Removing Hard Water Stains from Linoleum

by April Reinhardt
(last updated February 20, 2009)

Many years ago I worked as a cook in a children's center. Part of my daily duties included sweeping and then mopping the large lunch room floor, entirely composed of linoleum. The building was old, as was the linoleum, and years of using hard water on the flooring had taken its toll. The water supply to the children's center was pumped from a drilled well full of hard water, and the wet mop bucket left hard water stains in a pattern along the perimeter of flooring. Using more hot water and detergent simply made the stains worse with each passing week.

A new children's cottage was built the following spring, and I spoke with the flooring contractor about the hard water stains in the main lunchroom. He told me that linoleum is made from all natural ingredients of linseed oil, wood flour, cork dust, burlap, and canvas, and is a porous material and can stain easily, especially from using hard water. Since hard water contains a greater portion of limestone, the limestone adheres and creates a buildup on porous flooring, such as linoleum.

He gave me the following tips for ridding the linoleum of the hard water stains:

  • Make a paste of club soda and borax or Oxyclean, and scrub the paste into the linoleum with a stiff brush for at least ten minutes. Wipe away the excess and the stain should be gone. If not, you can apply the paste, rub it in, and then allow it to sit as a poultice overnight, and then wipe it away the following morning.
  • Mix one-half cup of white vinegar with one gallon of hot water. Insert a thick bath towel into the solution and then allow the towel to sit on the stain for a few hours.
  • For stubborn stains, mix equal amounts of milk and turpentine and then apply to the stain without scrubbing.
  • Use a white, non-gel toothpaste and scrub into the hard water stain, and then rinse with warm water.
  • Make a paste of peanut butter and lemon juice, apply to the stain, cover with plastic wrap and allow the poultice to sit overnight. Wipe away the excess the following morning, and then buff the area to a shine with a dry cloth.

You may choose to completely strip the linoleum of its finish, and then refinish the entire floor. Stripping away the finish will remove the stains, but is an arduous task. Consult a flooring expert about removing stains from your linoleum if the tips above do not do the trick.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Cleaning Suede

Suede leather is beautiful, soft, and warm, but very difficult to clean. The best thing you can do for your suede garments ...

Discover More

Visiting a Spa

A visit to a spa can be like taking a mini-vacation. Having several hours to yourself to relax and rejuvenate at the hands of ...

Discover More

Weekly Checklist for Housecleaning

Using a weekly checklist for housecleaning provides a feeling that you are in control of your house – instead of becoming ...

Discover More

The Power of Microfiber! Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths will become your favorite tool for every cleaning task. This 36-cloth package is perfect for hundreds of uses in the garage, kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and all around the house. Each cloth is tough, streak-free, lint-free, reusable, and washable. Check out Microfiber Cleaning Cloths today!

MORE CLEANING TIPS

Cleaning Paint Off of Linoleum

Latex paint and linoleum are both things that can be found in homes across the country. As such, it is only common that these ...

Discover More

Cleaning Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring is a great addition to any room. Simple cleaning will help keep it looking as new as the day it was ...

Discover More

Cleaning Discolored Linoleum

Whether through age or through excessive changes in heat over time linoleum will become discolored and start to look ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

Videos

Subscribe to the Tips.Net channel:

Visit the Tips.Net channel on YouTube

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share