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  #1  
Old 04/26/09, 08:44 AM
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Question How do you get old grimy linoleum clean?

I asked in the cleaning forum and got little response, so I'll try here where more people read.

The linoleum on the kitchen floor is old and has a lot of built up grime. How best to clean it? I don't care if I have to use harsh chemicals if that's what it takes, though I'd prefer something non-toxic.

I cannot put much elbow grease into it due to bad arthritis in my arms and wrists, so I need something easy to use if there is such a thing. Maybe something I can pour or spray on, let it soak a while, and wipe it up.

Is there such a product?

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Old 04/26/09, 09:15 AM
 
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I don't know if this will do it, but I had to take down old wallpaper and just couldn't get everything off the walls. I used a product called TSP. Tri Something (Sodium?) Phospate. It is really harsh, but it really cut all the old residue on the walls. I try to use user friendly products, so you need to be warned this is not earth friendly. I have even used it to clean the DE filters from my pool. If used it might remove the sealer from the linoleum - try a test spot.

Home Depot or Lowe's also has a cleaner specifically for cleaning old linoleum. I used that at my Dad's house. Just poured it on, scrub mopped the area, and it was clean. Hope this helps.

Cocinera

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Old 04/26/09, 09:44 AM
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I am not sure what it will do to linolium but CLR works really well on other stuff. Find a small area for testing, pour a bit on, wait a few minutes and wipe it up and see how it does. It should take a lot of the work out of the cleanup on that floor, if it doesnt dissolve it first.

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  #4  
Old 04/26/09, 09:45 AM
 
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I've had good luck with Brite floor cleaner. Put down a puddle, wait a minute or two, and then wipe up with a wet sponge mop.

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  #5  
Old 04/26/09, 10:15 AM
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Hey LC.

Use a motorized linoleum floor buffer with the scrubbing brushes. You can rent them if you don't own one.

Talk to a janitor at your local school for pointers. These guys are cleaning and polishing linoleum all the time.

RF

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  #6  
Old 04/26/09, 10:26 AM
 
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Ladycat, you are on exactly the right track. Most cleaning products work better if allowed to sit and do their job of releasing bonds. Floor grime, especially in a kitchen, contains grease and oils. Two classic cleaners are ammonia and TSP, with hot water if possible.

You may want to clean slightly differently depending on whether it is real linoleum or vinyl. Real linoleum is based on linseed oil and resins, so the best grease removers can soften it. Vinyl can be cleaned more aggressively (have chemicals sit on it longer).

Here is what I would do first:
Find an inconspicuous spot on the floor.
Take three washcloths, and dip one in an ammonia/water solution, one in a stong solution of a standard powdered cleaner like spec-n-span, and one in TSP.
Lay the three washcloths side-by-side on the floor and cover with a garbage bag for at least 5 minutes to keep the smell down and chemicals wet.
Remove the garbage bag and cloths and use a dampened paper towel to individually rinse each area and remove the crud.
Examine the area for any softening or damage, and if there is none, choose the product that put the most dirt on the paper towel.

If you clean with ammonia, do it in sections and use plenty of ventilation. As you noted, the key with all of these cleaners is to allow it to sit long enough to do the job, but not so long that it seriously attacks the flooring. Longer than about 15 minutes is probably too long.

Part of the issue with flooring is that scuff marks make tiny grooves that collect dirt. Using a product that leaves a residue, such as the pine oil cleaners, will actually end up making the floor stick the residue and dirt together, creating a mess.

To fill in the grooves, use a sealer or wax after cleaning. This is more important for vinyl than linoleum because the printing on vinyl is fairly thin, while the coloring in linoleum is integrated throughout.

If you have linoleum tile, you may not be able to leave cleaners on it without the tile lifting. Once water gets under the tiles it typically breaks the glue bonds. You could try the steam type cleaners and a wet vac in that case. Do a 30 second flush with the cleaner then immediately hit it with steam and then use the wet vac to pull everything out of the joints. Tile floors can be nasty beasts.

Another trick is that if you have hard water and can't get cleaners to work properly, you may need to buy a couple gallons of distilled water. The purer the water, the more active the chemicals are.

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  #7  
Old 04/26/09, 10:32 AM
 
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oxy clean works on my tile floor. Or a product called greased lightning found at your local wally world or dollar store.

