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Removing Newsprint Stains from Linoleum

In the suite where I work, we have a large break room. My employer provides, free to the employees, soda and coffee. His brother-in-law owns a pony keg and, every three weeks, Bob calls Tim and asks him to deliver another shipment of canned soda. The west wall of the break room houses the stacked cartons and Tim's delivery people stack the cartons onto the linoleum flooring. Sometimes the Wall Street Journals and local newspapers spill from the nearby recycle bin, and Tim's delivery people haphazardly stack the cartons onto the wayward newspaper. Last week, in anticipation of calling Tim for another soda order, Bob asked me to remove the newspaper from the linoleum so that Tim's workers wouldn't stack soda cartons onto it.

While moving the five remaining soda cartons, I discovered that a soda can had burst inside one of the cartons, wetting the carton, newspaper, and linoleum beneath. The carton crumbled and soda cans tumbled everywhere, leaving the carton bottom and newspaper glued to the linoleum. I peeled away the carton cardboard and newspaper as best I could, but when I tried to remove the newspaper from the linoleum, I was horrified to realize that the newsprint had transferred to the tile – permanently.

Having no mop, I used wet paper towels to try to wash the newsprint away, to no avail. Then I squirted dishwashing detergent onto the wet floor and tried to wash it again. It only made the newsprint shinier. Since I am the Office Services Administrator, I keep on-hand a large Office Emergency Kit. I thought of cleaning agents that might work on the newsprint, and I gathered the WD-40, Goo Gone, baking soda, and a stiff brush from the kit and headed back to the break room. After about thirty minutes of trial-and-error, I finally found the secret to removing newsprint stains from linoleum. Follow these steps to remove newsprint stains from your linoleum flooring:

  1. Spray the WD-40 liberally onto the newsprint stain, until the surface of the linoleum is wet.
  2. Sprinkle the wet surface generously with baking soda.
  3. Pour about five tablespoons of Goo Gone on top of the baking soda.
  4. Using your stiff brush, work the ingredients into a thick paste and scour the entire newsprint stain, using heavy pressure.
Rinse the area to check if you've rid it of the stain. If not, repeat the process on the remaining stains until the newsprint stains are gone. Rinse the area completely, wash again with dishwashing detergent to remove any of the WD-40 and Goo Gone residue, and then allow the flooring to dry. Make sure that you totally remove the WD-40 and Goo Gone residue, as both substances are highly slippery.

Related Tips:

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