors

This answer is no, you can’t bleach vinyl floors. Using cleaning products with ammonia or bleach can cause irreparable damage to your vinyl flooring.

Always opt for cleaners that are ph-neutral, such as plain water, or you can create a cleaning solution by mixing 1 ounce of mild dish detergent with one gallon of water. If you must use bleach, then make sure to dilute it with water.

Also, ensure to use a microfiber mop and wring out as much water as possible from the mop before using; always rinse the floor with clean water when mopping the floor with detergent and dry the floor completely afterwards.

Excessive moisture can stain vinyl flooring, so dry the floor with a clean towel or rag.

Read: How to fix uneven stain on hardwood floor


Yellow stains on vinyl flooring is inevitable, you might begin to notice them as your floor ages, so don’t fret when you see one. Simply follow the steps laid above to get those yellow stains off and you should be good to go

For a flawless stain cleaning, mind the type of cleaner used. Cleaners like bleach can cause damage to your vinyl floor so ensure to avoid it at all cost.

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