Constant care for linoleum is necessary if you want your floors to look new for a long time and not lose their original shine. In order to properly care for the surface, it is necessary to know its properties well, to understand what factors may have a negative impact, and by what means it can be saved.
What is linoleum? This is a material obtained by applying a special compound that resembles a resin on a cloth substrate. It can be natural - jute fibers are impregnated with oxidized linseed oil, to which pine resin and wood chips are added. But such linoleum is very expensive, therefore in everyday life linoleum with a coating of artificial polymers, such as polyvinyl chloride, is more common. It is very practical, but at the same time it can quickly lose its attractiveness, if it is not done in time to clean from dust and dirt.
How to care for linoleum? First of all, after the flooring is laid and the repair is finished, it is necessary to thoroughly clean it from construction dust and cover it with a suitable composition to impart protective properties. In the future, to care for and maintain a presentable appearance as the linoleum is contaminated, it should be washed with warm water and mild detergents.
Rules for the care of linoleum
The rules for the care of any type of linoleum are almost the same, and consist of several mandatory points:
- Aggressive cleaning agents can not be used when cleaning linoleum floors, as they can spoil the coating;
- Caustic soda and other alkalis can corrode the base of linoleum;
- Hot water can make the surface of linoleum matte;
- If substances containing coloring pigments get on the floor, they must be immediately removed in order to avoid the absorption of pigments into the surface layer and the appearance of colored spots on linoleum.
However, natural linoleum and the material obtained with the use of synthetic polymers, there are differences that need to be taken into account in the care, if you want the floors to retain their gloss and attractive appearance for a long time:
- Natural. So that this durable and durable material does not lose its appearance as long as possible, after laying it is thoroughly cleaned of construction debris using dry and wet cleaning. Then, after finishing to dry, apply protective mastic compounds, which are carefully polished. Depending on how “passable” the room is, re-treatment of floors with mastic is carried out two to four times a year, updating the protective coating.
- Artificial. Polymer substances, in particular, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), are used as substitutes for thickened linseed oil with fillers from natural ingredients in the production of linoleum. This significantly reduces the cost of production and, accordingly, the product. PVC coating can be homogeneous - and then it is quite thick, and heterogeneous - with a thin top decorative layer. The latter needs special care, since the thin layer is easily broken and loses its appearance. Cleaning of such floors with the use of solvents (acetone, white spirit, kerosene) is prohibited.
Removing stains when cleaning linoleum
In the event that you did not notice pollution in time, and a stain appeared on the linoleum, it should be removed taking into account the specifics:
- Coffee, dyes from food: put a few drops of kerosene or gasoline on a clean, dry cloth and gently rub the stain. If the dye has got on natural linoleum, it can be gently rubbed with a piece of “zero” sandpaper (with the smallest “grain” size, then wiped with a damp cloth, allowed to dry and smear with linseed oil;
- Iodine: The stains of iodine can gradually disappear themselves, but it is better to try to remove them by pouring some soda on a damp cloth and rubbing it gently. After this cleaning, the linoleum must be well washed and rubbed with polish.
- Zelenka: Apply a little camphor to the fleece and rub the stain. As contaminated change cotton wool.
- Mold, rust: linoleum is cleaned of these contaminants with hydrogen peroxide diluted with water in ratios of 1 to 10. You can also use bleach to wash the laundry, also diluting it in water. After that, wipe the surface well with lemon juice.
- Fat: Fat contamination is washed off with a solution of mild detergents, previously soaked with a paper napkin.
Linoleum cleaning: materials, tools, work order
To care for linoleum-covered floors you will need the following materials:
- Mild detergent free of acids, alkalis or abrasives;
- Warm water;
- A sheeting (polish) for finishing leaving.
From tools for cleaning linoleum are needed:
- Floor brush,
- Floor cloth;
- A vacuum cleaner;
- Napkins for cleaning.
Cleaning can be divided into three main stages. Consider them one by one.
The cleaning begins with a dry cleaning of linoleum, which removes debris and dust. This is done with a brush and vacuum cleaner. After that, you need to inspect the floors for the presence of stains. If they are - withdraw using appropriate means.
After that you can start the wet cleaning.
- Pour warm water into the bucket, add a mild detergent, stir;
- Wet the rag and squeeze it well;
- Wipe the linoleum with a damp cloth;
- After wet cleaning, wipe the linoleum with a dry cloth.
Important: Do not add water ammonia, soda, do not use various solvents to clean the stains - they can affect the appearance and performance of linoleum.
To linoleum shine, it is polished with special means. Select polish according to the material from which the flooring is made.
Preventive measures are the best way to maintain flooring for years to come. Linoleum is exposed to both mechanical stress and the action of various, often aggressive media. Therefore, prevention measures can also be divided into two groups:
- Mechanical: Furniture legs should be smooth so as not to scratch linoleum. Felt on them, or put on special covers. A regular hard mat near the entrance door, or a grid-mat, will help to qualitatively clean shoes from street sand, which, when brought into an apartment, acts on linoleum as an abrasive, depriving it of glitter and attractiveness.
- Chemical: At the final stage of cleaning linoleum can be applied to the floor covering a protective layer. It can be a variety of polishing compositions and emulsions. They create on the treated surface a protective film that isolates the material from external influences. The protective layer will reduce the adhesion properties of linoleum, it will be less dirty and absorb pollution. This facilitates the care of linoleum, increases its resistance to abrasion and scratches, gives water-repellent properties, significantly extends the service life.
Tip: To extend the life of the flooring, observe the conditions of its operation. Avoid negative factors affecting linoleum. These include:
- Ultraviolet (direct rays of the sun);
- Mold and fungi (formed when water gets into the joints of the canvases);
- Temperature drops;
- Open fire;
- Stabbing and cutting surfaces.