B Adams

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  #8  
Old 04/26/09, 10:42 AM
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Used to clean professionally at a hospital,

and would not reccommend an electric floor buffer for someone with no strength in their hands and wrists. There is a trick to using them, the handle has to be at just the right level for control.

Just use a heavy duty cleaner and when you finally get it clean, put some liquid wax on it so it will be easier to keep clean.

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Old 04/26/09, 11:50 AM
 
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I have used straight ammonia. We use to live in base housing, and when you move out you go through an inspection. Sometimes I would have a wax build up and the ammonia worked better than anything else. Of course, the smell will knock you down, but it works.

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  #10  
Old 04/26/09, 11:51 AM
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I Love the cleaner called GREASED LIGHTENING. Walmart & Meijers sell's it but when I first dicovered it was at Dollar General, but now they are more exspensive than the other 2 places. I've found that is the best stuff for cutting any grease or grime in the kitchen with out any scrubbing, it doesn't smell bad or make it hard to breath either. I also keep a bottle on the shelf in my laundry room & use as a stain remover & also work at a resturaunt & took some there & got them started using it. You know how greasy resturaunts can get.
It's not exspensive & GREAT for all types of cleaning, you should try it. You can get the spray bottle & they also make a bif refill bottle too.

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Old 04/26/09, 12:29 PM
 
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Whatever you use, and I recommend the ammonia water mix with plenty of ventilation or a fan blowing into the room, let the product do most of the work. Put it on, let it set for 5-10 minutes and wipe up. Maybe a bit of a scrub brush, one on a handle works well if you have trouble getting on your hands and knees. Repeat if necessary. Or hire some eager young person, looking for money to go on summer missions trips this summer. We seem to have an abundance of those this year

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Old 04/26/09, 12:47 PM
 
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ammonia in water on a mop worked- didn't know about letting it sit for a bit but makes sense.

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  #13  
Old 04/26/09, 01:29 PM
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Strong detergent like laundry detergent in boiling hot water will clean about anything though I am sure there are specialty cleaners for beaucoup bucks.

Real honest to goodness linoleum or just your personal word for modern vinyl flooring? To find linoleum today have to be a very old house that nobody had updated or else somebody had put carpet over some ancient linoleum multiple times.

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Old 04/26/09, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backfourty,MI. View Post
I Love the cleaner called GREASED LIGHTENING. Walmart & Meijers sell's it but when I first dicovered it was at Dollar General, but now they are more exspensive than the other 2 places. I've found that is the best stuff for cutting any grease or grime in the kitchen with out any scrubbing, it doesn't smell bad or make it hard to breath either. I also keep a bottle on the shelf in my laundry room & use as a stain remover & also work at a resturaunt & took some there & got them started using it. You know how greasy resturaunts can get.
It's not exspensive & GREAT for all types of cleaning, you should try it. You can get the spray bottle & they also make a bif refill bottle too.
Backfourty, you gave such a great testimonial that I just ordered some Greased Lighting online. If it doesn't work you're going to have to come over and show me how to use it lol
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  #15  
Old 04/26/09, 02:35 PM
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Real honest to goodness linoleum or just your personal word for modern vinyl flooring?
I don't know. How do you tell the difference?
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Old 04/26/09, 03:30 PM
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ladycat,

I would recommend this product, Spot Shot; it says for carpet, but the MSDS sheet shows it is the same product as the foam cleaner they sell for vinyl. I got out a pack of hamburger and left it on the carpet in the office where I work. Forgot to take it home... on a Friday night. I went back in on Monday and found a big blood spot on the carpet. After several weeks of trying to hide it with a trash can over it, I tried this. There was a can of this stuff under the cupboard, so I tried it. I could hardly believe my eyes! I didn't scrub, fuss or anything. Just sprayed it on, left it a few minutes, took a towel and blotted it up. I think I did it twice. The blood stain is no longer visisble, AT ALL! The maintenance guy I work with was as shocked as I was! I found out they sell it at Lowes, Walmart, Walgreens, Target, etc. It now has the Good Housekeeping seal.

http://www.spotshot.com/products/18-oz-aerosol/

Here's the foam for vinyl, but I didn't find it in the store here.

http://www.spotshot.com/products/20-...-purpose-foam/

Here's the link to find it locally. I would try it in a small area and see if it discolors the floor or not. It has a chemical smell, but I don't think it is a harsh chemical. It says it is 2-Butoxyethanol with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Propane, n-Butane). I think if it will pull blood that easily, that it should work on grime also... it was only $3.98 at Lowes.

http://www.spotshot.com/shop/

It might be worth a try! I think you would just spray it on, let it sit and wipe it up. Worked wonderfully on the carpet!

