What Makes Linoleum Flooring Sticky?

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Linoleum is common in the kitchen.
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If your floor is linoleum, it can discolor with age and sunlight and become damaged over time by animal paws or chair legs gouging the surface. These changes are not reversible. However, if you notice your linoleum floor is sticky, don't fret. This situation is easily remedied and preventable.


About Linoleum

Linoleum is an inexpensive flooring choice compared to other flooring materials, such as stone and wood. It is commonly used in the kitchen, basement and bathroom. New linoleum is typically a no-wax surface, but polishing after the floor loses its shine is often recommended by linoleum manufacturers. Older linoleum floors sometimes require regular waxing to keep them shiny.

Excess Cleaners

If your linoleum floor is sticky, you could be using too much cleaner, or you may not be rinsing the cleaner off completely. Take a wet mop and clean the floor with warm water only. Repeat several times to see if that removes the sticky residue on your linoleum floor. If this doesn't work, mop the floor with a mixture of 1 cup of white vinegar in 1 gallon of water.


Too Much Wax

There could be wax buildup on your linoleum floor. Or perhaps you are using a cleaner with wax on a no-wax linoleum surface. To take off the wax, mix 1 part rubbing alcohol with 3 parts water. Use a nylon bristle brush to scrub the floor. Afterward, mop with plain water to rinse. Open a window or turn on a fan for ventilation when cleaning the floor in this manner.

Care and Maintenance

Close shades and curtains to keep direct sunlight from hitting the linoleum surface. Sunlight fades linoleum over time. Sweep or vacuum the floor frequently, but do not use the vacuum beater, which can damage the surface. Use plain water to mop your linoleum floor or use an appropriate cleaner occasionally. Dry linoleum after cleaning and wipe up spills immediately to prevent possible damage to the subfloor.



Melissa Lewis

Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.