The process of cleaning linoleum is very different from cleaning vinyl. Vinyl is solid and a lot more durable than linoleum. For this reason it is important to use cleaners that do not contain harsh chemicals.
Avoid using cleaners that contain a high pH base or other abrasive ingredients. These products can cause major damage by causing the linoleum to crack. Cleaners such as cornet and ammonia that are made from base chemicals are okay to use on linoleum because they are very effective in eliminating grime and dirt. Vinegar is good choice because it is a natural cleanser that is safe to use on linoleum.
Get the Cleaning Gear Together
Gather all of the cleaning utensils together before getting started. The items that are needed include a large bucket, a mop, a cotton cloth, and vinegar (or other linoleum friendly cleanser).
Sweep the Floor
Sweep or vacuum a linoleum floor before cleaning. This will remove loose dirt and debris. Be sure to include hard to reach areas such as corners, under appliances, cabinets and other places where dust can accumulate.
Put Water and Vinegar in the Bucket
Fill the bucket with water and pour in the desired amount of vinegar. Use more vinegar if the linoleum is covered with a lot of grime. Vinegar has a very low acid content, so it will not damage the linoleum no matter how much is used. It will not take much to get the job done because linoleum does not have pores and it will not absorb the cleaning agent.
Dampen the Cloth and Start Cleaning
Dip the cotton cloth into the bucket just enough to get the cloth a little wet. Use the cloth to begin washing the linoleum. Be sure to give extra attention to any areas that have visible grease or dirt. Rub the cloth over the entire floor.
Mop the Linoleum Floor
Lightly mop the entire floor. This will help bring the dirt to the surface. Mop the floor again. Use more pressure this time. Clean one section of the floor at a time. Dip the mop into the bucket and completely wring it out before moving onto the next section.
Rinse the Linoleum Floor
Pour all of the water out of the bucket and thoroughly rinse it out. Fill the bucket with hot water. Dip the mop into the bucket, wring it out and mop the floor one section at a time.
More Intense Linoleum Cleaning
If a regular cleaning does not get the job done, the floor may need a more thorough cleansing. This will involve cleaning the floor with ammonia. Pour a little ammonia onto one section of the linoleum floor. Then wipe it with a clean dish towel. Wait 15 minutes and repeat the process on another section of the floor. Then scrub the first section with a nylon brush. Continue this process until the entire floor is treated.
Wipe the entire floor with a damp towel. Fill a bucket with water and vinegar. Add a half of a cup of vinegar for every gallon of water. Use this mixture to rinse the linoleum floor. The vinegar will remove any residual ammonia.