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Old 04/26/09, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KansasFarmgirl View Post
ladycat,

I would recommend this product... it says for carpet, but the MSDS sheet shows it is the same product as the foam cleaner they sell for vinyl. I got out a pack of hamburger and left it on the carpet in the office where I work. Forgot to take it home... on a Friday night. I went back in on Monday and found a big blood spot on the carpet. After several weeks of trying to hide it with a trash can over it, I tried this. There was a can of this stuff under the cupboard, so I tried it. I could hardly believe my eyes! I didn't scrub, fuss or anything. Just sprayed it on, left it a few minutes, took a towel and blotted it up. I think I did it twice. The blood stain is no longer visisble, AT ALL! The maintenance guy I work with was as shocked as I was! I found out they sell it at Lowes, Walmart, Walgreens, Target, etc. It now has the Good Housekeeping seal.

http://www.spotshot.com/products/18-oz-aerosol/

Here's the foam for vinyl, but I didn't find it in the store here.

http://www.spotshot.com/products/20-...-purpose-foam/

Here's the link to find it locally. I would try it in a small area and see if it discolors the floor or not. It has a chemical smell, but I don't think it is a harsh chemical. It says it is 2-Butoxyethanol with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Propane, n-Butane). I think if it will pull blood that easily, that it should work on grime also... it was only $3.98 at Lowes.

http://www.spotshot.com/shop/

It might be worth a try! I think you would just spray it on, let it sit and wipe it up. Worked wonderfully on the carpet!
This stuff is THE BEST for carpets.. I never thought of using it on the hard floor
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  #18  
Old 05/01/09, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KansasFarmgirl View Post
ladycat,

I would recommend this product, Spot Shot; it says for carpet, but the MSDS sheet shows it is the same product as the foam cleaner they sell for vinyl. I got out a pack of hamburger and left it on the carpet in the office where I work. Forgot to take it home... on a Friday night. I went back in on Monday and found a big blood spot on the carpet. After several weeks of trying to hide it with a trash can over it, I tried this. There was a can of this stuff under the cupboard, so I tried it. I could hardly believe my eyes! I didn't scrub, fuss or anything. Just sprayed it on, left it a few minutes, took a towel and blotted it up. I think I did it twice. The blood stain is no longer visisble, AT ALL! The maintenance guy I work with was as shocked as I was! I found out they sell it at Lowes, Walmart, Walgreens, Target, etc. It now has the Good Housekeeping seal.

http://www.spotshot.com/products/18-oz-aerosol/

Here's the foam for vinyl, but I didn't find it in the store here.

http://www.spotshot.com/products/20-...-purpose-foam/

Here's the link to find it locally. I would try it in a small area and see if it discolors the floor or not. It has a chemical smell, but I don't think it is a harsh chemical. It says it is 2-Butoxyethanol with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Propane, n-Butane). I think if it will pull blood that easily, that it should work on grime also... it was only $3.98 at Lowes.

http://www.spotshot.com/shop/

It might be worth a try! I think you would just spray it on, let it sit and wipe it up. Worked wonderfully on the carpet!
Hmm, I was going to try this, but it says it's not in my area. I could look at Walmart anyway.
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Old 05/01/09, 11:54 AM
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If there's a Menard's close to you, we found a product there called Spray Power. That stuff is FANTASTIC.

Spray it on, let it work, wipe it up.

I used it to clean the goo you find on the side of the gas range when you pull it out. Dang! One spray, and the stuff started sliding right off!

Seriously. Try it.

Good luck!

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Old 05/01/09, 12:52 PM
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If there's a Menard's close to you, we found a product there called Spray Power. That stuff is FANTASTIC.

Spray it on, let it work, wipe it up.

I used it to clean the goo you find on the side of the gas range when you pull it out. Dang! One spray, and the stuff started sliding right off!

Seriously. Try it.

Good luck!
No Menard's around here, but I'll write that down and look for it.
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