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How to Clean Dingy Linoleum

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Josie in Pennsylvania needs some help with a flooring project gone awry. What happened?

    JOSIE: Well, the floor was – I had linoleum laid down and it looked real good and over a period of time, I wax it with that floor – wax and shine stuff. And after a while, the – it started looking dingy-looking and I just wanted to know how I could clean that up. It stood very well because it wasn’t a real expensive linoleum.

    LESLIE: OK. And you’re sure it’s linoleum and not vinyl?

    JOSIE: It’s linoleum.


    JOSIE: It’s the – yes.

    LESLIE: Because there’s two different sort of home-spun methods, depending on the type of flooring. And for linoleum, if you want to remove some or all of the wax buildup, what you want to do is you’re going to need white vinegar – a gallon of it – and a cup of cream of tartar. And you want to mix that solution until the cream of tartar is completely dissolved.

    And then you’re going to take a scrub brush and dip it in your solution and apply it to the linoleum floor, sort of gently and kind of in a rotating motion. And you’re going to do that until the entire area that you’re working on is covered and then you can sort of scrub behind the areas that you’re working on and wipe them up with cleaning towels, like older bath towels. White is better but whatever you’ve got that you use for cleaning.

    And you dip those in warm water and you don’t really keep them very wet. You kind of wring them out just so that they’re warm and damp. And then you sort of scrub that floor and that will actually dissolve the old wax. And you might need to go over some areas that have more buildup just a little bit more thoroughly to get that off. And once you’re happy, rinse that floor thoroughly with fresh, clean water and then dry it.

    JOSIE: Oh, wow. It’s a lot of work, huh? But I’m willing to do it.

    LESLIE: It is.

    JOSIE: Do you need a scrub brush?

    LESLIE: I mean it’ll do the trick, though. Yeah, you need a scrub brush, a large bucket, a gallon of white vinegar, a cup of cream of tartar and a whole bunch of towels.

    JOSIE: OK. Very good. OK. Thank you so very much.

    LESLIE: Alright. Good luck with that.

    TOM: You’re very welcome, Josie. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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