Linoleum & Vinyl Floor Repairs: Scuffs, Stains, Nics & More

Update: Here’s a medley of tips and recipes for all-purpose cleaners, DIY repairs and other odds & ends for linoleum and vinyl flooring. Some were previously published elsewhere here on Tipnut and moved to this page for better organization.

Assorted Homemade Cleaners

Scrub Paste (for scuffs & stains)

Cornstarch or Baking Soda

  • Combine the two items to make a paste, apply to wet sponge and scrub out the marks.


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

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

Citrus Shine

(recipe on this page)

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

All-Purpose Mix

1/2 C. household ammonia
2 gallons hot water

  • Combine ingredients in a bucket, use to mop. This may strip wax. Careful on tile.

Fixes & Repairs

For Nics & Chips:

  • 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 it’s filled completely. A plastic scraper or ruler makes a great tool to ‘level off’ the top so the crayon 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.

How To Remove Wax Buildup:

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

Mark Eraser: (for scuffs)

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

Curling Vinyl:
*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 things are softened enough to lift the square a bit, apply fresh adhesive to the area underneath the curling spots.
  • Reposition the square 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 piece is firmly glued down.

Quick Tips

  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.
  4. Arrange mats at the home’s entrances and take off shoes at the door. Helps keep the dirt and grit levels down.
  5. Keep brooms and other tools in great shape by regularly soaking them in a bucket of hot soapy water (or bleach). Lay out in the sun to dry. Avoid the bleach mix if tools were first immersed in vinegar or ammonia.
  6. If you find the linoleum 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). Finally, 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. Avoid ammonia based solutions if you have a wax floor (and want to keep it that way) or tiled. Be especially cautious on wood and laminate flooring, best to follow manufacturer’s instructions or visit the linked resource pages for more advice.

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    • Marguerita McManus

    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.

    • TipNut

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

    • Chelssey

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

    • Amanda Goatley

    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!!

    • Carol

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

    • Linda Patrick

    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?

    • lily

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

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