How To Clean Discolored Vinyl Flooring

Having clean floors is one of the most satisfying parts of cleaning your house, but nothing can ruin your feeling of satisfaction, like discovering discoloration on your vinyl flooring.

Although some discoloration can be caused by dirt and spills, most vinyl discoloration is caused by prolonged exposure to rubber or sunlight.

Restoring the coloring on your floors may seem like a nearly impossible task, but you don’t need to stress about it.

We’ve been where you are and done some research, and cleaning discolored vinyl floors is not too difficult.

All you need are a few everyday household cleaning items to get your vinyl floors looking great again.

Continue reading below to learn how to clean discolored vinyl flooring. 

What You’ll Need

You’ll need a few common household items to remove discoloration from your vinyl floors.

Now that you have everything you need, read on for step-by-step instructions to help you to clean your discolored vinyl flooring. 

1. Combine baking soda and lemon juice

As soon as you notice a yellow discoloration on your vinyl floor, mix two tablespoons of lemon juice with one tablespoon of baking soda.

It should form a paste.

If the discolored area is large, you can increase this recipe to ¼ cup of lemon juice and 1/8 cup of baking soda.

Either way, it should form a malleable paste that is easy to work with and safe to use around kids and pets. 

2. Apply Lemon And Baking Soda Mixture

Apply your lemon and baking soda mixture to the discolored vinyl with a putty knife or another dull edge.

Apply the paste to the discolored area and let it sit.

Allow the paste to sit on the vinyl for 10-15 minutes.

It is essential to allow the baking soda and lemon to sit to give it time to react with the discoloration itself.

The baking soda cleans the dirt and grime off the floor, and the lemon juice restores the floor’s finish.

3. Wipe the area down completely

After 10-15 minutes, dampen a cleaning cloth with some water and wipe the paste.

We recommend wiping the area down at least twice to make sure that you have removed all traces of baking soda, lemon juice, and water.

Once you have entirely removed the cleaning paste, you should notice that the discoloration is gone.

If not, repeat steps two and three.

If left on your vinyl for too long, they can re-damage the affected area.

Pro tip: As you are wiping up the paste, be careful not to scrub or apply unnecessary pressure. Although baking soda is suitable for cleaning up dirt, it is abrasive, and that abrasiveness can leave scratches on your vinyl, making it more susceptible to staining and other damage. 

4. Apply Preffered floor sealer to the affected area 

Once you have removed the discoloration, apply your favorite floor sealer to the affected area.

If you are looking for an effective floor sealer, try Ultra HIGH Gloss 33% Solids Floor Finish Wax.

I found this product on Amazon and it gets excellent reviews.

This application will help restore any sealer that the discoloration destroyed while also protecting the area against this happening again. 

Here is a video discussing how to clean discolored vinyl flooring.

0:26—Combine two tablespoons of lemon juice and one tablespoon of baking soda to form a paste.

0:34—Apply the paste to the discolored areas with a putty knife or another dull instrument.

0:38—Allow the paste to sit for 10 minutes.

0:41—Wipe the paste off with a damp cleaning cloth.

0:45—Wipe the area again with a fresh cloth to dry the affected area.

0:50—Apply some floor sealer to the affected area.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prevent discoloration on my vinyl?

Discoloration can be caused by many things that range from sunlight exposure, water spills and even makeup.

Even though there are many different ways that your vinyl floor could become discolored, there are a few easy things you can do to prevent it. 

First, to prevent sunlight damage, change the position of your rugs and furniture every couple of months.

Changing the position of your rugs will allow the sunlight to affect all areas of the floor equally and prevent UV damage from settling in one spot.

Also, it will keep any rubber backings on your furniture legs or rugs from damaging your floor.

You can also invest in curtains to prevent UV discoloration to your vinyl.

The curtains will filter the sunlight and prolong the life of your floors. 

To prevent discoloration from spills, clean up any spills immediately.

Vinyl is not waterproof, so it will discolor your flooring if liquids are allowed to sit.

Prevent this by cleaning up any spill before it has a chance to stain your floors.

How should I take care of my vinyl floors?

Proper care will also prevent vinyl discoloration, so keep your vinyl clean by sweeping and vacuuming often.

If you do mop, dry your floors as you go.

Don’t mop any more than necessary because vinyl is not waterproof, and mopping could result in water stains if applied too often and allowed to sit.

Properly taking care of your floors is easy to do, and it will prevent discoloration later on.

You can protect your floors by avoiding harsh cleaning chemicals and using protective pads on your furniture.

Harsh chemicals can damage your floor, and the legs of your furniture can scratch and dent your vinyl if you are not careful.

Can I remove old discoloration from my vinyl?

The above method works wonderfully for new vinyl discolorations, but if you discover that your discoloration is older, you may need to try another approach.

If the baking soda and lemon juice are not helping you remove your old vinyl discoloration, reach for the rubbing alcohol.

Apply a little rubbing alcohol to a cleaning cloth gently rub the affected area.

You may have to apply the rubbing alcohol several times to lift the discoloration from your vinyl fully.

Once you have removed the vinyl discoloration, rinse the area with water and a damp cleaning cloth.

Then, dry the area thoroughly to ensure that the rubbing alcohol and water are entirely gone. Ensure you are working away from any open fires while using this cleaning method.