Linoleum floors can be found in many homes as they are cost effective and fairly easy to maintain. While they are durable enough, finding a cleaner can be difficult. Not to be confused with vinyl flooring, linoleum is not as indestructible as vinyl, so you need to be careful about what cleaners you use on them. When purchasing a commercial floor care product, check the instructions first to make sure it is safe for linoleum floors http://www.cleanitsupply.com/p-595-rinse-free-neutral-floor-cleaner-1-gallon-rin01mn.aspx. If you prefer, you can substitute mild dish soap http://www.cleanitsupply.com/p-9162-ivory-dish-detergent-24-oz-bottles-pgc25574.aspx for the commercial cleaner.
Use a vacuum set on the hard floor setting to remove all loose surface dirt. Any dirt mixed with the mop water will just result in a tougher cleaning task. Be sure to concentrate on areas where dirt can really accumulate, like corners and under cabinets and appliances. If you choose to sweep the floor, make sure to use an angled, soft nylon broom as a straw broom will scratch the linoleum.
Add your floor cleaner to a bucket http://www.cleanitsupply.com/nsearch.aspx?keywords=mopping%20bucket and prepare according to directions. If you are using dish soap, add 6 or 7 drops of soap to a gallon of hot water. Use a soft, self-wringing mop http://www.cleanitsupply.com/nsearch.aspx?keywords=self-wringing%20mop and make sure to wring it out thoroughly to avoid soaking the floor. Mop small sections at a time and when the floor has been completely cleaned, empty the bucket and fill it with clean, hot water. Finish by mopping sections of the floor with the fresh water to remove any soap residue.
Use some old towels to dry the floor. The grooves in linoleum will quickly absorb excess water resulting in a dingy look, and if it gets under corners and edges, it can cause them to curl up. This is why it is important not to drench the floors and to dry any excess water left after cleaning.
Hydrogen peroxide can be effective removing organic stains like blood and urine. For a stain that is not too deep, simply wipe it away with a clean cloth and hydrogen peroxide. For set-in stains, soak a clean cloth with peroxide, lay it over the stain and weight it down with something heavy. Check on the cloth periodically and replace it with a fresh one when it starts to look dirty. Continue to do this until the stain is gone.
Mr. Clean Magic Erasers http://www.cleanitsupply.com/p-10620-mr-clean-magic-eraser-all-purpose-cleaning-pads-24-pads-pgc82027.aspx can be very effective removing a myriad of stains in your home, including those on your linoleum floor. Simply dampen it and wipe the stain away.
While many homeowners would prefer granite or ceramic tile over linoleum, it is inexpensive, and based on your budget, may be the only option. Following these simple steps will help ensure that it holds up and looks great for a long time.