Help For Fixing Floor Scuffs, Stains, Nics & More

SuppliesScrub (for scuffs & stains)

Cornstarch or Baking Soda

  • Mix cornstarch and water to make a paste, apply paste to wet sponge and scrub out the marks.

Remove Wax Buildup

  • Drizzle or spray club soda over the floor, leave for a couple minutes then mop up.

Mark Eraser (for scuffs)

  • Rub with an artgum eraser until it’s removed.

General Cleaner

1/8 cup liquid dish detergent
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup Borax
2 to 3 gallons hot water

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a mop bucket, then use to mop.

Citrus Shine

(recipe on this page)

  • First dilute in water–start with 1/2 cup per gallon of water then adjust to your needs.

Homemade Cleaner

1/2 cup household ammonia
2 gallons hot water

  • Mix the ammonia and water in a bucket, use to mop. This may strip wax. Careful on tile.

For Nics:

  • To camouflage small nics or chips, try melting a crayon that is a best match to the color of the surface. Drip the wax into the hole until the wax fills it completely. Use a plastic scraper or ruler to ‘level off’ the top so the wax is even with the surface. This isn’t a permanent fix and will need to be done again as the wax wears away, but it can hide the spots nicely. Source.

Curling Vinyl Tiles:
*First published August 6, 2007 and moved to this page for better organization

  • Use an old iron to heat up the vinyl tile to soften the glue underneath.
  • Once the glue is softened enough to lift the tile a bit, apply fresh adhesive to the area underneath the curling spots.
  • Reposition the tile on top and firmly weigh it down with something heavy (like bricks or cinder blocks). Lift the weight and wipe away any excess glue that may have oozed out.
  • Place the weight on top of the tile again, leave set for several hours.
  • Remove the weight once the adhesive is dry and the tile is firmly glued down.


  1. Sweep or vacuum at least twice a week. If you have a busy household or pets in the house, sweep daily.
  2. Wipe up spills immediately – less scrubbing to do on wash day and less chance of permanent damage.
  3. The better the mop – the easier it is to do the job. Nothing worse than trying to scrub things down with a flimsy, worn out sponge mop.
  4. Keep mats at the home’s entrances and take off shoes at the door. Helps keep the dirt and grit levels down.
  5. Keep sweeping and mopping tools in top shape by regularly soaking them in a bucket of water and bleach or hot soapy water. Lay out in the sun to dry. Don’t use the bleach/water mix if your tools were used with vinegar or ammonia.
  6. If you find your floor looks dull or dirty all the time, try stripping it with a strong solution of ammonia & water (if the material can handle it without being damaged). Then reseal if necessary (use recommended method). Then change your cleaner and see if that makes a difference.

Careful: Make sure none of the ingredients will harm your surface before using. Test an area first. Don’t use an ammonia based solution if you have a wax floor (and want to keep it waxed) or tiled. Be especially cautious on wood and laminate, best to follow manufacturer’s instructions.

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What Readers Are Saying: 7 Comments
  1. Marguerita McManus says:

    Removing Years of Floor Polish Buildup

    I’ve done this on 3 floors: real linoleum, rolled vinyl and laminate wood. Vinegar (1 cup per gallon of hot water) a few drops of soap (grease cutting dish soap works fine) and a textured green scrubbing pad. Let the liquid soak in a manageable area for 2-3 minutes. Scrub lightly. Rinse with a sponge and clean vinegar & water mix. Re-wax or shine with floor polish as flooring manufacturer suggests.

    This an “on your hands and knees” job that I break down to doing just a few square feet a day. It brings the floor back to new, especially if the dullness and dirt are trapped within the wax/polish buildup.

  2. TipNut says:

    Great instructions and recipe Marguerita, thank you for sharing that!

  3. Chelssey says:

    I have a jam stain on my carpet. Need to know how to remove it

  4. Amanda Goatley says:

    I just tried the Method #4 Homemade floor cleaner recipe and I am sold! I will never buy floor cleaner from the store again! I cannot believe how well it works! Thank you!!

  5. Carol says:

    I wanted to know how to make a white tile kitchen floor shine.

  6. Linda Patrick says:

    When the handyman redid the tile in the shower, he got glue on the bathroom floor and I have not been able to remove it. Any suggestions?

  7. lily says:

    Hi. Is there anything I can do if the floors buble up from water?

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