How to Clean Vinyl Floor Discoloration

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What is Vinyl Floor Discoloration?

Vinyl flooring is an incredible type of floor to install your house. However, people tend to notice dirty floors quickly. Generally, cleaning and maintaining the floor doesn’t need to be an expensive affair and almost the same for engineered wood floors. But how do you get rid of vinyl floor discoloration?

To get rid of dirty, yellow stains and discoloration, you can use homemade products like vinegar, bleach, and baking soda. Commercial products like Bona Floor Cleaner will remove yellowing, restore, protect, and clean, leaving a shiny-residue-free vinyl floor.

Here, We’ll look at a how-to clean yellowish stain on your floor that does not respond to conventional forms of cleaning. Discoloration stains are different, some look permanent and don’t come off regardless of how hard you scrub. Worry not, you don’t have to replace your discolored floor, here how to get rid of yellow discolored stains.

What is Vinyl Floor Discoloration?

Vinyl floor discoloration is a form of damage to the core flooring surface that can be pretty difficult to deal with. It appears as yellow, brown stains on the floor’s surface. Floor discoloration appears between door slides, under heavy kitchen appliances, and (although rarely) on exposed surfaces.

The sight of floor discolorations can be upsetting to a homeowner. The stain never seems to come off despite how many times you clean it up. There’s always a feeling that a floor surface is not completely clean even after repeatedly cleaning the same space.

What are the Causes of Vinyl Plank Discoloration?

There’s a couple of reasons why floor discolorations occur. Understanding the cause of discoloration can help you find a remedy with ease. Here are a few reasons why vinyl floor discolors:

1. Incorrect Installation

Incorrect installation of the vinyl floor is a significant reason behind floor discoloration. Some people might incorrectly apply (or use poor) quality substrates that allow for moisture to accumulate under the vinyl layer causing damage from below.

If you do not know how to stagger or install vinyl flooring, we recommend you hire a professional installer.

2. Moisture and humidity

Discoloration mainly occurs due to the presence of water moisture that may encourage the growth of mold and mildew under the surface. Continued exposure to humidity accelerates the growth of mold and mildew, which can eventually result in floor discoloration if not dealt with at the earliest stage.

3. Exposure to Sunlight

The continued exposure of a vinyl floor to sunlight and heat causes them to fade over time. The most affected surfaces include patio floors and those close to fireplaces. If you pay close attention to floor surfaces on such areas, you’re likely to notice a color change compared to the surface with little exposure.

4. Effects of Chemicals

Chemicals can cause changes in the color of a floor surface. For example, some adhesives, bleach, and harsh chemicals can cause the yellowing of a vinyl floor when misapplied. Pay a lot of attention to avoid cleaning products misuse or use in excess.

Crayons and markers contain some elements that may cause floor discoloration. Pay a lot of attention to your kids playing areas to avoid crayon and marker marks on your vinyl floors. Furniture rubber pads can also cause staining on a surface when left on the spot for long. As you take precautions to protect vinyl flooring from heavy furniture dents, ensure you keep evaluating the rubber pad’s impacts on your vinyl flooring.

5. Liquid and Food Spills

If you love pets and kids as I do, ensure you keep your floor clean. In areas where you have pets’ feeding plate, it’s prone to discoloration as a result of leftover spills that are left unattended for some time.

In addition, kids and or even adult accidental spills are unavoidable on your floor. Make sure you attend to them as soon as they happen. If such liquids spill stays for a longer period they are a weak point to form discoloration. Such spills have higher chances of developing discoloration if they are prone to direct sunlight exposure.

Tip: It’s good to note the main cause of yellow stains on your vinyl floor is due to dirt, rubber pads, accumulated/use of excessive chemicals, heat, and direct sunlight. Take precautionary measures to address yellowing before it appears on your flooring.

How to Clean a Discolored Vinyl Floor

To deal with discoloration it calls for more than just normal vinyl flooring cleaning procedures. There are several remedies for cleaning a discolored floor surface. The ideal method depends on the type of stain and the extent of the damage. Sometimes, it is easier to replace a discolored floor section when the damage is too much.

1. Cleaning the Floor With Baking Soda

Baking soda is an excellent cleaning accessory, especially when you are dealing with tough floor surface stains. The abrasive qualities of the baking soda make it a valuable addition to your cleaning collection. Besides, the process is easy and straightforward.

  • Start by creating a thick paste using baking soda and water.
  • Apply the paste on the surface and scrub gently until the stains loosen and become easy to remove.
  • Clean up the residue using a separate cloth

2. Cleaning the Floor With Vinegar

Vinegar is an excellent cleaning solution for vinyl floor surfaces. You can use it to remove several stains. Besides, unlike soap and water, vinegar does not leave residue after a clean.

Here’s how you go about it:

  • Mix vinegar with water (the ratio should be about one cup of vinegar to a gallon of hot water).
  • Some use a wet mop to clean the surface, paying particular attention to the discolored areas.
  • Quickly rinse with hot, clean water.

3. Cleaning the Floor With Bleach

Mild bleach is an ideal product for cleaning most surfaces. You can purchase the product from any utility store with relative ease. Besides, bleach has a reputation as the go-to product when dealing with stubborn stains and discolorations.

Here’s how to clean a vinyl floor with bleach:

  • Clean the entire floor surface, clearing any furniture along the way.
  • Mix the bleach with warm water on a ratio of 1:1.
  • Scrub the floor surface with a light brush, paying particular emphasis to the stained areas.
  • Let the bleach settle for about five minutes.
  • Rinse the floor using clean water.

Note: Ensure that you don’t leave any bleach residue on your floor because it can cause more discoloration or even leave a sticky floor after mopping.

Tip: You can give your floor surface an extra shine by adding a small amount of jojoba oil into the cleaning mixture. Commercial cleaning product like Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner will leave your LVP-LVT shiny and residue-free

Tips For Removing Stains On Bathroom and Toilet Floors

Bathrooms and toilets require constant attention. These surfaces are exposed to lots of water, dirt, soap and chemicals.

You can remove stains from these surfaces using strong detergents, chemicals and homemade concoctions. For example, you can use vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, chlorine and other detergents to eliminate stubborn stains on these surfaces. However, it is crucial to understand the nature of a stain before opting for a specific removal method.

Can You Whiten Yellow Stains On LVP

Yes, you can whiten yellow stains on LVP using several techniques. For instance, a lemon – soda solution is an affordable alternative. These products are readily available, and they offer you a natural option.

The process involves creating a concoction of both products, applying on a surface and waiting for about 15 minutes before cleaning it off. You should apply the concoction regularly to achieve the best results.

Alternative options include using specific chemicals such as bleach and water, dish soap and alcohol.

Bottom Line

Discoloration on a vinyl floor is a common occurrence. You can prevent staining cases by adhering to several guidelines (such as avoiding rubber pads on vinyl floors) and constantly cleaning up the floor surface with recommended cleaning agents.

Read More: How to Dry Water under Vinyl Plank Flooring

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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

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