The Iron Hack That Makes Deep Cleaning Linoleum Floors Easier

Linoleum floors are a popular flooring choice since they're known for being low maintenance and easy to clean. You don't have to be as precious with them as you would with stone or wooden flooring, allowing you to clean up spills and messes in a pinch and be on your way. However, they do have downsides, one of which is that grime can be difficult to remove. That's because of the texture of the linoleum itself. Rather than being completely flat, it has small bumps and grooves, which is where dirt likes to settle into. If enough time passes without the dirt being properly cleaned, it embeds itself into the material, giving your flooring a discolored, dingy look. However, an iron can help you reverse that. 

Using an iron to lift stubborn linoleum stains is a great cleaning hack because it doesn't require you to go to the store and buy new products to pull it off. Instead, you only need to head into your laundry room and grab your trusty tool. Here is how to do it.

How to do it

If you bought an older home or have had your linoleum floors for years, you probably have slight discoloration. And no amount of mopping or scrubbing seems to lift that embedded grime. If that's the case, then it's time to grab your iron. All you will need for this cleaning hack is your clothes iron, clean towels, a bucket, clear ammonia, and hot water. Grab your bucket and fill it with a 1:1 ratio of hot water and ammonia. This will be your cleaning agent since ammonia is known to remove stains. (However, if you don't have it handy, you can use vinegar.) Dunk your towel or clean rag into the bucket, and wring it out so it's damp and not soaked. 

Plug in your iron, and place the damp cloth over your floor. Run your hot iron over the cloth, going back and forth slowly several times. If you lift the towel, you'll notice that some dirt has transferred from the floor onto the cloth. Once you see that, grab a sponge and wipe off the loosened dirt from the floor, leaving behind a cleaner square. Dunk your cloth back into the bucket, saturate it, and put it down onto the next patch of flooring. Continue this process until the space is clean.

Why this works

This hack works more efficiently than scrubbing your floors because it introduces heat into the equation. When dirt is deeply embedded into the linoleum, no amount of brushing will lift it out of the nooks and crevices it's stuck in. But when you add steam mixed in with ammonia or vinegar, the dirt loosens, allowing you to wipe it away. It's the same reason you can use vinegar and an iron to clean up carpet stains

However, there are some caveats to keep in mind before doing this. First, you want to make sure you use the highest steam setting so you transfer enough wet heat onto the dirty flooring. You also always want to use a damp cloth between the cleaning tool and the linoleum so as not to melt it. Second, you also want to keep the iron moving, so you don't add too much concentrated heat to one spot.